Latin American cookbook author presents children's coloring activity

COURTESY PHOTOS - Marcella Kriebel poses with her cookbook, 'Mi Comida Latina,' at the Forest Grove Farmers Market.Juicy bright red tomatoes, vibrant green and orange peppers, and leafy cilantro are just some of the subjects that cooking enthusiast Marcella Kriebel brings to life with her watercolor illustrations.

Today, June 29, Kriebel will bring a taste of her flavorful artwork to the Adelante Mujeres Forest Grove Farmers Market with a coloring activity at the Market Sprouts Kids Club booth. Children will receive a beautifully illustrated recipe and line drawing, and add their own color to complete a work of


Kriebel, a Forest Grove native who now resides in Washington, D.C., developed a deep connection with Latin American food and culture through her travels. She now focuses her art on the unique ingredients and tasty recipes from the region.

Kriebel donated her time and talent to illustrate market posters and advertising for the last three years. This year, her work also decorates downtown streets on the new lamppost banners and adorns neighborhood lawns on yard signs.

Kriebel has been a longtime supporter and volunteer for Adelante Mujeres (Spanish for “women rise up, move forward”), the local nonprofit that runs the Forest Grove Farmers Market, because the organization empowers Latina women through education and gives local Latino farmers opportunities to connect with community and sell produce locally.

Last year, Kriebel published Mi Comida Latina, a beautifully illustrated Latin American cookbook, and donated the profits to Adelante Mujeres.

This year, Kriebel is working on a Cuban cookbook, and in March she had the opportunity to travel to the island, learn about Cuban cuisine and cook with the locals.

The cookbook will be based on her experience, “learning about the culture of a place through cooking with people I meet and gaining an understanding, firsthand, of authentic dishes from the island,” Kriebel said.

Kriebel was particularly impressed with the intersection of past and present in everyday life on the island, and the way that the culture’s resiliency shows through in their cooking.

“People [in Cuba] are tremendously resourceful when it comes to putting together a meal,” Kriebel said, “the leftover trimmings from the chicken will make broth for the next meal, and the fact that milk isn’t available for a recipe doesn’t faze a Cuban — you just use evaporated milk, or alter the recipe.”

She also had the opportunity to welcome President Obama to Cuba for the very first time as his motorcade passed through Havana.

“People cheered, waved and took photos on their cameras. Afterward, many danced in the streets. They were ecstatic about his visit, and all in all, very hopeful that it would set the course to end the embargo” Kriebel recalled.

The Forest Grove Farmers Market is a program of Adelante Mujeres, a nonprofit that provides education and empowerment opportunities to low income Latina women and their families. The market runs from 4 to 8 p.m. every Wednesday on Main Street through the end of October.

Megan Eatough is communications/volunteer coordinator for Adelante Mujeres.

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