Thursday, November 20, 2008

T is for Tamales

The word, maverick, was used so much in the past year or longer that I became nauseated every time I heard it. However, NanaK and I do consider ourselves just that when it comes to traditional eats during the holidays.

While most of you have what I am sure is a lovely turkey dinner, or ham, or prime rib for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, we have always moved in a different direction.

Perhaps it comes from my roots. We always had Christmas Eve with my fathers family and we never had turkey. We did have potato sausage and lutefisk (for those of you not familiar with this it, is a whitefish soaked in water for a number of days and prepared with caustic soda or lye. The name literally means "lye fish"). I don't recall ever enjoying a bite of lutefisk but I did like the potato sausage and the orange rye bread that came from the local Swedish bakery.

So, in the non-traditional way of my paternal family, we switched from turkey/ham/beef for Christmas to gumbo (yea gumbo), and this year, for the first time we return to our maverick roots and will prepare a traditional holiday feast of tamales (you might guess that one of our favorite foods just happens to be from the Hispanic side of the food spectrum).

When we were young ins there were two Hispanic families in our neighborhood that always fed us well (they were very nice to us poor little gringos). Perhaps that is why we have a predilection toward Mexican dishes but there was also a famous Chinese cook in our neighborhood that provided many sumptuous dishes. That makes it a difficult choice for me to say one is a favorite over another.

While I prepare many different types of Chinese dishes, they just don't seem right for the holidays. So, we will prepare tamales and chili for for Thanksgiving dinner and gumbo for Christmas dinner. For New Years, we will honor our Southern roots and will have Black-eyed peas and Hoe Cakes.

P.S. - when I did the spell on this post, it did not like Lutefisk, well neither does NanaK or myself.


mielikki said...

thank goodness the Lutefisk thing was over and done with by the time I came along. I never really liked the potato sausage, though. The Orange rye was heaven. We three are having a quiet Thanksgiving here at our house, since I work the night before I am unable to go to oldest sisters house....
I am making the traditional feast, with our usual cauliflower...

Bubblewench said...

does anyone REALLY like Lutefisk? that stuff is nasty.