We asked some our staff "What is a special or unique December holiday tradition in your family?” Our Outreach Coordinator Karen Ortiz had this to say:
“As the holidays are upon us, I enjoy reflecting on some of my family traditions from the kitchen that bring memories of my elders and the very special festive times that we spent together. Aromas on Christmas Eve were of tamales and baked goods. In addition, the adults seemed to get very excited about “the Rompope.” Rompope is basically a Mexican Egg Nog spiked with rum or brandy. My Great-Grandma Delfina was known for serving a very robust and aromatic Rompope. In my later years, I came to learn why it was a favorite spirit for Christmas Eve! And, for the kiddos, we were indulged with Champurrado, which is the ultimate comfort beverage. It is Mexican hot chocolate, with corn masa stirred into it, and it is very yummy! The baked goods always included Polvorones, my absolute favorite. Here are the recipes for you to give some of the deliciousness a try.”
6 eggs yolks
2 quarts Whole Milk
1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup (or desired amount)rum or brandy
Combine milk, sugar, and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue to boil the mixture, stirring constantly, until the milk has reduced by a little more than 1/3, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until thick and pale. Mix in a little of the warm milk. Pour egg yolk mixture into the saucepan and bring to a boil over low heat. Stir constantly and scrape bottom and sides of saucepan until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, fish out cinnamon sticks, and cool to lukewarm. Stir in rum and cool completely about 2 hours.
2 tablets Abuelita or Ibarra authentic Mexican hot chocolate
Half gallon milk approx. 8 cups
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup masa de maiz corn dough
3 cinnamon sticks
1 piloncillo cone brown cane sugar
4 cups of water divided
10 whole cloves
Place a pot on your stove and turn it onto medium-high. After that, put 1 cup water, 10 cloves, and 3 cinnamon sticks into the pot. Let the cinnamon sticks and cloves brew, changing the water into an umber shade.
Once the cinnamon sticks and cloves brew, add 8 cups of milk and mix it constantly.
Tip: Do not let the milk stick to the pot. You wouldn't want burnt milk on the sides and bottom of the pot, it would just be a hassle to clean up.
In another pot, put 1 cup of masa de maiz and 3 cups of water. Mix until it turns into a pancake batter-like consistency.
Add the 2 chocolate tablets, piloncillo cone, and evaporated milk into the pot with the milk and spices and mix until the chocolate and piloncillo dissolve.
After everything dissolves, add the masa de maiz mixture into the chocolate pot. Stir for 3 minutes.
Serve the drink hot and enjoy!