From ANNA's Kitchen / De la Cocina de ANNA
Recipes from the Adams-Normandie Neighborhood Association (ANNA)
Los Angeles, 1996
The Adams-Normandie Neighborhood Association "covers the five city blocks in the area of West Adams, the most northern section of South Central Los Angeles." The group was formed in 1983 and became a non-profit in 1990. By publication of this book, the organization was applying for grants for neighborhood improvements, helping to run an after-school program, and offering outreach through the ANNA Resource Center.
This book opens with a letter from LA County supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, congradulating ANNA on its "outstanding work on a number of project." Ridley-Thomas asserts, " What is cooking at the Adams-Normandie Neighbhorhood Associating (ANNA)? If anyone asks me that question, I say 'a lot.'... Congratulations on producing a multi-cultural and bi-lingual cook book that truly reflects our diversity and unity." Each page appears in both English and Spanish, throughout the cookbook.
Centered at the intersection of West Adams Blvd. and Normandie Ave., Adams-Normandie is one of the oldest neighborhoods in LA, officially becoming part of the city in 1896. The area was subdivided by a developer from Pasadena and soon showcased an array of residential architecture, including what was then a very modern style: American Craftsman. Many of those homes still stand today.
However, the neighborhood was not always welcoming. A large percentage of the original property deeds contained racist restrictive covenants, which limited homeownership in an effort to keep residents of the area exclusively white Christians. These covenants were broken by court-order in the 1940s and the demographics of the neighborhood began to change. Today Adams-Normandie residents are mostly non-white, including a large population of recent immigrants, especially from Mexico and El Salvador.
Pictured is member Nellie Hernandez’s recipe for “Ensalad de Nopal/ Nopal Salad”. Nopal cactus (sometimes called Prickly Pear in English), is a common ingredient in Mexican and Central American cuisines.