In February we kicked off the project with Cuba; in March we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a tabletop trip to Ireland! Thailand was our April destination. May had us headed to Kenya. You get the idea. In any case for this month, she invites us to a special edition - Halloween around the World. She asked us to "choose a Halloween (or similar celebration) or scary recipe from a country of your choice and explain why you chose it or talk about the country a little bit." What spooky, delicious fun.
The Halloween-y #EattheWorld Posts
- Camilla, Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Atole de Pinole y Vainilla
- Amy, Amy's Cooking Adventures: Pan de Muerto (Mexican Day of the Dead Bread)
- July, Pandemonium Noshery: Toum Lebanese Garlic Sauce
- Evelyne, CulturEatz: Thai Sweet Potato Curry Cricket Recipe
- Claudia, Honey from Rock: Panellets de Pinyons Cookies
- Wendy, A Day in the Life on the Farm: Blood Orange Prosecco Cocktail
- Simply Inspired Meals: Halloween Soul Cakes
- Sue, Palatable Pastime: Pumpkin Crescent Moon Empanadas
Día de los Muertos
I decided to focus on Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday that is less about scary ghouls and more about friendly ghosts. And, despite the painted faces and ubiquitous skulls, this is a celebration of remembrance. It's believed that at midnight on October 31st, the souls of all deceased children come down from heaven and reunite with their loved ones on November 1st; it's November 2nd for the souls of deceased adults. The holiday is a joyful one, filled with the hope that they can connect with the loved ones they have lost.
According to the Aztec mythology, Mictlan, the world of the dead, is a beautiful place to be. The animated movie Coco depicted this holiday in a visually appealing way with bridges of marigold petals and vibrant colors. As in Coco, the Día de los Muertos festivities include a trip to the cemetery where families pack picnics and play music to celebrate the lives of those who are no longer on this Earth.
While I considered making Calavera de Azúcar (Sugar Skulls) - or any of the Coco-inspired dishes that friends shared for a past Food'N'Flix, especially my Pastel de Caléndulas
Atole de Pinole y Vainilla
Ingredients makes 4 servings
- 3-4 ounces piloncillo (substitute brown sugar needed) - if using Pinole Azul, skip the piloncillo
- 1/2 C water
- 3 C milk (I use whole milk)
- 1/2 C masa harina (blue is preferred) or Pinole Azul, if you have it
- 1 whole vanilla bean, sliced and scraped
- 1 cinnamon stick + more for serving, if desired
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cardamom
- pinch of ground sweet paprika
- pinch of black pepper
- 1/2 t pure vanilla extract, if you want a more pronounced vanilla flavor
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine piloncillo and water. Warm slowing, stirring occasionally, until piloncillo is completely melted. Whisk in milk, masa harina, vanilla bean seeds, and spices until masa is dissolved and well-incorporated into the piloncillo mixture.
Stir in the split vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. If using, whisk in the vanilla extract at this point. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue stirring frequently for 20 minutes or so. The mixture will be thickened. You can strain it through a sieve, but I usually just whisk it really well.