Holy Week Date Night

Introduction: Holy Week Date Night

My favorite food is pulique, a broth that is typical of Guatemala. Pulique is simply delicious, and it always makes me feel at home no matter where I am. There is also great meaning in this broth. It’s not just a food; it represents a culture of sharing. Guatemala celebrates different holidays than the United States. Since Guatemala is a mostly Catholic country, one of the biggest celebrations is Holy Week. During this week, the entire country takes a break from working. In the town of Santiago Atitlán in the department of Sololá, Guatemala, Holy Week is not just a week without work—it is the week with the most devotion in the year.

The Pulique Tradition

Holy Week is a time of prayer and reflection. Every day of Holy Week is called Santo, or holyLunes Santo, Martes Santo, and so on. The most important day is Good Friday, the day the crucifixion of Christ is remembered. Guatemalan Catholics take part in processions, which are organized by the brotherhoods of the different churches in the country. It is an astonishing scene, and the whole town faithfully watches this parade that honors Christ. But for me, Holy Thursday is my favorite day, as long as I spend it in Santiago Atitlán.
On Holy Thursday, all the women of the town make the same dish: pulique. It is a reddish chicken broth that is eaten with ejote (a Guatemalan vegetable), potatoes, carrots, and rice and is accompanied by tortillas or tamalitos. Each family has a slightly different recipe for pulique, which gives it a particular flavor. The whole town is united in the tradition of making this special broth. When the women finish making the dish, they share it with others. Each woman divides her pulique, puts some in a small pot, and visits her comadres, or her close friends, to share her delicious broth. The friend, who also has pulique, accepts her friend’s broth and mixes it with hers so that at the end of the day, the pulique is a mix of all the friends' broths. The whole town is nourished by this tradition, a tradition based on sharing.

As a Date Night

Making pulique together is a great idea for a date (or a double date). Along with making and eating pulique, we’ll walk you through making tortillas and dessert and planning a game night to go with it.

Supplies

Pulique Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 9 small roma tomatoes or 4 big tomatoes
  • ½ c of fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 large carrots
  • 10 small, peeled potatoes
  • 3 c green beans
  • 3 squash-type vegetables
  • 4 c white rice
  • 2 avocados, sliced or mashed

Tortilla Ingredients

  • 1 c corn flour maseca (you can find this in any Hispanic section at Walmart or in Latinx grocery stores)
  • ⅔ c warm water

Brownie Ingredients

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4/3 c flour
  • 1 c cocoa 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 1 c chopped walnuts (optional; always check for nut allergies! Other alternative mix-ins include chocolate chips, M&Ms, or any other chocolate or candy bar.) Ice cream and desired brownie sundae toppings

Step 1: Several Days Beforehand

The first step is to invite your date (and another couple if you’re planning a double date). Plan a time together, and if you want to collaborate on the meal with other guests, make sure to communicate about who should bring what ingredients, desserts, or games.

Step 2: The Day Before

Before the date, make sure you have all of the necessary ingredients, listed in the introduction and the individual recipes.

Step 3: An Hour Before Guests Arrive

Make the brownies!

Ingredients

  • 2 c sugar
  • 1 c melted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4/3 c flour
  • 1 c cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c chopped walnuts (optional; always check for nut allergies! Other alternative mix-ins include chocolate chips, M&Ms, or any other chocolate or candy bar.)
  • Ice cream and desired brownie sundae toppings

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a 9x13 pan.
  3. Mix sugar, butter, vanilla, and eggs until smooth.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients; stir walnuts or other large mix-ins by hand.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean.

Step 4: An Hour Before You Want to Eat

Start making pulique. Pulique takes about an hour to make. Several people can participate in cooking.

Pulique Ingredients

  • 4 bone-in chicken breasts
  • 9 small roma tomatoes or 4 big tomatoes
  • ½ c of fresh mint
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 c flour
  • 2 large carrots
  • 10 small, peeled potatoes
  • 3 c green beans
  • 3 squash-type vegetables
  • 4 c rice
  • 2 avocados, sliced or mashed
  • White rice

Tortilla Ingredients

  • 1 c corn flour maseca (you can find this in any Hispanic section at Walmart or in Latinx grocery stores)
  • ⅔ c warm water

Step 5: Make the Rice

Make the rice now so it will be ready with dinner. Use ½ c of uncooked white rice per person.

To make in a rice cooker:

Most rice cookers use the ratio of one cup of rice to one cup of water. Use this same ratio to increase the scale when cooking larger batches of rice.

