A new cookbook of the artists personal recipes offers insight into her approach to healthy eating and the meals she shared with Frieda Kahlo
According to Carol Merrill, one of artist Georgia OKeeffes caretakers, being at her table was to be immersed in beauty with few distractions and an unspoken invitation to completely focus on the matter at hand. The fragrance, the presentation, the taste of the fresh food in the simple surroundings was like being surrounded by fine music without audible sound.
Breakfast was a formal affair: She always liked to come over to the dining room. It was a very formal event. We might have a fire for breakfast in the little fireplace in the dining room, Margaret Wood, another of OKeeffes caretakers, remembers.
Lunch was the main meal of the day, and dinner was designed to be light, delicious, and healthy. The perfect day would include productive time in the studio, finished off with an outdoor meal framed by the cliffs above and the expansive mesa beyond.
Known for her interest in healthy eating, OKeeffe clipped and collected recipes throughout her life which she would frequently cook for family and friends. Australian author Robyn Lea dug through her extensive files for a new cookbook of the artists personal recipes, Dinner with Georgia OKeeffe: Recipes, Art and Landscape (Assouline, $50), which offers new insight into the iconic American artist.
Creamy carrot soup
This soup provides the excitement of intense color on the table and is an almost perfect match in hue to one of OKeeffes preferred oil paints: Cadmium Yellow Medium by Winsor & Newton. Several of her paintings feature the color, including Pelvis Series Red and Yellow, 1945; Pedernal from the Ranch II, 1958; and Green, Yellow and Orange, 1960. The soups deep, saturated yellow seems especially striking when served with table decor of otherwise muted tones, or in elegantly simple fine white ceramic soup bowls such as those OKeeffe used, made by Centura by Corning.
For OKeeffe, color was a life force, an elixir, and a deep-seated visual language that she was compelled to express through her work: Color is one of the great things in the world that makes life worth living to me.