Nochebuenas como copos de nieve. Poinsettias like snowflakes.

As many of you may know it is not common to snow in Mexico City.  For a young girl like me at that time maybe I was 9 years old, snow was not part of our Christmas celebration. But there was that special red flower that was like a snowflake, red, pink, and white. How beautiful this was! It was like seeing red stars decorating our classrooms, house windows, neighborhood and our big city.

This flower will represent something amazing. A season for family, warm, harmony, food and the special aroma of Christmas. The Nochebuenas were like an entrance of a red carpet for Jesus to be born. We knew it was a time for preparation, and to welcome Christmas in our house. Soon after, you will see markets full of Nochebuenas, nativity scenes that we wished to have.  My mother used to buy couple little figurines each year. As she could not afford to buy a complete set. Walking on the markets was like a dream come true! Leaving the dream of a wonderland and school projects making our own Nochebuena with velvety paper. I looked forward to create mine and display this on my window, and coloring some if I had paper and colors.

The cold nights, with the aroma of special foods, Posadas were like an open door to see where Jesus could be. Fresh made warm Ponche de Frutas, tamarindo, guayaba, Jamaica, manzana, canela, ciruela, naranja, cana. A time to celebrate with all and enjoy all the goods God has provide to share with all. Not to mention the piñata making and braking the piñata “dale , dale , dale” ya le diste una, ya le diste dos, ya le diste 3 y tu tiempo se acabó” Anxiously waiting for the big day ” La Noche Buena”

Why did the Nochebuena flower enchanted this little girl so much. I think it was Jesus, showing how special He was and the way to him.  It was a time for Believe, Faith, Forgiveness, Hope and Unity and a New Year to begin. A day of Thanksgiving.80551300_815497968874067_3457880107039850496_n

¡Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo 2020!


Cocinando Con Maria / Cooking with Maria

What inspired me to include cooking in the Spanish Camps, projects or workshops?

All begins with memories of my childhood. Watching my grandfather prepare for Christmas and New Year Celebrations. My paternal grandfather would prepare the masa for the tamales and the women in the family will prepare all ingredients needed for the tamales.

What did the preparation consisted of? Getting together and walk to the market to buy the special ingredients for the salsa, mole or any flavor they wanted to make.
It was a special process of community, laughs, and conversations. And not to forget the pulque. My grandpa loved to also prepare his favorite drink. Pulque – Rich pulp of the agave  plant – Maguey.

The children most likely will stay at the house under the care of the older aunt and sibbling. And sometimes when the children got lucky they got the opportunity to go with the adults.

I remember country site, fresh air, and beautiful markets of fresh products.

Celebrations continued the tradition of making our special meals, pozole, mole, pipian, pancita, barbacoa, tinga, pavo etc.

By age 8 my mother expected from their older daughters to begin to cook. When I was 12 i was required to have rice made by the time she got back from work. After a long day of work mom only had time to prepare the main dish. Meat and salsa.

Going to the market everyday was a chore to complete. Either my sister or I will walk to the market and purchase from the list she will give us.  To make correction. You must  have a good memory. We did not accustom to write in a list. She would go over all that she needed. Specific type of cut for the meat, specific vegetables and condition, it was about making sure we got the correct condition of the food.

At the end many will consider this more of a chore than a lesson for life. I apreciate the many times I was send to the market, the many times I almost or burned the rice, and the times I watched my family prepare for the special day.  A family celebration.

And yes, I love to come home and put on my apron. Because making a meal for my family is a celebration.

Your friend,

Maria L. Krawczyk15492267_10208236148681635_1967517188109651648_n
Continue reading “Cocinando Con Maria / Cooking with Maria”

A Multicultural Thanksgiving Dinner


Latino Thanksgivinglatina Diversity of delicious food in our Thanksgiving celebration, brings color, a unique flavor and aroma to our kitchen and dining table.
Thanks to our friends from Latina Network of West Michigan. For sharing some of their traditional foods.

Our Friends:
Lissa Ann shares her dominican traditions: Pernil, moro de habichuelas (arroz), ensalada de papas/ hojas, tostones, tres leches or flan and empanaditas.
Lorena Aguayo Marquez shares that she likes to alternate the food each year with pavo, traditional american vegetables, or tamales, jamón and arroz con gandúles and lots of desserts.
Sarah Elisa Proano Mota shares: I celebrate according to my husband family tradition and I take something different to try. The celebration is centered for the reasons of which we are thankful and not so much for the food. Not to mention they are all farmers and the food is almost all produced by them except for cranberries.
Tamara Brubaker -Salcedo shares with us: I am married to an American and each year I take tamales, queso fundi do with chorizo to the Thanksgiving dinner.
Guadalupe Danae Diaz shares with us that her first marriage was bi-racial and she had to adapt the traditions to both cultures even after the separation she has been able to continue with the tradition. Which is what her children continue to celebrate in both ways.

With this delightful menu we say Thank You for all the blessings in our life, with diverse flavor that makes our day a very special one. A day to celebrate family, values, heritage, culture. But lets not forget to reach out to those that feel alone, sick, and in time of trouble ,a hug, a call or a prayer for those in need.

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A year of learning.

Every year we set goals, objectives with a purpose. Not knowing if we will face challenges that will want us change our path.

But is the faith and trust in ourselves that help us move forward, despite the adds and walls that we face.

This year is been an amazing year for learning, observing, studying and decision making. And at the end, we see things in a very clear picture of what we know we are able to provide and grow as a business.

Our work is like seasons and fall remind us As we harvest the knowledge and accomplishments of our work. Not only for the company but for the people we serve.

We are excited for what our new season has planned for us.

Thank you!