The December Tamal challenge… how many can you name?

Some of us with Latin American roots already started the annual season of tamales by having more than one tamal on Thanksgiving or made turkey tamales from leftovers… which got me thinking… Every year my Mexican belly gobbles up tamales de frijol (of beans), pollo en salsa verde (chicken in green sauce), puerco (pork), res (beef), chopes (sweet coconut & pineapple ones that my mom loved as a child and still makes for us), rajas de chile (poblano pepper slices), etc., etc. I’ve had them Northern Mexican style, Oaxacan Mexican style, Colombian style, Peruvian and so on.

So what if we decided to actually dedicate the whole month to trying out a new tamal flavor each day? As long as we don’t have to shell out the Williams-Sonoma price ($54 for 3 dozen), I would sooooo do it. Except, it is not on my paleo plan :P.

december tamal challenge

Oh, and by the way, tamal is one single corn dough like tube or square filled with yummy anything and wrapped in a corn husk or banana leaf or other natural wrap depending on the region. Tamales is the plural. Tamale is a word that seems to only exist in the U.S. which is gaining acceptance but is still not the singular of tamales.

So how many different styles and fillings of tamales can you name?

Feliz Día del Amor y la Amistad

Don’t get all anti-Valentine’s Day on me. I still celebrate Valentine’s Day, a la Mexico (and many other Latin American countries) style – in other words, I celebrate my friendships and love in general with el Día de Amor y Amistad (Day of love and friendship). I will not succumb to any of this must-have-a-special-someone-and-buy-all-kinds-of-unnecessary-stuff pressure. No siree, Bob.

Today, I received a beautiful surprise from an old friend. She scanned a card I had made for her in 2000 and told me how much it had meant to her. It warmed my heart to know that my friendship was valued and that I was a part of her life, even after all these years. We may live hours away from each other now but we still have contact. And for those reminders of amistad, I am grateful.

We live in a border town, celebrate el Día del Amor y la Amistad. And if you happen to have a significant other, don’t forget to remind him or her that you love ’em – you don’t need much more. El Partner and I have promised to just hang out with each other, nothing lavish or extravagant and definitely no spending money that we don’t have. It will be a celebration of our friendship :).