Then Julin led us to a barrio on the edge of town called Santa Cruz Tagolaba, where Julieta Santos Castellano was presiding over a group of her neighbors preparing massive quantities of food for a celebration of the neighborhood's patron saint. Castellano inherited her position as cook-in-chief from her mother, her grandmother, and an unbroken matriarchal line of cooks leading back further than anyone can remember. She massaged the meat of a bull, sacrificed and butchered hours earlier, with a marinade made with guajillo and ancho chiles, canela, avocado leaf, and fistfuls of salt. What looked like a gringo-style potato salad—rich with sour cream and mayonnaise and spiked with plenty of mustard—was cooked in an adobe oven, alongside the cazuelas filled with the massaged and marinated beef, to make the creamy casserole called pure de papas. At least as much effort was expended cooking the foods to feed the cooks: a soupy red mole thickened with ground corn; silky hot chocolate served with tamales; a spicy stew called mondongo made from the bull's offal. The bull's blood they reserved to be used as a hangover cure; having attended the rollicking fiesta later that evening, I'm sure there were many takers the following morning.