Christmas with the folks

We spent Christmas with my folks in west Texas, and I’m fairly certain I gained about 8 pounds in three days.

When we arrived, we could smell corn masa and red chile, which can only mean one thing:

Tamales. My mom, grandma and sister made them with pork and New Mexico dried red chiles (the only way to make them, right?). So good.

And of course, my mom made menudo (again with dried New Mexico chiles) with hominy and tripe. Add a squeeze of lime on top, and you’re all set.

There was also a massive bucket of sweet party mix, made with cereal, M&Ms, pretzels, peanuts, and almond bark. I think I single-handedly took care of that bucket.

My sister made her famous Christmas wreath, with cornflakes and marshmallows and red hots. Sometimes she makes tiny wreaths, sometimes one big one, but we ALWAYS have a wreath at Christmas. It’s the law.

She also made Mississippi mud cake. Ohmyga. One of my favorites. I ate waaay too much of that.

Of course I didn’t get photos of everything…

• Tamales topped with fried eggs on Christmas morning

• Pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and zucchini with tomatoes and corn (plus the ever-present guacamole and fresh salsa)

• Pumpkin whoopie pies (I made those on Christmas day)

• Chai cake

• Banana bread

• French toast with bacon and sausage Friday morning

Plus Christmas decorations covering EVERY INCH of my parents’ house. I’m going to post those up on Flickr soon so you can all gaze in wonder at my mom’s Christmas spirit. [Edited to add: Here’s the link to the photos of my mom’s house.]

Now we’re back home, and I have some time off this week (I work skeleton crew here and there), so I’m hoping to be cooking and baking up a storm. Today I bought some fresh shrimp and snapper from San Miguel Seafood at the farmer’s market downtown, and I can’t WAIT to cook them up with some simple steamed broccoli tonight.

Seriously, my life is not just about food, but it’s pretty close. 🙂 


4 responses to “Christmas with the folks”

  1. I did not realize that West Texans took to that Southwest type of cooking. It is so very different than Tex Mex, and I do enjoy partaking of it when I get to go home. I can’t wait to see the photos, and your sister is a artist. Her wreath is the very best one I have ever seen.

  2. Sicilian, we’re actually from New Mexico, so we just brought our foods and traditions on over to Texas when we moved here about 15 years ago. You’re right, it’s extremely different from Tex Mex! I miss New Mexican food quite a bit. 🙂

  3. WOW! That’s a lot of food! I’m stuffed looking and reading about it. That Mississippi Mud cake looks delish! Is that marshmallow fluff I see poking out of it?

    You’ve got a wonderful blog. I’ve been enjoying reading it. I’ll be back!

    Happy 2009!

  4. Thanks, Ingrid! You know, I’m not sure if that’s marshmallow creme or marshmallows in there…I’ll have to get the recipe from my sister. 🙂

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