Get Pumped for Your Trip to: Mexico

Before our trip to Mexico we called on our friends M & C for a little Mexican culture 101.  Below are the amazing tidbits from M.  Just a bit of travel homework to get us all (the kids, especially!) excited about the trip.

In the end, that trip got swapped for another location just two days before we were meant to fly out, which turned this homework/prep into more of a virtual trip!  Whether you are headed to Mexico soon, or want to pretend that you are, the below is all you need. 


Food

  • Mexican-style Eggs – If your kiddos like to eat eggs in the morning, maybe try them “Mexican style” by sautéing chopped onion and garlic in a pan, then adding 1-2 chopped roma tomatoes into the pan with a sprinkle of oregano and salt to taste, cooking until the liquids have evaporated. In the same pan, throw in scrambled eggs, and mix. Take off the heat and sprinkle some chopped cilantro. We like to add refried beans as a side with the eggs, and if we’re extra excited, we’ll heat up corn tortillas on a cast iron flat griddle and pair all of that with some sliced avocado and either sliced queso fresco (which is sort of like mozzarella) or crumbled cotija cheese (more of a saltier version of mozzarella).  yum.  Talk about serious protein breakfast. Kids wont need to eat until the afternoon. 😉
  • Carnitas – We love love making Carnitas almost monthly, it takes some time but when you make a nice batch, you’ll have enough to make carnita tacos with salsa verde, you could do carnita quesadillas or rice bowls.  I have a good recipe if you want it, let me know and I’ll send it your way. [Note: I did get the recipe from her and it was AMAZING.  I highly recommend you stop everything and go make it immediately.)
  • Papusas – Another thing we like to do that gets the girls excited is we make pupusas (the name varies: I’ve heard chalupa, gorditas, etc.).  Think of corn masa flattened but left chunkier than tortillas… you pinch the sides so as to make a little wall around it to hold the refried beans and cheese, lettuce and salsa topping). It’s sort of like an open faced sandwich. You’ll find ‘sandwiches’ like these in Mexico, but they come by different names.
  • Pozole – We love pozole too, its a hominy and pork stew. My mom makes this for Christmastime and it’s an absolute favorite. The broth is always amazing because it begins with toasted chile guajillo peppers, but the toppings are just as awesome (iceberg lettuce, radishes, avocado, lime, oregano).
  • Drinks – Hibiscus iced tea, Tamarind juice, watermelon juice, limeade, etc. These are all fun to make and you’ll see them in Mexico too 🙂
  • Mexican Conchas – a sweet bread (a dry spongy bread) which is dipped into milk or hot Mexican chocolate is a staple Mexican treat. Nowadays you can find Mexican conchas all over, I’ve found them here in our grocery store but nothing beats a freshly baked one from a local Mexican bakery.

 

Music

I’ve created a Spotify playlist from her recommendations, compiled from what she spelled out below, and it’s since grown to be the playlist we cook carnitas to.

  • Cumbias – Cumbias my dear. Cumbias- we love them… salsas, merengue, bachatas, are all music we love dancing to.
  • Merengue – Elvis Crespo is a popular merengue singer. Selena was an incredible American born singer and was loved by all of Mexico, she sang Tejano music, you may have heard her music.
  • Traditional Rancheras – Vincente Fernandez sings Rancheras… more in line of what you hear mariachis sing. He is a influential icon in Mexico, similar to Frank Sinatra in the States.  Juan Gabriel, omg. My mom loves Juan Gabriel, and many of my memories of my mom come back to me when I hear songs like “El Noa Noa” or “Amor es Amor”, “No Vale la Pena.”
  • Electro-Cumbia – So many but we really love the blended stuff, more of the electro-cumbia type. Listen to Bomba Estereo (they’re more Columbian) but we love them all the same, Mexican Institute of Sound and Systema Sola are also great.

 

Books

Hop on over to the books page for the adult and kid books about Mexico.  Too many to list here!

Traditions

  • Loteria –  I actually just purchased a game of Loteria for A at our local Mexican food supply store here in town and stuffed it in her Christmas stocking this year because it brought back so many memories of all the uncooked beans we would use as markers when we played with my family on our kitchen table as kids.