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Frida Kahlo

Posted 18 October 2013 by
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One day I, Susan, was venting on Twitter about how the book I was reading, The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck, was making me hungry. In addition to a storyline that follows Frida’s life very accurately and based on secret journals of hers, the historical fiction novel was chock full of traditional Mexican recipes! I am a sucker for a novel with recipes, and this one was making me very hungry. And thirsty. (Reading Frida’s story in this form made me want tequila and margaritas, too) So instead of cooking (effort) I whined about it on Twitter (effortless).

Nonnie, a longtime friend of ours replied back and said that she would like a recipe that had no sugar, sweetener, preservatives, gluten and also, dairy free.

I found one that looked good, and had ingredients that would be available in most US grocery stores.

Ribs For Dead Dr. Leo

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

12 garlic cloves, chopped, and 6 whole cloves

2 racks of pork ribs, cut, with the ribs seperated

2 tablespoons lard

4 cups water

8 serrano chiles

1/4 onion, in pieces

2 pounds of green tomatoes (tomatillos) peeled

8 sprigs of cilantro, crushed

salt and pepper

Add the cumin and salt to chooped garlic, then rub the mixture on the ribs. If at all possible, let the ribs rest overnight so the flavors will be absorbed into the meat.

Place the ribs in a large pot, then bring to a boil. When the meat can be easily pierced with a fork, remove the ribs from the heat.

Fry the ribs for 10 minutes in the lard, then set aside.

In another pot, add the 4 cups of water and the whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then add the onion and chilis and cook for 5 minutes. Add green tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove everything (except the ribs) and pound on the molcajete until it has a consistency of a puree (Susan note: I would throw it in the food processor and puree it).

Add 2 cups of the rib broth and freshly crushed cilantro. If the sauce is too thick, add more water.

In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons of lard from when the ribs were previously fried. Add the puree and boil, covered, for 10 minutes.

Add the ribs, season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cook over low heat for 20 minutes

And if historical fiction is your thing, this quick and simple read did a great job of following her life. Yes, there are fictional elements but I enjoyed the  magic realism, the story, the selection of life events to highlight, the way that the author captured Frida’s personality and…yes…the recipes.

Episode 42: Frida Kahlo

Posted 9 September 2013 by
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Put some flowers in your hair, drape yourself in bold fabrics and listen to a chat about the colorful and dramatic life and art of Frida Kahlo.

Frida Kahlo, circa 1937

If you thought selfies were an invention of the Twentytens, step back in a time a bit farther. The majority of Frida’s art was of herself- it’s how she told her story. Frida experienced a great deal of pain and joy (and every emotion in between) in her lifetime, and painting was how she expressed herself.

Born (deep breath) Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon on July 6, 1907 to Guillermo and Matilda Kahlo in Coyoacan, Mexico. She was the third of four daughters, although Papa had two girls with his first wife.

Frida’s childhood was off to a tumultuous start when the Mexican Revolution broke out when she was 3. A few years later, she contracted polio and was bedridden for most of a year. Both of these events foreshadowed some very significant challenges that would come her way.

Young Frida

But first she had to grow-up! We talk about her schooling, her neighborhood shenanigans and her entre into a prestigious school to study to become a doctor. While there she gets her first taste of radical political life and she meets a man- muralist Diego Rivera.  At this point, Frida’s role in his life was to taunt him while he tried to work…or play (Diego excelled at “play”).

When Frida was 18, she boarded a bus with her boyfriend, just like she did every day. But that day the bus and a trolley collided. Frida was left with severe injuries that affect her physically for the rest of her life. We do go into details during the podcast, and give a warning because the accident and recovery was horrific.

A teenager, laying at home immobilized by a full-body cast, would get bored very quickly. Her parents set Frida up with paints, a mirror over her bed and an easel- the result? Frida’s first painting- a self portrait. More paintings came and we talk about some of them. When she is finally vertical she brings a sample of her work to her former tormentee: Diego.

And he liked them!

And he liked her!

Of course we go into greater detail in the podcast, but in short order Frida and Diego marry. He was 22 years her senior and was almost a foot and 200 pounds larger but the match between, “an elephant and a dove” (as her mama claimed) was passionate and electric.

