Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

The holidays have come and gone, the Christmas decorations are down, except for the lights on the outside of the house, the bag of trashed wrapping paper went out with recycle this morning, there are  just no physical signs left that Christmas was here.
The memories of Christmas are great.  The fun actually started mid-week of the week of Christmas.  I had blogged earlier in the month about making Tamales and that is what I did.  My oldest son David, who is 19, vowed to help me, since it is definitely a job for more than one person.
I went out and bought everything I needed to make tamales, came home and got started.  My younger son, Dale, who is 15, washed the HUGE pressure cooker for me, after the roasts were cooked, he cut them up for me, he was really right there by my side helping me out, what a blessing that was, and David was nowhere to be found!!!  :)   Of course mom would of loved to help, she kept coming in the kitchen to check and see what I was doing “now” and would give me constructive guidance since she is the Tamale Queen!!!
Several hours later, which was about 9 p.m., the first batch of tamales was ready to put on the stove.  From past experience I knew that I had to get the pressure cooker up to between 7 and 13 on the pressure gauge then keep it there and the tamales would cook about 4 or 5 hours.
Well, I had a problem, the pressure gauge didn’t work.  I could hear the water steaming so I just turned the fire to what “I” was comfortable with and went on about my business.  I thought I could get a few hours of sleep before the tamales were ready to come out of the pot.  Everyone else was in bed.  I set my alarm for two hours so I could get up and check the tamales.
In two hours when I got up, the fire was off on the tamales.  I went to my mom and asked if she had turned the tamales off, she said “yeah, I think they are done”. I knew they weren’t done, they had cooked less than two hours.  I turned the tamales back on and went back to my room, when I got up again the tamales were turned off again.
So, I turned the tamales back on and decided I wasn’t going to get any sleep, so I sat in the chair for a couple of hours and went and turned the tamales off when I thought they were cooked. I left the tamales in the pressure cooker because I knew they would still steam and I could deal with them later in the morning.  I went to bed and slept for a couple of hours.
When I woke up, I went in the kitchen and the tamales were on the fire and the fire was on full blast, I could see the steam coming out of the top of the pressure cooker, the gauge was working and if I didn’t release the pressure, I didn’t know what was gonna happen.  I took care of it then went to my mom’s room.  I asked Mom if she turned the pressure cooker on, she said “yes, I had a dream the tamales weren’t done, they were real doughy so I went and turned them on”.
Aye yai yai.  I was scared the tamales would be burned but when I took them out of the pot, everything seemed to be okay.  What a night.
The tamales were delicious!!! I made another batch the next day, making 10 dozen total.  I served them on Christmas Eve with Spanish rice and potato salad.

My mom has never really shown any signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, she is a stroke victim but her mind is strong, she reads a lot, doesn’t talk much, but I wonder what made her play “turn the fire off, turn the fire on with me” that night!!!  And, after all that, she tasted the tamales but won’t eat any!!!
Happy New Year all, I hope your holidays were memorable and the New Year will bring you much joy!!


Anonymous said...

I loved reading your story Lilli!! I also commented on the Caregivers site as well. Love Ya!!

Laura Levitan said...

Too funny - you are now officially a tamale security guard!

Grace said...

Nice tamale story. Ya know sleep deprevation can do crazy things. Wish I lived closer... I could have eatten mom's share on Christmas. :)