Like Water for Chocolate

Tita is the novel’s protagonist. She is the youngest daughter of Juan and Elena de la Garza. As the youngest daughter, she is forbidden from marrying because she must devote her life to taking care of her mother. Tita experiences emotion with great intensity and tends to connect easily to people. She loves cooking and has a magical ability to infuse her feelings into her cuisine, causing all those who eat her meals to feel her emotions as their own. Tita is nurturing and self-sacrificing, but desperately seeks freedom from her abusive mother. She is deeply in love with Pedro and struggles with the conflict and suffering that comes with forbidden love.

Tita de la Garza Quotes in Like Water for Chocolate

The Like Water for Chocolate quotes below are all either spoken by Tita de la Garza or refer to Tita de la Garza. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tradition vs. Revolution Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Like Water for Chocolate published in 1995.
Chapter 1: January Quotes

Sometimes she would cry for no reason at all, like when Nacha chopped onions, but since they both knew the cause of those tears, they didn’t pay them much mind. They made them a source of entertainment, so that during her childhood Tita didn’t distinguish between tears of laughter and tears of sorrow. For her laughter was a form of crying. Likewise for Tita the joy of living was wrapped up in the delights of food.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Nacha
Related Symbols: Crying/ Tears
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:

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You don’t have an opinion, and that’s all I want to hear about it. For generations, not a single person in my family has ever questioned this tradition, and no daughter of mine is going to be the one to start.

Related Characters: Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza) (speaker), Tita de la Garza
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

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Not that night, nor many others, for as long as she lived, could she free herself from that cold.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza
Related Symbols: Coldness/ Chills, Tita’s Bedspread
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 2: February Quotes

She felt like screaming. Yes, she was having problems, when they had chosen something to be neutered, they’d made a mistake, they should have chosen her. At least then there would be some justification for not allowing her to marry and giving Rosaura her place beside the man she loved.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza), Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 3: March Quotes

Mama Elena’s eyes were as sharp as ever and she knew what would happen if Pedro and Tita ever got the chance to be alone […] She had let one little thing slip past her: With Nacha dead, Tita was the best qualified of all the women in the house to fill the vacant post in the kitchen, and in there flavors, smells, textures and the effects they could have were beyond Mama Elena’s iron command.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza), Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

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It occurred to her that she could use her mother’s strength right now. Mama Elena was merciless, killing with single blow. But then again not always. For Tita she had made an exception; she had been killing her a little at a time since she was a child, and she still hadn’t quite finished her off. Pedro and Rosaura’s marriage had left Tita broken in both heart and in mind, like the quail.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza)
Page Number: 49
Explanation and Analysis:

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It was as if a strange alchemical process had dissolved her entire being in the rose petal sauce, in the tender flesh of the quails, in the wine, in every one of the meal’s aromas. That was the way she entered Pedro’s body, hot, voluptuous, perfumed, totally sensuous.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Gertrudis, Pedro Musquiz
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 52
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 4: April Quotes

She stopped grinding, straightened up, and proudly lifted her chest so Pedro could see it better. His scrutiny changed their relationship forever. After that penetrating look that saw through clothes, nothing would ever be the same. Tita saw through her own flesh how fire transformed the elements, how a lump of corn flour is changed into a tortilla, how a soul that hasn’t been warmed by the fire of love is lifeless, like a useless ball of corn flour. In a few moment’s time, Pedro had transformed Tita’s breasts from chaste to experienced flesh, without even touching them.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Pedro Musquiz
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

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The baby’s cries filled all the empty space in Tita’s heart. She realized that she was feeling a new love; for life, for this child, for Pedro, even for the sister she had despised for so long. She took the child in her hands, carried him to Rosaura, and they wept together for a long while, holding the child.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Roberto
Related Symbols: Crying/ Tears
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5: May Quotes

