Tamalada 2012: Sweet Christmas Tamales

 

Up before the sun to check on the pork.  It’s done!  I take it out of the crockpot to begin cooling and will shred it when I get a chance. Continue reading

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Tamalada: Night 1

For the un-initiated, tamales are a foodstuff that’s been around since 5000 BC.  They are believed to have originated with the Aztecs and Mayan cultures when women were taken along into battle to cook for the men (many of said women were kidnapped from their villages to do this service).  At camp, cooking was your standard tortillas and gruel but this still left the warriors hungry while out on the battlefield so out of necessity, the tamale was born.  Continue reading

It’s Tamalada time!

 

If you have spent any holiday time in a community with Hispanic influence, you are likely familiar with tamalada.  For those who haven’t, a tamalada is a get together of family and friends where everyone pitches in to make dozens upon dozens of tamales.  In years past, these events would normally be for women only and would take place either just before Los Posadas or on a night during the tradition.  Making tamales isn’t hard but it is amazingly labor intensive and the addition of lots of helping hands where everyone gets their own assignment makes the process go by faster.  Continue reading

Ozark Apple Fest

 

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Although I had intended on going to the Lincoln County Apple Festival in northwest Arkansas, the combination of feeling under the weather and high school homecoming festivities that carried on until the wee hours of the morn, made none of us relish the idea of a 3 hour drive.  Instead, we took a lazy Saturday sleep in and then headed out to find some local apples.  We made the rounds of several road side stands and farmer’s markets as well as co-ops in the area.  We came back with some fresh cider and an oversized haul of apples consisting of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious and the coveted Arkansas Blacks. Continue reading

Roadtrip: Altus Grapefest

 

Nestled in the fertile hills beneath the Ozark Mountains lies one of my favorite places on earth.  Deep down a curvy road completely shaded by overhanging trees lies the community of Altus.  Altus is known for one thing and one thing only: it’s the home of Arkansas’ wineries.  The two biggest and oldest wineries make their home here (Post Familie and Wiederkehr) as well as several smaller wineries (Mount Bethel, St. James) and the newest and most elaborate (Chateaux Aux Arc pronounced “Ozark”…get it?).  I make a pilgrimage here each fall to amble through the wineries, visit the Subiaco Academy Monastery and hike around Mt. Magazine.  It’s always a wonderful way to welcome autumn.  Unfortunately, harvest time at the wineries is long gone by that time of year and I’ve never got to see them in full glory so I decided to change that.  Continue reading

NYC 2012: Day 4 Afternoon

After leaving TSNY, I was on an adrenaline high.  Deciding to try and walk it off, I strolled along Hudson Park onmy way back to the hotel.  The day had turned out gorgeous and kayaks in a rainbow of colors dotted the river, an occasional sailboat appearing to punctuate the skyline.  While digging in my purse for something, I happened to glance up as I almost ran into someone…only to find myself face to face with Victor Garber. Continue reading