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Posts Tagged ‘Mexican Independence’

I returned to Oaxaca very late last night and just in the nick of time.  As I previously noted, chiles en nogada is prepared during the month of September — El Mes de la Patria celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain — and I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would still be available.  Thus, today (the LAST day of September) on my way back from Mercado Benito Juárez (a necessary restocking the empty larder shopping trip), when I saw the prominent “chiles en nogada” sign in front of Restaurante Catedral and heard the hostess explain to a small group of tourists that today was the last day they would be serving it, I had to seize the opportunity.

Chile en nogada with Mexican flag

Just color me happily sated by the green, white, and red of the poblano chile stuffed with a special fruit and meat picadillo, blanketed with a smooth slightly sweet walnut sauce, and garnished with parsley and pomegranate seeds.  So, mis amig@s (you know who you are) you are off the hook!

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My morning caller flew the coop and so did I.  After being confined to quarters for the past several days due to the rain and gloom, I walked downtown.

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Also, I was curious as to the state of the Zócalo, in light of the teachers, ambulantes, and the annual reenactment of “el Grito de Independencia” by the Governor, from the balcony of the Government Palace, at 11 PM tonight.

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I found, except for a handful of tents and tarps, the Alameda and Zócalo were back to normal.

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Castillos were being constructed on either side of the Government Palace.

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And, like every year, the Mexican flag was flying high, green, white, and red lights and banners were strung, and images of the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain decorated the front of the Palacio de Gobierno

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Most of the teachers and ambulantes have departed and all is being readied for el Grito de Independencia 2014.  And, nobody seems to miss the State Police, who are staging a “work stoppage.”   Ahhh, Oaxaca…  Ya gotta love her!

El Grito de Independencia
¡Mexicanos!
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron la patria y libertad!
¡Viva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Viva Galeana y los Bravo!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

In English
Mexicans!
Long live the heroes that gave us the Fatherland (and liberty)!
Long live Hidalgo!
Long live Morelos!
Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!
Long live Allende!
Long live Galeana and the Bravos!
Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long live National Independence!
Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico!

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Early Wednesday evening, I walked down to the Palacio de Gobierno to see Dreamer, one of the Oaxaca FilmFest4 offerings.  It had been raining on and off all day and so, to lighten my load and make room for my umbrella, I left my camera at home.  Why would I need it?  I was just going to be sitting in a small dark theater.  Sheesh, was I mistaken!  It was twilight when I entered the Palace via the side door on Flores Magón, but we were directed to exit through the main front entrance — and I was blown away by the scene before me.  The rain-soaked zócalo glistened and glittered, awash with El Mes de la Patria green, white, and red lights.

Needless to say, last night when I returned to watch, Twenty Million People, I took my camera!

Government Palace lit with green, white, & red lights

Heroes of the independence movement, Hidalgo and Morelos in the spotlight as they gaze down from the Government Palace.  I always forget how beautiful the zócalo is at night!

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El Grito not only heralds green, white, and red decorations, clothing, and Mexican flags.  It is also the season to savor the multi-layered, delicate flavors of Chiles en Nogada and delight in its colorful, patriotic presentation.  Legend has it, the dish was created in 1821 by nuns in Puebla to honor a visit by Mexican General Augustín de Iturbide, that pretty much signaled the end of the eleven-year long Mexican War of Independence.

There are probably as many recipes for Chiles en Nogada as there are chefs and abuelas, but the basics include green poblano chiles stuffed with a picadillo of meats, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices; served with a creamy white cheese and walnut sauce; and topped with a garnish of red pomegranate seeds, walnuts, and the green of chopped parsley.

Serving of Chiles en Nogada on a white plate.

This was my lunch of Chiles en Nogada today at La Popular, a delightful new restaurant in Oaxaca (Garcia Vigil 519, Centro).  Yummm….

(ps)  Chris just posted this video of Lina Fernandez making Chiles en Nogada.  She makes it look almost doable!

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Revolutionaries behind bars.

Boy and girl figures, seen through window bars in shop display dressed in traditional revolutionary clothing

Couldn’t resist just one more El Grito window display!

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196 years after his execution, Generalísimo José María Morelos y Pavón has returned to Oaxaca.  Filming is underway on the film tentatively titled “Morelos,” chronicling the last three years of the life of one of Mexico’s most revered heroes

José María Morelos y Pavón painting

Costumes hang ready for quick costume changes.

Men's costumes hanging on rolling rack.

Mexican independence fighter extras await the Spanish language equivalent of ACTION!

Male actors in freedom fighter costumes stand on sidewalk

Serious cameras are ready to film the action.

Large professional film camera

Horses and their riders have taken over the surrounding streets.

Man in freedom fighter costume riding a horse

Like all movie sets, it’s, hurry-up and wait!

Independence fighter standing next to horse.

Muy guapo, is all I can say!  The horses… the horses…

Independence fighter walking towards camera, horse in background

You can lead a horse to water…

Independence fighter in between two horses drinking water from a trough

The set designer has taken Constitución back two hundred years…

Camp site

The newly paved cobblestone street and sidewalks have been covered in dirt and buildings and even trees have been aged.

Dirt sidewalk and aged looking buildings and tree.

Though the film is covers a time in the life of Morelos that is distinguished more by politics than military action, “dead bodies” line Constitución.

Three "dead" dummies on dirt street

“Morelos” is directed by Antonio Serrano and stars Dagoberto Gama, in the title roll.  Filming is also scheduled to take place in Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Hidalgo, Morelia (named for Morelos), and Mexico City.   It is produced by Luis Urquiza and los Estudios Churubusco, with support from Conaculta, Imcine, and the governments of the states.

Freedom fighters sitting and waiting

I imagine it’s release will be a major event… can’t wait!

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