California Rancho Cooking Cookbook

The California Rancho Cooking cookbook contains recipes from early California cuisine - a blend of ancient Mexican and Spanish foods like Tamale Pie, Blossom Fritters, Sweet Tamales, Migas, and more. This is a truly unique look at California's culinary roots. 


Format: Hardcover and dust jacket, 248 pages 

Copyright: 1983 

Publisher: The Olive Press 

Author: Jacqueline Higuera McMahan 

ISBN: 9780961215002

Sold Out

Additional Details

Description: Here at last is a generous collection of mouth-watering early California recipes. They have been brought together and lovingly tested by an eighth generation Californian, Jacqueline Higuera McMahan, whose cooking has been acclaimed by students in her classes as well as by family and friends. 

The many recipes are enhanced by the author's knowledge of early California lore and recollections of meals at her family's Rancho Los Tularcitos. This 4,394-acre spread on the east side of San Francisco Bay was granted to her great great great grandfather, Jose Loreto Higuera, in 1821. 

Mas vale llegar a tiempo que ser invitato"It's better to arrive on time than be invited" -- was the old Spanish saying often quoted in those days. Travelers were always welcome on the ranches and the arrival of guests was a signal for celebration. At the fiestas, fandangos, weddings and picnics there were rich offerings of food set out on long tables under the trees. Among the many dishes might be San Lorenzo Crawdad Boil, Butterflied Lamb in Pomegranate Juice, Mostaza (wild mustard greens), a Walnut Orchard Pie, and cloudlike puffs called Palillis, dusted with confectioner's sugar. The air was pungent with the aroma of fruitwood coals, over which smoked the barbecued meats, basted with herb bouquets. 

The tradition of great early California cuisine was handed down from mother to daughter, from cook to cook. Jacqueline was lucky to have her grandmother, her mother, aunts and uncles to help her find just the right chile, just the right herb, as she recreated the favorite rancho dishes -- recipes and menus for festival days as well as "the quiet days of the week." Together, they tested each dish until it met with unanimous approval. 

What really is this extraordinary food of early California? It is a blend of cuisines, of tastes both earthy and sophisticated. It is not just Mexican food carried across the border. Nor is it just Spanish food adapted to another region. Nor is it Indian food with Spanish names. Early California food owed a debt to the Mission padres who brought grapevines and olive trees from Spain, and to the countryside itself for the indigenous offerings of purslane, cactus joints and wild mustard. California Rancho presents a style of food that is part of our American heritage -- and of California, past and present. 


Condition: Good condition with minor shelf wear dust jacket corners. 

Continue Shopping

Browse more Vintage, Used and Collectible Cookbooks.