When it looked like the creation of sugar skulls (a tradition honoring Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead — celebrated November 1, All Saints Day, in Mexico among other places) was iminent, I called Kathleen.
I have two gringa friends — tall blonde women who have long been inexplicably obsessed with all things Latin — but one is living in Puerto Rico, so I called the one who lives across town. Kathleen has more sugar skulls in her collection of Latin American art than a Oaxacan cemetery the day after Halloween, and she’s damn crafty (has an entire room at her house devoted to beading) so I figured she’d been around the sugar skull block once or twice.
“No way have I ever made them,” came the quick reply. The subtext: You might have been able to get me to drive to LA to see Crispin Glover’s horrible movie starring people with Down syndrome killing snails (a story for another day) but no, I’m not coming over to help you shove wet sugar into plastic molds.
Normally I would have said screw it, but this damn election has created so much work it’s caused me to miss most of the Halloween/DOTD season, and I’ve always wanted to make sugar skulls. So I forged ahead.
And let me say that it’s amazing how well you can do at a project when you actually read the directions on the back of the package. They’re not perfect, but even Annabelle was impressed when the first skull face slid neatly out of the mold.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow, when it’s time to decorate.