Genevieve *that's the hostess* will be making a big pot of pozole, and those of us that are going were told to bring our own booze, bowl and spoon! And although she doesn't promise leftovers, Gen said on the invite that we should be sure to bring an empty Tupperware container.
I have never had or even heard of posole before, so I looked it up on the internet to see what it was. I read that at holiday time people in New Mexico honor a tradition on Christmas Eve by serving a steaming bowl of posole (pronounced po-SO-lay). It is a spicy corn stew that is known as the ceremonial dish for celebrating life's blessings. When I read the part about celebrating life's blessings, I knew immediately that this was going to be something I would enjoy sharing with a group of new friends.
I researched further and learned that New Mexicans have been enjoying posole for centuries. The cuisine there springs from the Native American culture, Mexican culture and European culture. The Rio Grande Pueblo Indians and their ancestors, the “Anasazi,” or "ancient ones,” relied on corn, beans, squash, and chiles for sustenance. These early crops became firmly entrenched in the culture, forming the foundation of New Mexican cuisine even before the Spanish arrived.
Corn has been and is the major food plant of the Native Americans. Red, yellow, and blue corn are cultivated in New Mexico. The corn is ground into meal and flour for use in breads and tortillas, and it is processed into posole corn.
To prepare posole corn, you soak the hard kernels of field corn, which is traditionally white, (but sometimes blue is used) in powdered lime and water. This method is thought to mimic the ancient preservation of corn in limestone caves.
After several hours of soaking and the corn kernels have swollen, the liquid is allowed to evaporate and the kernels to dry.
At first when I was reading about this, I was thinking it was similar to hominy. THAT I was familiar with. However, I read that compared to hominy, posole's flavor is more intense, robust and earthy, where hominy tends to be a softer and more bland kind of corn. I also read that posole corn can be difficult to find, so hominy is sometimes used as a substitute in posole stew.
As I continued my search, I found that there are many variations of posole. Some stews are made with pork, some with chicken and I even saw one recipe made with vegetable protein rather than any meat at all!
I am always ready to try new foods, so this will be no exception. I'm really excited about trying Genevieve's posole!
Ooooooooooh, and we're going to be making Tim's 12 Tags of Christmas TOO! I'm getting my stuff all packed up and ready to go *smiles*
I'm making my double chocolate-chocolate chip cake to take to the potluck.
Bowl, Booze, Spoon, Tupperware container, craft supplies . . . Oh yeah, good times are ahead!