Frida and Diego, circa 1930

Diego’s job as muralist took him many places, and Frida followed. She continued to paint although her very small, mostly self-portraits juxtaposed with his large and quite full murals mirrored the physical dissimilarities that they had. The couple traveled to the United States, where she was “Mrs. Rivera” ( and not much else) but is celebrated because of her relationship to the famous painter. For a variety of reasons (that we cover, you know the podcast is much fuller than these shownotes, right?) she is not happy in the United States and eventually, they work their way back to Mexico.

But with great passion often comes great drama. Diego has never managed (or even attempted) to keep himself away from other women, and- quite frankly- Frida didn’t do such a great job keeping herself away from other women (and men), either. Their love was…er- unique. And so was their house!

Diego got the big half, Frida the shorter- and they were connected by a bridge.

And then this happened.

My Sister Cristina…yeah, *that* sister Cristina. She’s lucky this was painted before (the incident)

And things get pretty dramatic for a few years (like they weren’t before?) It’s like a telenovela…except it’s real! We do our best to keep this talk PG-13, we really do, but their lives weren’t all that PG-13. For instance, after a separation, then a reconciliation of sorts, they take in exiled Russian Revolutionary, Leon Trotsky and his wife. A short affair ensues (Frida with Leon). Later, Trotsky is killed while in Mexico: Diego and Frida are suspects for a short time, but Diego had conveniently left the country. See? Drama.

Later she painted this, Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky (image courtesy NMWA)(you should go read about it here)

All of the drama really fires up her art. Frida painted to work through her feelings and she clearly had a lot of feelings that needed to be addressed. Because of that, her art was beginning to get noticed. She was given several exhibits in both New York and Paris.

Paris loves her!

Josephine loves her! Maybe. Probably.

The Parisians adore her style and slap her on the cover of Paris Vogue.

Because everyone who goes to Paris gets a Vogue cover. Vogue. Vogue.(two points if you just got a Madonna earworm)

But she and Diego need eachother. Somehow. They work out an amiable arrangement and get married again. For several years she takes care of him, he takes care of her…they move back into the Casa Azul and have a colorful and workable relationship.

Frida painting her father, Guillermo’s portrait circa 1951

But Frida’s health has never been good. Several pregnancies that never came to term took a toll on her body, as well as lifelong complications from her bus accident. She spends the better part of her last years in bed or hospitalized.

Frida painting in a hospital bed later in her life

Frida’s last painting, completed just before her death

On July 13th, 1954, at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo dies at her home. Official cause: Pulmonary Embolism. Unofficial Speculation: suicide or assisted suicide.

Her remains were cremated and are still on display at Casa Azul.

TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS

You want to look at lots of pictures of Frida- you must! She told her biography through her paintings, and there are a lot of images of her to be seen.  Click on over to the  Frida Kahlo Museum, or The Frida Kahlo Foundation to get started. The first you can visit and is located in her family home, Casa Azul in Coyoacon, Mexico.

Frida Kahlo Museum

Here is the link (about a documentary) that we spoke about where you can roll your mouse over some of her art for explanations, Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, PBS.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Beckett talked about this. Click on RELATED MULTIMDIA to start your adventure.

Movie version!

BOOKS!   Start with the books Susan recommended.  First up, historical fiction:

The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo by F.G. Haghenbeck (recipe for Nonnie and anyone else in Special Features)

For the most part, we both really appreciated the books the showed her life along side her paintings- it’s the perfect way to understand both. If you find one, even ones we don’t recommend here, grab it. There are many exceptional art books about her out there.

by Gerry Soufer

Loved this one…Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: Frida’s Wardrobe

Fun children’s book by Amy Novesky, illustrated by David Diaz

We forgot to mention this one, but it was really great for kids:

Viva la Vida by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

Beckett’s recommendations:

by Hayden Herrera

Frida Kahlo

Another art book…Edited by Elizabeth Carpenter

As always, music comes courtesy of Music Alley. Visit them at Music. mevio.com

Chronological Subjects

Posted 13 September 2017 by
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We don’t cover women in chronological order, we cover them in no order. We’re zipping all over time and continents like a TARDIS set to RANDOM: Ancient Rome to late 1800s Poland then pretty soon we’re in 1600s Africa. But we do appreciate that some people would like to listen to our show in chronological order and thanks to our amazingly organized friend, Sarah Frawley, they can.

