I was reflecting this morning on my Chicana breakfast, and traditions. I'm having a huevo estrellado with turkey wraps from Costco and cafe con leche. That is our life now, a fusion of Mexican, Southwest, and American cooking and culture, and it is beautiful.
To enhance that beauty, my family and I are putting up a Dia de Muertos altar to honor our departed relatives. I want to frame it, as Cesareo Moreno, Chief Curator of the National Museum of Mexican Art taught me recently, a celebration of life, where I will tell stories to my children about Granpa Connor and Tio Toño. We will put our altar up with fruits and food our dead relatives enjoyed because even though they can't taste or eat the food or drink the booze, they will enjoy it all the same. In keeping with our customs, we will also pray some short Catholic prayers. After a couple of days, we will eat the foods (well, unless they are perishable; then, we eat them right away, while we celebrate the deceased).
We are also celebrating Halloween, but I suspect my kids just want the candy. It will be my daughter's first Halloween (there she is above trying to scare her big brother), and I want to decorate the gate Chicago style and get some fake pumpkins. I am not carving this year because I won't be able to with the baby, and they inevitable draw in rats and squirrels--that is too horrific.
I will post pictures, and hopefully by then, "Wolf Trek" completed! (It is coming along very nicely, and that is the last story in the anthology that has been giving me grief, er no pun intended.)
Here's to celebrating and validating all of our traditions that make America truly great.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,