The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Mexican Fiesta

 A Mexican Fiesta will certainly bring some spice to your rushing plans. This simple party plan will have your prospective members shouting olé! By using these suggestions or adapting them to suit your needs, you'll have your guests leaving with many happy memories of Old Mexico and ... BETA SIGMA PHI !

Mexican Fiesta

 Included with this idea are outlines that are good for both invitations and nametags. Besides using sombreros or tacos, you could use small Mexican flags - check party stores for miniature flags, an encyclopedia, the Internet, or an almanac. Any of these would make wonderful invitations or nametags, especially if you spice them up with some glitter or beads!

 Anything to give the party the atmosphere of Mexico will do . . . Mexican pottery, colorful crepe paper streamers (red, white and green are the colors in the Mexican flag), piñatas, baskets, serapes, and musical instruments like maracas, castanets, or even acoustic guitars. Decorations that are bright and colorful will ensure a festive mood! Try filling straw hats with zinnia blossoms (or paper flowers - see below.)

Mexican Fiesta

 Fill a brightly colored basket for each guest with mementos representing the Sisterhood of Beta Sigma Phi. Or you could make large tissue paper flowers for your prospective members. To make one flower, use 2 full sheets of colored tissue paper. Gather each piece by hand through the center accordion-fashion. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center section of the two accordion pieces and twist tightly to secure. Fluff out the ends to resemble a flower.

 Another way to make brightly colored flowers to go with your Mexican theme is to use colored paper napkins. Fold out and lay 3 paper napkins (all the same color or use 3 different colors) one on top of another. Trim ridged edges with wavy cut. Accordion-fold napkins; tie with twist tie, pipe cleaner or lightweight wire. Carefully separate napkins and shape into festive looking flowers.

 Crepe paper works very well, too.

  1. Cut 6" of crepe paper across a whole package for petals.
  2. Cut another 2" strip for the center using a contrasting color.
  3. Gather and flute smaller paper, hooking it through an end of the wire which you have bent down (to look like a curved hook).
  4. Unfold petal paper and shape petals by fluting edges and by stretching center of each petal. Continue with step 3 process.
  5. Wrap bottom petal paper edge around wire, gathering it as you turn.
  6. Finish it with florist's tape beneath.
  7. Place in clay pot with loose, crumpled newspaper inside. (Newspaper will allow each flower to stand on its own.)

 An easy and theme-perfect favor per guest: cacti in miniature ceramic or clay pots are inexpensive and tremendously effective.

 An easy way to feed your new amigos is to have a Taco Bar. Have each member of your chapter bring a different ingredient. Be sure to have: seasoned hamburger, taco shells, lettuce, shredded cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, taco sauce (both hot and mild). Add anything else you think your guests would enjoy! For beverages, try Margaritas (with or without Tequila), or ice-cold lemonade.

Mexican Fiesta

 Some fun, and easy games include: Pin the Tail on the donkey, throwing cards into a sombrero, and guess the number of pinto beans in a jar. Another game that is a must at any fiesta is the traditional piñata game - blindfold guests one at a time and let them try to break a hanging piñata with a broom handle. Seeing each other valiantly swing at the treasure-filled (candy is traditional, but you could use small party favors) piñata will bring lots of laughter and good times for all.

Mexican Fiesta
How to make an easy piñata

You'll need:
 Newspaper, torn into strips
 Large balloon, or a frame made from chicken wire

 Combine just enough water with the flour to make a medium paste. Dip strips of newspaper into paste, and put many layers of soaked newspaper over the blown-up balloon or frame, leaving a hole to be able to fill the piñata with candy. When dry, either paint and shellac or glue on strips of fringed tissue paper, or crepe paper. Now you are ready to hang the piñata and enjoy the fun!

Menu idea

 Arroz Con-Polla (Chicken a la Mexicana)
Rice, Mexican style
Green beans, Mexican style
Guacamole Salad (Avocados a la Mexicana)
Dulce Cocada (Baked Custard flavored with wine)

Mexican Fiesta

 For background music, consider guitars or mandolins or ask someone you know who plays an accordion to stroll during dinner. Other options are CD's with selections from Carmen, and any Spanish or Mexican pop favorites.

