Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe and Christmas break

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint.

Mexico actually has one of the most appropriate patron saints of any nation.

The story goes that, not long after Spain took control of what is now Mexico, a priest was walking from his village to Mexico City.

A young girl appeared on a hill and asked him in Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs) to build a church on that spot.

According to the Catholic Church, this young Nauhatl-speaking girl was an apparition of the Virgin Mary, and is now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

There is still a church on that site, by the way, but it's quite old now, so they built a new one on the other side of the square.

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to announce MexiGeek's Christmas plans.

I'll be winding down on posts until after New Year, but I plan to complete some of the redesigns I've been meaning to do for a while, including my reviews of US cookbooks and a list of Mexican food resources.

Because they were so poplar last year I will be reposting links to my series on mole poblano over the Christmas holiday, just so you don't forget about me.

For this year's Christmas cooking project, however, I will be making sweet tamales and champurrado.

Sweet tamales, of course, are just tamales that are sweet. But the champurrado will be a completely new experience for me.

Champurrado is a kind of atole, and atole is a Mexican hot drink thickened with masa (corn tortilla dough). Champurrado is a chocolate-flavoured atole.

Atoles of all varieties are the traditional accompaniment to tamales, and tamales are celebration food, very popular at Christmas.

I plan on having this for breakfast one morning between Christmas and New Year, so I won't post it until 2013, but if you're looking for a Mexican Christmas recipe (and you have a lot of time on your hands), have a go at turkey in mole sauce.

¡Feliz navidad y próspero año nuevo!