Family Friendly Cinco de Mayo

27 April 2022

Despite what many people believe Cinco de Mayo (May 5) is not Mexican Independence Day. However during the battle of Puebla, the greatly outnumbered Mexican forces were victorious over the French through the guidance of Ignacio Zaragoza. When the people in California heard of this battle that lasted from daybreak until early evening, they celebrated for their neighbors to the south.

Today in Mexico there are some celebrations in Puebla including a military parade and reenactments and the schools are closed throughout the country. Puebla also hosts a two day International Mole Festival. In the United States you can find celebrations all over the place.

Since it is mid week and our school children will need to attend classes the next day, you may want to have a family celebration at home.

Fiesta Mexico

Crafts

Maracas – Fill leftover plastic Easter eggs with about a teaspoon of unpopped popcorn kernels. Place the egg between two plastic spoons and tape the whole thing together including the bottom of the spoons, which will form the handle.

Personal Pinatas – Starting with an empty bathroom tissue tube, tape a length of ribbon at one end for hanging. Cut a ¾ inch X in the center of a 2 ½ inch square of tissue paper. Glue the tissue paper to the bottom of the tube with the X at the center and tape over the opening with a ribbon. Cover the tube with tissue paper or other decoration. Fill from the open end with lightweight items like balloons, plastic animals, or whatever you won’t mind cleaning up. Hang it up. Let the kids pull the bottom ribbon to release the treats.

Sombreros – Hot glue paper cups upside down onto the center of a dinner sized paper plate. Decorate with fringe, pom poms, chenille stems, or other odds and ends.

Cactus Plants – This one is a bit more complex. Start with a flower pot, terra-cotta will work best, and paint it with bright colors. After it is dry, take a green sock and turn it inside out. Cut a wavy oval along the folded edge of the sock foot and then sew it closed with a tight whipstitch, leaving the bottom inch open. An alternative is to use glue instead of sewing. Turn the sock right out and fill with poly stuffing. Stick a dowel rod into the center and close the bottom. Create some “arms” and afix them to the trunk. Secure it into your painted pot.

Food
Turn Taco Thursday into a make-it-yourself taco or burrito bar. Add extra ingredients like diced avocado, roasted sweet potato chunks, sliced radishes, as well as traditional salsa, shredded lettuce, cheese, sour cream, or your favorites.

Burrito Pizza will take some prep work and pre-planning but will be a party in your mouth. If you add avocado and cilantro, do it after the bake.
1 12-inch pizza dough
1 cup black beans rinsed and drained
4 oz (1 cup) mozzarella cheese (shredded), or packaged pizza cheese blend
1 cup chicken (cooked and cubed)
1 roma tomato seeded and diced
1/4 onion chopped
2 oz(1/2 cup) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 jalapeno thinly sliced, optional

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Spray a 12-inch pizza pan or screen with nonstick cooking spray. Fit the pizza dough into the pan, stretching to fit.

Spread the beans across the dough to cover. Sprinkle with cheese. Layer the chicken, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, jalapeno slices, and sliced olives over the pizza’s surface.

Bake the pizza for 8 to 9 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is crisp. Remove to a cutting surface for avocado and cilantro and slice.

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