Each year I celebrate and acknowledge Day of the Dead by setting out an altar (ofrenda) for my relatives and a friend who have passed on. This year was no exception. My ofrenda is a little smaller this time, lacking the traditional marigolds, the sugar skulls, beer and copal. Generally I like to offer: a glass of wine, some rum, assorted chocolates and a bounty of fruit. This year I did what I could offering: water, fruit, bread (in the form of a fig, chevre, fenugreek brioche baked by me that morning), sun flowers and a burning candle. Honored this year were: my maternal grand-parents, maternal great grand-parents, my paternal grand-father and a former co-worker who died too young (in my opinion).

In lieu of marigolds (not to be found at the usual market) I used wild sun flowers from the front yard. They are beautiful but were in desperate need of trimming and served a wonderful purpose at the same time.