I have just read your report on convalescing Philippine Leader Manuel Quezon in a Johns Hopkins Hospital bed, and his quandary as to which physician to obey when he wanted a drink [TIME, Nov. 12]. Señor Quezon had no qualms about what kind of food he wanted when well enough to eat. He consulted no doctor but his own instinct, and ordered his private cook to prepare for him the Spanish puchero—that pot which holds life’s essentials for rich and poor alike, emblematic of the national well-being of a healthy people. A cabalistic piece of cookery, this gargantuan dish, a rustic circle of savors where each flavor suffers an elision in the interest of the whole, when cooked in Baltimore, without the typical chorizos and garbanzos, became a mere New England boiled dinner. Vexed, nostalgic Quezon dispatched both Dr. Estrada and Secretary Nieto to Washington to fetch the two puchero essentials.
Mother Spain, as well as her Spanish American offspring, feel in unanimity with Santa Teresa who said that “between the pucheros strolls the Saviour.”
Washington, D. C.
A puchero recipe of Chef Juan Nieto* of Manhattan’s Spanish Restaurant El Chico: Spanish peas (garbanzos), cabbage, potatoes, one fowl, beef (1 to 2 lb.), ham (cubed, about ½ lb.), spanish sausage (chorizos), large onion, tomato, pinch of saffron, salt & pepper. Boil slowly for two hours. Serve fowl, beef, ham and sausage on separate platter, garnished with vegetables. Serve broth separately.—ED.