[…] She placed the pigeon between her breasts to free her hands for the dangerous ladder, and climbed down from the dovecote. From then on, her main interest lay in feeding that pathetic baby pigeon. Only then did life seem to make sense. It didn’t compare with the satisfaction derived from nursing a human being, but in some way it was similar.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Roberto
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6: June Quotes

Instead of eating, she would stare at her hands for hours on end. She would regard them like a baby, marveling that they belonged to her. She could move them however she pleased, yet she didn’t know what to do with them, other than knitting. She had never taken time to stop and think about these things.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza)
Page Number: 109
Explanation and Analysis:

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You must of course take care to light the matches one at a time. If a powerful emotion should ignite them all at once, they would produce a splendor so dazzling that it would illuminate far beyond what we can normally see; and then a brilliant tunnel would appear before our eyes, revealing the path we forgot the moment we were born, and summoning us to regain the divine origin we had lost. The soul ever longs to return to the place from which it came, leaving the body lifeless.

Related Characters: Dr. John Brown (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Morning Light/ “The Old Indian Woman”/ “The Kikapu”
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 117
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7: July Quotes

He left because I had exhausted his strength, though he hadn’t managed to quench the fire inside me. Now at last, after so many men have been with me, I feel a great relief. Perhaps someday I will return home and explain it to you.

Related Characters: Gertrudis (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Juan Alejandrez
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

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Tita was beginning to wonder if the feeling of peace and security that John gave her wasn’t true love, and not the agitation and anxiety she felt when she was with Pedro.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Pedro Musquiz, Dr. John Brown
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:

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You know how men are. They all say they won’t eat off a plate that isn’t clean.

Related Characters: Chencha (speaker), Tita de la Garza
Page Number: 134
Explanation and Analysis:

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Now she finally understood the meaning of the expression “fresh as a head of lettuce” – that’s the odd, detached way a lettuce should feel at being separated abruptly from another lettuce with which it had grown up. It would be illogical to expect it to feel pain at this separation from another lettuce with which it had never spoken, nor established any type of communication, and which it only knew from its outer leaves, unaware that there were many others hidden inside it.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza)
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

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During the funeral Tita really wept for her mother. Not for the castrating mother who had repressed Tita her entire life, but for the person who had lived a frustrated love. And she swore in front of Mama Elena’s tomb that come what may, she would never renounce love.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza)
Page Number: 138
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8: August Quotes

Tita was literally “like water for chocolate” – she was on the verge of boiling over. How irritable she was!

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

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Pedro! What are you doing here?
Without answering, Pedro went to her, extinguished the lamp, pulled her to a brass bed that had once belonged to her sister, Gertrudis, and throwing himself upon her, caused her to lose her virginity and learn of true love.

Related Characters: Tita de la Garza (speaker), The Narrator (speaker), Gertrudis, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 158
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9: September Quotes

Life had taught her that it was not that easy; there are few prepared to fulfill their desires whatever the cost, and the right to determine the course of one’s own life would take more effort than she had imagined. That battle she had to fight alone, and it weighed on her.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10: October Quotes

The truth! The truth! Look, Tita, the simple truth is that the truth does not exist; it all depends on a person’s point of view. For example, in your case, the truth could be that Rosaura married Pedro, showing no loyalty, not caring a damn that you really loved him, that’s the truth, isn’t it?

Related Characters: Gertrudis (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

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I know who I am! A person who has a perfect right to live her life as she pleases. Once and for all, leave me alone; I won’t put up with you! I hate you, I’ve always hated you!
Tita had said the magic words that would make Mama Elena disappear forever.

Related Characters: Tita de la Garza (speaker), The Narrator (speaker), Mama Elena (Elena de la Garza)
Page Number: 199
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 11: November Quotes

I, I have some self-respect left! Let him go to a loose woman like you for his filthy needs, but here’s the thing; in this house, I intend to go on being his wife. And in the eyes of everybody else too. Because the day someone sees you two, and I end up looking ridiculous again, I swear that you’re going to be very sorry.

