baltimoresun.com

« Why I like restaurants with one-word names | Main | The communal table, a not-so-terrible trend »

October 27, 2009

Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Atole%20Hot%20Drink.jpg

 

I don't remember any interest in Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations around here before this year, but because the National Honey Board sent me a recipe and good art and I got an e-mail from a reader about the holiday, I decided it's worthy of a post.

How can you not love a recipe that "makes 50 small skulls"?

Day of the Dead has always fascinated me more than Halloween for some reason. (Teenagers coming to my door with no costumes demanding candy has nothing to do with it.) ...

Here's the e-mail I got from Tara:

...I am trying to find molds to make mexican sugar skulls for an at home Dias De Los Muertos celebration. Do you or any of your readers know of somewhere locally I could purchase these molds? I have tried Michaels, but no. Maybe a mexican grocery I wasn't aware of? I was going to order them online but the shipping for this short a time is outrageous (I've never been good at planning ahead). Thanks!


I had no idea, but I suggested Something Else (1611 Sulgrave Ave.) in Mount Washington because I got my Day of the Dead figurines there.

Then I got a second e-mail from Tara saying she had found the molds at Milagro (1005 W. 36th St.) in Hampden.

Anyway, this is the recipe I got from the National Honey Board. Honey, apparently is "a customary ingredient that, according to legend, gives a unique sweetness to the journey from life on earth to life after death."

I couldn't figure out why I was getting a recipe that had only one tablespoon of honey in it, but then I realized most folks will still have to buy a whole jar of honey to make it (and then watch the honey slowly crystallize as they never get around to making anything with the rest.)

Sugar Skulls

Makes 50 small skulls

Ingredients

2 egg whites

1 tablespoons pure honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups granulated sugar

Preparation

Combine egg whites, honey and vanilla extract; mix well.  Pour honey mixture over sugar.  With your hands, thoroughly combine sugar and honey until you have a consistency similar to wet sand.  (Mixture should form a ball when squeezed in your hand.)

Tightly pack the sugar mix into the skull molds and wipe off excess.  Invert onto a flat surface and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Decorate skulls using royal icing,* sequins and/or edible paint.

*Royal Icing: 1 egg white for every 3 cups of powdered sugar. Add food coloring of your choice. Mix ingredients until completely blended.

(Photo courtesy of the National Honey Board)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:18 PM | | Comments (22)
        

Comments

I was going to tell you that I got sugar skull molds there last year! If you haven't been to Milagro it really is a treat. One of my favorite stores in Baltimore.

What a great picture! The bread really interests me more than the cookies though!

Once again, another holiday is usurped by Big Honey

(Teenagers coming to my door with no costumes demanding candy has nothing to do with it.) ...

They are almost always scarier than the ones who do have costumes!

On the other hand, once you buy the honey, you may never have to buy any more. It is the only food which never spoils.

Add food coloring of your choice.

Has anyone actually seen food coloring in a grocery store recently? GrandBoy and I have a project that requires food coloring and, it turns out, I have none in my pantry. WalMart (I know, Lissa, I know) and Mars don't have it on their shelves. (And don't tell me that so-and-so "has" it unless you've looked upon the product with your own eyes within the past couple months!)

Eve, I didn't think I'd done an anti-Walmart rant in over a year. Is it time for another? Or can I just stipulate it, and rant about how McDonald's leaving Iceland is a great thing for Iceland?

about how McDonald's leaving Iceland is a great thing for Iceland

The first thing I thought when I saw the news about McDonalds leaving Iceland was "why is this considered a bad thing?".

Agree, Hal and Lissa. I thought "wow, those lucky Icelandic people!". I wish we could get rid of them too. But, then we'd be left with all the McClones anyway.

Eve, I just checked Peapod by Giant, which carries food coloring from both Betty Crocker and McCormick. If Peapod has food coloring, I would think that you should also be able to find it at your local Giant, especially as the holiday baking season approaches. I'll try to confirm this on my next trip to Giant.

Eve, last night in the York Road Giant (just north of Northern Parkway) I saw two packages of Betty Crocker food coloring. I nearly snapped one up for you, but they were neon colors -- orange, green, pink, and purple. Don't know if those would suit your grandson's purposes.

Oh, Lissa, you actually live out your rants, as opposed to those of us who just rant. (I've been reading No Impact Man... - the book, not the blog.)

OK, I can find a Giant! If one has food coloring it might not be too far-fetched to hope that others will!)

