Reynas! Las Posadas are here! Are you ready? Today we start the beautiful tradition of gathering within our community to honor the walk that Joseph and Mary did from Nazareth to Bethlehem to give birth to the baby Jesus. It is said that it took Mary and Joseph 9 days to walk from one place to the other! The nine days signify that walk and the 9 months that Mary carried the baby in her womb.
In English Posadas, means the Inns and as such, it is a tradition for members of the community to take turns hosting one of the nine nights as members walk down the street singing and asking for lodging. It’s not uncommon to see children dressed as angels and shepherds, people participating also carrying candles and images of religious figures to represent the Holy Family. As the songs are sung, doors are open but the pilgrims are refused until the host house allows them in. Once allowed inside, the festivities continue with food, music and prayer shared amongst the community.
During the Posadas, different families take turns hosting and on each of the nine nights will meditate on either: humility, strength, detachment, charity, trust, justice, purity, joy or generosity. The purpose of this tradition is to celebrate the journey of Mary and Joseph but to also come together as a community in celebration.
It’s your turn to host a posada this year! And you don’t know what to serve! I hear you, Reynas! And I’m here to give you some tips on how to make your evening a success. Las Posadas traditionally serves, tamales, atole, pozole, ponche de frutas, and many other items. Today, I’m going to give you a menu that is sure to please everyone that comes knocking at your door.
1) Ensalada de nochebuena: this salad has beets, apples, oranges, onions, jicama, grated carrot, pomegranate seeds in a light olive oil, vinegar and orange juice dressing. It’s light and refreshing and perfect for the posadas!
2) Tamales: no holiday gathering is complete without tamales! You can have pork,, chicken, raisin, beef, or even tamales in green sauce! Don’t forget the Juanita’s Pico Pica!
3) Chips and queso: Use Juanita’s Nacho Cheese Sauce! You know the kids will be asking for it! And let’s be honest, adults love it too, a poco no?
4) Ponche: Ay! No holiday party growing up was complete without some of this cinnamon and spice hot drink! This drink has piloncillo, prunes, pears, orange juice, apple, walnuts, cinnamon, and cloves.
5) Champurrado: This one is my favorite! It’s full of chocolate and cinnamon! You can even make it with milk alternatives for those family members who can’t have dairy! Isn’t that wonderful?
6) Buñuelos and Mexican Wedding Cookies: my abuela taught me how to make the Mexican wedding cookies and it’s a tradition we still carry to this day! Both of these sweet treats are perfect to pair with the ponche or champurrado.
7) Pozole: ay, Reynas! The best dish and the one everyone in my family can’t wait to have is the pozole! A warm steaming bowl of pozole is a perfect way to warm up after walking from house to house singing, don’t you think? With Juanita’s Pozole, you have four different options to offer your guests! They can choose chicken or pork and whether they want them with green or red chiles. Bueno, make sure you dice up some onion, cilantro, radish and chopped cabbage! The colors will look beautiful on the table and dress up the pozole nicely! Serve with tortillas and you are all set!
Ok, Reynas; menu, set, go! I’ll see you in the kitchen, ok?
Feliz Posadas, amores!