Related Characters: Rosaura (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 214
Explanation and Analysis:

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Tita, it doesn’t matter to me what you did, there are some things in life that shouldn’t be given so much importance, if they don’t change what is essential. What you’ve told me hasn’t changed the way I think; I’ll say again, I would be delighted to be your companion for the rest of your life – but you must think over very carefully whether I am the man for you or not. If your answer is yes, we will celebrate our wedding in a few days. If it’s no, I will be the first to congratulate Pedro and ask him to give you the respect you deserve.

Related Characters: Dr. John Brown (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Pedro Musquiz
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12: December Quotes

Esperanza went to the best school, with the object of improving her mind. Tita, for her part, taught her something just as valuable: the secrets of love and life as revealed by the kitchen.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Esperanza
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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Little by little her vision began to brighten until the tunnel again appeared before her eyes. There at its entrance was the luminous figure of Pedro waiting for her. Tita did not hesitate. She let herself go to the encounter, and they wrapped each other in a long embrace; again experiencing an amorous climax, they left together for the lost Eden. Never again would they be apart.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Tita de la Garza, Rosaura, Pedro Musquiz, Esperanza
Related Symbols: Heat and Fire
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:

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Tita de la Garza Character Timeline in Like Water for Chocolate

The timeline below shows where the character Tita de la Garza appears in Like Water for Chocolate. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: January – “Christmas Rolls.”
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...unnamed narrator describes how she cries whenever she chops the onion, just like her great-aunt Tita used to. She then tells the story of Tita’s life, beginning with her birth. Even... (full context)
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Though Tita sees the kitchen as “her world,” her sisters, Gertrudis and Rosaura, see cooking as dangerous.... (full context)
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Before Christmas, when Tita is sixteen, she tells her mother that a young man, Pedro, wants to come speak... (full context)
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Pedro surprises Tita and Mama Elena by showing up at their ranch with his father, Don Pascual. He... (full context)
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That night Tita lies awake, devastated. She remembers when she first met Pedro during a party at her... (full context)
Chapter 2: February – “Chabela Wedding Cake.”
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The chapter begins with a recipe for the Chabela wedding cake, which Tita and Nacha are baking in preparation for Rosaura and Pedro’s wedding. Tita shakes with nausea,... (full context)
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After days of preparations, Nacha and Tita are exhausted. On the final night before the wedding, Nacha and Tita are finishing the... (full context)
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After finishing the cakes, Tita and Nacha add the marmalade filling they made the month before. Tita remembers the day... (full context)
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Remembering the day she saw Rosaura’s sheets, Tita begins to see white everywhere again and her tears return. She is crying into the... (full context)
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At the wedding, Tita hears the guests gossiping about her terrible situation. Determined not to let herself be a... (full context)
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...and to cry over lost love. Some become nauseous, and vomit all over the floor. Tita, unaware that her tears from the night before are the supernatural cause of the mayhem,... (full context)
Chapter 3: March – “Quail in Rose Petal Sauce”
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After Nacha’s death, Tita takes over as official ranch cook. Without Nacha, she feels as if she is alone... (full context)
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The novel flashes back to the one occasion when Rosaura tried cooking to compete with Tita, resulting in sick stomachs for the whole family. Now, when the family sits down to... (full context)
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...hot that the water evaporates in the air before it can reach her. Pedro and Tita stand on the patio, speechlessly watching the scene. The rose-scented cloud then magically travels far... (full context)
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Pedro and Tita linger on the porch. Tita wants to tell Pedro to run away with her, but... (full context)
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Tita makes up a story, telling Mama Elena that federal troops (whom Tita hates) came and... (full context)
Chapter 4: April - “Turkey Mole with Almonds and Sesame Seeds”
