One of my favorite times is when my globe trekking sister returns from her travels. She always brings back the most interesting gifts and photographs too...over 800...already downloaded to my computer.
That's been my theme this holiday season. First, I started off educating different groups about Kwanzaa, then I was educated about various Christmas tradtions. This past weekend the girls and I took an educational field trip to New York city and later, I'll share some of what we learned and experienced over several blog entries.
I have really grown up with a ton of Christmas traditions...probably beacuse my birthday is on Christmas Day so my mother really went 'all out' for the holidays (at least that's my story and I'm sticking with it). Last week the kid's school had one of our monthly cultural events (love that about our school & community). It was "Cookie & Cocoa"...a fab event complete with the arrival of Santa on a Fire Truck...a tradition here in Bowie, MD.
What really got me fired up about Christmas was seeing these plates of potato candy...Haven't had them in over 20 years but recall my mother, sister and I making them for the holidays...so I called her up and said it would be great for her to come and make them with my kids (especially since I don't have an oven LOL).
This is one tradition I can definitely say is my mother's. My Dad's is definitely the tree...which is up Ms Lisa...not one but two...and count'em two weeks before Christmas...(I prefer the two days before tradition)...more on this later after I take some pics.
I'm still in Miami, spent the evening with the owners of Berry Chic at the hotel bar watching the wind and rain from tropical storm Noel pound the hotel windows. It's not that bad, t.v. newcasts overexaggerate as usual. I talked to Terry and Gretchen about being Hurricane Katrina victims and life afterwards...got some first hand accounts of the cultural life in New Orleans...and Alicia (transplanted New Yorker) from MD/DC NMSDC told me the funniest story about Goody's (a popular pain relief product here in the South)...gotta check to see if my local CVS has this product.
This is a continuance of what happened to me last weekend. My mind and lifestyle is so busy...way busier than I want it to be. Last Saturday, I get the kids up at 6:30 am ( no they were not happy), don't give them any breakfast or juice, pack a cart to vend at a women's retreat, race to drop the kids off at Grandma's, get to the church in downtown D.C., find nobody there, call my cousin ( the organizer) when it dawns on me to check my e-mail to make sure I'm at the right place...Right place...WRONG DAY...it was the weekend BEFORE!! urgh^#%$#@!!!.
Get back to in-laws...it's not even 9:00 am...now what do I do with these bright-eyed kids...wake up my sister and go wake up her neighbors! LOL...no joke! Spend the morning with her, then decide on a whim to go grocery shopping at a Latino market (where all the signs are in Spanish)...you can do that when you live in metropolitan area!
The kids are fascinated by the different products, the bottled soda...the fresh fish with the scales and heads still on them, and ohhhh the FRESH MEAT with all of it's FRESH SMELLS! It was a blast...even a little skirmish broke out among some customers waiting in the long meat line.
I was able to let my kids a little bit of what it's like in other cultures where shopping at the market and filleting the fish is an everyday occurrence. Yes, I chopped off fish heads and filleted us some Tilapia, made Spanish rice and fried some plantains! Dealing with the fish did require viewing step by step illustrations on the Internet though. We topped off the evening by sharing the meal with our Jamaican neighbors...who corrected my plantain frying directions!
...and NO the kids didn't have wine, they had FRESCA in wine glasses...although they did want to sniff it.
What will you do in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month?...please share in the comment section.