Saturday, December 17, 2011

No Turkeys Needed. But We Welcome Pork, Red Chiles, Onions, Garlic, Oregano

Turkey? Perhaps. But make sure you have some pork, corn and chiles on hand to celebrate the Christmas season in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Those are key ingredients used for raditional recipes for posole and tamales in parts of Mexico and the Southwest. 

This was a main consideration when the Young Adult Group at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was planning a community outreach event for families who are served by  the Casa de las Comunidades (CLDC) Catholic Worker House. So while many other agencies were giving away turkeys for Thanksgiving, the group at Immaculate Conception and other volunteers from the parish were providing pork, red chiles, garlic, onions, oregano and tortillas, which are ingredients used for a pot of posole. 

"Twenty famlies received a bag of groceries, every item needed to make a big yummy pot of  posole," said Rene Ronquillo,development and outreach coordinator at CLDC.  

Some might have prepared a typical version from Mexico, although the ingredients were more appropriate for the New Mexican version.

But Thanksgiving only represents the start of the season. "We are now beginning posadas and gearing of Christmas. The big need in this community right now is the resources to pay their gas and electric bills," said Rene.  [If you are interested in helping with this, please call Sr Teresa at CDLC at 265.2371 or Rene at 504.338.5280].

Many of the families no doubt will turn their attention to tamale, which are a must during the Christmas season for many families in Texas, New Mexico, and parts of Mexico and Central America. And there are countless ways to make tamales, with recipes passed down from generation to generation.  Here are a few versions:Texas, New Mexico, Veracruz, and Guatemala 

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