At Our Table: Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite excuses to have a party. Though I am as caucasian as can be, I've always had a love for Mexican culture(s), especially after visiting Quintana Roo and the Yucatan peninsula in college. One of my dreams is to spend time living there someday, finally becoming fluent in Spanish, learning to cook authentic dishes, buying up loads of textiles and pottery, and experiencing Cinco de Mayo in Puebla, the site of the Battle of Puebla- the moment in history that Cinco de Mayo celebrates. Until then, I'll enjoy putting together little fiestas whenever I can.

Having a patio for the first time in many years, it seemed the perfect setting for this inspiration shoot. When we have our real Cinco de Mayo party this coming Sunday we'll probably spread out between the house and the patio, since the patio is a bit small.

Not feeling talented enough to make papel picado, I opted for an easier fringed tissue paper banner. Easily made in an evening by folding cut sheets of tissue paper and creating fringe with scissors, simply hang the sections of tissue paper over twine and staple each section in a few spots. You can then hang the banners either by attaching them to walls, or long wooden dowels staked into the ground if your outdoor space doesn't have walls.

I focused on simple, but colorful details- festive cloth napkins, a cacti centerpiece, a Mexican serape used as a runner, and striped straws turned place cards. Serving low key, but delicious, dishes like chips and guacamole (recipe here), carnitas with warm tortillas, and fresh margaritas (recipe here), allows the cook to spend more time celebrating with everyone and keeps the fiesta going into the night.

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year? I hope this has given you inspiration for your own fiesta!