Someone holding The Mexican Home Kitchen by Mely Martinez.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Kitchn’s December Pick for Cookbook Club Is “The Mexican Home Kitchen” by Mely Martínez

updated Nov 12, 2020
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Hello, dear Cookbook Club-ers. What a month it’s been so far! In between doomscrolling on Twitter and watching the election results come in, reading through The Taste of Country Cooking has been a quiet respite. I hope it’s been that way for you, too. Edna Lewis was just such an incredible force in her words and her recipes and her legacy, and getting to know that more — really, just scratching the surface — feels like a gift right now. There’s so much more to come this month, including two cookbook recipe reprints, a special Edna Lewis recipe for Thanksgiving (!), and some really great personal essays.

In the meantime, let’s talk next month. To finish out this very long and arduous year, we’re going out with a bang. For the month of December we’re cooking our way through The Mexican Home Kitchen from beloved food blogger Mely Martínez. This book just looks so vibrant and full of flavor, and I can’t wait to cook with you all! Read on to learn more about why we chose this book, and where to buy a copy.

Want to follow along with Kitchn’s digital Cookbook Club? Here’s how to participate.

  1. Get the book! You can buy the book on AmazonBookshop, or look for it at your local library; while some libraries are currently closed, you may be able to access a digital copy. Also consider buying from your local bookstore!
  2. Join Kitchn Cookbook Club Facebook group. This is our private space for all of you to talk about the book, ask questions, and chat about what you’re cooking. Click here to join! It’s very active.
  3. Share a recipe review on Instagram and tag with #kitchncookbookclub. Make a recipe from The Mexican Home Kitchen. Post a photo of your dish on Instagram, with a short review of the recipe in the caption.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Why The Mexican Home Kitchen Is Our Cookbook Pick for December

I have to admit: I wasn’t familiar with Mely Martínez until I heard about her cookbook this year. This is a total shame, because as I dug deeper into her book (it’s in our fall cookbook roundup!), and scrolled through her blog, I realized how much I was missing out on. Martínez is a teacher at heart (in fact, when she was in her early 20s, she was an actual school teacher), and this just comes across in her writing. She really wants you learn how to make great Mexican food, and she is warm and inviting in her tone. And her recipes, of course, just all look incredible.

Martínez originally started her blog close to 12 years ago to share home-style recipes from all over Mexico with her son (and her son’s eventual partner). She wanted to make sure that whoever he married, from whatever culture they were from, that he and his partner would be able to cook traditional Mexican recipes. While this is still something that’s important to her, she’s also found a community of cooks over the decade (plus) of blogging who crave what she’s making. “I feel deeply humbled when someone takes the time to write to me explaining how some of the recipes remind them of their mother’s or grandmother’s cooking, ” she explains on her site.

When I first got a copy of her cookbook, I planned on flipping through it in a couple of minutes to just get an initial sense of what it was about. Instead, I sat down and read the entire thing front to back. The introductions, the headnotes — everything. Martínez gives you a brief, but detailed, snapshot of the culture behind each dish — if it’s special to a region, if it’s made for special occasions, etc. She put a lot of thought into which recipes went into the book (based on reader favorites), and as a result everything just looks supremely delicious. I hope you’ll enjoy cooking through it with me next month!

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Get the Book

Next month you can look forward to a few recipe reprints from the cookbook, and a special interview with Martínez about her weeknight cooking style — including the tools and ingredients she always has in her kitchen. In the meantime, I hope to see you in our Facebook group!

Ariel Knutson, Features Director