THE ARTIST'S RECIPE CARD FILE. CIRCA 1950S–1970S
A collection of note cards (5 x 8 in.) with recipes in O'Keeffe's hand and in other hands, many with smaller note cards, clippings, typed recipes, etc., attached with paper clips; laid in are several small recipe booklets, together approximately 300 pieces. Housed in green cardboard file box with lid.
A glimpse into Georgia O'Keeffe's kitchen through the recipes she created and collected over the years. According to Margaret Wood, who worked as a companion to O'Keeffe from 1977 to 1982, "Miss O'Keeffe said that the garden was the main reason for buying the Abiquiu house; when she lived at Ghost Ranch, she had to go over seventy miles over dirt roads to Santa Fe in search of fresh vegetables. So the large rectangular garden area beside the house was gradually planted with vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, and herbs."
"Much of the garden produce was dried, frozen or canned for winter use .… Miss O'Keeffe's staff bought the food that could not be grown in the garden. Organic grains and meats were preferred, when available .… Food served in the O'Keeffe household was always nutritious, tasty, and simply but beautifully prepared. Miss O'Keeffe often wondered aloud, 'Do you think other people eat as well as we do?'"
When Margaret Wood worked for O'Keeffe, she was responsible for cooking some of the artist's meals. These meals had to be prepared to O'Keeffe's specifications. "Some recipes were developed by Miss O'Keeffe herself; all were adapted to her taste through her suggestions. Many dishes were contributions from those who worked in the O'Keeffe household. Some were influenced by Adelle Davis, Lelord Kordel, or other health food proponents of the fifties. A few are traditional foods of northern New Mexico."
O'Keeffe's recipe file bears out Wood's description. There is a wide variety of dishes and concoctions ranging from simple applesauce (in O'Keeffe's hand) to Fannie Farmer's recipe for a small roast pig, chicken flautas (also in O'Keeffe's hand) to St. Peter's Cocktail from La Fonda in Santa Fe (gin, lime juice, sugar, drop of Pernod or absinthe). The variety is a great point of interest here, with a recipe for humble corn cakes (written out by O'Keeffe on notepaper from New York's Stanhope Hotel, no less) vying for space with recipes for îles flottant and crème au chocolat.
Margaret Wood, A Painter's Kitchen. Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O'Keeffe, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2009, pp. xiii–xxi
By descent to the present owner
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