Christmas, Mexican Punch, Jambalaya!
I skipped the traditional Haitian meal this year and instead got treated to some Mexican and Louisianian traditions at my neighbor Michelle's.
Her friend Carmen made my day with the traditional Mexican punch of her childhood which in her words, "smells like Christmas". A feast of cinnamon, green apple and tropical apple, guava, orange, sugar cane, sorrel and tamarind. Carmen skipped the ginger for fear it might overshadow the other flavors.
After a simmering boil, the vivid tea-like infusion invited splashes of rum or could be savored sweet and warm.
Michelle's jambalaya, equal parts hot and tomatoey, was a nice complement:
Thanks to Carmen, I also got to taste home made tamales for the first time. Carmen (who had rolled 150 of those the night before with her nieces and nephews!) had them nicely color-coded: green for cheese and mole, red for cumin and pork, pineapple beek for the sweet ones.
View the slideshow.
Technorati: mexican punch - jambalaya - tamales