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The chapter begins with a recipe for turkey molé with almonds and sesame seeds, which Tita is preparing to celebrate the baptism of her new nephew, Roberto. Tita’s immense love for... (full context)
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Tita barely listens when Chencha comes in from town with a vivid story about a bloody... (full context)
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...in time to the birth of Roberto. It is early one morning in March, and Tita is packing a suitcase of Gertrudis’ clothes and things to be sent to her through... (full context)
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...the town forces Mama Elena and Chencha to hide with their neighbors. Throughout Rosaura’s pregnancy, Tita has had no interest in the child, but now she must deliver it. With no... (full context)
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...Roberto’s birth was very high risk and Rosaura and Roberto could have died. Stunned by Tita’s beauty and skill, Dr. Brown agrees to return daily to check on Rosaura. Rosaura produces... (full context)
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At Roberto’s baptism, Dr. Brown compliments Tita on how beautiful she looks holding the baby. Tita is unbothered by his pity when... (full context)
Chapter 5: May – “Northern Style Chorizo”
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...chorizo, while trying to fill a bath for Mama Elena. She covers the fact that Tita isn’t helping, as Tita has been deeply depressed and occupied only with feeding worms to... (full context)
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When she emerges, Tita is surprised to find Mama Elena alive. Though she prayed she would survive, Tita had... (full context)
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Returning to the night of the chorizos, Tita is called to bathe Mama Elena, as she is every week. Unable to concentrate, she... (full context)
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While finishing the sausage casings, Tita remembers a hot night not long before. Tita had awoken in the middle of the... (full context)
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...she hopes the child is safe with the Lord, and then she commands Chencha and Tita to stop crying and to continue with their work. Flying into a rage, Tita refuses... (full context)
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The next day, Chencha finds Tita naked, vacantly staring into space, trying to feed worms to her dead baby pigeon. Mama... (full context)
Chapter 6: June – “A Recipe for Making Matches”
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Tita is with Dr. Brown in his laboratory, watching as he makes matches from wood strips... (full context)
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Slowly as Tita regains her lucidity, the room where Tita watched the old woman cook transforms into the... (full context)
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While teaching Tita to make matches using phosphorous, John explains the philosophy of Morning Light. Everyone has a... (full context)
Chapter 7: July – “Ox-Tail Soup”
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...for ox-tail soup, and makes the dangerous journey across occupied territories to bring it to Tita. The two women cry in each other’s arms, creating a stream that flows through John’s... (full context)
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After Chencha leaves, John takes Tita to an elegant party, where he unofficially proposes marriage to her. Tita thinks that John... (full context)
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...stop them, they knock her unconscious. Mama Elena becomes paralyzed from the waist down. Afterwards Tita’s conscience moves her to come home and take care of Mama Elena, with plans to... (full context)
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...rape, Chencha goes into a deep depression, believing that no man will marry her now. Tita tries to comfort her, but she knows that Mama Elena’s cruelty is worsening Chencha’s condition.... (full context)
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While dressing Mama Elena for her wake, Tita feels no sadness, having never known her mother beyond her “outer leaves” or had any... (full context)
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At Mama Elena’s funeral, Tita finally cries, “not for the castrating mother who had repressed Tita her entire life, but... (full context)
Chapter 8: August – “Champandongo”
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The chapter begins with a recipe for Champandongo, a layered meat dish in molé. Tita prepares it in a hurry because she spilled her first batch while bringing it upstairs... (full context)
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The narrator explains that Tita is in a bad mood, even though she should feel happy because John is coming... (full context)
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Chencha arrives at the ranch with her quiet, gentle new husband, Jesús. Tita is overjoyed to see Chencha, who “as usual, had dropped out of the sky just... (full context)
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While taking a shower, Tita feels the water get magically hot, and realizes that Pedro is watching her between the... (full context)
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Tita is awake putting away pots and pans, stewing in her mixed emotions. In the storage... (full context)
Chapter 9: September – “Chocolate and Three Kings’ Day Bread”