 Another fun idea: have two groups of four costumed members doing the Mexican hat dance! J

 If you are planning to wear costumes, ideas include: peasant blouses, colorful skirts, black 'toreador pants' paired with a long-sleeved white blouse, bright cummerbunds, tambourine hat (flat straw hat decorated with ball fringe).

 Manana, the Mexicans say-tomorrow! That's a good day, but today is the day to plan the fiesta. Party preparations never will be more fun, nor will the bright entertainment itself be surpassed for enjoyment and color!

Recipes for your Mexican Fiesta

Arroz Con-Polla (serves 24)

Mexican Fiesta
Chickens (8 chicken breasts cut into 6 pieces each)
Salt to taste
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
8 medium onions, chopped
12 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 ½ Tablespoons sweet paprika
4 lb. Rice
1 ½ gallons chicken broth
1 ½ lb. English peas
¼ cup liquid saffron
½ cup chopped parsley
8 green peppers, chopped
4 (No. 2 cans) pimento, diced

Brown chicken breasts in shortening or oil until done. Mix in garlic and onions until they are brown. Add tomatoes and paprika. Cook rice in chicken broth. Add peas and saffron. Simmer 45 minutes. Add half of peppers, parsley, and pimento. Garnish servings with the remaining.

Guacamole Salad (40 servings)

5 lbs. 8 oz. avocados, peeled and mashed
4 oz. onions, finely chopped
Dash of hot sauce (Tabasco)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup lemon juice
1 lb. 4 oz. lettuce, shredded
3 lbs. 8 oz. tomato wedges
Mexican Fiesta

Mix first 6 ingredients. Place shredded lettuce on salad plate. Put amount of salad desired on each plate. Garnish with tomato wedges.

Alternate choice for entré: Mexican Chicken (serves 50)

2 quarts diced cooked chicken
2 quarts cream style corn
1 quart grated American cheese
2 quarts bread crumbs
2 quarts tomatoes and juice
3 tablespoons salt

Mix all ingredients except 2 cups of crumbs. Place in baking pan. Butter remaining crumbs and sprinkle on top. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.

Mexican Fiesta

A south-of-the-border skit to explain Beta Sigma Phi!

The three characters are: Chiquita (chick-KEE-tah), Bonita (boh-NEE-tah), and Fajita (fah-HEE-tah). Music is very important to this presentation - use mariachi band music or your favorite south-of-the-border music as background to the skit.

The members should affect Mexican accents for the skit. Costumes for each character should be identical, if possible, and Mexican in style - full skirts, off-the-shoulder frilly blouses or peasant blouses, sandals, and flowers in the hair. If you have sombreros, you might want to wear embroidered skirts and pants instead. Use whatever you have at hand, and have fun with it! This is Beta Sigma Phi and among the many things we do best is have fun!!!! J

CHIQUITA: Hola amigos! (OH-lah, ah-MEE-gahs) for coming to this gathering, we three say GRACIAS!!! (GRAH-cee-ahs)

CHIQUITA: We are so glad you could be part of our friendship fiesta. Of course, Beta Sigma Phi is more than a party, we are a seesterhood. A very beeg support group for senoras (sehn-YOR-ahs) and senoritas (sehn-yor-EE-tahs)! The name of Beta Sigma Phi was chosen for our organization because the three Greek words which mean life, learning and friendship - our motto - begin with the letters Beta, Sigma and Phi. Of course, we think they really stand for 3 Mexican words - burritos (bur-ree-tohs), sombreros (sahm-BREH-rohs), and piñatas (pin-YAH-tahs)! But that ees another story!

BONITA: Sí! Sí! I think Beta Sigma Phi is just like my name, BONITA - beautiful! Beta Sigma Phi is something that helps you lead a full, reech life. It is something you can do just for you! Most of us have a number of roles to play in life. To the hombres (OHM-brays), we are lovers, friends and counselors. To the leetle cheeldren, we are the givers of life. And to our careers, we give our time, talent, and energies. Of course, in order to be happy with others we first have to be happy with ourselves. We have our own goals and desires, and Beta Sigma Phi is for that part of us. It allows us to develop our talents, to become more interesting to those around us, and to become more interested in life. Without balance in the roles we play, we can become overworked, under-stimulated, and taken for granted. Balance creates harmony. But without the balance that Beta Sigma Phi brings, life can be like a plate of cold, refried beans! Not very exciting...

