If Its St.Patrick’s Day…

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If it is St. Patrick’s Day and I am living in Mexico, how do I celebrate? Since my grandparents emigrated from Ireland to the US,  I really am of Irish descent. Today, we celebrated our Irish-Mexican relationship with green tamales!

Green chicken tamal
Green chicken tamal

When we first moved to Baja we rented a little house for about a year before settling where we are now. The area we lived in was about 15 kilometers south of here. That is where we became acquainted with our good friend Aurora, the Tamale Lady. She would come by on a regular basis selling hot, homemade tamales.

After we moved here to Rosarito, we missed seeing her pass by until one day when I was walking through town. I saw her! Right there in the middle of town! After a few hugs and pleasantries, I told her where our new home is. Since then she stops by when she comes to town to see if we “need” some tamales. When we order them she will bring them piping hot, first thing the next morning.

Fortunately for us, she happened by yesterday, so this morning for breakfast we had warm, green chicken tamales (and some red pork ones too). Delicious!

Not to be denied, tonight, for dinner we will be enjoying our traditional corned beef, with carrots and cabbage fresh from our little garden. We also will enjoy my once a year treat, treacle cake with fresh lemon sauce for dessert. The lemon sauce is made from our own Meyer lemons. How I love their special flavor!

Treacle Cake
Treacle Cake

Here’s my recipe for Treacle Cake:


  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3  cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ¾  cup hot water
  • ¾  cp raisins
  • ½  cup butter or shortening, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • about 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


Grease and flour a 9-inch square baking pan or spray with a baking spray. Heat oven to 325°.

Put raisins into a glass measuring cup with the water, and heat in a microwave for 3 minutes. Add butter and leave to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl; beat on low speed of electric mixer until ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase mixer speed to medium; beat for about 3 minutes longer. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar over the top of the cake.

Bake for 35 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cut into squares and serve with lemon sauce.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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