Friday, December 31, 2010

MESTIZO-MAYA NEW YEARS DINNER

Fire Hearth
Belizean Relleno

Relleno is a traditional dish in Belize and is a favorite among Maya-Mestizo Belizeans. It is related to the Chimole, but is a completely different dish. It is usually prepared and served on special holidays, such as New Years day, and special occasions like birthdays, graduations, quinceanos, and baptism. However, for many in Belize, it is a traditional New Years dinner.


Relleno and Chimole derive their distinctive black color from the paste-like seasoning used in its preparation.  This Relleno is cooked with special spices, onions, peppers, chicken, and ground pork or beef into a soupy consistency.  It is then eaten with homemade corn tortillas. Relleno is usually served in restaurants daily, or on special menu days.

Although it’s is a bit time-consuming to prepare, it’s worth the wait.  Your mouth will be exploding with the tasty and spicy flavors, and as you will see, its pretty impressive looking too. Just take a look at the pictures below and you’ll see what I mean.

Wishing you a Heartfelt, Healthy, and Tasty food-filled 2011!!


INGREDIENTS:

2 whole chicken
6 chicken consomme
8 beef consomme
1 pk black pepper
1 pk garlic ( 3 heads garlic)
2 pounds onion
1 lb sweet pepper
4 lbs ground beef or pork
2 1/2 trays eggs ( 75 eggs)
5 lbs corn tortilla
6 packets black recado
Boil one dozen eggs
Dice garlic, onion, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
Add ¾ of this mixture to ground meat, adding black pepper and beef consommé. Mix well!
Mix in 4 balls of black recado one at a time
Break the remaining eggs in a bowl and lightly separate the yolks
Add eggs to ground meat mixture and stir continuing to break the yolks. Mix well!
This cooked mixture of ground meat, eggs and seasoning is called the Relleno or filling. It’s also called picadillo and is used as a filling in tacos.

The cleaned chicken is prepared for the relleno by sewing closed the opening at the neck and set aside.
Half of the boiled eggs’ yolk are removed and the white chopped finely, the other half of the eggs are sliced.
The finely chopped eggs white is added to hot relleno mixture and mixed well.

The chicken is then stuffed starting with the yolks and sliced eggs followed by the relleno and sown shut.
The remaining is packed into a bag made especially for this purpose or some other such device.

Now, time for the Chimole.
The remaining garlic, onion, tomato and pepper mixture along with the two remaining balls of black recado are blended together adding water.
This blended mixture is strained and then the liquid part is added to a large pot with oil.
To this is added the chicken and the relleno and allowed to cook until done approximately 45 minutes
Meal is served with hot corn tortillas usually hand made at the same time.


 
Prepared by Becky's Kitchen by Yuri Herrera and Mrs Laura Herrera.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR-2011


NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTIES IN BELIZE

We all want to know Where and When of all the parties in Belize. I know y'all will be having some fantastic parties to ring in the New Year 2011!! 



Oh where, oh where, are all the New Year's eve parties and how can we find them? Send in your flyers to add to this post.
This smack down is in Orange Walk Town!!!!
Sensational New Year's Eve Bash-Dip Me Ovah....!!
New Year's Shinding
BowenBZ VIP Bash
Hottest New Year's Eve Paaty!!

New Years Eve French Kiss!!! @ Palm Island - Movements - Tagg - Evolution & More!!! Ladies Free B4 11 & Drink Free Tequila, Baileys, P Rippers, Rum & Coke, & Vodka & Cranberry All Night, Men Get A Free Shot Of Black. Party Favors & A Surprize In The Cage Til 6am!!!
ROOTS ROCK REGGAE THIS SUNDAY @ MCC TENNIS COURT...4PM - MIDNITE
Dash out the Old and Bang in the New-Corozal Bay Inn!
Happy New Year-Make This A New Year You Won't Forget


Saturday, December 25, 2010

CHRISTMAS IN ISRAEL

Christmas in Israel is, well, no Christmas at all unless you visit the Christian Quarter of Jerusalem, or Bethlehem in the West Bank. After the first intifada (uprising) in 1999, I was in Manger Square, the birthplace of Jesus in Bethlehem and the only foreigners around were me and my children. You virtually had to go out of your way to see some signs of Christmas-not even Christmas songs on the radio. I have always wondered, if 2 percent of the population are Christians, why don't they make Christmas more visible for the Christian tourist that are visiting this time of the year? 

