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Monday, March 22, 2010

A Latino Game

We were introduced to a game and decided to share it with our bloggers. It is called Loteria.

Article from:

Lotería is a Mexican game of chance, similar to Bingo, but using images on a deck of cards instead of plain numbers on ping pong balls. Every image has a name and an assigned number, but the number is usually ignored. Each player has at least one tabla, a board with a randomly created 4 x 4 grid of pictures with their corresponding name and number. Each player choose what tabla they want to play with, from a variety of previously created tablas. Each one presents a different selection of images.

Lotería is the Spanish word for lottery. The deck is composed of a set of 54 different images, each one in a card. To start the game, the caller (cantor, or singer) randomly selects a card from the deck and announces it to the players by its name, sometimes using a riddle or humorous patter instead of reading the card name. The players with a matching pictogram on their board mark it off with a chip or other kind of marker (many Mexican families traditionally use small rocks, soda corks or pinto beans as markers). The first player with four chips in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row, squared pattern,any other previously specified pattern, or fills the tabla first shouts "¡Lotería!" (Lottery!) or "¡Buena!" (Good!) and is the winner.

The following is a list of all the original 54 Lotería cards, traditionally and broadly recognized in all of Mexico. Below each card name and number, are the riddles (in Spanish) that are sometimes used to tell the players which card was drawn. However, there are several less traditional set of cards, depicting different objects or animals.

1 El gallo (The Rooster)

El que le cantó a San Pedro no le volverá a cantar.

2 El diablito (The Little Devil)

Pórtate bien cuatito, si no te lleva el coloradito.

3 La dama (The Lady)

Puliendo el paso, por toda la calle real.

4 El catrín (The Gentlemen)

Don Ferruco en la alameda, su bastón quería tirar.

5 El paraguas (The Umbrella)

Para el sol y para el agua.

6 La sirena (The Mermaid)

Con los cantos de sirena, no te vayas a marear.

7 La escalera (The Ladder)

Súbeme paso a pasito, no quieras pegar brinquitos.

8 La botella (The Bottle)

La herramienta del borracho.

9 El barril (The Barrel)

Tanto bebió el albañil, que quedó como barril.

10 El árbol (The Tree)

El que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cobija.

11 El melón (The Melon)

Me lo das o me lo quitas.

12 El valiente (The Brave One)

Por qué le corres cobarde, trayendo tan buen puñal.

13 El gorrito (The Bonnet)

Ponle su gorrito al nene, no se nos vaya a resfriar.

14 La muerte (The Death)

La muerte tilica y flaca.

15 La pera (The Pear)

El que espera, desespera.

16 La bandera (The Flag)

Verde blanco y colorado, la bandera del soldado.

17 El bandolón (The Mandolin)

Tocando su bandolón, está el mariachi Simón.

18 El violoncello (The Cello)

Creciendo se fue hasta el cielo, y como no fue violín, tuvo que ser violoncello.

19 La garza (The Heron)

Al otro lado del río tengo mi banco de arena, donde se sienta mi chata pico de garza morena.

20 El pájaro (The Bird)

Tu me traes a puros brincos, como pájaro en la rama.

21 La mano (The Hand)

La mano de un criminal.

22 La bota (The Boot)

Una bota igual que la otra.

23 La luna (The Moon)

El farol de los enamorados.

24 El cotorro (The Parrot)

Cotorro cotorro saca la pata, y empiézame a platicar.

25 El borracho (The Drunk)

¡Ah, qué borracho tan necio, ya no lo puedo aguantar!

26 El negrito (The Little Black Man)

El que se comió el azúcar.

27 El corazón (The Heart)

No me extrañes corazón, que regreso en el camión.

28 La sandía (The Watermelon)

La barriga que Juan tenía, era empacho de sandía.

29 El tambor (The Drum)

No te arruges, cuero viejo, que te quiero pa'tambor.

30 El camarón (The Shrimp)

Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.

31 Las jaras (The Arrows)

Las jaras del indio Adán, donde pegan, dan.