 

Episodes in Chronological Order, with Links

 

Hatshepsut…1507-1458 BCE…#45

Cleopatra VII…69-30 BCE…#46

Agrippina the Younger…15-59…#73

Hypatia of Alexandria…355?-415…#95

Eleanor of Aquitaine…1122-1204…#86

Joan of Arc…1412-1431…#51

Tudor Grandmothers…1441/43-1509; 1466-1503…#21

Katherine of Aragon…1485-1536…#22

Anne Boleyn…1501/1507-1536…Minicast

Last Four Wives of Henry VIII…1508-1537; 1515-1557; 1521-1542; 1512-1548…#24

Queen Mary I…1516-1558…#30

Grace O’Malley…1530-1603…#109

Lady Jane Grey…1536/1537-1554…#31

Elizabeth I…1533-1603…#43, 44

Mary, Queen of Scots…1542-1587…#58

Elizabeth Bathory…1560-1614…#118

Queen Nzinga…1583-1663…#80

Artemisia Gentileschi…1593-1653…#85

Pocahontas…1596-1617…#99

Madame de Pompadour…1721-1764…#19

Catherine the Great…1729-1796…#61,62

Abigail Adams…1744-1818…#4

Phillis Wheatley…1753-1784…#119

Marie Antoinette…1755-1793…#53, 54

Schuyler Sisters…1756-1814; 1757-1854; 1758-1801…#71

The Duchess of Devonshire…1757-1806…#17

Mary Wollstonecraft…1759-1797…#16

Sybil Ludington…1761-1839…Minicast

Dolley Madison…1768-1849…#5

Jane Austen…1775-1817…#38

Sophie Blanchard…1778-1819…Minicast

Princess Charlotte…1796-1817…#13

Mary Shelley…1797-1851…#Minicast

Sojourner Truth…1797-1883…#96

Marie Laveau…1801-1881…#89

Elizabeth Cady Stanton…1815-1902…#36

Ada Lovelace…1815-1852…#103

Mary Todd Lincoln…1818-1882#69, 70

Queen Victoria…1818-1901….#11,12

Elizabeth Keckley…1818-1907…#72

Lydia Pinkham…1819-1883…#52

Clara Barton…1821-1912…#14

Harriet Tubman…1822-1913…#117

“The” Mrs. Astor…1830-1908…#8

Belva Lockwood…1830-1917…#77

Louisa May Alcott…1832-1888…#104

Victoria Woodhull…1838-1927…#76

Queen Lili’Oukalani…1838-1917…#97

Annie Chambers…1842-1935…Minicast

Belle Starr…1843-1889…#115

Carry (Carrie) Nation…1846-1911…#47

Calamity Jane…1852-1903…#115

Empress Cixi…1853-1908…#105

Gilded Age Heiresses…1853-1909; 1853-1919; 1870-1906…#9

Jennie Jerome Churchill…1854-1921…#10

Annie Oakley…1860-1926…#92

Lizzie Borden…1860-1927…#6

Jane Addams…1860-1935 #112, 113

Ida B. Wells…1862-1931…#25

Nellie Bly…1864-1922…#20

Anne Sullivan Macy…1866-1936…Minicast

Wallis Simpson…1869-1986…#93/94

Beatrix Potter…1866-1943…#64

Madam C.J. Walker…1867-1919…#68

Margaret “Molly” Brown…1867-1932…#23

Marie Curie…1867-1934…#74, 75

Laura Ingalls Wilder…1867-1957…#2

Romanovs…1872-1918…#32, 33

Emily Post…1872-1960…#91

Four Inventors…1873-1950; 1839-1913; 1891-1970; 1914-2000…#60

Lucy Maud Montgomery…1874-1942…#88

Lillian Gilbreth…1878-1972…#59

Helen Keller…1880-1968…#7

Coco Chanel…1883-1971…#98

Georgia O’Keeffe…1887-1986…#110

Agatha Christie…1890-1976…#48

Bessie Coleman…1892-1926…#41

Mary Pickford…1892-1979…#107

Statue of Liberty…1886-?…#108

Wallis Simpson…1896-1986…#94

Amelia Earhart…1897-1937…#39

Hattie McDaniel…1895-1952…#50

Dorothy Parker…1893-1967…#55, 56

Zelda Fitzgerald…1900-1948…#66

Clara Bow…1905-1965…#27

Josephine Baker…1906-1975…#34, 35

Frida Kahlo…1907-1954…#42

Lucille Ball…1911-1989…#82,83

Julia Child…1912-2004…#29

Rosa Parks…1913-2005…#26

Ella Fitzgerald…1917-1996…#18

Shirley Chisholm…1924-2005…#78

Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis…1929-1994…#100/101

Audrey Hepburn…1929-1993…#120

Anne Frank…1929-1945…#114

Barbie!…1959-…#116

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 70: Mary Todd Lincoln Part Two

Posted 11 June 2016 by
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In our last episode we talked about Mary’s childhood, education and life as the wife of Abraham Lincoln. She was described as, “amiable, accomplished, gracious and a sparkling talker,” by members of the Republican Party before she got to Washington…so what happened afterward that left her without this glowing impression?