Peapod by Giant

It seems that Peapod is smoe sort of franchise. In NJ, billboards read, Peadpod by Stop, Shop & Save. A friend reports that in New England it's a store I've never heard of attached to Peapod.

Eve, I believe that Giant and Stop, Shop & Save are owned by the same mega-corp. Wikipedia has a pretty good article on which regionals are owned by nationals. For example, Giant and Kroger's are the same company.

Eve, my life is just one giant political performance art piece.

hmpstd can confirm, but I believe Giant is owned by Royal Ahold, a foreign company I believe is based in Holland.

Its either them or Sainsbury, a big chain in the UK.

Ack, Giant and Stop and Shop are the same company. Kroger's doesn't seem to have a clone in this area.

Here is Wikipedia's list of chains.

PCB Rob is correct -- both Giant Food and the Massachusetts-based Stop & Shop chain are owned by Royal Ahold, the Dutch chain which also happens to own Peapod, according to this Wikipedia article. The UK's Sainsbury chain sold its interest in Giant Food to Ahold, which refers to it as "Giant-Landover" (because Ahold also owns "Giant-Carlisle", another Giant Food chain based in Carlisle, Pennsylvania). More recently, Ahold has consolidated Giant-Landover with Stop & Shop in a single operating division, and the two chains share a common logo.

Wikipedia states that Peapod's founders provided the service to a number of grocery chains around the USA. Once Ahold acquired Peapod, they terminated the other chains and limited the Peapod service to Giant-Landover and Stop & Shop.

I went to the Giant at Cromwell Field Shopping Center, across from the end of the Light Rail line in Ferndale/Glen Burnie. They also had the Betty Crocker Gel Food Colors 4-packs, but in two varieties, Classic and Neon. These were next to the Betty Crocker cake mixes, in a shelf display that included a dizzying array of pre-colored icings, ready-to-apply gels, and even markers for drawing pictures on icing. I didn't see the McCormick food coloring packs, but the way Giant moves items around its shelves these days, one never knows -- it wouldn't hurt to ask.

They have wonderful moulds and a really easy: sugar, water, meringue recipe for sugar skulls over at MexicanSugarSkull.com -- she even has those colorful foils, royal icing recipes, video and illustrated how-to's. I love that place!!

We are also hosting a Day of the Dead blog fest over at Mother Henna all weekend. Please feel welcome to stop by and add link to this entry there to share it with our readers. They will be fascinated to learn about how you did this with honey!!

http://motherhenna.blogspot.com/2009/10/welcome-to-day-of-dead-blog-fest.html

miracles,
k-

They have wonderful moulds and a really easy: sugar, water, meringue recipe for sugar skulls over at MexicanSugarSkull.com -- she even has those colorful foils, royal icing recipes, video and illustrated how-to's. I love that place!!

We are also hosting a Day of the Dead blog fest over at Mother Henna all weekend. Please feel welcome to stop by and add link to this entry there to share it with our readers. They will be fascinated to learn about how you did this with honey!!

http://motherhenna.blogspot.com/2009/10/welcome-to-day-of-dead-blog-fest.html

miracles,
k-

The Giant in Hunt Valley had food coloring when I was there on Friday. I didn't realize it was shelved with the spices instead of the cake decorating section. That probably throws a lot of other people off as well.

Anonymous @ 6:12 AM, the spice shelves were across from the cake decorating section in the same aisle at the Giant at Cromwell Field. Since I figured that McCormick would probably stock all its products together, I did check the spice shelves for their food coloring 4-packs (which I think are still of the liquid kind, not the gel kind like Betty Crocker), but I didn't see them. Like I said before, it wouldn't hurt to ask your local store (Giant or other) where they stock the food colorings.

Link spam at 1:24 PM! (Another shill for an alleged lender.)

ReCaptcha: unmaking them (what Tribune Interactive should be doing to those frequent spammers)

Post a comment

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.
-- ADVERTISEMENT --

Top Ten Tuesdays
Most Recent Comments
Baltimore Sun coverage
Restaurant news and reviews Recently reviewed
Browse photos and information of restaurants recently reviewed by The Baltimore Sun

Sign up for FREE text alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for dining text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Food & Drink newsletter
Need ideas for dinner tonight? A recommendation for the perfect red wine? Baltimoresun.com's Food & Drink newsletter is there to help.
See a sample | Sign up

Stay connected