The Recipes of “Lucha”
These delicious recipes were taken from the book of Luz Maria Garayzar Verdugo, an extraordinary cook and the daughter of Juan Garayzar Larrinaga and Blanca Verdugo Pérez, both deceased.
Lucha was born in Loreto on January 8, 1936 and died March 12, 1988 in Mexicali, where she had gone to see a doctor.
In 1946, the parents of Lucha, Juan and Blanca, opened their home to paying guests. That house made history in Loreto. It was not only the first to welcome tourists, but doctors, teachers, priests, traveling salesmen, freight haulers, government officials, intellectuals and businessmen who passed through Loreto.
The home cooking was superb and always accompanied by a glass of wine or Brandy Garayzar, better known to guests as “tiger’s milk.” Both were made with distilled grapes in ancient casks at the Rancho Zacatal, a family owned ranch a few miles south of Loreto. It should also be noted that the fresh vegetables used in the kitchen came from the same property.
In the evenings, the hosts entertained their guests with rich Talega coffee served at the “panguingui” table, a game similar to “Paco.” The combination of well-developed people skills, hospitality and excellence in the kitchen resulted in innumerable friends. Even the governor of the state, General Agustin Aviles Olachea, was a frequent guest. He communicated by radio from his airplane to warn them he was coming to eat and to prepare the “Clam Stone Soup” he loved.
When her parent’s marriage ended, Lucha took over the guesthouse and the kitchen. Lucha was recognized as an exceptional woman and extraordinary cook. She won a national prize for gastronomy in a competition organized by FONATUR with her famous recipe “turtle fins with stewed red chile.”
Lucha’s social work in favor of the most vulnerable parts of society was tireless. Every year, she organized a dinner for transit operators and their families. Of course, she prepared the dinner herself.
Lucha actively participated in all the social causes of Loreto and San Javier. She worked in favor of health centers, playgrounds, kindergartens, development centers, protection of the Museum of the Missions, the establishment of the Normal School in Loreto, which originally was in Guerrero Negro, as well as the integration of a board to accommodate foreign students.
For her dedication, a kindergarten in Colonia Infonavit is named after her.
GLOSARIO/ GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Chile verde — — Chile poblano.
Una pringa — — Lo que agarres con la punta de los dedos/What your finger tips can catch.
Pámpano — — Palometa/Pompano
Batido — — Mezclado/Mixed
Salsa china — — Salsa de soya/Soy sauce
Lata de chiles en rajas — — Jalapeños
Reposar — — Marinar/Marinate
Sima o simar — — Rallar/ To grate or grated
Rinde o rendir — — Hervir el azúcar en agua para hacerla miel/ Boil sugar in water to make caramel
Pyrex — — Refractario de vidrio/ A glass cookware
Palomas — — Palomas silvestres, llamadas pithayeras /Wild doves