Sunday, August 21, 2011

Peru crafts: Festival masks

For this activity, we invited some of our amigos to join us for three times the fun! And lucky for us, one of my amigas comes from Peru. She suggested this activity and nourished us with a unique Peruvian dessert made with lucuma.

We made festival masks, especially prominent in festivals celebrated in the Andes like The Festival of the Virgin of Carmen. We took a cue from this article in one of my favorite new resources InCultureParent, a magazine for raising little global citizens.

And the kids took inspiration from this youtube video, filled with festival and mask photos. They loved watching it after they finished their masks.

  • white stiff felt
  • paints
  • decorations: pipe cleaners, bells, ribbons, fabric scraps, colored cotton balls
  • craft glue
  • string for tie
Step One: Cut out mask. I just used a random shape and checked to see where The Whirl Girl's eyes would fall. Then I used a whole punch to make small holes for the kids to thread pipe cleaners and ribbons through. (I did it before we started).

Step Two: Paint the masks.

Step Three: Decorate the masks. The kids picked from the basket and we helped a bit with the glue.

The Whirl Girl's mask
We worked up an appetite with all this crafting. Our friend brought a Peruvian specialty: lucuma (pronounced loo-coo-ma) mousse. Lucuma is a tropical, yellow-orange fruit found in the Andes. It's a popular flavoring for ice cream and has a butterscotch-like flavor. Just like its Andean-friend quinoa, it has become popular among raw foodies.
lucuma mousse

Here's the recipe, in case you come across some lucuma and don't know what to do with it.

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 8 yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 medium lucumas, peeled and blended (or the equivalente in dehydrated lucuma)
  • 1/2 cup of port wine
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar (for the syrup)
  • Powdered cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla


If you’re using dehydrated lucuma, prepare it according to the equivalence.

Beat the yolks until they get creamy and have a clear yellow. Keep back.

Pour the condensed millk with the sugar in a medium pot and cook, stiring constantly until it gets thick. Add the lucuma and continue stiring until you can see the pot’s bottom. Remove from the flame and add the beaten yolks, stiring fastly. Return to cook on a low flame for 5 minutes more and add the vanilla. This mix must not boil.

Pour in a glass.

Let’s do the syrup: Put the sugar for the syrup and the port wine in a pot. Boil.

Beat the whites to form peaks. While you’re beating, pour the syrup to the whites. Beat until the meringue gets tupid.

Using a spoon and a fork, put the meringue covering the lucuma cream. Sprinkle the powdered cinnamon over the meringue.

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