This week join us as we celebrate Dia de Los Muertos. On Dia de Los Muertos we welcome bac ourk departed into the world of the living. We celebrate their lives happily with festivities to honor their presence. I hope to share a bit of this beautiful holiday with you as I feature dishes made in my loved ones honor.
Dia de Los Muertos is an ancient Aztec celebration of death, the bittersweet companion to life. All life must come to an end, so why not celebrate death as we do life? As the Europeans arrived in Mexico, both the Catholic religion and the Aztec celebration intertwined. Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated on from October 31 to November 2. In these days the lives of our dead are celebrated. These celebrations include festivities, food, a family altar, sharing favorite stories of the deceased and joyful visits to the grave sites. In the United States families of Mexican descent are celebrating Dia de Los Muertos more and more each year, making for Dia de Los Muertos in becoming a widely popular holiday.
Our family celebrates this yearly tradition with a week long celebration of honoring our loved ones with a family altar. In our altar we showcase favorite family photos of our departed, papel picado, candy skulls, flowers and personal mementos. Tiny sculptures of their favorite food or beverage made of Alfeniqueare also placed on the altar. During this festive week we as a family recreate their favorite meals to enjoy as we share their lives with our children. This week long celebration fills my heart with great joy as I honor my departed all while introducing my children to loved ones they were not fortunate to meet. As my children grow they will in turn gain knowledge of their heritage and begin learning how to cope with future loss as our altar continues the addition of family members. I hope when they are adults they will learn to celebrate death as part of life, knowing that each year on Dia de Los Muertos our departed with return to shower us with love.
On this post I honor my grandfather, Abuelito Angel. My grandfather was the epitome of what every grandchild wishes their grandparent to be. He was kind, gentle and funny soul who always put his family first. He was strict in raising his children with a sense of pride in work, family and heritage. What I remember most from my summer visits was his daily nap on his lazy boy recliner. My sister and I would entertain ourselves in the living room as he napped with his feet raised and his thunderous snoring in the backdrop as we played with our barbies. Getting bored quickly of dolls we would try to venture outside without waking him, but he always heard us. He would laugh loudly jump to his feet and offer to take us to the nighborhood store down the road for a candy fix. As we walked we would stop as he loved chatted with everyone who lived on his street. My grandfather always prepped for our arrival having fresh pan dulce, bananas and cold sunny delight for our time with him. As far as the sunny delight goes I still to this day cannot enjoy the taste, but did I drink the glass when he served me? Oh yes, he’s my abuelito, I drank it happily. I do owe him my love for pan dulce, as he introduced me to my favorite piece (more on that later). I loved my summer’s spent at my grandfather’s house which makes me even happier to be living closer to my grandmother. As I visit with her as my childhood memories flood back. I love you Abuelito Angel, you are missed, loved and honored this Dia de Los Muertos.
My grandfather loved fried chicken. I present you a plate of freshly fried chicken dipped in whipped egg (like chiles rellanos) then bathed in a nutty sauce of peanuts and almonds. Served over sauteed cabbage a perfect dish for my Abuelito. Enjoy and visit us tommorrow as we continue our Dia de Los Muertos celebration! Sweet Life.
Fried Chicken with Peanut Sauce
Recipes and Reminiscences of Life with Frida Kahlo
2 chickens, cut in parts
salt and pepper
lard or corn oil
6 eggs, separated
2 cups cracker crumbs
1 cup peanuts, roasted and peeled
1 cup blanched almonds
1 quart milk
1 or 2 tbsp sugar
Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Fry in an inch of hot lard or oil, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through.
Drain on brown paper.
Beat the eggs yolks until thick. Beat the egg whites until stiff and combine with the yolks to make a batter. Coat the chicken parts with cracker crumbs, then dip into the batter. Fry briefly in the lard or oil and drain on brwon paper.
To make sauce, puree all the ingredients and strain. Simmer in the skillet until hot. Place the chicken in the sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Turn onto a serving platter, dust with cinnamon, and serve.
A lovely story! A wonderful grandfather.
That dish looks mighty delicious! I love peanut flavored sauces.
Heeey! I’ve been thinking about making chicken in a peanut sauce. I like that you put almonds in yours too.
