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Christmas Around the World
A Mexican Christmas

Before getting to this lively section, where it asks for oils or shortening, you can use olive oil, grape seed oil or canola oil if you wish. All the information on the Mexican Christmas comes from El Chico Cookbook, 1977 published by the El Chico Corporation. The Cuellar family are the founders of El Chico Restaurants.

The liveliest time in Mexico is Christmas. Then the festive spirit bubbles gaily. The daily and Sunday markets seem to boil up into a frenzy of color, song and dance during Posadas - the nine days preceding Christmas. Posadas is the supreme holiday time in the land devoted to merrymaking. It begins on December 16. Numerous mariachi bands stroll the plaza, singing to the tunes of their gaily decorated guitars. People sing too, and dance in the streets.

Each evening a procession of children and adults carrying lighted candles makes its way through the village or town. They parade around the plaza, dancing and singing along the way. Then they march through the streets, pretending to search for lodging while singing a song about the Holy Family searching for lodging in Bethlehem.

The procession then stops in front of a closed door, or a house or church, and asks for admission. A woman singer identifies herself as Mary, Queen of Heaven. The door is opened and the whole procession is allowed to enter. Inside, the people pray and sing. Afterwards, their hosts serve refreshments and there is more dancing and singing.

Each evening of celebration is climaxed with the breaking of a pinata, a clay jar decorated with brightly colored papers and filled with candies and toys. The pinata is suspended from a rope. A person is blindfolded and given a bat or cane ti swat the clay jar hard enough to break it. Toys and candies rain down on eager guests below. It is during times like these that a large Mexican hat comes in very handy; you can catch and carry a lot of goodies in a sombrero.

Gasnates (Mexican type Pastry made for Christmas)

2/3 c sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 tblsp shortening, melted
3 c flour
1 tblsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 c evaporated milk diluted with 5 tblsp water

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, together. Combine sugar and eggs. Add melted shortening. Add alternately flour and milk to the sugar and egg mixture. If dough is to soft, sprinkle with flour until easy to handle.
Roll out on flour board and cut into strips, shape into pretzels. Spread out to dry but not too long. Turn over and dry other side. Fry in deep fat or oil, drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
For soft cookie, roll dough thick. For crispy cookie, roll dough thin.


Place corn tortillas in hot oil, in and out. Place two to three small slices of monterrey jack cheese on top and fold in half. Place folded tortillas in oven at 375°F until cheese is melted. Serve in plate with several Mexican sauces i.e. Ranchera, salsa Verde or Borracha


grated cheddar cheese
corn or flour tortillas

Spread grated cheddar cheese over tortillas cut into the shape of triangles. Place in oven at 375°F until cheese is melted. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes. If desired, place a small jalapeno pepper atop each nacho once the cheese has melted.

Guacamole salad Dip

2 avocados (calavos)
1/2 c ranchera sauce
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1/4 lemon

Chop the avocados (calavos) medium fine and place in mixing bowl. Add the ranchera sauce, salt and lemon juice. Blend with a kitchen fork but don't mash too fine. Keep some texture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Ranchera Sauce (A La Caballaero)

2 c fresh chopped tomatoes
1/4 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped hot green peppers
2 tblsp shortening
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the onions and peppers in shortening. When the onions are translucent add the tomatoes and simmer over a low fire for five minutes.


Take round, toasted tortillas. Spread thin layer of warm refried beans onto it. Place lettuce and tomato salad on top and garnish with grated cheddar cheese. Place one teaspoon of Salsa Fria on top.

Salsa Fria

2 c fresh chopped tomatoes
1/4 c chopped onions
1 tblsp chopped fresh cilantro or coriander seed
2 tblsp chopped green chiles
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tblsp vinegar

Chop tomatoes and onions, and place in mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients. With a large spoon mix them together thoroughly.
If it's not to be served immediately, cover with foil and store in refrigerator.

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