👨🏿 A Late-Starting Latino Guide to Las Posadas

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photo credit: A Jar of Troopers via photopin (license)

This, we know: I’m kind of lousy at being Latino.

It’s okay. I can order food in a Mexican restaurant (unless the server asks questions.) I can blurt just enough on the soccer pitch to appear coherent. And my fluency doesn’t count in one particular room of the house: The kitchen.

I can make my own tortillas and guacamole. Beyond the language, I also struggle with the culture. My sister and I learned to make tamales by trial and error – in the early days, mostly error.

We got it down, though.

And she’s great about making cascarones on Easter and giving her kids ethnic names. One tradition neither of us carried on was that of Los Posadas. As kids, our families didn’t observe it, though.

The delicious tools I chose for the kitchen battlefield.

Las Posadas refers to a nine-day observance in honor of Joseph and Mary and their journey to find a place to stay. It’s celebrated with dinner in a different home every night and traditional songs.

It’s nine days of festiveness and Mexican food, y’all. How was I not in on this from the start?

Better late than never. I’ve always gravitated toward la comida de mi gente (my people’s food) when times get tough. HERDEZ, makers of all sorts of Mexican deliciousness, gave me the opportunity to cook it up.

I asked Madison for suggestions for a Las Posadas feast.

She sent me 16 text messages with 16 recipes she found on the HERDEZ recipe website! (Kid, I’m one man. Let’s pare it down a bit.) She really liked the simply smoky corn chowder and Fiesta S’mores.

[check out more about los posadas here]

I’m famous for big intentions and time mismanagement in the kitchen. Dreams of a huge ethnic feast boiled down a bit, but nothing to shake a maraca at. We wound up with:

I made two batches of guacamole - one with HERDEZ salsa verde that was fantastico.
I made two batches of guacamole – one with HERDEZ salsa verde that was fantastico.

Guacamole for an appetizer (I used HERDEZ salsa verde)

It’s getting hot in here.

Chicken fajitas with peppers and onions

Lookin good, jita.

Red guajillo pepper rice (I substituted HERDEZ tomatillo cooking sauce)

Tortillas, spreadable chocolate and marshmallows, and cinnamon/sugar. What could go wrong?

and Fiesta S’mores.

For a night, at least, we rocked out the heritage!

Tweet: Food, faith, fellowship and Las Posadas: How one Latino got a late start. | http://ctt.ec/N73Be+


Pick your own dishes for las posadas (or any holiday meal) with suggestions from HERDEZ®. (click here). 

The Share in the Magic of #MisPosadas contest lasts from December 7th – January 6th. Each week, a fill in the blank question relevant to the holiday will be posted for a fan to answer with a photo.

[Follow @Herdeztraditions on Instagram for a chance to win.]
Three top winners will be selected as well as honorable mentions.
Grand Prize:
Dinner prepared by a personal chef for up to 4 people in your very own home!
2nd Place:
$250 Gift Basket
3rd Place:
$200 Gift Basket
Honorable Mention:
Custom T-shirts
How to Participate:
Each week we’ll have a fill in the blank questions. Simply follow @Herdeztraditions, share your answer and photo and use the hashtag #MisPosadas. That’s it!
The contest runs 12/7/15-1/8/16. Please see official rules.



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  1. OK, you need to come make me this meal, because I just had a sandwich for lunch and am currently drooling over your guacamole and more! 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ll send you the shopping list, and when I get there, leave the cooking to me. Deal?

  2. kismaslife says:

    As a child I hated Mexican food so much so that one of the families I hung out with in my youth would always make a special trip elsewhere for me because they always, ALWAYS wanted Mexican and I would prefer to starve then choke down that food.(I was a brat then too what can I say…) This looks amazing and I’m happy to report my tastes have matured and I adore Mexican food now.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We had white friends like you. (Kidding! We loved white folk then. Still do.) It’s an acquired taste, perhaps, unless you’re my children, who could grip a chip and practically drink salsa before they could clap their hands.

