“And above all,
watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you,
because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.”
― Roald Dahl

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Every year we make a special trip to the cemetery to set up an alter for my mom.
I placed some pomegranates on a plate which you cannot see in the picture, a small book of the songbirds she loved so much is also there.

one of the traditional offerings or ofrendas is a bread called Pan de los muertos
which is delicious, I have to bake an extra large batch of it because everyone loves it here..
There are many recipes for this but this is the one I use.
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons white sugar
Heat the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water.
In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 hour. Punch the dough down and shape it into a large round loaf. Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven let cool slightly then brush with glaze.
To make glaze: In a small saucepan combine the 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over top of bread while still warm. Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.

sugar skulls and marigolds are also added to the alter.
I love this tradition, the colors are so rich and the artwork and creativity you will see while walking around the cemetery is remarkable.
Here are a couple more Day of the Dead pieces I have made.

I hope you have had a wonderful day today and thank you for coming along as I remember my mother.
I hope the birds are singing, the flowers are in full bloom and the rain is lightly tapping your windows, wherever you are Ma.


  1. Hi Marfi,
    Oh my gosh--I wondered what you had been up to...this beautiful creation that is a tribute to your mother is so exquisite...what a wonderful honor from a beautiful daughter.

    And I can't believe your November dress...it is purely amazing!
    Jenny ended up going to an even to for The Day of the Dead in Chicago this weekend...and she was dressed as Frida...I'm going to send you the pic...you won't believe it...I put a background on it in photoshop.

    Sending hugs your way,

  2. How beautiful! What a tribute to your mother! I love it!

  3. So special for you to share your beautiful mother with us. I am very moved by your day of the dead celebration ...

  4. Your mother is beautiful. And I so love the alter you made. Very traditional, especially with the marigolds. Love those sugar sculls, too. The only thing missing is the "drink." I suspect that would not be acceptable in the cemetery, but apparently in Mexico, bottles are also placed on the alter along with the food. What a glorious and colorful offering and way to celebrate this day.

  5. Incredible tribute to your mom. She is beautiful!

  6. Dear Marfi ~ What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful Mother! Thank you for sharing your traditions with those of us out there who have never been exposed to different cultures. Your alter is so stunning and your post moving! Hugs xox

  7. What a beautiful and moving tribute to a lovely woman! Your display and sugar skulls are lovely. And thank you for sharing a traditional recipe. It sounds amazing. I'll have to try it. Thank you for allowing us to share in the memories of your mother. Theresa :)

  8. This is so special ! beautiful art ! I love the day of the dead. Such a great day to remember your loved ones. I need to try the bread ! I heard so much about it :)
    About the Anais Anais. I think it is great. Sometimes we don't know why but it makes us smile and remember better. :)
    Big hugs and thank you for your visit :)
    Thank you for this very special post.

  9. What a sweet tribute to your mother! Hugs!

  10. wow, this is amazing! what a stunning tribute, lovely...

  11. Your mother was beautiful, I'll bet you look like her, may she rest in peace. I've always been so proud of the fact that I look just like my mother when she was my age.

    Your Day of Dead creations are awesome! I loved the calaveras. I really like the altar too, it's so colorful and happy.

    Hope you're having a great week.

  12. Hi Marfi,
    I just came over to say "hi"--and I agree with Maria...your mother was so beautiful...What a loss and what a meaningful, unbelievable tribute.

  13. Marfi dearest, thank you for your visit; it is always a pleasure to see your image pop up on my comments page! And....are you hispanic too? I am Mexican-American....who speaks French!!! teeeeeheeeee! We never acknowledged this day, but I was aware of it as my father who was from Mexico would mention it in his "history lessons" to me as a child. My mom and dad are no longer with me either, and I have such fond memories of them. My husband and I walked into a panederia once here in St. Paul and just the aroma of baked pan de huevo made me cry.Life is sweet, that's for sure. Have a splendid day! Anita

  14. Pan de los muertos sounds delicious! Very touching tribute, thank you for sharing these pictures

  15. Your offering for your Mother is beautiful and so is she. My heritage doesn't celebrate this day but I really enjoy seeing what other people do.


  16. How beautiful and what a nice way to remember your mom!


  17. I love this tradition...such a touching and wonderful way to keep the love and sweet memories of our Dearest Ones near us :)

    Your Mother is beautiful...such a lovely picture of her.


  18. Such a beautiful post..full of inspiration and love and such a wonderful tribute! the recipe and the beautful photos..and especially the one of your mother..what a gorgeous heart and spirit she has! Thanks for sharing this magnificent post!
    Hugs and blessings

  19. Firstly, thankyou so much for flying by my little world for a visit...and also, what a simply beautiful tribute to your beloved mother...I can only imagine what the cemetary looks like on this day. What a wonderful way to celebrate the lives of those who have passed. Your mother was indeed a beauty and obviously very much loved x

  20. The Pan de los muesrtos sounds delicious...I would love to try it...The bold colors and and vibrancy are wonderful..I love the styles...and what a beautiful way to honor your Mother...very special...!!This was such an inspiration!!!...and your music is great...love the song..!

  21. What a lovely and creative tribute to your Mother. Her photo is gorgeous.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog...any friend of Cindy's is a friend of mine :)

  22. A lovely and sad nostalgic post in honouring your beautiful mother although the vibrant colours must bring back to your memory all of the wonderful times you shared with her on earth.

    The Pan de los muertos sounds delicious, must try it.

    ~^..^~ Annabelle p.s.enjoyed the music

  23. What a wonderful and loving and very creative tribute to your mother. I am so glad i found you while blog hopping.
    Also I have a VERY special papercraft challenge just launched if you fancy winning a prize ( i promise you will ) just take a look and enter the challenge before December 4th

    Hugs June xxxx

  24. I could just see the spirits dancing around your altar with such happiness with all the beauty. What a special offering to your ancestors! I feel quite inspired by this for next year. And I love Pan De Los Muertos. This is the first year I found a recipe from someone else. Next year, I'm going to make yours and the other recipe I found. Hmmm, maybe that might be a nice post on all the different recipes. Wishing you many blessings throughout the year.

  25. Thank you for your comments! I've enjoyed looking at your pictures. I hope you have a good day as well :)


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