I actually think Christians in Israel should try to do some celebrations to make foreign Christian visitors feel the spirit of Christmas. In the US many shopping malls and public squares do a Hanukkah Menorah lighting, so why don't Christians have more visibility in public places in Israel?

Today I heard a report on BBC World that Manger Square was packed with tourists; first time in ten years. I thought I'd take a few minutes to show you some of the famous churches in the Holy Land for those of you that have never been to Israel.

© RomKri                           Entrance to the Christian Quarter in Jerusalem


© Gennadi Zimmerman                       Church of the Holy Sephulcher
This historic church shelters the holiest site in the Christian faith: the tomb where Christ was buried and rose from the dead. It is shared by several Christian denominations.



© RomKri    Church of the Redeemer
The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer is the only Protestant church in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was commissioned by Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, who was given the site by the Turkish Sultan upon his visit to Jerusalem.in 1869.

© RomKri                               Notre Dame Pilgrim Center of Jerusalem


Dating back to 1885 when its cornerstone was first laid, the building was heavily damaged during Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, rendering it partially uninhabitable. For years it served as an Israeli guard post but in 1972 was restored to its original status and the chapel rededicated to public worship in 1978. The mission entrusted to it by Pope John Paul II: “Dedicated to Our Lady of Jerusalem, Queen of Peace… as a place of fruitful spiritual development.”
© RomKri                                         Church of the Pater Noster
Built on the place where tradition says Jesus instructed his disciples in prayer. The walls of this convent church are inscribed with the Lord’s Prayer in 44 languages.

© pmos_nmos               Church of All Nations
Built in 1924 and funded by several nations, this church stands over the site where tradition has it that Jesus prayed on the night of his betrayal.

Information about Jerusalem’s churches comes from http://israelity.com/  and from the Sacred Destinations website. All photos courtesy of Jerusalem Shots where there are hundreds more to enjoy.

Friday, December 24, 2010

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

A big "Thank You" to each and everyone of you for the huge impact you had on Village View Post as we get ready to close off the year 2010. 

I am amazed and proud of the year I have had blogging on Village View Post for 2010. I plan on keeping the momentum strong for 2011. That's quite a huge task, but with you here on the journey with me it will be a lot of fun. 

Your readership and comments mean a lot to me, and I must tell you that you and my community are the reason that I have been able to write this blog for the last two years. I can't thank you enough for all your love and support.

Thanks for reading and I wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

OLD TYME CHRISTMAS IN CROOKED TREE VILLAGE

Traditional Christmas celebrations in the country of Belize follow ethnic, cultural and religious customs handed down from one generation to another. In Crooked Tree Village, Christmas is one of the most celebrated events of the year. This is the time that villagers prepare for all year long; the time that small farmers or plantation owners reap their harvest, which afford them money to assist in meeting family needs such as, buying toys, new clothes and shoes for their children; as well as family feast open to whosoever will. No one is turned away from having a plate of food or something to drink, regardless of their background or dubious reputation. It’s all about celebrating, giving and overall merry-making.
 The preparation begins in early December when most villagers would select a pig for slaughter. This pig would be confined to a pen, where it would be fattened up and eventually slaughtered early Christmas Eve morning. My father, like most men in the village, slaughtered the pig himself.  Using a dagger he penetrates the pig’s heart, pours boiling water over it making it easier to scrape off the pig’s hair, guts it, cuts it up and prepares it for cooking. If the pig was fat enough, the pig’s skin and fatty parts would be fried into chicharron (Chicharrón is a dish made of fried pork rinds).  Next, the intestines would be cleaned and stuffed with chunks of fat and blood, seasoned to perfection, and made into Murcia and/or sausages, and the hind quarters is smoked and prepared as ham.