      1. kismaslife says:

        Haha, ochy don’t make me laugh! That is pure awesomeness right there!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Lay down, Tiff. Take two enchiladas and call me in the morning.

      3. Eli Pacheco says:

        don’t laugh – just rest.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Michelle – I added your blog to my reading list.

      1. I’ve added yours to mine as well. Love your humor and writing style.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Thank you – I just had to add you on the Pinterest too for all those ridiculous recipes you post

  3. ksbeth says:

    ooh, i love this tradition! i would love to start this next year!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      anything that lets you eat at other peoples’ houses for consecutive nights has my attention. let me know when i should be there, beth.

  4. Amber says:

    Ooo. All these food pictures have made me hungry. I LOVE guacamole.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hey Amber. All these food pictures made me hungry all over again. Guacamole is the bomb – but I don’t like to ruin it by mixing in salsa. I believe pure guac is the way Jesus intended.

  5. tamaralikecamera says:

    Yes. I’ll take one order to go!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Chips and salsa are complimentary. Tell your friends.

  6. Rhonda Albom says:

    I have never heard of Las Posadas before, but it sounds like a fun tradition!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’ve been Hispanic all my life, and didn’t know (they don’t put it in the operator’s manual, apparently.)

  7. Lyn says:

    Love Mexican food! We even have a Mexican restaurant in our town. It’s probably more Tex-Mex than true Mexican, but the flavours are good 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It’s definitely my comfort food of choice, Lyn. Wonder what your local eatery is like. I’d give it a shot. Flavor rules.

      1. Lyn says:

        And right next door, they have a desert place called “Churro” something or other 😀

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Churros are God’s answer to my prayer for a portable dessert suitable for driving.

      3. Lyn says:

        What about the dipping sauce?

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        The right churro needs no dipping sauce.

  8. claywatkins says:

    I started reading your post at Starbuck’s yesterday and didn’t finish. good thing or I would have been hungry instead of sipping a coffee. It does sound like a good tradition – do you have your next eight lined up? Keep us up to date. Have a Merry Christmas – Peace on Earth.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wonder how often I get read in Starbucks, Clayton? That joint should offer chips and salsa to start.

      I don’t have a blasted thing lined up, friend. I’m as new as this as you are. but anyway, Merry Christmas, amigo – so glad our worlds collided back in the day.

  9. stomperdad says:

    I’m naturally dark skinned and one of my nicknames growing up was José. Ironically, I love Mexican food. So perhaps in a previous life I was “of your people”? All of this is delicious. When you done at Janine’s you can come up here and we’ll party Mexican style in El’Cananad-Oh.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Jose! I was the coconut – brown on the outside, white on the inside. I consider you one of my people right here where you stand, Ericito.

      Especially at the dinner table. I wonder what Mexican food is like in Canada, brother.

      1. stomperdad says:

        I wonder the same thing. I haven’t seen any. Though, I live in a very rural area, so there isn’t much of anything, let alone a Mexican restaurant. Next time we venture to the city, I’ll hunt one down and let you know.

  10. I could SO handle not cooking for 8 nights (and so could my family)! 😜

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Even if you cook for one, and get the other seven at someone else’s place – I feel like that’s a pretty good deal.

  11. Las Posadas sounds like something I’d wanna do! I’d probably knock on your door a couple of times. Tamales? Enchiladas? Anything avocado? Wouldn’t want to miss that! Thank you for introducing me to this nice tradition. Tamara sounds latina enough, right? Also I can say “tengo mucho trabajo” fluently. Plus FELIZ NAVIDAD 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’m thinking about organizing one for next year, if I can get a bit of consistency in life going. You’d be welcome to come, Tamara. You could count on tamales.

      Also, cheese enchiladas, with a fried egg on top (an option for the tamales, too.) It would be about time for me to observe the tradition.

      If your cheese enchiladas are delicious, you could be named Svetlana and it would be latina enough! You need to just say “tenemos much comida!” (we have a lot of food!) and you’ll be golden.

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