Measure the rice into a strainer and rinse thoroughly.

Pour the rice into the rice cooker and add the corresponding amount of water.

Cover the pot, plug it in, and lower the lever to start the rice cooker.

After 20 minutes, you will have delicious rice.

As soon as it is finished, stir it slightly (with a wooden stick or the plastic spoon that is usually included with the rice cooker) to make it fluffy.

To make on the stove:

Boil twice as much water as the amount of rice you need.

Optional: add oil to the pot when you’re boiling the water so that the rice doesn’t stick.

Add rice to the pot; reduce the temperature to low and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until there is no water left in the pot.

Step 6: Prep Chicken

Boil 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Add chicken breasts once the water reaches a rolling boil.

Step 7: Prep Soup Base

Chop the vegetables for the soup base. Halve tomatoes, crush garlic, and pull mint leaves off their stems.

Step 8: Toast Flour

Add flour and crushed garlic to a dry frying pan on the stove. Toast until the flour is a medium brown.

Step 9: Blend Soup Base

Add the prepared tomatoes, mint, garlic flour, and ½ cup of water to a blender and puree. If the mixture is too liquid, add more tomatoes to thicken. Once this mixture has reached the right consistency (slightly lumpy), add it to the boiling chicken.

Step 10: Prep Veggies

Now ready the soup vegetables: Peel carrots and slice into thin rounds. Peel potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces. Wash green beans, remove stems, and snap into 2–3 inch sections. Wash the squash, cut out the stem, and dice.

Step 11: Finish Soup

Add all the vegetables to the soup. Boil until chicken and potatoes are done, about 25 minutes.

Step 12: Make the Tortillas

  • To make the dough, mix 1 cup flour with warm water; continue to add water until the dough sticks together well.
  • Grab a handful of dough, roll it into a ball, flatten it in between your palms.
  • Cook in a dry non-stick pan on medium heat until each side begins to brown.

Step 13: Enjoy!

Serve soup over rice, topped with sliced or smashed avocados. Enjoy tortillas on the side!

Step 14: After Dinner

After eating dinner (but before indulging in dessert) is a great time to play some games and get to know people. Here are some great games to consider:

  • Among Us: It’s even more fun when the imposter is in the room with you.
  • Balderdash: Laugh, learn, and lie in this hilarious word bluffing game.
  • Cards Against Humanity: Buy a deck, download a custom one from the internet, or make your own. The original game can make some people uncomfortable, but there are family-friendly decks available.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: This game can be technical or lawless, serious, spooky, or hilarious, according to your own taste. Bonus: it’s a great excuse to hang out often!
  • Escape rooms: This requires a little more planning and transportation, but doing an escape room together is a great way to build trust!
  • Family history: Not a game, but a great way to get to know the heritage of your date, especially if you’re getting serious.
  • Game of Life: What better occasion for teasing winks than sticking a spouse in your car? Hangman: The old macabre classic.
  • Forbidden Island: This tense, cooperative game is far harder than it looks.
  • Jenga: What counts as cheating, anyway?
  • Kahoot: Write your own!
  • Lord of the Rings board game: This game can be hard to find, but since it’s cooperative, it’s a great non-divisive option!
  • Monopoly: Whether you play the original or a themed board, this game is always a winner.
  • Fruit Ninja: Nothing better than friendly competition. If anyone has a sword or a machete, live Fruit Ninja, baseball-style, is a ton of fun.
  • Ology board games: Remember those books? They have board games!
  • Pictionary: Don’t worry, we can’t all be artists.
  • Quiplash: Life doesn’t get better than roasting your friends.
  • Risk: Fair warning, this game can last into the wee hours. Try a themed board for a new experience.
  • Superfight: Pick a character and argue about who won.
  • Ticket to Ride: Who doesn’t want to be a railroad tycoon?
  • Uno: The quintessential party game.
  • Video scavenger hunt: With a little advance planning, you can explore your neighborhood and create vine-worthy memories.
  • Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow: This spooky take on mafia requires a group of 8.
  • Xbox/video games: A great way to relax.
  • Yut-nori: This Korean game is traditionally played at New Years, but it’s always a good option. The main draw are the unique dice-like yut sticks; if you’re feeling adventurous, you make giant ones out of wood or even pool noodles.
  • Plants vs Zombies: Try to PR!

Before you send your guests home, enjoy some brownies together!

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    Comments

    0
    StumpChunkman
    StumpChunkman

    1 year ago

    So many fun games! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!