Category Archives: Recipes

Rice and Beans

As I prepared our Ugandan dinner for our last day in Uganda, I couldn’t help but think of the women in Uganda who prepared the meals for us, sometimes even the kids, most cooking outside with a single pot over hot coals, hand-preparing each item in the hot sun.  If there was a “kitchen”, it often involved burning coals as well , with a hole on top to place pots and absolutely no air conditioning/ceiling fans, etc., in a small “hut-style” room. (And I complain when it’s too hot in my kitchen.)

So, my “Ugandan” cooking was a bit less strenuous, with my easy gas-burning stove with six burners, yet it was a bit more difficult than I anticipated. It also didn’t quite turn out as beautiful as the picture above of one of the fabulous Ugandan meals I experienced.  You see, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, but I’ve never made traditional beans before.  And, even though I did know to soak them overnight, I neglected to soak the dried cow peas, and underestimated the cook time for the beans and peas by quite a bit. Fortunately, Brian was 30 minutes late for dinner and the chapatis also took longer than expected, so the only thing that had to wait for us was the rice (which I do know how to make).

For the menu, I used my new Ugandan cookbook

and my Ugandan Mchuzi spice mix,

both purchased at a Kampala grocery store and very helpful for our dinner.

Ugandan Dinner Menu

Chapatis

Finished Chapati

These chapatis were similar to those made during our week in India, although I used ghee instead of oil.  They were also equally delicious, particularly with the rice and beans.

Cooking the beans, using Mchuzi mix, tomatoes, cabbage and salt.

Thankfully, the beans were cooked properly by the time we ate dinner (apparently red beans can be toxic if undercooked…good to know) and they were almost as good as the beans served in Uganda, thanks to the mchuzi mix. So bummed I didn’t buy a bigger container.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to go back to Uganda. I hope so!

Slightly undercooked, crunchy cow peas. Not nearly as delicious as those in Uganda.

The above items were served with some fresh, American avocado and I even let the kids eat like many Ugandans do….with their HANDS! (They thought this was pretty fun.)  So, after we prayed for and thanked God for the hard-working women who cooked for my team and I in Uganda-Moreen, Katie and the other nannys-we dove into our delicious meal.

Tallinn wasn’t quite so sure about eating avocado with his hands.

Hannane, our student from Brazil.

For dessert we enjoyed some fresh pineapple, just like they did in Uganda, although I think I may have had the best pineapple I’ve ever had in Uganda.

I’m pretty sure I’ll be making this meal again, however I’ll be sure to soak the peas next time and leave ample time to cook the beans. Everything was really delicious and I want to remember this country that taught me so much about what true beauty means. Where people sing praise to the Lord despite their often harsh circumstances and are so willing to share what they have with others, even those who might have much more than they do. What a wonderful, beautiful people the Ugandans are. I am so thankful to have had the chance to visit this amazing country and meet the people that call it home. Our family will also continue to pray for our new friends and hope to go altogether one day to visit them again. And, as we make a joyful noise with our new instruments, we will also remember these joyful people and their gift of music!

Weebala Nnyo Uganda. I’m not sure I will ever be able to truly express my gratitude for your welcoming kindness and love.

Nkwagala Nnyo.

Weeraba

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Peruvian Adios

I never got a chance to post our delicious Peruvian dinner, so here are our pictures.

Purple Potatoes with Peruvian Cheese Sauce

I loved the unique cheese flavor of these potatoes, something I probably wouldn’t have come up with on my own, a combination of feta and cream-but really mild and a nice accompaniment to the chicken.
 

This chicken was also quite delicious and really easy to make.  I roasted them instead of grilling them and loved the simple lime juice and spice marinade.

Peruvian Grilled Chicken

Asparagus with Feta and Shallots

 Sadly, I am struggling to remember/find what exactly we enjoyed as our Peruvian dessert.  If I do, I will add that later.

Today as I was out shopping with Tallinn and explaining to him not to point, he reverted to pursing his lips as they do in Peru. I love that this is our little “not so secret” way of communicating that we learned from our study of Peru.

Gracias again Peru! Whenever we point with our lips, we will think of you.

Adios Espana

In my husband’s own words, “Tonight was one of the top five dinners we’ve had.”

Seriously though. It. Was. AMAZING!  Made me want to pick up and move to Spain right here and now, or at least visit one of our many students….

We’ll see how that plays out.

