Jennifer Schaerer

Jennifer Schaerer

Although the holiday has no real patriotic significance in Mexico, May 5th has become a very festive excuse for a celebration in the U.S.

Just like we’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day and German for Oktoberfest, Cinco de Mayo is a great reason to enjoy the culture and traditions of Mexico at least one time each year.  

When I think of Mexico, I think VIBRANT! Just like that – in all caps with an exclamation point. To me, it’s an inspirational feast for the senses in deeply saturated colors, spirited sounds from a mariachi band, and the flavorful zing of lime, jalapenos and cilantro.

Vibrance at its best!

Vibrance at its best!

I love Cinco de Mayo certainly because Mexican food is one of my favorites, and another part of it is my discovery years ago that Mexican beer with a slice of lime is the only way to go (friends from my Wisconsin hometown will probably never forgive me for that).

It’s also the eve of my birthday and has become a convenient way to stretch things just a wee bit longer. Throw in Mother’s Day, which falls on the weekend afterward, and I’ve got a completely valid reason to help myself to a deliciously generous helping of fun.

Wait. Did I say delicious? And Mexican food? I’ll be going to a Cinco de Mayo party at a friend’s house and want to bring something creative. There’s a quick recipe and project from Paper Crafts Gourmet that fits my need perfectly: Mexican Bean Soup and a clever way to pack it up as dinner in a basket:

The recipe is a breeze! Combine 15 oz. cans (including all juices) of pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, corn, and Ro-tel or diced tomatoes with chiles, a packet of taco seasoning, half a packet of dry ranch salad dressing mix, and ½ c. water in a slow cooker for several hours. Then serve with grated cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. Delicious!

Since I’m into the vibrance of Cinco de Mayo, I’ll wrap my cans and packets in some brightly colored paper and load them into an equally colorful basket. Fun, right? I hope you have a reason to whip this up for the host of a Cinco de Mayo celebration you’re attending!


P.S.  Need ideas for Mother’s Day? Check out our online store and find Mom a gift of inspiration – a book, subscription or special issue from our family of publications.