Food for Las Posadas

Las Posadas are celebrated in Mexico for 9 days before Christmas, from Dec. 16-24.  Here are some notes I took from one ESL student’s explanation, in delightfully fractured English, plus student recipes for guava punch (a hot mulled drink similar to glögg), atole (a hot milk drink), and buñelos (fried tortillas  with cinnamon and sugar).  Tamales are also traditional; a whole block may go together to put on the party. The explanation:

“Las Posadas” those celebrations are representations of the journal who have the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph when they need to return to their origin land to the inscription.  Every day a group of persons have a reunion, meet with rosary in front of the Nativity and sing litany walking.  Two persons carry shelf with figures of the Holy Couple. They carry a candle and stay in front of a closed door, singing a song requesting to enter because the Virgin is pregnant and the night is cold.  This representation is made 2 or 3 times until the last door is open. Everyone comes in and all is cheer.  Then on the patio the piñata is already for the youngest ones.

That’s a party I’d love to be at.  I have fished around for an invitation, as other years I have been invited to Guadalupe’s midnight mass, but it seems they don’t observe the custom here.

Hot Guava Punch

(feeds 20)

Ingredients:

8-10 prunes
4 lbs. guavas, cut in half , fresh or frozen
1 lb. tejocate (Mexican sweet yellow crabapples); frozen is less expensive
2 sticks cinnamon
3 apples cut in quarters
1 stalk sugar cane about 20″; peel and cut in 4″ pieces
1 orange (sliced with peel on)

Directions:

  • put in a large pan with water to cover
  • boil about 1 hour
  • put in cups, including fruit (some don’t like it with the fruit)
  • at the table add sugar to taste
  • optional: add rum, tequila, or brandy
  • say “salud” (“health” in Spanish, used as a toast)
  • eat with spoon

Atole (hot milk drink)

Ingredients: milk, cornstarch (1 t. per glass), cinnamon, sugar

Directions:  heat together while stirring

Buñelos (tortillas with cinnamon and sugar)

  • 1 flour tortilla (fry in oil on both sides)
  • put on plate
  • add cinnamon and sugar from a shaker
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