You’re stealing all our hearts with your family tributes. They’re beautiful Bonnie 🙂
i could dip an old shoe in peanut sauce and find it enjoyable. 🙂 great post!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
That’s a gorgeous story of your grandfather! I have the feeling that he is beaming at you from where he is 😀
This sounds like such a beautiful holiday. I must admit, when I found out as a kid about a festival celebrating death, my first thought was, “how morbid”. (Of course, in kid-speak, it was more along the lines of, “how creepy”.) But this is wonderful, gathering people around to celebrate people who’ve passed on and to celebrate that second stretch of our journey.
You know that Peter Tosh quote? “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.” It rings so true, but Dia de Los Muertos really puts another spin to it.
Your grandfather sounds sweet–jumping off laughing and bringing you two out for candy…greatness.
Diana's Cocina says
Well done! You know my grandfather welcomed us as well with pan dulce, I miss those days. Great story!
Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective says
What a great history lesson! The chicken sounds divine! Have an awesome weekend!
The chicken looks incredible but I love learning about the festivities. Love your photos as well…gorgeous.
The peanut sauce looks fantastic! What a great chicken dish and a lovely way to honor your grandfather.
denise @ quickies on the dinner table says
Your grandfather sounds like a dear man. How lucky you were to have known him – I never knew either of my grandfathers.
I love the sound of this dish. And the bed of cabbage beneath to catch all that luscious sauce!
Devaki @ weavethousandflavors says
Such a beautiful post, so rich in traditionas and customs and what a unique recipe – I must try. Here’s Abuelito Angel 🙂
Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors
P.S. – hey Chuls, I have really enjoyed your posts, wanted you to know but Mommie would not allow comments…….
your memories of your Abuelito reminds me of my grandfather too. we used to play tricks with him as he napped in the afternoon, guess we were not the only ones…. what a great fried chicken dish, my goodness that has to be some kind of goodness – delicious, it should really help celebrate all and bring you your departed’s love,,,
Blond Duck says
Have a happy Wednesday!
Ali @ Three Baking Sheets says
What a perfect way to celebrate your grandpa’s memory! It’s amazing how we can remember the most intricate details about our loved ones – little things like how his daily nap continues to be such a fond, vivid memory for you years later.
A Canadian Foodie says
What a beautiful post that is personal and a lovely read.
I haven’t ever seen fried chicken with a nut sauce, but oh man, it sounds wonderful!
Micaela Vega @strivingbean says
¡Qué comida deliciosa! Sweet post, loved reading about your Abuelito Angel.
Baking is my Zen says
Beautiful post about your Abuelito!
Hey Bonnie, I love the image of your grandfather jumping out of the chair amidst a sleep. My Dad used to do that. Oh, and my grandfather had a lazy boy recliner too that I used to sit next to while he watched T.V. too. You’ve totally got me reminiscing…
Oh, and this post is so sweet too, and I can see why Abuelito Angel loved this dish. It looks delicious!
p.s. Is Halloween in existence due to the Aztecs? I need to ‘Google’ this;-)
Heavenly Housewife says
What a fascinating holiday. I remember hearing about The Day of the Dead once on tv. Wishing you loads of happy memories of your loved ones who have passed. Great dish as well, sounds delicious!
We have that in Brazil too, it’s november 2. Very cute story about your grandfather. The chicken looks yummy.
Blond Duck says
What a wonderful tale about your abuelito. I’m sure he would have loved the chicken.
Cheers to Abuelito Angel. This is the sweetest post ever and i think it’s awesome that you are dedicating a post to him as dia de los muertos comes up.
I love the little mini table you have set up in the second picture with a tiny beer and runts.
thank you for posting this, as this is a very special post.
What an interesting and charming post. My ‘Nonno’ was extremely special to me too. My fondest memories was him growing my favourite vegetables in his prized garden. I really miss him.
Happy Halloween Bonnie…and when you have a chance…stop by at my AWARDS page…there’s a little something for you ;o)
Ciao for now,
Such a sweet post 🙂
@DessertForTwo Thanks for stopping by, your always super sweet….
Thank you for sharing this recipe…but more importantly, thank you for sharing your memories. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man, and it is wonderful that you are taking this week to celebrate his and other family members’ lives. I will join you in remembering those that have gone before us. Thank you!
Belinda @zomppa says
What festivities! Recipe looks delicious.