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Bread of the Dead

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: CP438
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2003 5:56 PM
  Subject: Bread of the Dead

  I need the history of the Bread of the Dead...Thanks 


All Catholic countries celebrate "All Saint's Day" and "All Soul's day", but in Mexico it has become one of the most important festivals of the year, known as "El Dia de los Muertos", or "The Day of the Dead". Since the festival actually begins on the evening of October 31 with "la Noche de Duelo", or the "night of mourning", it is also sometimes called "Los Dias de Los Muertos."

One reason for the great importance attached to El Dia de los Muertos in Mexico and Central America lies perhaps with the fact that it, or something similar to it, predates the arrival of Christianity there. The Aztecs, Toltec, Mayas, and even the Olmecs before them celebrated similar holidays in honor of the dead. Many of these associations were perhaps transferred to All Saint's Day with the arrival of Catholicism, transforming it into El Dia de los Muertos as we know it today. This absorption and transformation of local pagan holidays by Christianity was common and is the origin of many of the holidays that we celebrate today.

The festival begins with "la Noche de Duelo", or "the night of mourning", which is a candlelight procession to the local cemetary. Friends and relatives of those buried there bring food and flowers, eat a meal there, and decorate an altar. The yellow marigold, or "zenpazuchitl", is the traditional flower of the dead.

El Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in remembrance of the dead, but the day is far from morbid. It is a time of happiness, remembering, and much feasting. Special foods, such as candy, breads, and buns are baked, often in the shape of skulls (calavera) or bones. These include "pan de los Muertos", or "bread of the dead". Skeleton puppets and masks are very popular, often representing the Grim Reaper ("calaca").


Pan de Muerto, "Bread of the Dead"
In celebration of Mexico's Day of the Dead, this bread is often shaped into 
skulls or round loaves with strips of dough rolled out and attached to 
resemble bones.

1/2 cup butter 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup water

5 to 5-1/2 cups flour 
2 packages dry yeast 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 tablespoon whole anise seed 
1/2 cup sugar 
4 eggs
In a saucepan over medium flame, heat the butter, milk and water until very 
warm but not boiling.

Meanwhile, measure out 1-1/2 cups flour and set the rest aside. In a large 
mixing bowl, combine the 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and sugar. 
Beat in the warm liquid until well combined. Add the eggs and beat in another 
1 cup of flour. Continue adding more flour until dough is soft but not sticky. 
Knead on lightly floured board for ten minutes until smooth and elastic.

Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in it, cover with plastic wrap and let 
rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Punch the dough 
down and shape into loaves resembling skulls, skeletons or round loaves with 
"bones" placed ornamentally around the top. Let these loaves rise for 1 hour.

Bake in a preheated 350 F degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and 
paint on glaze.

1/2 cup sugar 
1/3 cup fresh orange juice 
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then apply to bread with a pastry brush.

If desired, sprinkle on colored sugar while glaze is still damp.

Chinese Sweet Dumplings

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Marie
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 11:25 PM
  Subject: a Korean recipe

  Dear Uncle Phaedrus, 
  I am searching for a recipe for a soft Korean pastry that contains 
  sweet bean paste. The pastry is called a dumpling in English, but 
  I'm not quite sure that's what it is called in Korean. They can be 
  found in Korean markets. The are smooth and round and white and 
  resemble river stones. The dumpling itself is soft and doughy. 
  Thank you!

Hello Marie,

I can find nothing at all on "Korean dumplings". There is, however, a Chinese dumpling made with sweet rice flour and sweet bean paste, which might be what you mean. see below. Phaed

  Tong Yuan - New Year Sweet Dumplings 

  2 cups glutinous (sweet) rice flour 
  1 cup cold water 
  1/2 cup sweet black bean paste, or substitute 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter 
  mixed with 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds)
   brown sugar to taste 
  Combine flour and water until you have a smooth dough. Divide into 30 balls, 
  about one inch in diameter. Flatten each ball into a two-inch circle and 
  place one teaspoon of bean paste in the center. Fold dough over and seal, 
  and re-roll into circles. Bring two quarts of water to boil, add dumplings 
  and stir them to prevent sticking. When they float, simmer for five minutes,
  strain and serve. Put four in a bowl and add brown sugar to taste, if desired.
  Note: Sweet rice flour is sold in oriental groceries; some also sell sweet 
  bean paste.

Roma Hall Cannoli

----- Original Message -----
From: Lee
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 7:51 AM
Subject: Hi, I need help

> Maybe you can help, there use to be a dining hall in the Detroit 
> Metro Area called "Roma Hall", and they use to have the best cannolis 
> I ever had. They shut down and sadly, the recipes lost. They had 
> locations in East Detroit, Livonia I think.  Please help, I still 
> crave these!!!!!
> Lee

Hi Lee,

I found a recipe for the filling.

See below.


