It wasn’t until I got an email from my son asking me for a recipe for Spanish rice to make for dinner tonight that I realized it is Cinco de Mayo. I sent him the recipe, all the while thinking back on all the years when I went all out for Cinco de Mayo and other “ethnic” holidays.
When my kids were little, I was a Cub Scout leader and a Girl Scout leader at the same time. I enjoyed teaching them about different cultures and usually went all out to learn about the cultures myself and then to do a craft and an edible treat with my scouts, both boy and girl.
One year, we got all of them together, 22 Brownies and 14 Cub Scouts, and made crafts and ate Mexican food at my house. I did have a couple of other adults to help with the kids and my own kids loved being the hosts and the “know it alls” for the day. On that day we made cascarones (hollowed out eggs filled with confetti that are then cracked on someone’s shoulder or head), papel picado (colorful tissue paper banners that are used to decorate rooms, yards, etc.), and crepe paper flowers.
We also played loteria (a picture bingo game) between making our crafts. I fed them all tacos and burritos and for dessert, we made our own sopaipillas (these are kind of like tortillas but they are made with sugar and cinnamon in the dough then deep fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar).
We played Mexican music and I taught them the lyrics to De Colores. They played in the yard until they grew tired. Neighbors came by and enjoyed watching the kids and quizzing them about what they were doing. Some of them stayed long enough to taste some treats and make some crafts. And of course, there were lots of pictures taken!
As much work as it all was, it was fun and very rewarding!
Happy Cinco de mayo!
My girls (in another lifetime) in their Cinco de Mayo outfits!