Cinco de Mayo, Spanish for “fifth of May”, is a celebration held every year on May 5. The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.
Traditional Mexican food ranges from hearty dishes like beef chili and cheese-stuffed chile rellenos to lighter recipes like corn tamales and fresh guacamole. Before the Spanish colonized Mexico, corn-based dishes flavored with chilis, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and beans were the mainstays of the people — it was the conquistadores who added pork, beef, chicken, garlic, and onions to the mix.
In my family, we love to celebrate every holiday, so Cinco de Mayo is no different. It’s a wonderful time to prepare a colorful and flavorful meal.
It’s so much fun to make and drink from decorative glasses. One year, I found a set of sombrero glasses and we use them every year on Cinco de Mayo.
- 3 cans (6 ounces each) unsweetened pineapple juice
- 2 cups water
- 1 can (10 ounces) frozen non-alcoholic pina colada mix
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 can pineapple chunks
- 3-1/2 teaspoons Crystal Light lemonade drink mix
- 6 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
- 2 cups Pineapple sherbet
1. In a large bowl, combine the pineapple juice, water, pina colada mix, pineapple sherbet, pineapple chunks, lime juice and soft drink mix; stir until drink mix is dissolved. Transfer to a 2-qt. freezer container. Freeze for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Remove from the freezer 30-45 minutes before serving. Pour in blender and mix until smooth. For each serving, combine 1/2 cup slush mixture with 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda. Yield: 12 servings (3 quarts).
This year, Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday, so plan a meal for your family that includes your favorite Mexican dish. I think we will have an assortment of hot tamales, tacos and fajitas. Each year I make something creative and set the table in festive colors. I found cardboard shaped Chile peppers and wrote everyone’s name at put at their place setting.
It’s also great fun to plan a Cinco de Mayo lunch in your work setting. Establish a menu and ask everyone to bring a pot luck dish so that preparation won’t be on a few coworkers. Decorate the conference room walls and set the tables with colorful table cloths. Have someone to download music and play once everyone has gathered. Ask everyone that day to wear a certain color. One year at my job a few coworkers had been to Mexico and brought sombreros to work and everyone got to take a picture wearing it. Great moral booster and a great way to have a tasty lunch and return to work.