On a recent trip to Puebla, I paid a visit to a storefront mill called a molino. There I met Luz Maria Leonor Gonzalez, a lively mother of eight grown children who told me to call her Doña Luchita. It was Mother's Day, an occasion fit for mole poblano. The spicy-sweet, sienna-colored sauce is the preeminent holiday dish in this small colonial city 85 miles southeast of Mexico City. Housewives were lined up with buckets of ingredients they had prepared to be crushed to a paste. Through the rotary grinders went mulato, pasilla, and ancho chiles; spices like anise and coriander; sesame seeds, almonds, and peanuts; burnt tortillas, stale bread, even animal crackers, for thickening; and, for sweetness, brown sugar, raisins, chocolate, and ripe plantains.