Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Day of the dead food




When we, Mexican celebrate anything, usually the celebration will include buzz, music and very complicated dishes, because Mexican cuisine is related with holidays and viceversa. Day of the dead is not an exception, so we have different kinds of bread of the dead, "alfeñique" (some kind of hard candy), "mole" (a very complicated sauce with turkey or chicken), "calabaza en tacha" (pumpkin boiled with cane sugar) and, of course skulls in sugar, chocolate and "amaranto" seed. So I found one recipe for the bread but I haven't try it yet, I will include because it is already in English, but I warn you.
I will write more about this later.




Pan de Muerto

Bread for Day of the Dead
foto
5 tazas de harina 5 cups of flour
3 cucharadas soperas de levadura comprimida desmoronada 3 level Tbs. of yeast
5 yemas 5 egg yolks
5 huevos 5 eggs
2 barras de margarina 2 sticks of margarine
1 taza de azúcar 1 cup of sugar
3 cucharadas soperas de agua de azahar 3 Tbs. of anise water
1 cucharada sopera de raspadura de naranja 1 Tbs. grated orange peel
2 huevos para barnizar 2 eggs for the glaze
1 pizca de sal 1 pinch of salt

1. Deshaga la levadura en 4 cucharadas soperas de agua tibia, agregue 1/2 taza de harina y forme una pequeña bola de masa suave. Déjela 15 minutos en un lugar tibio hasta que crezca al doble de su tamaño.
2. Cierna la harina con la sal y el azúcar; forme una fuente y ponga en medio 3 huevos, las 5 yemas, la margarina, la raspadura de naranja y el agua de azahar. Amase bien.
3. Agregue la pequeña bola de masa de levadura. Vuelva a amasar y deje reposar en un lugar tibio durante una hora. La masa deberá aumentar su tamaño casi al doble, nuevamente.
4. Vuelva a amasar. Forme los panes del tamaño deseado y póngalos en charolas engrasadas.
5. Bata los 2 huevos para barnizar y pegar los huesos y las lágrimas.
6. Adorne con formas de huesos y lágrimas hechas de la misma masa y péguelas con huevo batido. Barnice el pan con huevo y espovoree con azúcar.
7. Meta los panes al horno precalentado a fuego medio, durante 30 o 40 minutos. Sáquelos y déjelos enfriar.

1. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water, add 1/2 cup of flour and make a little ball of soft dough. Leave it 15 minutes in a warm place until it grows double the size.
2. Sift the flour with the salt and the sugar; make a hole and put in 3 eggs, 5 yolks, the margarine, the grated orange peels and the anise water. Mix well.
3. Add the yeast mixture. Knead again and leave in a warm place for one hour until it doubles in size.
4. Knead again. Make the bread the size you want and put in greased pans.
5. Stir the 2 eggs in preparation for basting and attaching the bones and tears.
6. Decorate with forms of bones and tears made with the same dough and attach with beaten egg mixture. Baste the bread with eggs and sprinkle with sugar.
7. Bake the loaves in the preheated oven on medium heat for 30 or 40 minutes. Take them out and let them cool.


DULCE DE CALABAZA EN TACHA

PUMPKIN COOKED IN BROWN SUGAR

Ingredientes Ingredients
1 calabaza de castilla mediana 1 medium squash
3/4 kg de guayaba 3/4 kg guava
1/2 kg de cañas 1/2 kg sugar cane
2 l/2 kg de piloncillo o l l/2 de azúcar 1 1/2 kg. brown sugar
canela y clavo de olor al gusto cinnamon and clove to taste
3/4 1 de agua 3/4 liter water

1. Lava todas las frutas, y córtalas en trozos grandes, dejándoles las pepitas.
2. Pela las cañas y córtalas en trozos delgados, las guayabas en mitades y el piloncillo en pedazos.
3. En una cazuela grande pon a calentar el agua y agrégale la calabaza, el piloncillo, la canela, los clavos de olor y la caña.
4. Tápala y cuece el dulce a fuego lento. Hay que mover suavemente de vez en cuando, para evitar que se pegue.
5. Después de 20 minutos añade las guayabas.
6. El dulce estará listo cuando la calabaza esté suave.
7. Dora un poco de ajonjolí y espolvoréaselo.
8. Sírvelo con leche.

1. Wash all the fruit, cut them in big pieces, leaving the seeds
2. Peel the sugar cane and cut into thin pieces, the guavas in half
3. In a large pan heat the water and add the squash, the brown sugar, the cinammon, the cloves and the cane.
4. Cover and cook the squash at low heat. Stir periodically so it doesn't stick.
5. After 20 minutes add the guava.
6. It is ready when the squash is soft.
7. Brown some sesame seeds and sprinkle onto the squash.
8. Serve with milk.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Epazote

Epazote is a common plant from Mexico an central America. I'ts aztec name is Epazotl and the scientific one is Chenopodium ambrosioides Linnaeus. This plant is used all aroun Mexico to treat stomachache making infusions (or teas) with water or milk in the moorning before breakfast. I also cures nausea, diarrea and lack of hungry and menstrual related pain or delays on it, for this it is used convined with other plants. It is also recomended to increase fertility and milk production. And also it can heal some bug bites by smashing it and putting that in the bite.


Day of the dead (Día de muertos)

Before the Spanish people came to this land to conquer, our aboriginal ancestors had many different times of the year to honor the dead. But when Spanish start to convert everybody to Catholicism they mixed their holidays with the autochthonous beliefs so they concentrate all dead holidays in two witch in the catholic tradition where the days of the holly dead, so what came from that is the first day of November to remember the kids that had passed away and the second for the adults.

The general idea is that the dead will come back this day to share with the family, so to honor them we should make an altar offering the things that this person liked in life. Specially food, drinks, tobacco. Also is needed to put a candle for each person that is remembered and an extra one for someone that would not be remember by any one. The candle will be light all night. Also we place pictures of the departed and flower, a special flower called ¨cempasúchitl¨ witch means flower of the dead in Náhuatl language, and we have this flower in two colors orange and red, it has a very special odor. And in towns families will make a path of cempacúchitl petals from the grave to the altar in the house.

This days families goes to the graveyard to celebrate with their beloved departed and they eat there and play music.

So it is a very colorful an cheerful way of take dead.

Here I gave you some images of altars one of them at my house.