Frida Kahlo may have approved of the fluffy dresses and floral head bling.

Frida Kahlo may have approved of the fluffy dresses and floral head bling.

 

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Episode 46A: The Music Show #2

Posted 23 April 2014 by
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song ep pic one framed

Take a musical trip with us as we revisit some of our favorite songs from Seasons Three and Four.  For each episode we select a song or piece of music that brings our episode subject to mind. Maybe the lyrics reminded us of her, the beat fit her life, or the chorus defined her legacy- something that ties the music to her story. We don’t usually play the whole piece, so this is our chance to showcase the whole song and thank the artists who made it available to us.

If you have been turning off our podcasts when we say, “Bye!” you are missing out on not only some great independent music, but we have been  known to tack outtakes in there, too.

This episode is also a bit of a milestone: it brings us to the end of Season Four. We will be back soon for Season Five when we can share the stories of ten (at least, you know how we like to tuck in a bonus mini-casts here and there) women whose lives are worthy of a good chat.

Here is the playlist: (It’s longer than last time, and there is OPERA!)

1. “Justice Will Roll Down” by Sandra McCracken
(from Episode 25, Ida Wells)

2. “Broken” by jamesking
(from Episode 42, Frida Kahlo)

3. “Know Which Way The Wind Blows” by The Postmarks
(from Episode 38, Jane Austen)

4. “Lost Things” by Viola
(from Episode 45,  Hatshepsut)

5. “Bravely” by Mieka Pauley
(from Episode 23,  Margaret “Molly” Brown)

6. “Taking A Chance On Love” by Danny Fong
(from Episode 24, The Last Four Wives of Henry the Eighth) <- This was so wrong 🙂

7. “On A Bridge Between Clouds” by Mujaji
(from Episode 39, Amelia Earhart)

8. “Leaf In The Tree” by Frozen Ocean Wave
(from Episode 43, Queen Elizabeth I, Part 1)

9. “Majesty” by Infernal Devices
(from Episode 21, Tudor Grandmothers)

10. “Dreamers” by The Hipstones
(from Episode 41, Bessie Coleman)

11. “The Tsar’s Bride, Aria from Act IV” written by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and performed by Elena Zoubareva
(from Episode 32, The Romanovs (Part 1)

12. “Paris” by Friendly Fires
(from Episode 34, Josephine Baker, Part 1)

13. “Should Have Known Better” by Samantha Farrell
(from The Jane Austen Book Club, Part 3)

14. “You’re Human After All” by Stars and Skylines
(from Cleopatra, Episode 46)

15. “I Can Sing A Rainbow” by Beth Burrows (memories of preschool!)
(from The Ladies of The Wizard Of Oz Minicast)

16. “Made of Stars” by Xavier & Ophelia
(Bonus track!)

As always, find this music and more at Music Alley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com

Episode 85: Artemisia Gentileschi

Posted 4 March 2017 by
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There are people who define Artemisia’s life by the trauma she endured, it’s where they begin her story and where they return time and time again.

We aren’t those people. While her rape as a teenager must have influenced her, what this Master Baroque painter did after that is where we spend most of this episode. (We do suggest that an adult preview the audio of this episode before letting kids listen.)

Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting

Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting

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