Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mmmmmmayo

A post in two parts:

The Sour:

Did I really hear three separate intelligent adults ask over the course of last week "what day is Cinco de Mayo?"  Maybe you don't know Spanish. But trust me, you don't need a translator. You only need to have either: 
1. attended college. You will know Cinco de Mayo and its correlated festivities like you know your name after your freshman year.
2. Live anywhere near a bar because it seems it is the duty of every bar to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Even at Heinrich's Hofbrau Fetszelt.
3. Drive by any bar any time during the week prior to Cinco de Mayo. They even make it easy on those passing by because they have giant signs indicating: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta! HERE on MAY 5!

The first and second time I heard someone ask, I thought they just forgot that Cinco de Mayo is May 5. The third time, I thought oh heaven help us BUT for the benefit of the doubt I considered perhaps this person meant the actual day of the week. 
Me: Do you mean what day of the week?
Him: No, the actual date
Me: ummmm, I think it's on the 10th.
Him: I don't think so. I think cinco means five. 
Me: Tell me all about it Juan Ponce de Leon. 

For everyone celebrating with a cool tangy margarita treat-a, some chips and salsa, a refreshing Pacifio, or just simply wearing a sombrero to celebrate the long ago day in history the Mexican Army beat the French at the Battle of Puebla (It is not Mexico's Independence Day by the way) please enjoy. 

The Sweet:

When you make this cake, or lure someone with all kinds of frisky favors to make it for you, and then you want to immediately sit down and compose a sonnet to forever capture your feelings of love and chocolate passion, don't pen that ode to me. This is my Aunt Shelley's recipe. I don't typically post recipes middle of the blog week but this is one of my all-time favorite tributes of goodness. And JohnnyMac, who doesn't really dig sweets, once saw me packing this up after a party for one of our friends and he immediately lured me (with all kinds of frisky favors) to give away very little and save the rest for him. It. is. THAT. GOOD.

Happy Cinco de Mayo friends!

Mexican Chocolate Cake:

1 stick butter (no one said light or fat-free did they?)
1/2 cup oil ( I use canola)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup water
2 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk (*you can make your own, see below)
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Put butter and chocolate in saucepan over medium low heat until completely melted. Cool by adding oil and water. Put all other ingredients in mixing bowl and slowly incorporate the melted chocolate mixture until well blended. Pour into a greased 11 x 15 pan (you can use a lipped cookie sheet) and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. While cake is still warm top with:

Mexican Chocolate Cake Icing:

1 stick butter (don't worry about it!)
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
6 Tbl milk
1 lb powdered sugar.
1 tsp vanilla

Put butter and chocolate in saucepan until completely melted. Remove from heat and add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Use handmixer until completely smooth.

Note: the batter and icing are not stiff.
Note 2: when my Aunt makes this cake, she uses all buttermilk and no water
Note 3: I have added cinnamon to the icing as well. And I have added a dash of cayenne pepper to the batter before too. Mmmmm...spicy and fantastic.

* if you don't have buttermilk, add 1/2 T of lemon juice or vinegar to 1/2 c. of milk. Let stand for a few minutes and then proceed.


the walking man said...

La libertad de largo viva para cada uno y puede las luchas necesarias asegurarse de que la libertad venga en un coste no al colmo al withstand. Una vez que se emprende la guerra el griterío puede venir y ser una parte de la celebración de sacar el yugo de la opresión.

Merri Ann said...

That reminds me of a question from the old "The Newlywed Game" show ... "In YOUR neighborhood ... does the sun come in the North, East, South, or West?" ... not one of them got it right.

I have boy/girl twins and I'm constantly asked, "Are they identical?" and I say, "Ummm ... no ... one is a boy and one is a girl" ... that is not what I WANT to say however :))

Thanks for the recipe ... sounds yummy ... but I think I'll just print it and tape the paper to my butt ... it will look better than if I actually ate the final product ...

Happy cinco-th

Brian Miller said...

happy cinco de mayo! that recipe sounds just the way to celebrate it. yum!

SmartBear said... Cinco de Mayo is in May? LOL! That's so funny...
This sounds fantastic!

TKW said...