Canolli Filling With Custard Texture (Like Roma Hall)

1 qt. milk (4 c.)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. cornstarch
dash cinnamon
1 t. vanilla

Mix first 4 ingredients in a large pan til dissolved. Put over medium 
heat and cook, stirring constantly, til it comes to the boil. Simmer, 
stirring, til thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and add 
vanilla. Put into bowl and cover surface directly with waxed paper or 
plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours to overnight. Chop 1 regular 
size Hershey chocolate bar and add bits to mixture. Fill canolli shells 
by piping mixture in or use a long- handled iced tea spoon. Dip ends 
into toasted, sliced or crushed almonds. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
(fills 16 shells)

Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream

----- Original Message -----
From: NITA
To: phaedrus
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 8:27 AM
Subject: Ice Cream Recipe Search

Dear Phaedrus:

Does anyone know where I could find a recipe for Tutti Fruiti Ice Cream?
When I was a child, we could get it in ice cream cones at the Sunshine 
Dairy in Macon GA. I have seen a few recipes but they are not right. 
I remember that there were pieces of cherry in it.



Hello Nita,

Try the ones below.


Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream

1/2 pt. whipping cream
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. drained crushed pineapple
5 maraschino cherries
1 1/2 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/2 banana, mashed

Whip cream stiff, add sugar and fruit mix. Pour into bowl and freeze for
about an hour, stir and freeze some more. Should be ready to eat in 2 hours.
Tutti - Frutti Ice Cream

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 c. sugar
3 c. milk
1 (8 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained & chopped
1 (6 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained & chopped
1 c. water

Combine all ingredients except milk and water; blend well. Add milk and
water; mix well. Pour mixture into freezer can of a 1 gallon, hand-turned 
or electric freezer. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. 
Allow ice cream to ripen at least 1 hour. Yield: 2 quarts.

Another Ice Box Cake

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Frannie
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Monday, February 03, 2003 4:02 PM
  Subject: Ice Box cake

  Hello Phaedrus, 

  Wow! I just happened on your site and I hope you can find this recipe 
  for me.  I'm 60 years old, and when I was a little girl, my Italian 
  Boston, MA mother used to make what she called "No Bake Ice Box Cake."  
  I believe it consisted of graham crackers, chocolate instant pudding, 
  and yellow instant pudding.  (I'm not positively sure if it was instant; 
  it may have been the cooked variety.) Anyway, she used to layer a pan 
  with the graham crackers, then a layer of pudding, etc., etc.  The last 
  was the graham crackers crumbled up on top of the last pudding, which I 
  think was chocolate.   

  I believe she got the recipe from a box.  Most likely it was from the 
  pudding box, as I've called Nabisco graham cracker company and they 
  don't have the recipe! (Imagine that!) 

  Anyway, I've found "Graham Cracker Pudding" Recipes on, but 
  it's still not the way my mom made it above. Most have whip cream in/on 
  it, but my mother did not use whip cream.  Also, I need to know the 
  in-depth version of my mom's recipe, as the recipes have 
  either the instant pudding or the cooked pudding version.  Could you 
  find my mother's recipe for me. 


Hello Frannie, You must think that I am psychic.... I can find ice box cake recipes with graham crackers and with chocolate and vanilla pudding, but my powers do not yet extend to knowing exactly which your mom used. See below for some recipes. Phaed

  No Bake Ice  Box  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 box vanilla pudding (cooking not instant)
   1 box chocolate pudding (cooking not instant)
   1 box graham crackers

   Preparation : 
      Cook the vanilla pudding and the chocolate pudding, put them
   aside.  Use a pyrex rectangular baking dish, line it with graham
   crackers.  Pour a layer of vanilla pudding then layer with graham
   crackers, then pour a layer of chocolate pudding continue to the
   top.  On the top crumble the graham crackers on the top layer of
   pudding.  Refrigerate until set.

  (If you like bananas you can dip sliced bananas in lemon
   extract and place the slices across the top with the crumbs.)
  No Bake Ice  Box  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 lg. chocolate pudding
   1 lg. vanilla pudding
   Graham crackers

   Preparation : 
      Layer 9"x9" baking dish with graham crackers.  Follow directions
   on pudding box. After first layer of crackers with chocolate
   pudding.  Add layer of crackers and cover with vanilla pudding. 
   Crush graham crackers and sprinkle on top. Refrigerate until set. 
    No Bake Ice  Box  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 box graham crackers
   1 sm. pkg. vanilla pudding
   1 sm. pkg. chocolate pudding
   4 c. milk

   Preparation : 
      Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with graham crackers.  Set aside.  Cook 2
   cups milk and chocolate pudding according to package directions. 
   Let cool.  Spread cooled pudding over graham crackers and cover with
   another row of crackers.  Set aside.  Cook 2 cups of milk with
   vanilla pudding according to package directions.  Let cool.  Spoon
   vanilla pudding over second layer of crackers.  Crush graham
   crackers (about 1 or 2) and sprinkle crumbs on top of vanilla
   pudding.  Refrigerate until pudding is firm and can be cut into
    No Bake Ice  Box  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 lg. box each: vanilla, chocolate, and butterscotch pudding
   1 box graham crackers

   Preparation : 
     Cook pudding according to directions--one flavor at a time.  Line
   bottom of 13x9x2 pan with graham crackers then cover with one flavor
   of pudding.  Then layer crackers and second flavor of pudding and
   layer crackers and third flavor of pudding.  Sprinkle top of pudding
   with crushed crackers.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours.   


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