Tonight we had our special friend joining us and the kids excitedly greeted her at the door with “Dios miro todo lo que habia hecho, y era muy bueno. Genesis 1:31″.  They were so excited and pleased with themselves.  Crissy has been our dinner guest about every other Monday night for over a year now, but has been a friend for much longer.  (Actually, I have known Crissy since I was about 4-years-old.)  We are honored to call her friend as she brings such a joy and a depth to our evenings, along with lots of laughs and great conversation! 

Before we ate, we asked Crissy (who once lived in Venezuela and currently works with many Spanish speaking people at MIKA CDC-a WONDERFUL organization!) to pray in Spanish over our meal.  Addie, in her fantasy Spanish, joined along acting as if  Spanish was her first language.

For the menu tonight, we opted for a traditional “tapas-style” menu, featuring many different small dishes.  While the preparation for each dish was quite extensive, the end results were sublime.

Tonight’s Tapas Menu 

Pepper-Steak "Parfaits"

This recipe was adapted from here and was a wonderful combination of roasted red peppers, toasted baguette slices, pimento olives, spinach and  Spanish-style marinated steak strips.

Asparagus with Tomato Vinaigrette

This asparagus, taken from here, was served chilled with a tomato vinaigrette and hard-boiled egg on top. Amazing!

Fish in Pine Nut Sauce

Another delicious epicurious recipe gone good!  The ground pine nuts in this sauce definitely added to the flavor and the fish we used was fresh cod. While we’re still working on getting the kids to like fish, we rather enjoyed this entree.

Tortilla Espanola

This traditional “tortilla” (from the Food Network) or rather “omelette” was the perfect finish to our tapas-style meal.  Honestly, the caramelized onions, which browned on the stove for about an hour, might just have made it worth waiting for (it took a little longer than I expected.)

Of course all the while we were eating our fabulous dinner, we listened to some fun Salsa music, which got the kids out of their seats a bit early, shaking and moving all about.

And here is Crissy

we are muchos gracias to have her in our life.

Gracias Espana.

With so many wonderful friends to visit, we are sure to be there soon. Until then,

Adios y Hasta Luego!

Russian Dinner without the Caviar

Sunday night we said Do svidaniya to Russia, a wonderful dinner that even included some actual Russian friends….three sweet girls who came to this country just over a year ago through God’s gift of adoption.  We adore these sweet friends and their mommy and daddy and it was very special to celebrate our final evening with them.

Upon their arrival, we took the opportunity to use the little Russian we do know “privyet” and welcomed them excitedly to our family’s first (hopefully of many) Russian dinners.

Russian Dinner Menu

This “beet” soup (with leeks, carrots, celery, cabbage, garlic and onions) was absolutely delicious, although our native Russians weren’t convinced it was Borscht and kept saying, “It should be red”. (Guess that’s what happens when you use golden beets instead of red.)  Honestly though, we have leftovers and ate this again last night and probably again tonight and will make it often as it is quite healthy and full of flavor.

Borscht

 

Pirozhki

I have to admit, I did a TERRIBLE job on the dough for these, but the filling was amazing!  I’ll have to attempt it again and mess around with the dough.

(Both the borscht and pirozhki recipes were from here.)

Borscht and pirozhki typically are served together in Russia and from what we learned, quite common.

Russian Hot Chocolate

For dessert, we paired this hot chocolate (more like a pudding, topped with orange flavored sour cream), with

Blinis with Sour Cream

The blinis were a big hit and, since we aren’t big caviar fans, opted for the sweet version instead of the savory.

All in all, it was a wonderful dinner, but what really made the night was sharing it with our special friends.

And now I’m finding myself once again, wishing we could have stayed in Russia a bit longer.  Often as we get to the end of our week, we have become so acquainted with the culture and immersed ourselves so completely that it can be hard to pick up and move on.  Fortunately, I feel, this creates a desire to really go and visit the places we’re learning about and hopefully we can keep these connections alive.

Thank you Russia!  We will continue to dance to the balalaika and remember you as we point our toes in ballet.

Spasiba,

Do svidaniya

Russian Tea Cakes…Aloha Style

For a few months now, I have saved…tucked away in hidden safety from my ever curious children, particularly the eldest, the sweetest set of matryoshka doll measuring cups you’ve ever seen. Seriously? Matryoshka doll measuring cups, how can there even be such an awesome thing?  I was elated when I saw them at my favorite store in the central coast and thought they were absolutely appropriate for our study.  And, as it so happens, measuring cups are among the things used quite regularly (and easily destroyed) in our home and so I didn’t even feel the need to try and justify my purchase.  These sweet white plastic “dolls” stack so nicely together and tuck away quite cozily into our drawer as well, making them almost easier to store than traditional measuring cups.