32 El músico (The Musician)

El músico trompas de hule, ya no me quiere tocar.

33 La araña (The Spider)

Atarántamela a palos, no me la dejes llegar.

34 El soldado (The Soldier)

Uno, dos y tres, el soldado p'al cuartel.

35 La estrella (The Star)

La guía de los marineros.

36 El cazo (The Ladle)

El caso que te hago es poco.

37 El mundo (The World)

Este mundo es una bola, y nosotros un bolón.

38 El apache (The Apache)

¡Ah, Chihuahua! Cuánto apache con pantalón y huarache.

39 El nopal (The Cactus)

Al nopal lo van a ver, nomás cuando tiene tunas.

40 El alacrán (The Scorpion)

El que con la cola pica, le dan una paliza.

41 La rosa (The Rose)

Rosita, Rosaura, ven que te quiero ahora.

42 La calavera (The skull)

Al pasar por el panteón, me encontre un calaverón.

43 La campana (The Bell)

Tú con la campana y yo con tu hermana.

44 El cantarito (The Water Pitcher)

Tanto va el cántaro al agua, que se quiebra y te moja las enaguas.

45 El venado (The Deer)

Saltando va buscando, pero no ve nada.

46 El sol (The Sun)

La cobija de los pobres.

47 La corona (The Crown)

El sombrero de los reyes.

48 La chalupa (The Canoe)

Rema que rema Lupita, sentada en su chalupita.

49 El pino (The Pine)

Fresco y oloroso, en todo tiempo hermoso.

50 El pescado (The Fish)

El que por la boca muere, aunque mudo fuere.
51 La palma (The Palm)
Palmero, sube a la palma y bájame un coco real.

52 La maceta (The Flowerpot)

El que nace pa'maceta, no sale del corredor.

53 El arpa (The Harp)

Arpa vieja de mi suegra, ya no sirves pa'tocar.

54 La rana (The Frog)

Al ver a la verde rana, qué brinco pegó tu hermana.

Latino Food: Not Just Tacos and Burritos

Unfortunately, when people are asked: Give me an example of Latino food, people usually are quick to respond 'Tacos, Burritos, and Nachos.' As a part of our blog, our team has decided to inform the world of the other Latino foods out there! In this post we want to share with our bloggers what Empanadas are.

An empanada is a stuffed bread or pastry. The name comes from the Spanish and Portuguese verb empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.

This dish is really popular in Argentina and in countries in South America.

Sounds great? Well...we have included a recipe!



  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 (17.5 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed


  1. In a saute; pan melt the shortening and add the chopped onions. Cook the onions until just before they begin to turn golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the sweet paprika, hot paprika, crushed red pepper flakes and salt to taste.
  2. Spread the meat on a sieve and pour boiling water on it for partial cooking. Allow meat to cool. Place meat in a dish add salt to taste, cumin and vinegar. Mix and add the meat to the onion mixture. Mix well and place on a flat to dish to cool and harden.
  3. Cut puff pastry dough into 10 round shells. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture on each round; add some of the raisins, olives and hard boiled egg. Avoid reaching the edges of the pastry with the filling because its oiliness will prevent good sealing. Slightly wet the edge of the pastry, fold in two and stick edges together. The shape should resemble that of a half-moon. You should have a 2/3 to 1/2 inch flat edge of pastry to work with. Seal by twisting edge, step by step, between thumb and index finger, making sure to add pressure before releasing the pinch and moving on to the next curl. Other sealing procedures like pinching without curling or using a fork to seal will not prevent juice leaks during baking, and empanadas must be juicy.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place empanadas on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Be sure to prick each empanada with a fork near the curl to allow steam to escape during baking. Glaze with egg for shine and bake until golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.

New Picture!

Pictured above: The LaJu Blog Team hard at work, planning the blog, in the Simon Wiesenthal Center Offices.

What is the definition of a Latino?

