Keep reading. This is not spooky, it’s a celebration of life.
I have a huge “Day of the Dead” collection, which includes pottery, dishes, carved wooden boxes, ornaments, dancing skeletons and an assortment of other oddities. Add that to my cactus obsession, mountain lodge look, ski memorabilia, antique furniture, massive book collection and you have an interesting, albeit a bit strange, decorating theme.
Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican spiritual celebration connecting souls of the living and dead. Unlike our Halloween celebration, Dia de los Muertos is observed on November 1st (all saints day) and November 2nd (all souls day) and is a tribute to departed loved ones. Celebrated in Mexico, Central America and certain parts of the U.S. southwest, it’s a ritualistic way in which people honor the dead by decorating gravesites with flowers, candles, toys, food and even tequila. They celebrate, eat, drink, party and converse with their loved ones. Others set up similar festive alters in their homes and play music and cook the favorite foods of the deceased.
It’s interesting how celebrations of all kinds revolve around food, even celebrations for those who are only here in spirit. I love that!
Rather than attempt making sugar skulls (no thanks), which is a typical Dia de los Muertos treat, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite recipe offerings.
Chicken and green chile soup (“launching pad” recipe, adjust to your liking)
what you need
1 32 ounce box Imagine Chicken Broth
2 cups water
a bunch of roasted, peeled and chopped green chiles (about a dozen)
2 russet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 2 tablespoons ground New Mexico chile powder (I use Fernandez, medium hot)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
* This is a guideline, you might want to add a little fresh lime juice, some chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, a pinch of brown sugar or a teaspoon of agave. I have also added about a half a can of Eden Organic Pizza/Pasta sauce before and it was wonderful in the mix.
what you do
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized soup pot. Sauté the onion for about 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Continue cooking for another minute or two.
2. Add the broth and water to the pot and reduce heat to low. If using, add the pizza/pasta sauce. Stir well to blend liquids.
3. Add potatoes, green chiles and chile powder.
4. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, until potatoes are tender. Add beans, corn and other seasonings. Heat and serve topped with shredded cheese and diced avocado.
Go forth, celebrate with good food and share it with your loved ones!