With these fabulous dolls, we measured out the following ingredients to make our own Russian Tea Cakes (I add macadamia nuts instead of hazelnuts because I love the taste, which makes them a bit more Hawaiian, I guess).

(adapted from Bon Appetit)

2 1/4 cups flour

pinch of salt

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus extra for dipping

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup macadamia nuts, finely chopped or blended into a paste

Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl. 

 In another bowl or mixer, cream butter until light and gradually add 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until fluffy, then add vanilla and slowly mix in dry ingredients.

 Finally, add macadamia nuts and chill for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400*. Creating dough into 1-inch balls, space about 1-inch apart and bake until firm and slightly golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly, then roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely then roll again in powdered sugar.

Eat, eat, eat, especially with tea!

Some of you, like me, may have wondered why these cookies, originally from Russia, are sometimes called “Mexican Wedding Cakes”.  In my small amount of research done on the subject, I discovered that the name “Russian…” was likely changed to “Mexican…” during the Cold War.  Super fascinating!

Nonetheless, these were wonderfully enjoyed by all who partook, namely just those in our family and the kids had fun using the matryoshkas to measure their individual amounts to make this a team process.

Hola Peru!

Well, we have ventured south of the equator once again, back to the West Coast, this time landing in the mountainous land of Peru. 

After diving in to our geography lesson, 

 

We used red pom-poms, tissue paper and stickers for the red stripes in the flag.

 

 we began some of our new library books. 

Peru (Festivals of the World) 

In this fun book we learned about the many “fiestas” celebrated in Peru each year, including the Festival of the Sun, The Star Snow Festival and Puno Day. 

During our recent visit to the library I decided to find as many books as possible that were relevant to our study, particularly those I can read aloud. I was so excited to find this very appropriate “Newbery Award” winner. 

 

We didn’t get too far into this book yet, but plan to in the next few days.  Lastly, my sweet neighbor, Dyana, dropped off loads of books this weekend that her kids, now teenagers+, had outgrown. I haven’t had a chance to even go through all the books, but I came across one that is perfect for our learning journey. 

 

This book contains multiple stories about children from other cultures, including Peru! Yay! 

And since it is quite the dreary-rainy day (a far cry from the 100*+ that we had last week), we decided to try out some Peruvian Hot Chocolate.  (I think that I will use any excuse to make hot chocolate, even if it’s barely sprinkling, but today it really does qualify as a “rainy” day, even in Southern California). 

I blended two recipes I found online when I typed in “Peruvian Hot Chocolate” as I wanted to keep some of the spices of the first, but add three milks and more chocolate like the second.   Typically this treat is served at Christmastime in Peru, but we couldn’t wait :). 

Here’s the recipe we came up with: 

2 cups water 

2 cinnamon sticks 

5 cloves 

1 can evaporated unsweetened milk 

1 can sweetened condensed milk 

4 cups milk 

1/4 cup water 

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

1 tablespoon vanilla 

1 tablespoon butter 

1/2 teaspoon salt 

First you simmer the cinnamon and cloves in the water for 15 minutes

Next, you add the three milks and bring back to a boil for 2 more minutes. In a small bowl, chop the chocolate and add the cocoa powder. Blend a little of the hot milk into the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the milk and simmer for another five minutes. In another small bowl whisk the 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, then blend into hot chocolate simmering for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the vanilla, butter and salt. Top with whipped cream or serve as is for a delicious, mildly spicy Peruvian “Christmas” treat.  (Serves a LOT! Maybe 12?) 

 

 

Tallinn could have had four cups if I let him. 

 

Addie sipped hers a bit more slowly and just enjoyed a few moments alone with her cup. (I can completely relate.) 

Well Peru, we’re excited to learn more, cook more and create more Peruvian-related things, and we’ll be slowly sipping our hot chocolate throughout the afternoon and evening as our recipe made quite a lot. 

This Week’s Verse (In honor of the beautiful Andes Mountains) 

How beautiful on the mountains 

are the feet of those who bring good news. 

