Colorful, Fun Tissue Paper Flowers Are Easy on the Eyes – and the Budget!

Festive, colorful celebrations are a big part of what so many of us love about Mexican culture. And one of the best things about the traditional decorations–like these tissue paper flowers–is that they generally use materials that are easy to come by and won’t break the bank. Scatter a few of these flowers around and you will instantly create a festive atmosphere to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (or whatever…)

The directions I’m going to give you here use full sheets of tissue paper to create gigantic, showy flowers. If you prefer to make smaller flowers, simply cut the pieces of tissue in half, or even in fourths. The basic directions remain the same in any case.

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Mole Poblano (Puebla-Style Mole)

In addition to being the site of the famous battle that Cinco de Mayo celebrates and the source for the fabulous, colorful talavera pottery, Puebla is known for its cuisine. The signature dish of the region is the spicy chocolate/chile sauce known as mole poblano. While there are many legends about the origins of a dish with such an unusual combinations of ingredients, most versions credit 16th century nuns in this colonial city as playing a significant role. And certainly many do consider this delicious sauce a gift from the gods!

Whatever its origins, making mole remains a complicated and time-consuming process. Recipes often call for some 30 ingredients and five different kinds of chiles. As a result, the preparation of mole is often reserved for holidays and special occasions, such as Christmas and the Day of the Dead. Fortunately, there is an alternative that provides nearly the same flavor for a lot less time and effort, and that is to use a prepared mole paste:

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On Succeeding Against All Odds

David and Goliath by Michelangelo

As we discussed in our post on Cinco De Mayo, it was the fact that—against all odds—the Mexican militia defeated the much larger and better-armed French army that made the Battle of Puebla so remarkable.

Years ago, while having dinner at a Chinese restaurant, I opened my fortune cookie and got this fortune: “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” I immediately put it in a little frame on my desk where it remains today. Because, really, it’s the truth, isn’t it? There’s nothing like the sense of satisfaction that comes from succeeding at something against all odds.

The Mexican who celebrate their victory at the Battle of Puebla know it, I know it, and so do quite a few others…

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Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

What do a sky-diving event in Canada, a celebration featuring Mexican beer on the Mediterranean island of Malta, and an air guitar competition in the Cayman Islands have in common? Why Cinco de Mayo, of course! While these are some of the more far-flung examples, they are representative of a Mexican holiday that is celebrated with more intensity in many places outside of Mexico than in the country where the events that inspired it actually took place.

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