FAJITA: Beta Sigma Phi can add excitement to your life. You can't keep your head buried in a burrito all day - you have to reach out and learn! In Beta Sigma Phi we have programs at every meeting. The programs are for self-development. You get to put your creativity to good use in planning and presenting a program! You select your topic from this list (show current list from March issue of The Torch). Then, our International Office sends an outline to you on that topic that you may use in preparing your program. Or, you can select your own topic and do your own thing with it. The outline serves as a resource and starting point. By listening to the programs and preparing them, we all are stimulated and educated. The opportunities for self-growth are limitless! You will become so smart, your head will be too beeg for your sombrero!!! J

CHIQUITA: Of course, the best thing about Beta Sigma Phi is the amigos you will make - friends who will be there forever, in the good times and not-so-good times. Your sorority seesters will be there to celebrate a special occasion with you, to bring you a yellow rose of friendship, and to care about you and those you love! Beta Sigma Phi is also known as an organization that has long been of service to its community. Beta Sigma Phi has a scholarship fund for members and their cheeldren. The International Loan Fund provides emergency loans to members for illnesses and accidents, free of interest! There is also a Legacy program for the daughters of members, insurance programs, and many other membership benefits.

BONITA: (Discuss your chapter's meeting schedule and whether you are a traditional chapter or a career chapter. Here's an example.) In our chapter, we meet twice a month in each other's homes. The hostess provides the meeting place and the beverage, the co-hostess provides the dessert, and another member gives the program. We meet September through May each year, and use the summer months to plan the coming sorority year.

FAJITA: But most important, the key to Beta Sigma Phi is friendship. Finding new friends is the stimulation that makes all other growth possible. And I hope that you weel say "Olé" (oh-LAY) to Beta Sigma Phi! We geeve you these mementos (perhaps cloisonné hair combs or a bouquet garni), along with this invitation. Membership in Beta Sigma Phi is by invitation only, and we want you to be a member. (Pass out pledge agreements that have already been signed where the sponsor signs.) The ("favor") is a memento of the time we spent together today. It ees our gift to you for coming. To join our organization, you need to complete the pledge agreement. Complete it and sign it near where I have signed as your sponsor. Your membership records will then be set up at our International Office. Choose one of several payment plans most convenient for you. Then, please return your pledge agreement to me so you can become a member of Beta Sigma Phi!!!


If your chapter is not comfortable issuing the invitation to membership at this time, be sure to give every guest a favor and with it an invitation to attend your NEXT meeting. Give her a written invitation with the date, time, and address so she can record it on her calendar. Then follow-up with a phone call to remind her and to arrange for someone to pick-her-up and take her to the meeting. At the meeting, DO ask her to join! If too much time elapses, she will lose interest - and you don't want that to happen. Remember, rushing thrives on a fast pace and lots of enthusiasm! To rush successfully, you must keep your momentum up - both with the potential new member(s) and the members of your chapter. Excitement and lots of enthusiasm are the key elements to rushing success!

Mexican Fiesta

To make Bouquet Garni

1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried whole thyme
¼ teaspoon dried whole rosemary
4 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Place all ingredients in the center of a square of cheesecloth. Gather up the corners of the cheesecloth and tie tightly with a piece of cotton twine. Wrap the bouquet garni in a colorful fabric square and tie with a ribbon. Use colorful stiff paper to make a little note to attach to each bouquet garni thanking each prospective member for attending your party. Be sure to mention that the bouquet garni is used to season soups, stocks, and sauces. Store them in a covered container until you present them to your guests.

Actual Size is 350 x 350
right click on image for large size.
Actual Size is 350 x 350
right click on image for large size.
Actual Size is 350 x 350
right click on image for large size.
Actual Size is 350 x 350
right click on image for large size.

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