Isaiah 52:7

Breakfast for Dinner, Omani-Style

As we had quite the day yesterday at the Global Village Festival, we opted for an easy, Omani breakfast for our final meal.  Here’s what I loved about this meal: Cardamom.  I’m definitely planning on adding it to our typical morning meal as well, maybe even in my coffee.  

Omani Breakfast Menu  

Omani Breakfast Tea

  

Omanis begin each day with a delicious cup of tea. This is made by boiling water, a bit of sugar and a couple of tea bags. Once the water boils unsweetened evaporated milk and cardamom are added.  Absolutely delicious, a big hit for everyone, particularly Tallinn!   

  

Shakshouka

 

This dish is very basic, made with onions, tomatoes and eggs (and I added a bit of the feta we purchased at the middle eastern market).  

We used the tomatoes from our Garden

 

Potato and Onion Omelet

 

With the egg dishes, we used pitas and made little pita egg sanwiches, even mixing the two together.    

  

  

Thin Pancakes

 

Drizzled with a bit of Honey

 

The thin pancakes are a typical dish made when guests stop by to visit as they are quick and easy to make and traditionally served with coffee. These were made with flour, water, salt and cardamom.  So easy and super tasty!  

Another successful “dinner”, another successful week.  Oman, we really have so much more to learn about your intriguing country, but we thank you for a fabulous introduction!  

This Week’s Verse  

Then will the lame leap like a   

deer,  

and the mute tongue shout for  

joy.   

Water will gush forth in the   

wilderness  

and streams in the desert.  

Isaiah 35:6

Maori Finale

For the past few months, along with all of life’s other activities, some friends and I have been working on a fundraiser event for Amazima Ministries. Last night we were thrilled to host this event with Katie Davis sharing the stories of how God has led her to care for the “least of these” in Uganda. It was a powerful, amazing night and I can’t wait to share more about Katie and her ministry when we get to Uganda week in December.

In the meantime, with all the hullabaloo, we managed to celebrate New Zealand for our finale dinner.  We even had guests staying with us from Northern California and they joined in on the fun.  I had every intention of decorating our faces in Maori tattoos (temporary 🙂 ) for the event, but completely forgot until afterward, and it’s probably for the better as the people at the Amazima fundraiser might have been a bit frightened by my black-stained chin. (In Maori culture it is a sign of beauty for a woman to have a tattooed chin).

So, here goes……..

New Zealand Dinner Menu

Sweet Potato Mash

Brussel Sprouts with Shallots and Bacon

 We happen to be in the middle of brussel sprout season in our garden and I chose this recipe from About.com for this reason.  Delicious with rave reviews from all!  I’m thinking this also has something to do with the fact that we harvested the sprouts that afternoon. Super fresh!

Yorkshire Puddings

I love making yorkshire puddings for dinner, especially when we are out of bread as they are quick and easy and I typically have all the required ingredients…flour, eggs, milk, butter/bacon grease, salt.  These were also a hit.

Lamb from New Zealand!  Perfect for our evening.

Lamb Steaks with Caramelized Lemon Jus

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com and it really turned out well.  The Caramelized Lemon Jus poured over the lamb grilled with sage and garlic was a perfect compliment to the dish.  Since we have a bunch of the Jus left I’m trying to think of something else to serve it with.

A New Zealand Bottle

If you look really closely, you can see “New Zealand” on the bottom.

Leah, one of our fearless dinner guests!

A few more of our dinner guests!

Our Favorite, Pavlova

If you have been following our blog, we did this same pavlova for Australia week only using berries instead. It appears that New Zealand and Australia both claim Pavlova to be their national dessert but it really did originate in New Zealand. We even used New Zealand Kiwis in honor of our special night.

 
So there you have it, our New Zealand dinner, complete with our prayers for the land of the Kiwis and our saying “cheers” in place of thank you (something the kids really loved).  We even touched our noses together three times like the Maori people do upon greeting.
 
I guess there’s just one thing left to say New Zealand.
 
CHEERS!

Morockin’ It

Okay, seriously, tonight’s dinner may have been one of my funnest nights in a long time.  Since I chose Morocco early on in our study, I had it in my head what this night would have looked like and it completely exceeded my expectations.  I was pretty much giddy with excitement with each new idea and touch that made the night so fabulous.

Looking back, this night has been in my head longer than several months….more like several years, because back in the day,  Kathleen’s family threw her the most amazing 21st birthday party I’ve ever been to.  I think I mentioned it during Fiji week, how we visited different country “stations” throughout their home and backyard, sampling local foods and beverages.  Morocco was over-the-top amazing, a tent set up with cushions and pillows, Coke bottles and savory treats.  We lounged and chatted as we partook of the cuisine…another Kathleen memory I won’t ever forget.

