Monday, December 14, 2009

Food: New Traditions

Last Christmas, I tried something new. Living in Texas, we are now exposed to a lot more Mexican-American culture, just as we were exposed to a lot of traditions in New Orleans when we lived there. Ingredients being cheap and abundantly available, I made tamales last Christmas, and despite the fact that I had to use foil instead of corn husks (one "ingredient" that was hard to find last year) they were a big hit with the family. Done right, it's the kind of food people can munch on all day while waiting for the big meal to finish cooking.

So yesterday I simmered a huge pork roast for the filling. This was a true beast of a roast... there was still skin on this sucker, and it was quite disgusting to remove. Had that side been visible in the packaging, I think I would have skipped the whole idea. Let me put it this way... in the back of my mind I worried some concientious trash collector would find this piece of... hide... and call the cops, thinking a murder had been committed. Yeah. It was that gross.

However, I roasted it, then simmered it in water with spices, and added a can of red chiles in adobo sauce for the last half hour. I now have the whole works in my dutch oven sitting in the fridge, waiting for me to skim the fat off the top, shred it, and package it for the freezer. That's the red filling. I'm thinking poultry and green jalepenos for the green filling, but I may not bother.

I already have new masa flour, and a package of husks... whether I've purchased enough is beyond me, but there's always foil for the extra.

Normally, we have our "Christmas" on the first day of school vacation for monkeypants. The reason we've done this for the last three or four years is two-fold. One, Christmas usually really falls at the end of the vacation, so I end up having to fend off skillfully pleading comments of "I'm bo-o-o-ored" for a week, get one day of pleasantness, and then she's back in school. Two, my husband gets off from work only two of those days she's home. By opening the presents at the beginning of vacation, everyone in the family gets to spend their entire time off enjoying the gifts, instead of waiting.

Since the son of the Big Guy was actually born sometime in the early fall (I'll have a post on my sources on that sometime... but that's a whole post unto itself), and my early gift opening program is all about promoting peace and harmony during the holiday, I'm pretty sure he doesn't mind.

However, this year our normal Christmas is being delayed because of snow. In Texas. Last week my daughter was supposed to perform in a Christmas band concert/Chili dinner (don't ask me, I don't make this stuff up... maybe the audience is supposed to join in with the wind section). The Saturday this was supposed to take place, though, it was snowing. I kid you not. So the event was postponed. Now this Friday MP gets early dismissal at one, but we have to take her back in the evening for one performance, then the chili dinner performance is Saturday. So most likely we will be having our Christmas on Sunday, hubby will work a few days, and then we have the four-day weekend where the "real" Christmas falls.

I don't know... that sounds complex doesn't it? I may just chuck our "tradition" out the window and join the rest of the world in celebrating on the 24th and 25th. Just as well, a few gifts might not arrive in time from Santa's workshop in the Amazon warehouse. :D


  1. Lol, I've always done the same. I have all of Mini's stuff ready and she'll have her Wii/Animal Crossing setup completed this Thursday so my poor mother, who's watching her over vacation, will get to keep her sanity.

    You're one of the few I know that knows December 25th is a few months off.

  2. Sometimes, keeping sanity is what it's all about. :D