Or #4. Have a kid in the house who watches Dora the Explorer

My 4-year old knows what Cinco de Mayo is, thanks to that backpack-toting annoyance!

No Longer 25 said...

Mmm chocolate. I've never heard of this festival - don't think it's really celebrate over here. Although I did manage to work out when it was!

Cara Smith said...

My daughter asked what Cinco de Mayo means last night...I'll give her a pass since she's 7, but down in Texas you are supposed to know that when you are born. Gah!

Hubs thought it was Independence from the Spanish, and even though I didn't know the battle, I was pretty certian it had something to do with the French, so now I get to rub it in.

Caty said...

yummy...that cake sounds great!!

Simply Suthern said...

Cinco de Mayo


CHOCO De Mayo??

Intense Guy said...

All I know is I want to get frisky with your Aunt Shelley.

4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated the French and "traitor" Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, on the morning of May 5, 1862.

Their Independence Day is September 15. I guess "septiembre el décimo quinto" is too much of a mouthful.

Confessions of a Mother, Lawyer & Crazy Woman said...


Jenn@ You know... that blog? said...

Really JM, you're not good for my waistline. Too yummy!!

Even Canadians know Cinco de Mayo for pete's sake! Even though it's not as big "up here", for some folks any reason to bar crawl is reason enough.

Haiku today is "Steam" - care to join us? We know you have it in you ;)

Slamdunk said...

I could not figure out why the fifth of May always featured traffic jams at noon around the Mexican restaurants in big city where I used to live. Thanks for solving the mystery.

I hope you are feeling better as well.

Mrs. M said...

I love that we celebrate a Mexican holiday that they don't really even celebrate. We American's will do anything for beer and chips. Or a good piece of chocolate cake. :)

Ed said...

You work with some serious dumbasses.

Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Mmm, CAKE.

Unknown said...

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! Now give me a margueritti! lol

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Good Lord...I need a drink!

CountessLaurie said...

I am totally going to use this line today. "Tell me all about it Juan Ponce de Leon" I don't know how, but it is hysterical!!

ellen abbott said...

Next time someone asks you that, you can reply with a question of your own. Being in english, they might actually be able to answer it.

What color is George Washington's white horse?

JennyMac said...

LOL Ed: These were NOT my co-workers.

Anonymous said...

I can not believe I miss Cinco de Mayo Day! Jezz Louise! I think Cinco de Mayo Day should always be on Saturday--okay I declare a Ocho de Mayo Day this Saturday...margaritas anyone? FYI: Margarita Flu day is Sunday.

themsrevolution said...

hilarious breakdown of the breakdown of american intellect. and that cake looks delish!

Salt said...

Happy Cinco De Mayo to YOU! Any holiday that can be celebrated with margaritas and chocolate cake is going to be one of my favorites.

McVal said...

What makes it Mexican? The name of it?? or are you just adding jalapenos on the top when it's done?..
We used to celebrate Cinco De Mayo by going out to eat Mexican, but our schedules anymore are way too frayed... We'll probably make quick tacos for supper before dashing off.

Liz Mays said...

I really like how this is gonna taste!!!

Herding Cats said...

I live for Cinco de Drinko. This year though, I'm heating up homemade carnitas verdes enchiladas, chips and guac, and opening a beer. Can't wait!

Enjoy your day!

Mom in High Heels said...

Even the Germans know when Cino de Mayo is. I know this because several bars are advertising Cinco de Mayo specials. Though why you would want to drink Dos Equis when you can have real (14% alcohol) German beer, I don't know.
My friend of Mexican heritage tells me that it's a holiday made up by Americans to have an excuse to drink Margaritas. It told her I didn't see the problem. Viva Mexico!

Carma Sez said...

my son is having a cinco de Mayo themed lunch at the cafeteria today - nothing quite this fancy ;-)

Emily said...

Yum...that cake recipe sounds delish...I'm currently drooling into my margarita!

foxy said...

Living in TX, it seems incomprehensible that someone wouldn't know what Cinco de Mayo is. It's only the best day in May!!

I'll definitely have to try that recipe... looks delish!

Kristina P. said...

You really do post the best recipes. Arriba!

Jennifer said...

