Posada / Hospitality
Las Posadas, Spanish for “the inns,” is an Advent celebration of hospitality in Mexico and some parts of Central and South America. The Posadas symbolize Mary and Joseph’s long, frustrating search for a place to stay where Jesus could be born.
Traditionally, different neighborhood families take turns scheduling a night to host the Posada, beginning December 16th and ending on the 24th. The host family acts as the innkeepers, while the other neighbors act as pilgrims, or “peregrinos,” going from house to house singing about Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to stay. The pilgrims are turned away at every house until, reaching the hosts’ home, they are welcomed for the night.
Advent provides many opportunities to welcome the stranger and offer genuine hospitality in our homes and our churches. As you wait for the birth of Jesus, practice the same hospitality toward the visitor or outsider that you would offer Mary and Joseph.
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. ~ Hebrews 13:2
One way to show hospitality during this season is by sharing food and recipes for your cultural tradition. This recipe for Mincemeat is courtesy of Su Hadden, Office of the Presiding Bishop, Operations.
(adapted over the years from one in Reader’s Digest Farmhouse Cookery – Recipes from the Country Kitchen)
In a large mixing bowl combine:
- 1 ½ lbs of firm/sharp apples
- 1 lb raisins
- 1 lb sultanas (golden raisins)
- 12 oz currants
- 8 oz each of dried cranberries or cherries –or any other dried fruit that appeals – you just want to ensure pieces are all roughly same size
- 8 oz chopped candied peel
- 8 oz soft brown sugar
- 8 oz chopped almonds
- 8 oz chopped walnuts
- Juice and grated rind of one lemon and one orange
- Good grating of nutmeg, cinnamon, crushed cloves
- One jar of good quality mincemeat (Robertson’s luxury mincemeat or the like) – not essential but adds some “body”
- Brandy – quantity up to you!
Peel, core and finely chop the apples into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the orange and lemon juice with their grated rind; stir in all the dried fruits, chopped nuts, sugar, spices, jar of bought mincemeat and mix thoroughly. Now stir in a good splash or two (make that three or four!) of brandy – and stir well…
Cover the bowl and put in the fridge. Stir over the next few days – adding more brandy to keep the mixture “moist”.
A week or so later – after more stirring and topping up w/brandy (this is not a precise science!) put into jars. Small jars are nice for hostess gifts. The rest keep for making small mince pies at the holidays.