The term “Latino” is a versatile one that includes people from both these shores and abroad. It is used with relative acceptance and pervasiveness in Philadelphia, along the East Coast, and among scholars, and has political implications as a label of self-determination. However, the term is not without its critics or problems.

In the United States, people of Latin American backgrounds describe themselves in many ways. These identity categories each have their own origin and differing political, cultural, linguistic, and racial connotations. “Latino” is only one of many equally ambiguous terms used to refer to people of Spanish-speaking and Latin American heritage. Latino, Latino/a, Hispanic, hispano, Latin American, latinoamericano, “Spanish,” “Latin,” and la Raza are among the labels used to identify or self-identify people who share recent or historical origins in the Spanish-speaking, Latin American world.

But even this range of terms does not capture the complexity of the terminology, its usage, or the diversity among the U.S. population that is commonly and most broadly labeled Latino or Hispanic. Nor does it address the ways these labels are imposed upon new arrivals who are themselves only just learning the significance of racial and ethnic terms in the United States. As one immigrant commented, Hispanic is a new word for me, you know? It doesn’t exist in Mexico or in Chile.” According to researchers Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco and Marciela M. Páez, “The very term Latino has meaning only in reference to the U.S. experience. Outside of the United States, we don’t speak of Latinos; we speak of Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and so forth. Latinos are made in the USA.”

These terms often lump people together based on factors such as language, race, or geographical origin, creating the assumption that they all see and experience the world in the same way. But they may not: “Everybody has a different identity. The fact that we are from Latin countries doesn’t mean that we are not different.” People falling under these broad categories may be born in the United States; may be immigrants; may speak Spanish, English or both; may be fair-skinned or dark-skinned; may be professionals or day laborers; may be Catholic, Pentecostal, Mormon, Jewish, or agnostic. They may share characteristics such as religion or class with non-Latinos and be strongly connected with non-Latinos by shared concerns and experiences. For example, suburban Latinos may have more in common with their neighbors than with Latinos who live in an urban environment.

Identity labels are not fixed designations, but are fluid, shifting, and context dependent. This fluidity is what makes “Latino,” “Hispanic,” and other labels confusing and often frustrating for those wanting to use the appropriate term to describe friends, address strangers, or refer to communities and populations. The way individuals and groups use such labels to describe themselves and others varies from one person to another depending on circumstances and situations. For instance, a Philadelphian of Venezuelan descent may consider himself to be “Venezuelan” among his family and during Venezuelan celebrations. On official paperwork, he may check the “Hispanic” box but refer to himself as “Latino” when interacting with a wider population of both Latinos and non-Latinos. When visiting Venezuela, however, he may refer to himself as “Venezuelan American” or just as an “American.”

Even within communities, these terms are not used with absolute consistency and certainty. Oftentimes people have their own preferences based on political perspectives or personal experience. Some people may self-identify very strongly with a particular label. For example, there are Puerto Ricans who identify themselves as “Boricua,” a term taken from “Borinquen,” the indigenous Taino name of the island. “Boricua” alludes to preconquest, precolonial conditions and, by extension, may also symbolize the hope for an independent Puerto Rico. Other Puerto Ricans may prefer to identify as “Puerto Rican” or “Latino.” Others may be ambivalent about the whole thing. People who have recently arrived from Latin America may not be familiar with the identity politics of the United States and may find it arbitrary or difficult to chose a label other than their national or regional identity that suits them. So someone from Colombia may chose to identify as “Colombian” or “South American” rather than “Latino.”

