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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traditional Christmas Dinner

Hello Boys and Girls!

Merry Christmas!! I hope you all are having a great time. We had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner at our house. Tradition? Is that still popular? Well, it is with food and for me!

We lived many years in New Mexico. http://www.landofenchantment.com/
The traditions there date back hundreds of year's and are based on foods, celebrations and family. We soon fell in love with the tradition of luminarias at Christmas. These are generally brown paper bags partially filled with sand in which a candle can be placed. Christmas Eve these lights line driveways, roof tops, churches and any available wall. http://www.itsatrip.org/albuquerque/culture-heritage/hispanic/luminarias.aspx This tradition started 300 year's ago. Originally, little bonfires of pinon would be set to welcome the Christ child.

Another tradition we adopted for Christmas Eve was the making of a traditonal meal. Posole http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pozole, tamales, hot chocolate, churros or buenelos has become our traditional meal the eve of Christmas. Posole  is made with fresh, uncooked corn. When it is cooked it is called hominy. Believe me, there is nothing like fresh posole. It is so easy to make! Yes it is...First you buy frozen posole. Many Mexican markets carry it. When Wal-Mart here stopped selling it, I called a grocer in Espinola, New Mexico and he shipped me some. This time I had some that was purchased in Las Cruces, New Mexico last June.

OK, put the posole in a large pot and soak overnight to remove the lime. Next day, drain and put in fresh pot of water. Cook until the corn "pops." At that time put in cut up pork, fresh or canned green chiles (I only use New Mexico chiles), about 2 tablespoons chile power (yes, I only use New Mexico chile from Hatch.) http://www.hatchchilefest.com/
one cut up onion, about 4 chopped garlic, a tablespoon of oregano, salt and cook for about another hour. I put in some organic chicken broth also. Oh man, is this good!
Then we also had calabaza. That is Mexican squash cooked with corn, tomatoes, onions and cheese.
Tamales of course, can be bought just about any where. They are so-so. They are very labor intensive so I did not make them. I also did not eat them. However, the rest of the family loved them. We had both pork and beef.
The meal was topped off with wine and beer.
After we settled a bit we had dessert. I made Mexican hot chocholate and buenelos. http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/mexicanchocolate.htm I used the traditional molinillo to make the chocolate frothy. Along with the chocolate, we had buenelos. http://www.mex-recipes.com/mexican-dessert-recipe.html I chose the easy way and used flour tortillas rather than make them from scratch.
The whole meal was fantastic.

Midnight Mass is coming up soon so I will end this by wishing you all a very Merry Christmas again! I hope my meals give you inspiration to start tradtions based around family meals. What are some of your holiday traditions? Do you make a favorite recipe handed down from Mom? Please share some of your favorite things to do or cook for Christmas.

See you next time!

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