The role of the men also includes the yearly Christmas pilgrimage to Belize City mainly to sell their produce and livestock (pigs, cows or chicken), and whatever else they have that is marketable.  The monies obtained from the sale of these goods assist in buying much needed groceries, the ever present stock of hard liquor for Christmas day guests, the twenty-five to fifty pints of soft drink of assorted flavors, and a few apples and grapes that is mainly meant as a rare treat for the children to have along with the homemade lite-cake (pound cake) and black fruit cake made especially for this occasion. After the slaughter on Christmas Eve morning, the men would then dress in their best attire and be ready to visit or be visited by friends as a way to kick off the seasons celebrations.
A house and kitchen. Forty years ago cooking was done in a separate structure. 
This is a house for sleeping, the kitchen is off to the right.
House and kitchen
Example of newspapers and magazines pasted to the wall.
As is customary, the women’s role is to do all the house-hold chores.  This includes the traditional Christmas cleaning routine of scrubbing the house from top to bottom, sewing new curtains for all the windows, installing new linoleum on the floors. In addition their duties include, sewing new clothes for the children, cooking and serving the traditional Christmas dinner, baking Creole bread and the “white” lite-cake and “black” fruit cake, and extensive kitchen and yard cleaning in preparation for the host of expected visitors. Since the homes were constructed of mostly wooden slats that were not suitable for painting, the women would also mix a pasty flour concoction to glue pages and pages taken from old magazines and newspapers to the interior walls.  This helps in insulate the inside walls of the home, which keeps out the cold winter winds, and improves the general appearance of the home. The children were also tasked with the job of washing the glass pint-bottles for the required exchange at the lemonade factory in the city.

Typical kitchens 40 years ago in Crooked Tree Village
Cleaning the yard
While the women were left to prepare the Christmas dishes, which includes the traditional rice and beans, potato salad and fried ripe plantain to go along with the fresh pork meat.  The men would visit from house to house drinking and feasting for days, stopping off briefly at one another’s home to sample the cooking and to drink some more. This is the time when anybody who could play a musical instrument or hit a musical note would join in the serenade to entertain the different households. The musical instruments would range from the old fashioned box guitars, an older man-sized wooden string base, banjoes, clarinets, saxophones, accordions, mouth organs, blowing paper through the teeth of a comb, flutes, home made shakers made from pebbles rattling inside a dried-out gourd, kitchen forks rubbing or scraping against a home-made grater or hitting in rhythm on a pint bottle. It was a festive time and was all about merry-making. It was also the time when one could learn a lot from loose lips, when the village men would talk and joke about any and everything. The women would pick up on juicy tips from secretly eavesdropping during these sessions and find out what they would never have found out otherwise. It was not unusual for some men to fall asleep and be left behind to sober up at a friend’s home and rejoin the crowd later. There were also occasional drunken brawls that were joked about long after the Christmas season has ended.
The Churches were also active at Christmas time. They organize their congregations into “Caroling Groups” to visit homes in the night time and singing Christmas Carols. The young men had different ideas though. They would gather among themselves, drink some of that hard stuff and plan their strategy to sneak up on homes with their favorite young ladies and serenade them into the very early morning hours. You would be in your bed in the early morning, when suddenly a mariachi-style serenade would wake you up to the sweet singing of a couple Christmas Carols, then everything goes silent again as the serenade move on to the next house. This is the time when guys too bashful and shy to approach the girls they fancy in the daylight hours, sang their hearts out in the dead of night. Unfortunately, this personal, lively and rich tradition has dissipated over the years due to the advent of modern electronics in the music industry. 
Children at church in the late 1970's

By Winfield Tillett

ARTICLE OF INTEREST: TOM BROKAW AND BELIZE ON THE OUTDOOR CHANNEL


Belize will be featured on the Buccaneers and Bones TV series on the Outdoor Channel in January featuring anglers such as Tom Brokaw from NBC, and actor Michael Keaton and other celebrities. The television series will be narrated by Brokaw and will explore the wonders of Belize’s world-class bone fishing through the eyes of this all-star cast who have devoted a significant part of their lives to conservation causes.

The program will unveil some of the latest research in game fishing, which will both help anglers catch more fish and better save the fragile coastal habitats.  Viewers will be encouraged to do their part to preserve these tropical species so that future generations can experience all that great game fish have to offer.

The show will consist of seven episodes and will premiere in January. Listings for time and dates are available on the Outdoor Channel’s website. The Outdoor Channel’s promotional writeup on the upcoming shows says “See what happens when a legendary anchor, famous actor, television star, acclaimed author, visionary industry leader, Bonefish & Tarpon Trust board member and the co-founder of Reel Women all share an island for one week. Tom Brokaw, Michael Keaton, Yvon Chouinard, Thomas McGuane, Zach Gilford, Bill Klyn and Lori-Ann Murphy cast off from San Pedro Island in Belize in pursuit of 3 legendary species: bonefish, tarpon and permit.”