“Latino” and “Hispanic” are the most widely used categorical terms for labeling people of Latin American descent, and both carry the baggage of varied meanings for different people. “Latino” has certain political connotations. Academics, activists, artists, and community workers often prefer this term because it originated within Latin American communities in the United States and refers to the diverse racial and ethnic heritages of Latin America. “Latino” is widely used by individuals in Philadelphia to describe identity, “art and culture,” food, and other aspects related to Puerto Rican and Latin American peoples. Some individuals within and outside of the community do not like the term because they feel it sounds too “ethnic” or because of its association through the media with stereotypes of violence, poverty, crime, drugs, gangs and so forth. Others feel it most accurately represents their identity: “Latino doesn’t deny the Spanish descent, but it includes being indigenous and African.”“Hispanic” is used by some within the community and is roughly analogous to “Latino.” Its widespread acceptance by many U.S. government agencies in the 1970s and 1980s and connotation of Spanish heritage makes it preferred by some and rejected by others. One community member comments, “I’d rather hear Latino or Latina than Hispanic.” Both “Latino” and “Hispanic” carry political and ethnic suggestions that are appealing for different reasons. Though identity terms such as these may refer to the same population, their usage may reflect the philosophical attitudes of the speaker. In short, these terms can all be appropriate depending on the context and the position of the speaker.

Even though people do not agree on how to identify the at-large Latino community, Latinos often do communicate a strong sense of cultural unity. In Philadelphia, there seems to be broad-based solidarity among Latinos when talking about themselves as a population within the city. Some people cite cultural attachments, others political attachments, and others linguistic attachments. When reflecting on Latino unity, many people often comment, “Creo que somos eguales,” or “I think we are the same.” Though these individuals are aware of different cultural backgrounds, they perceive some sameness in conditions, history, culture, and language. These commonalities profoundly bind Latinos, particularly in the setting of distinct urban and suburban landscapes. People espousing this sense of solidarity use the terms Latino, hispano, Hispanic, latinoamericano, and “Spanish” to unite a larger group of people living in this city.

These broad and ambiguous pan-ethnic terms can mask distinctions that people are proud of and that play a role in their ethnic or national identity -- just as “European” does not identify one as Italian, Irish, German, Russian, or Greek. As one community member observes, Latino is too general a concept because everybody’s a Latino. I don’t know exactly how or why they use that terminology because coming from Latin American countries, you are either Venezolano, Mexicano, Argentino, Cubano. I don’t like the expression as much.” But this generalization can have a useful aspect, allowing room for diverse personal histories and experiences and enabling larger advocacy efforts. Others use these terms more loosely or strategically, acknowledging their multiple Latino heritages: “I’m Venezuelan, but I’m half Dominican, and I love Puerto Rico. I’m Latina.” Others acknowledge the hybrid nature of Latino culture historically: “Being Latino means that you recognize all the cultures that live in you.”


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Basic Challah

2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water plus 1/2 cup for yeast mixture
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for yeast mixture
6 cups of flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup oil
5 large eggs

Dissolve yeast in 1 teaspoon and 1/2 cup warm water. Let stand until bubbly.
Sift together the flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. add 1 cup of warm water, oil, 4 eggs, and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead until firm and very smooth, either by hand or in a food processor.

Place dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Punch down and let stand for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough in half Make three stands out of each half and braid two loaves. Place loaves on greased baking sheets. Cover and let stand until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Make an egg wash with the remaining egg and water. Brush the tops and sides of the challahs with the wash. Bake in preheated 375 degree over for 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Makes two loaves.

Chicken Soup

5 lbs of chicken in large 12 quart pot
4 onions
6 carrots
2 leeks
2 parsnips
2 turnips

Cover all with water and cook for 3 hours (until you get a clear to yellow broth)


6 potatoes- peeled and cut into chunks
1 big onion
Cup of Barley
Beef Cube/ Bouillon
2 strips of cut short ribs
White and red beans (or substitute with barley)
Can of tomato sauce
Squeeze of honey
Onion Powder
[if want to spice it up, add chili or other additions!]

Place all in crockpot, cover with water, and cook 22 to 24 hours at low!

Morracan Gefilte

1 frozen gefilte fish loaf


3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1/4 - 12 cup chopped cilantro or to taste

Pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)

1/2 1 cup water, depending on preferred consistency

Serves - 10

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer about 20 minutes. Unwrap fish and place in loaf pan. Pour sauce over fish and seal with foil. Bake 1 1/2 - 2 hours, until fish is done. Slice loaf, spooning sauce on each piece.