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Tita is preparing hot chocolate and three kings’ day bread with candied fruit and a porcelain... (full context)
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As she prepares the hot chocolate and bread, Tita feels a cold wind, and Mama Elena’s ghost appears before her. She says that Tita... (full context)
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Tita folds the bread dough over the doll. As kids, she remembers, Tita and her sisters... (full context)
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...general, and her husband Juan Alejandrez. Gertrudis says she knows that today is the day Tita makes the chocolate and bread, and she has come home to enjoy the special family... (full context)
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...that Gertrudis’ rhythm has always baffled her, as nobody else in her family shares it. Tita believes Gertrudis’ rhythm came from her “mulatto” father, a secret she thinks she will guard... (full context)
Chapter 10: October – “Cream Fritters”
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Gertrudis and Tita are catching up while making cream fritters, which are Gertrudis’ favorite desert from childhood. Seeing... (full context)
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At hearing the news, Pedro happily suggests they run away together. Tita tells Pedro they must think about Rosaura and Esperanza, whom Pedro had momentarily forgotten about.... (full context)
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While Tita rests upstairs, Gertrudis tries to finish the syrup for the fritters. Unfamiliar with cooking, she... (full context)
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Tita hears Pedro drunkenly singing to her from outside, accompanied by Juan on the guitar. Tita... (full context)
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The next day, Gertrudis, Tita, and Juan share a warm goodbye as the troop leaves to attack Zacatecas. Gertrudis gives... (full context)
Chapter 11: November – “Beans with Chile Tezcucana Style”
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The chapter begins with a recipe for beans with chile Tezcucana style, which Tita is preparing for her dinner with John and his Aunt Mary. Tita is planning to... (full context)
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After Tita sits to eat breakfast, Rosaura comes downstairs. Following a week in her room without eating,... (full context)
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Tita is furious about Rosaura’s threats to keep her away from Esperanza. She wishes the earth... (full context)
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As Tita brushes her teeth to remove the dirt from the whirlwind, she remembers Jovita, the schoolteacher... (full context)
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John and his Aunt Mary arrive. In English, Aunt Mary praises Tita and her cooking. John asks Tita if something is wrong, but she replies that she... (full context)
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Tita is touched by John’s response, which she sees as a reflection of his character, and... (full context)
Chapter 12: December: “Chiles in Walnut Sauce.”
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Tita and Chencha are tirelessly preparing chiles in walnut sauce for a wedding banquet. The narrator... (full context)
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As Tita finishes shelling the last nuts, she thinks of how much Rosaura would have liked this... (full context)
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At the wedding, Pedro and Tita request that the band play the old waltz, “The Eyes of Youth.” The narrator comments... (full context)
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The narrator explains that for twenty years, Pedro and Tita had kept their love hidden. Out of fear of public scrutiny and the belief that... (full context)
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It was during one of their secret kitchen talks that Esperanza first told Tita about John’s son Alex. Alex had just returned from medical school, and Esperanza was reacquainted... (full context)
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The narrator describes a previous argument that Pedro and Tita had with Rosaura year before, when Rosaura refused to let her daughter go to school.... (full context)
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...died.” In her fits of rage, she broke the arrangement she had with Pedro and Tita by “hurling curses” at them for all the pain their relationship had caused her. It... (full context)
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At the wedding, everyone compliments Tita and Pedro for their fine job of raising Esperanza and for her excellent choice in... (full context)
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...leave, asking permission to go and find her husband at once. Seeing the passion between Tita and Pedro, John leaves too. Tita wishes John had found someone to love after her,... (full context)
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Hundreds of burning candles surrounds the brass bed, which Tita and Pedro each think the other has prepared. Neither sees the ghost of Nacha as... (full context)
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...honeymoon, they find the ranch covered in ash from the fire, with nothing remaining but Tita’s cookbook. Afterwards the land surrounding the ranch became famous for its fertility, and all kinds... (full context)