Friday Bits and Bobs (May 5, 2023)
Celebrations. Cinco de Mayo, and the coronation of a monarch!
I find it funny and interesting how all sorts of festivals in America have taken on much greater significance than in their originating countries. Take St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo for example. May 5th is not even a federal holiday in Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates a battle that was won, against the French, by mostly indigenous people. It was really the start, rather than the end, of a much more prolonged war, but in the town of Puebla, Mexico, the French were pushed back, and it is still celebrated mostly only in the province of the same name in Mexico. In the 1960s, people with Mexican origins or ancestry in the US began to celebrate May 5th, and it caught on.
And I am not one to ignore celebrations, even if I don’t have any shred of heritage to offer as cause to party. But does one really need a reason to eat tacos? So, I raise a margarita to the bravery of the people of Puebla in 1862, and we are glad you defended your culture and independence against Napoleon III. For real.
Also this weekend, in our house, we will be celebrating the King’s coronation. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about how the monarchy could or should evolve, but I grew up against a backdrop of national identity intertwined with ‘The Royals’, and I have invited some friends over for ‘tea’. (Yes, yes, alright, there might be some other adult drinks after we finish with the tea and scones). Oh, and we’ll also have some ‘Coronation Quiche’ (please just google coronation quiche - some very funny articles1).
The pomp and circumstance are all a bit silly in this day and age perhaps, but….it is also rather magical and also oddly, somehow anchoring. Perhaps it’s because the insane pace of change is momentarily less overwhelming when the King is transported through the streets in a horse-drawn carriage. A gold one, built in 1762.
Neighbors all over the UK will get together for street parties or a ‘Big Lunch’ and King Charles has called for Monday - a national holiday in observance of the coronation in the UK - to be a day of service. I like it. There is surely nothing wrong with taking a moment to enjoy each others’ company and then to give a few hours to the community.
Hope you have a have a celebratory weekend too! For any reason, or no reason at all.
The Coronation Quiche calls for ‘broad beans’. If you’re in the US and you have a hankering for a Coronation Quiche (and why wouldn’t you), these are fava beans. You’re welcome. Yeah, I’ve never heard of a quiche with fava beans either.
I need to remember not to include British recipes in here because it’s all just too confusing. A Pimms Cup is usually mixed with ‘lemonade’, but British people call Sprite or SevenUp (lemony soda) ‘lemonade’, so it’s not reeeeaaal lemonade. Actual lemonade would be very weird with Pimms. You can also use ginger ale as a mixer (personally I think that would mask the Pimms too much, but you do you).