Wisconsinites!!! Celebrate Cinco de Mayo this upcoming 5th of May. So what if you aren’t Mexican? You didn’t have to be Irish to drink Irish ale on St. Pat’s Day. May 5th is our holiday to celebrate the Mexican people and culture renowned for hard-work, strong, supportive families, awesome art, music, and architecture, and of course, amazingly delicious food.  Yes, on Cinco de Mayo we eat great Mexican food. If your palette is normally as pale as your face, then wash down those chili spices with Wisconsin beer. And let you’re Northern-European insides bask in south-of-the-border warmth. Throwing a Cinco de Mayo party means bringing on the COLOR! – Tablecloths, lights, and streamers should explode in vibrant REDS! YELLOWS! ORANGES! BLUES! GREENS! and PURPLES! Blast the horn sounds of your favorite mariachi MUSIC. And if the band’s accordion stirs you to polka, give in. Thaw those Northern inhibitions. Step to the music, twirl your partner, dip the chips, and toast to the good life in Mexico and everywhere else. 

Unfortunately, this year swine flu is putting a damper on Cinco de Mayo parties, not only in Mexico, but in Milwaukee too. Milwaukee’s UMOS’s Cinco de Mayo Springfest was canceled Thursday because 11,000 people were expected to attend, and no doubt some attendees would have been in recent contact with someone ill in Mexico. Too risky, the CDC said, safer to cancel Springfest.

But this doesn’t mean Cinco de Mayo is canceled! The 5th day of a month can’t be canceled! A respectful memory of Mexican villagers protecting their homeland by standing up to invading French soldiers can’t be canceled! No, canceling Milwaukee’s Springfest just means Wisconsinites move the party off the streets and into hundreds of individual homes. Wisconsinites will gather in small groups of families and friends to eat, dance, and have great fun honoring the vibrant culture of Mexico.

But in these days preceding, perhaps you worry that you don’t know how to cook Mexican food. Relax! Neither do I. So I had a party to practice. And now I’ve got some surefire recipes for you. Two are from the Eldorado Grill Cookbook. – The Eldorado Grill is a popular, gourmet Mexican restaurant in Madison, WI. Folks there KNOW how to cook Mexican food, probably because some of the chefs are from Mexico. The other recipe I made up. But not to worry, this one worked out. I served it at our practice Cinco de Mayo party and everyone loved it. You can see we had great fun that night, – just look at the happy dog on the table. So click on “continue reading… for these authentic Mexican and Gringo recipes to enjoy at your Cinco de Mayo party. 

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