Holidays for our global nomad family usually consist of a mix of many activities. This past weekend we decided to incorporate most of them into one Sunday afternoon. I know sounds crazy, but we did it!
Ecuadorians enjoy Colada morada and Guagas de pan for Day of the Dead and Mexicans enjoy Pan de Muertos and Atole. Then theirs our U.S. traditions like carving pumpkins and I can’t leave out–It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown movie. My kids love all of our traditions and they are definitely the ones who keep us from not forgetting them.
After church we baked bread and incorporated the Guagas de Pan (Ecuadorian tradition) and Pan de Metros (Mexican tradition) into one recipe (for the recipe go here). It’s absolutely amazing. The bread is so soft, it feels like it just melts in your mouth. And while we carved pumpkins the hubbie made Colada Morada (Ecuadorian tradition) which is like Apple Cider but not really. It’s so yummy and rich in flavor (go here for the recipe).
I didn’t make Atole (a traditional Mexican drink)–I’m saving that for another chilly night. The kids decorated their Pan de muertos and then headed off to watch my favorite all time favorite show–Charlie Brown Holiday specials.
Now the third guy on that plate is a zombie, lol. I had 5 kids in the kitchen who really wanted to make zombie bread. I have no idea how my kids got into playing zombies because they’ve NEVER watched anything with Zombies in it but pretty much every day from my “office” I hear the kids muttering in their scariest voice, “Zombies, zombies…”
We had invited our neighbors to join us and they also wanted zombies. So zombies it was, they are usually shaped like swaddled babies which is why they are called Guagas de Pan and the Pan de Muertos is usually round with bones or skull shaped bread on top. Below is a colorful picture of our Pan de Muerto from Mexico.
In Mexico, they also put some of the bread on an altar. I remember when I was Catholic that my mom would make some kind of altar around her religious candles with all sorts of treats and stuff around it. It’s all very vague in my memory because this all happened before the age of 5. Later my parents decided that they didn’t want to pray to man made idols so they started to look for a different church and they found the Evangelical Christians who prayed directly to God and focused on our personal relationship with God not via a priest, virgin or saint. So the Pan de Muerto practice ceased at our house. (Click on the picture to go the Day of the Dead website.) I personally don’t do the altars either but I like to make my kids aware of the culture and practices that are around us even though we don’t necessarily partake in festivities as they do.
I highly encourage any parent to create family traditions that work for your family. What may work for one family may not work for the other but find what sticks with your kids and gets them excited.
Remember whatever idea you try even if it doesn’t resonate it wasn’t wasted time because you were still able to spend time together and hopefully problem solved together. I personally love the excitement, anticipation, smiles and time we get together creating special memories. At the end of the day–it was worth it.
The baking bread tradition is awesome because not only do we get to make it and bake it, but we also get to decorate it together as a family. Below are our kids and neighbors working hard on their zombie bread.
Nutella Stuffed Bread: Frankenstein, Mummy & Zombie
You can find the recipe for the Sweet Nutella Stuffed Bread here.
Once you make the recipe. You’ll need to follow the instructions below. You can actually stuff it with whatever you want but we chose Nutella and caramel.
Mummy bread how to:
- Shape bread into an oval. Then place your spread int he middle section only.
- Then slice the sides of the bread with a knife only up to the Nutella spread to make the mummy.
- Then grab each strand and flap them over each other in the middle.
- Place egg wash (egg yolk with 1/2 tbl of water) over the mummy.
- Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
To make Frankenstein you’ll won’t cut the sides you just wrap the flaps over each other in the middle and shape the head into a rectangle.
It was pretty simple and delicious.