Um... Can I just reiterate my comment from the bumper sticker post. Stupid people are just amazing. Anyhoo... I hope you have a great Margarita day... I wish I had time for that, but alas...I will be writing my final exams and then dashing off to pick up the little people. Oh well. Next year.

Joann Mannix said...

I knew it was Cinco de Mayo because my college girl is home from school and it is the college set's holiday of choice.

Here in Florida, every day feels like Cinco de Mayo with the profusion of hispanic delicacies that surround us. And I, for one, love that. Bring on the margaritas, baby!

Cake sounds divine. I might just have to make that.

Anonymous said...

Chocolate cake? Yes please! Happy Cinco de Mayo! Thanks for the food ideas = )

Anonymous said...

Oh hell yes.

Cake AND tequila on one day? Count me in.

obladi oblada said...

Happy 5th of May! Thanks for setting the record straight about it NOT being the Mexican independance day...I cant count how many times I have heard someone say that that is what it is. It always annoys me too.

Arielle said...

It does not have any chili in it, therefore I do not accept it as real Mexican cake.

MommyLisa said...

May the Fourth be with you...

:) Love that people ask, "When is Cinco De Mayo?"

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the lesson and the cake recipe. You really know how to celebrate this Cinco de Mayo!

One Photo said...

Until recently I had no idea what Cinco De Mayo was never mind when it is - but I am English.....

Tracie said...

So you'll be baking this on the 10th?

mCat said...

I wish I had the gumption to make the cake, it sounds delish.

Instead, I will go back to burying my head in a bag of doritos

Grand Pooba said...

Hey, I never knew you could substitute lemon or vinegar in milk for buttermilk!

Great tip of the day. And a total of 2 stick of butter?

eh. Nothin to worry about!

Bird Shit said...

my Puerto Rican friend asked me the other day when Cinco De Mayo was...I'm Irish, I shouldn't have to tell her

K A B L O O E Y said...

You know, I had a pretty stressful day and completely forgot it was Cinco de Mayo. But I swear I made guacamole tonight because I had all the ingredients and the avocado was kind of mewing at me. Didn't put 2 and 3 together until just now. And now I want a fresh juice margarita and a piece of that cake! Or just the icing...
adios, JennyMac-cita.

Jaime said...

are people really that stupid?

last night hubby says to me "do you know what day it is tomorrow?"

i was like "wednesday?"

Um... "may 5"

OH! "cinco de mayo"


Unknown said...

Choco de mayo would work on any dayo for me!

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Is it weird that I want to go the store right NOW and get all the ingredients to make that bad boy tonight?

Life Is A Road Trip said...

Oh, yum! I just read somewhere that chocolate is good for your teeth. I don't care if it's true or not. I had a Hershey bar just in case.

Leah Rubin said...

Ode to Aunt Shelley

And what is owed to Aunt Shelley?
An extra two pounds on my belly!
A cake so rhapsodic--
delicious, melodic,
delighting the senses,
breaking down fences,
igniting my taste buds
with fireworks.
A chocolate delight
to brighten the night
and bring me the dreams
that a cake like this seems
to brighten a night,
O, Aunt Shelley!

secret agent woman said...

My version of Mexican chocolate cake: Chocolate cake mix plus cinnamon. Don't scoff, it's good.

Unknown said...

sounds YUM-O!

I know what May 5 is, but I just found out that May 4th is Star Wars Day. Am I the only one who didn't know this before being on Twitter on Tuesday?

May the Fourth be with you....


Sultan said...

Once long ago, during the dark days, I was defending a guy in DUI trial. He had been pulled over and the cops found a 12 pack of beer in the back seat. As part of the direct examination of my client the Prosecutor asked, "Well how many beers are there in a 12 pack?" This stumped my client for a while but finally he found an answer, " er ... 12?"

Ashley said...

Unfortunately I wasn't able to celebrate on the 5th, so we are having a fiesta tomorrow night. I think this cake will pair perfectly with fajitas and maragritas! said...

Oh, my. My married name is Lopez, you know. There was a crash course on Hispanic customs when I met and married Mr. Lopez. I am happy to report I have never even met anyone that didn't know when Cinco de Mayo is. But then again, I live in Texas.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Oh my. I thought Cinco de Mayo was about the birth of mayonnaise. I need to rethink this whole thing now. Dang.