So, you might consider me a copycat, but that’s okay, because when something is that good, it needs to be shared.  Tonight, I pulled out all the stops, transforming our backyard canopy into a “tent” with every flat sheet in our house, a tablecloth, an old shower curtain…lining the inside with our huge tarp (a.k.a. poor man’s pool cover) and sofa cushions around the outskirts.  In the middle of the day I got the brilliant idea to use the kids train table as our low Moroccan table and transported that outside as well.  Then, the decorating began….hung vases with water and floating passion flowers (our fragrant backyard ornament),  Arabic lanterns lowered with tea light candles and finally, a line of “Khamsa” hands strung across the side of the tent.  The kids decorated these Moroccan good luck hands while I worked on preparing the meal.

We also got ourselves decorated like the ancient Berber women and men (kind of ) of Morocco.  Addie and I spent a few minutes on the internet looking up pictures of the Berber girls and found a few that we decided to copy.  Using scarves, an old big necklace, a peasant shirt, skirt and earrings, we came up with an outfit that worked and she looked super cute in.  As Tallinn and I have spent a lot of time reading about Morocco this week,  I’ve been studying the Berber women images myself and remembered a few items I had that could be used.  They actually have a tradition among the Berber women and men in Morocco that for three days they come together to try to find a spouse. (It’s like a three-day speed dating set-up only “for reals” with engagement as the outcome). The women dress to the nines, Berber-style, with every piece of jewelry they own basically on their body in some way, maybe as a headdress, necklace, belt.  I actually kind of wish I was a Berber woman because they have such a fun, free style that I envy.  Tallinn wore some puffy-type pants with a soccer t-shirt as soccer is the most popular sport in Morocco and the Berber boys don’t really get as decked out as the girls.   When our guests arrived, our dear friends (Phil and Alicia, Avery, Brylie, Remy and Brea)  and the meal was ready, we sat down to our Moroccan feast.

My "Berber" Costume

The kids waiting patiently for dinner, munching on pita bread.

The Berber Women

Berber Men

Handwashing Before Dinner with Aromatic Water

Moroccan Menu:

The Spread

Sweet Potato Salad with Preserved Lemons

(Thankfully I had an overabundance of lemons on our tree in January and had just received my Arabesque cookbook which had a recipe for Moroccan preserved lemons.  The special jar was opened just for tonight and will most definitely be used again. )

Spinach Salad with Olives and Preserved Lemons

Couscous

Chicken and Onion Pie

So fun to have a savory dish topped with confectioner's sugar and cinnamon.

Chicken with Dates

Onions and spices

Almond Pastries with Honey Syrup (and a bit of vanilla ice cream)

Moroccan Mint Tea

I realized at another dinner party lately that one of the ways I define success in cooking is by getting someone to enjoy eating something they typically don’t like or wouldn’t eat.  Tonight was definitely a success as Alicia, my beloved friend, admitted to not liking sweet potatoes but really enjoying these, so much so that she needed another serving.  I love that!  I’m also super thankful that my kids go for it and try things and seem less and less concerned about new items or “strange” dishes.  Another way I define success in a meal is obviously from people’s comments and sweet Avery,  told me it was the best meal she had ever had.   I guess she really shouldn’t be thanking me, but Morocco and Arabesque.  Moroccan food truly is amazing and we have had it a few times before.  The chicken and dates is one of my all-time favorite things to make and really isn’t too difficult or expensive…onions cooked until very tender, add some ginger, cinnamon and saffron, then chicken and water and cook for about 30 minutes, then add the dates at the end.  To be honest there is a lot of cinnamon in Moroccan food and perhaps that is why it’s so delicious.  There is also a lot of onion and ginger and besides the preserved lemons that I made earlier this year, the additional spices in Moroccan cooking already have places on my spice shelf, and I often have fillo dough in the freezer, another staple in Moroccan cuisine.  The fillo recipes for tonight were amazing, particularly the dessert which was very similar to baklava but a bit easier to make.

Tonight we left Morocco with a bang!  You really could say we rocked it in a super-fun way, hence the “Morockin’ It”.  We relaxed, lounged on the sofa cushions, had great conversations as we passed the couscous, laughed at our children and each other in our head garb (particularly the unique designs the men came up with for their turbans).   I’d have to say, as we are “officially” homeschooling now, I’d give tonight an A+, SUCCESS!

