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Oct 30, 2009 06:08 PM

A Community Ofrenda for Día de los Muertos: Day of the Dead

Día de los Muertos is upon us. Let's celebrate with a community ofrenda to welcome our loved ones back for a visit with some of their favorite foods. I'm hoping our ofrenda will be REALLY HUGE.

Some background on this holiday:

One of my favorite videos to bring the concept to life:

Here are my contributions to the ofrenda.

For my father: a plate of my mom's spaghetti and meatballs and a box of Jujubes

For Poppy: some Portuguese sausage (we are Italian, but I can remember him making special trips to Hartford for it), the best hot dog I can find, a big bowl of vanilla ice cream and plenty of Hershey's syrup to go with.

For Nanny: I'll make her oatmeal cookies with M&Ms and add a box of Canada Mints and a pack of Freshen-Up gum to the ofrenda.

For Aunt Pegi: spaghetti carbonara, steak tartare (because I first ate it with you and got me hooked at an early age!), a pack of Marlboros (despite my hatred for them) and the best chocolate cake I can make. We can all share, given our family's proclivity for sweet treats. :


For Uncle Al: a giant grinder from Franklin Ave., a cream puff and a diet Coke, 'cause for some reason, you seemed to think the diet Coke canceled out the calories in everything else. Semper Fi, ol' man!

For my Carly girl: a pig ear, a squeaky chew toy and some homemade peanut butter cookies

Love and miss you all--you live forever in my heart!

Chowhounds, please join me in welcoming the souls of the departed with your own additions to the ofrenda! I won't go into detail of the pictures I'm placing in honor of everyone I miss. But in my mind, I'm fondly remembering many happy memories of special times together and encourage you to do the same.

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  1. For Tessa, some cheerios
    For Weezie, some raisins
    For Dukie and Baron, some tri-tip
    For Uncle Ev, French wine and a wheel of brie
    For Aunt Jane, home-baked french bread with roasted garlic
    For Grandmother Hallie, some Danish butter
    For everyone else, a chocolate calavera with royal icing flowers, and a slice of Pan de Muerto!

    1. I absolutely -love- this holiday, and the ideas expressed in it. The art, the ceremony of going to the gravesites, the food..The whole event is thoughtful, respectful..Even joyful!

      For my Grandmother, a delicious perfectly salty ham, and a margarita, EXTRA strong. Or a Beefeater martini. I could actually set out about 10 different foods, as she loved to cook, and was excellent at it.

      For Grandpa, a simple bowl of vanilla ice cream. He had one every night before bed, with a Mother's Taffy cookie or 2. Of course, the 2 dogs also got some. ^_-

      Lovely post idea, kattyeyes!

      1. Not too practical for me to visit any graves, but I think I'll make Mom's special meatloaf and have a glass of Rose, that was her favorite. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I've never celebrated it before! More study required!

        1. A nice Manhattan for my Mom.
          Peach Kuchen for my Granny.
          A whole day to sit in his favorite chair, uninterrupted, for my Thomas.
          Raw shrimp for my Angus.
          Duck a la orange and a six pack of Bud for my Carl.

          1. oh, kattyeyes, what a lovely post!

            For my mother, peanut butter cookies and home made parker house rolls she filled my childhood with!

            For my dad, nearly charred cottage fried potatoes with two fried eggs with crispy ruffles around the edges of the whites doused with generous amounts of ketchup. His favorite breakfast.

            For my lovely wonderful Victorian grandmother, candied apricots she made annually from our trees. But I won't pack mine in tins then store them in a trunk with mothballs to flavor them! I love her beyond words, but she could do strange things on occasion. '-)

            For my wonderful grandfather, a bowl of his famous chile. After he retired, he built himself a malt shop restaurant and people drove from miles around for his chile!

            And for all of us who are still here, a large glass of bubbly to toast those we love who have traveled on. Cheers! We love and miss you.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Caroline1

              Thanks to each of you who has joined in so far. I love reading everyone's tributes and am so glad you joined me in this virtual celebration.

              Caroline1, I laughed out loud at your apricot caveat (hey, poetic!) I've shared previously on this site somewhere, I took over Nanny's tradition of oatmeal cookie baking when I was a teenager. I made them one holiday for one of my uncles, who commented, "These are just like Ma's...except you didn't burn them!" Yes, Nanny had a tendency toward "well-done" in both meats and cookies. God forbid we should eat something raw. :) LOL. But I always say she was a pioneer. Other kids grandmothers didn't put M&Ms in cookies, but MINE did.