Via Belize.com:  M.A. Romero is a Belize based writer and photojournalist and Managing Director of Belize.com Ltd. The company's main web site is at www.belize.com. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

Christmas, a Time of Hope!
Luke 2:1-20
The Reverend Dr. Elmer L. Gillett
The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, because of the magnitude   and meaning of Christmas which I have embraced. It signals for me a time of expectancy and hope in spite of what may have happened all year. It signals a fresh start from the mundane and from the difficult and seemingly impossibilities that I have encountered all year. In spite of my past, Christmas infuses an energy of resiliency to dream again and see the possibilities. The spirit of Christmas pulsates hope, because the message of Christmas is that God has come to live with His people in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.

 However, for many Christmas can become a very difficult time of the year. It can be especially difficult to cope with a Christmas depression because everyone else seems so joyous, so reaching out feels more awkward and more remote. We don’t want to bring down those around us, we don’t want to feel “different” or alienate ourselves, and we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves either. We tend to disassociate ourselves from our own feelings and ask ourselves self defeating questions. We wonder what’s wrong with us and why we can’t just jump right on into the holiday cheer. This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year and yet we can barely drag ourselves out of bed and become functional human beings. There is a sense of gloom and despair and we are unable to function adequately.

The people before Jesus came were also experiencing gloom and despair.  The Bible says that they were walking in darkness and in the shadow of death. The prophets had declared that a Messiah was coming into the world to deliver God’s people from hopelessness and despair. The moral decadence of the community had gotten so bad that all the prophets’ voices were silent, and for 400 years there was not a prophetic voice in the nation of Israel. There was silence and no one heard the voice of the Lord. They were still conducting services to God in the temple, but they were not hearing from God.  After 400 years of silence, God sends the Angel Gabriel to announce good news to the people.

Israel was spiritually bankrupt. It was a time of external religiosity. Like much of America today, Israel was caught up with materialism, with human good deeds, and with ritual. There was a form of godliness, but they denied the power thereof. They were practical atheists—living as though God were dead or as though He were non-existent.

And so, it was into these conditions that Christ was born to deliver us from religion, from human philosophy, from materialism—indeed from sin and from all its forms.

Spiritually speaking, those days were really no different from these days. So, what does the birth of Jesus Christ mean to us? This birth—God revealed in the flesh—is the secret to godliness, the secret to happiness and inner stability and peace. But only those who will seek to know and apply what the meaning of Christ’s birth, life and work really means to them, can know the salvation Christ offers.

I have heard that at this season of the year there are more suicides, more nervous breakdowns, emotional disorders and depression than at any other time during the year. Why is this? First, because people have no room or time for Jesus Christ; the source of peace. The spirit of Christmas (from the world’s point of view) crowds out the truth of Christ. Another reason is the problem of man’s substitutes. In place of Jesus Christ men are substituting the tinsel and glitter of the world, the details of life, and they expect these “trimmings” of the holiday season to make them happy. But they can never bring true, lasting happiness. Thus, depression sets in and emotional disorders result.

What a paradox! Christ came to give peace, yet men during this holiday season have less time for Him than at any other time of the year. Why? Because they have “no room” for the Savior who came to give them His peace and life!

I would like for you to meditate with me on the announcement of the angel to the shepherds in Bethlehem. In the darkness of night, the angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to some unexpected shepherds. They were terrified, and rightly so, for this was a sudden appearance of a supernatural figure. The angel suddenly appeared out of the darkness of the night. Around him shone the radiance of glory. The glory of the Lord shone round about the shepherds.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)

Thus the birth of God's long-awaited redeemer was introduced to a darkened, weary, and exhausted world. History tells us that the time of our Lord's birth was indeed a time of weariness and widespread despair among men and among the nations of the earth.

It is striking that the human emotion that was first encountered by the angelic messenger was that of fear. Men were afraid in that day. They were afraid of many things, as they are today. There was Herod the Great on the throne. Herod was cruel, and was able to accomplish his wrath upon whoever was the object of his disfavor. He had personally put to death many, even in his own family, because they disapprove his behavior. Also there were the Romans, too, with their proud legions, marching up and down across the face of the earth, holding everything in a severe and iron bondage. Many wars broke out and the economy was uncertain. The people were afraid.

Yet the first word of the angel to those shepherds in the field was "Fear not. Be not afraid."
Every Christmas season we remind each other that it is not enough for Christ to have been born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. What really counts is Christ being born in the human heart. Your Bethlehem is when Christ comes to you and is born in your heart. Therefore, to us, the angel stands to make his welcome announcement.

Did you ever wonder why we are not to fear? The reason, of course, is that a Savior has been presented -- a Deliverer, a rescuer, one who is adequate to free us from any threat and danger in any situation. That is why the shepherds were told not to be afraid. It did not make any difference what Herod or the Romans would do, there is a Deliverer, a Savior among them. A Redeemer had come who would change the situation and use it for His own glory and bring them through. Therefore the announcement of the angel was "Be not afraid."

