d o c t o r a n d m a m a

Linda Shiue

Linda Shiue
San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
December 31
I am a physician and spend my free time with my husband and kids, reading everything in sight, eating, traveling, and cooking meals inspired by my travels. These days I'm spending more time at my food blog, spiceboxtravels.com. Please visit me there and follow me on Twitter @spiceboxtravels. Disclaimer: Health information presented here is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions. © 2010-12 Linda Shiue. All Rights Reserved.

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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 2, 2010 6:16PM

A Photo Tour of San Francisco's Murals on Dia de Los Muertos

Rate: 29 Flag
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue 
It's Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.  This Mexican holiday dates back thousands of years to the Aztecs, who honored a goddess named Mictecacihuatl.  It is believed that during this festival, spirits are able to intermingle with and visit the living. is the time to celebrate and possibly commune with your departed loved ones.  San Francisco's Mission District will be holding its annual Day of the Dead procession tonight at 7PM.  
Garfield Park will be the site for the display of altars which will be created to honor and hopefully attract the spirits of missed loved ones.  These altars are decorated with offerings (ofrendas), which traditionally include marigolds, sugar skulls, photos and memorabilia of the departed, as well as favorite foods and beverages.  
Here is a photo tour of some of the many vibrant murals of Garfield Park and nearby Balmy Alley.   In the tradition of Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera, these murals depict themes ranging from age-old folklore to modern politics.  
Garfield Park by Linda Shiue
Garfield Park by Linda Shiue 
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue 
 Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue 
Balmy Alley by Linda Shiue 
And of course, no celebration is complete without food.  Here is an example of pan de muerto ("bread of the dead"), a sweet egg bread made in various shapes including skulls and skeletons, often decorated with white frosting to look like twisted bones.
Pan de los muertos by Linda Shiue
Calaveras, or sugar molded into the form of skulls, are another traditional treat on Dia de los Muertos.

*     *     * 
I'll leave you with a crunchy snack of spiced pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, perfect for any Day of the Dead celebration.   These make a fantastic snack on their own, as a topping to salads or butternut squash soup, or as an addition to trail mix.  I also used them to top my pumpkin flan
Mexican Chili-Orange Spiced Pepitas
Pepitas by Linda Shiue 
1 cup green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (not toasted), aka pepitas
grated zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to1/4 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
1/4 tsp sugar
dash of ground cinnamon

1.  Toast pumpkin seeds in oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. 
2.  Combine orange zest, sugar, salt and cayenne .
3.  Toss toasted seeds with the spice mixture until evenly coated. 

© 2010 Linda Shiue  

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Wow, those murals are absolutely stunning!

I will try the pumpkin seeds...anything with orange & cayenne is bound to be delicious! Thanks for this post! :)
Beautiful post. The 7th photo down is especially lovely...
mary, clay ball, and themanhattankid-- thanks for taking a look. It was an especially stunning day to view the murals. I've just added a few more photos.
Linda, What a treat! Thanks for this lovely post.
Fascinating! And yummy as usual! Thank you, Linda!
Beautiful murals, and another gorgeous piece, Linda. I always appreciate seeing my favorite city! ~r
Skull scones. My favourite!
Love the mural of Neptune. Thanks for the trip.
Great, thanks for sharing, congrats on the EP!
A day to remember we live among the dead all our lives. How much more adult than imagining--on Halloween--the dead are out to harm us.
Thanks for the eye-opening pictures, Linda.
Linda, thanks for the great photo essay and recipe! The mural that includes the bus has me wondering what is 2D and what is 3D in the photograph. Lots of color and excitement in all of the murals.
Thanks, Linda! This is wonderful!
Great shots of the murals, I especially like the MUNI bus! It's going to be wild in the city tonight, with Dia de los Muertos, the Giants championship, and the elections!
Love your ghosts and your angels!
I love this day - It fascinates me and thrills me
Watch yr I learn more about it and the culture. I am always in awe of the colorful
art and personal expression that goes with it! The treats the spirits for the spirits...so much better than being afraid of a graveyard...
What a way to celebrate your loved ones who have passed....
death is just an invisible line between her and there , not to be feared because much love there for most of us....and all who have died before have done it .....well ! I suppose@!
The pictures are really beautiful ...thanks for sharing
Thank you for the beautiful art, and this reminder about a vibrant and wonderful tradition.
Truly evocative artwork, exactly as it's meant to be. I'd come back if someone painted something like these for me. Nice pepita snacks, I sez again. :) Rated PS hope you saw my pumpkin post.
Amazing pics! I love community murals. They are transformative. The idea that you can make art happen...anywhere.
Nice murals. Here in Turkey pumpkin seeds rule. Will try this soon.
These were beautiful images Linda. I love street art. The toasted pumpkin seeds look yummy, and won't crack teeth like those pretty sugar skulls.
I adore this kind of thing. Thanks so much for the tour!