Delicious!

Good buddies!

Thank you Morocco, each day as we have read about your country and learned a bit more, it makes me so happy that we are on this journey.  Your country is truly beautiful and it looks like Kathleen is planning a “make-up” journey for us in the years to come.  I look forward to stepping foot in your land and actually smelling the scents and seeing the sights and breathing the air. 

Until then, au-revoir.

This Week’s Verse:

Let him who boasts boast about this;

that he understands and knows me.

Jeremiah 9:24

*both of the kids can actually say this one this week!  Yay!

 

*Also, in case you were wondering, typically they do not drink wine in Morocco but Coke instead. We’re just not big Coke people.

One Ginormous Pinata and a Fiesta Dinner a la Mexicana

Monday night we finished our Mexico week fiesta-style and, just in time, Brian got a new memory card so I was able to catch it on camera.(Apparently, this event also wiped me out as it has taken me a few days to post our fun.)  

Around lunchtime my sweet neighbor, “Grandma Doris” as we call her, came over with her tortilla maker and some ingredients and taught me how to make Sopes, traditional corn tortillas, folded and served with chicken, onions… I watched as she, with her hands, scooped out handfuls of corn flour and slowly mixed in warm water, all without any measuring whatsoever.  

Now at this point, I didn’t have the new memory chip and solely relied on the wonderful quality of the camera in my phone, and as I just uploaded my phone’s pictures had the not-so-timely realization that my phone’s memory card and our camera’s memory card are the same! Hmm, coulda used that about five days ago.  Oh well, such is life.  

Abuela Doris

 

Una Tortilla

 

Me, acting as assistant in my kitchen

 

Once the proper consistancy was met and approved by Grandma Doris, she used her tortilla maker to make a thicker, smaller “sope”.  Then, the sopes were cooked on a flat skillet until light brown on both sides and puffed up.  

  

Then, Grandma Doris passed them off to me and showed me how to pinch up the edges making them into a small “bowl”. This was HOT, HOT, HOT as they needed to be warm when you pinched them. Of course I didn’t use the towel like she showed me and just tried to tough it out with my bare fingertips.  

  

When everything was ready, we gathered our families together for some delicious traditional Mexican cuisine. Turns out there wasn’t much I ended up doing except for the dessert. Our friendly neighbors brought the filling for the sopes, beans, a delicious vegetable sopa and Agua de Jamaica-a sweet hibiscus tea that was a huge hit!  We added some sour cream and cheese (although apparently ours wasn’t at all Mexican like the label said) cilantro, lettuce, onions and then we ate!  

Vegetabel Sopa

 

Making the Sopes

 

Sopes

 

Sopes Round Two with Tomatilla Salsa

 

 Our neighbors, Francisco (or San Francisco as Tallinn calls him), Grandma Doris, and Doris.   

  

Tallinn found a new fun place for the kids’ table, under the countertop.  

  

After dinner, the real fun began….a lifesize version of Pooh for the pinata, which was apparently all Brian could find on his quest into a more Latino nearby neighborhood to search for an authentic pinata.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such a massive display of paper mache.  

  

  

We probably should have invited the whole neighborhood as we had enough candy for a small village.  

There is almost nothing funnier to me than spinning someone around and having them walk/run/try to hit a pinata. We had quite a few laughs watching the kids fall over time and again.  Tradition has each pinata “hitter” spin around once for each year of their life.  I also took a shot at the pinata, but didn’t quite spin around the 25 necessary times :).  

Addie taking her best swing

 

Doris and her husband Richard and their son little Ricky

 

   

Collecting the fun

 

  

Doris and her parents sang a traditional song sung in Mexico while someone is swinging at a pinata as the kids took their turns.  She couldn’t remember it entirely, but after each child went she remembered more and more and said it’s something like “hit it, hit it…” (sadly that’s all I remember). 

After blasting away the pinata, we came inside for some coffee and flan.  This picture is terrible, but it tasted delicious and got great reviews from all who partook. 

 

And that concludes our week fantastico in Mexico. We are so thankful for the help from our amazing neighbors and we are so glad to have a little bit of Mexico right across the street. 

Gracias Mexico! It won’t be long before we return, we promise. 

Long Viva Mexico! 

Now, as far as our family goes, we’re officially on summer break and will begin our journey again just after Labor Day. Stay tuned!