I do not have to be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there.

You may be experiencing the most heart wrenching time your life. Christmas is especially painful for those who have lost loved ones. That person that you treasured has been taken from you and there is a void in your life. You may have gone through a painful divorce. You may have been diagnosed with cancer or some terrible disease. You may have experienced financial crisis in your family and you don’t know how the bills will be paid. Whatever you may be going through; Messiah has come to give you hope and healing.

No matter what the trial may be, the promise of this verse is that we have a Savior, a Deliverer, especially designed to handle that problem; a Savior who is with us always. If we remember that, and look to Him, He will take us through the difficult times in our lives. He will strengthen us to face it and will give us courage and peace and joy in the midst of it. Therefore the promise of the angel was, "Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord."

The angel said to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." We take Him as Savior from sins or we do not take him at all.

That was the entire reason the Lord Jesus came into this world – so that He could save us!  The Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world in Bethlehem, died on a cruel Roman Cross at Calvary in order to pay the punishment for the sins that we deserved.  Jesus was without sin.  He was the Son of God and as God, He could not sin.  However, God loved sinners so much that He punished His Son in order to pay the price for our sin. 

The Lord Jesus Christ is the One who is able to save you today!

But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Father, in the Name of your Son Jesus Christ, I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I repent and renounce my sins and I receive the free gift of Eternal Life. I am sorry I sinned against you. I give you permission to come into my heart and be my Savior.

This is what Christmas must mean to us. And all the days of the year that lie ahead are to be met by the fact that we have in our midst and in our hearts, if we have come to know Him, a Savior, a Deliverer, a Rescuer, Christ the Lord. All authority has been given unto him, in heaven and on earth. No event and no circumstance can come into our lives that will be more than He can handle, more than He can take us through. 

Embrace the spirit of Christmas by inviting Christ into your life.


Friday, December 17, 2010

THE INTERVIEW


Getting to know…..C. L. “Lindy” Hulse

This is a new segment that we will be doing here on Village View Post. "The Interview" will be with ordinary Belizeans that have achieved extraordinary things at home and abroad in an effort to make our community and the world a better place. Today we celebrate the contributions of Clarence L. Hulse to the United States of America and to Belize. We hope to motivate others to follow in service to humanity.

Q: Where are you from or where were you born?

A: Born in San Ignacio, Cayo-teenage years in Maskall Village, Belize District

Q: What made you leave Belize?

A: Opportunity to further my education at university level.

Q: What was your childhood like growing up in Belize?

A: Great memories, hunting, fishing, playing soccer and family gatherings

Q: Did you go to high school in Belize?

A: Yes-Kings College, Belize District

Q: What is your most memorable moment in high school?

A: Playing the role of Robin Hood in musical production.

Q: Can you tell me about your career journey in America?

A: Very rewarding personally and professionally-able to achieve most of my goals to
date and always seeking new challenges-have held a number of senior management
positions managing millions of dollars, large staff and complex projects.

Q: What about your family, are they still in Belize?

A: Parents and some siblings still in Belize and other siblings and family scattered in
USA/Europe/Caribbean.

Q: What is your proudest professional accomplishment?

A: Winner of 1999 National Economic Development Award-Outstanding New
Developer of the Year for creating 15,000 new jobs over 5 years.

Q: What do you do for fun there in Jeffersonville, Indiana?

A: Golf, reading, live music events, opera and theater, travel

Q: List a principle you live by?

A: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Q: If you could describe yourself at most in three sentences, how would you go about
doing so?

A: A go-getter and very persistent in accomplishing goals and objectives…
Able to use the art of diplomacy and comprise to move an agenda forward…
Passionate about living life and my causes…

Q: What other things about you that we don’t know about?

A: Proud divorced father of two teenage children whom I try to see at every available
opportunity as we live in different states. Enjoying them and watching them grow up to be productive members of society.

Clarence L. Hulse is currently the Director of Economic Development for the City
of Jeffersonville Indiana and has an extensive background in community economic
development, planning and real estate development. In the past, he has held senior
management positions in the public and private sectors and oversaw numerous multi-
million dollar projects. He is hoping to return to the “Jewel” and be an asset to its future development.


To learn more about Mr. Hulse please click here: http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/print-edition/2010/11/19/jeffersonvilles-clarence-hulse-wants.html