Thursday, December 27, 2007

What We Ate This Christmas

We went to the 7pm mass on Christmas eve. We usually go to the quadralingual midnight mass but we knew that we had to get up early the next day. The 7pm mass was in Spanish and ended with my favorite seasonal song...Los Peces en El Rio. In English this is The Fishes in the River. It is an old song. The author is unknown and the tune may be Moorish in origin. The fishes want to see Jesus born but Mary is doing her laundry and hanging the clothes on some rosemary bushes.The song starts out slowly. After each verse the tempo increases until at the end it is very fast and everyone is clapping to the beat.

So mass was over and after a few words with Padre Mateo we went outside into the cold Iowa evening. I had dipped my finger into the Holy Water and rubbed it on my throat to ward off cold germs. We were hungry as we had not eaten before mass.

Most restaurants were sensibly closed by then. We drove by Jose's Family Restaurant at 14th and Pierce. It use ti be called King Taco and was owned by another Jose. We stopped by and my wife asked me to go in and see if they were serving champurrado(hot chocolate with cornmeal and cinnamon). They were so we decided to eat there. We ate too much. In addition to the champurrado we each had a big platter of food. My favorite part of the meal were the fresh handmade corn tortillas. We went home and called family members in Mexicali, Tijuana and Guadalajara.

The next morning we slept late. We got up and started cooking. My wife was the head chef and I did the chopping and mixing. We made chicken thigh tamales. We made sweet tamales with pineapple, raisins, prunes and fresh ground cinnamon. We then made posole. The red kind not the green kind. Posole is made from hominy and pork. Red homemade salsa makes this soup red. I cut up cabbage, radishes, cilantro and onions which are used as a garnish. It is served with tostadas. You break them up and put them in the soup. While we were making it the neighbor brought over some fudge with walnuts. we promised the neighbor ladty some tamales.

A few hours later the family came over and we had a party. Unfortunately the tamales were all eaten up. We will have to give the neighbors some from the next batch!


Blogger Beth said...

Sorry to be so late coming here to hear about your Christmas, Fred, but I loved everything about your description, especially "Los Peces en El Rio." We could use a song like that in the frozen north, to remind us of other Christmas realities. The chocolate and tamales sound so delicious! Happy New Year! Thanks for being part of my world.

4:39 PM, January 06, 2008  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Beth...thanks for the comment. That song is so beautifull. And thank you for being part of my world!

9:58 AM, January 08, 2008  
Blogger MB said...

I was not familiar with "Los Peces en El Rio" so I looked it up and listened. It's a lovely song. I especially like the chorus. Happy New Year, Fred!

1:08 PM, January 15, 2008  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thnks for stopping by! I am glad that you enjoyed the song. Happy New Year!

1:26 PM, January 15, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home