I don’t think I really grasped the full idea of Dia De Muertos until my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t until then that I saw the beauty in remembering and honoring his spirit. I feel like I do it every day by wondering what he would think of a situation or when I find myself acting just as he would. It’s as if his memory has taken on an entirely new life form and actually it has.
Remembering him especially during the days leading up to Day of the Dead when I see the Pan de Muerto displayed at Northgate and re-living how much he loved it in my mind. Every year I make sure to buy a couple of different loaves in various sizes and flavors. Northgate will have a Pan de Muerto Relleno de Chocolate Abuelita y Dulce de Leche this year along with 1lb Pan de Muerto. Some sugared and some plain, but equally delicious.
To accompany the pan de muerto and really pay homage to him I will make his favorite Atole De Coco (recipe below) and sip and savor all the memories that come along with it. Just thinking about this brings me to happy tears as I am forever grateful for the love my grandfather showered me with and am proud to show gratitude in his name. How will you honor your dearly departed?
Ingredients for Atole De Coco:
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 4 cups milk
- 1 stick Mexican cinnamon stick, broken in half and divided
- 1 can La Lechera
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
Add shredded coconut, 1 cup water, and half of cinnamon stick to a sauce pan over a medium flame. Cook for 10 minutes to soften coconut and perfume the water with cinnamon.
Remove from flame. Discard cinnamon stick and pour coconut mixture, almond extract and 1 cup milk into a blender. Blend until smooth.
In the same sauce pan over a medium flame add 3 cups milk, half of cinnamon stick, La Lechera and coconut mixture. Cook stirring constantly so milk doesn’t burn until it comes to a boil.
In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup cold water and corn starch until corn starch dissolves.
Pour it into the milk /coconut mixture and mix until it thickens.
Remove from flame and enjoy warm.
For more DDM recipes try my Calabaza En Tacha!