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Happy Hour at Long Key State Park


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fun Weekend

We had quite a busy day at the RV park on Saturday. The park sponsored a Christmas event on the grass park space just across a walkway from our rig. They put up a cute white picket fence and holiday decorations. At 4:30 a truck with a snow maker came and filled the area with man made snow. There was hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and hotdogs. Santa arrived at 5:30, and there was a tacky Christmas sweater contest and rig decoration awards. My daughter just happened to have two classic Christmas sweaters in her car that she had just gotten back from someone who had borrowed them for a similar contest. We each put one on, and I won the contest!  The prize was two tickets to the movies, so Craig and I will probably go see Catching Fire Monday night.

Knowing all of this was going to happen, I invited our Point Loma "family" for a late afternoon cookout at the Alfa. My daughter thought the kids might be "too old" for the snow play and Santa, but they got into it just fine, and helped the younger ones build mini snow men and make snow balls. The kids ignored Santa's tent, but my daughter and I got our picture taken with him. Just for fun!

The party was pretty much over before 7:00. Our guests left, and after a quick clean up of our site, we wandered over to our neighbors with a bottle of wine and enjoyed a couple of hours of conversation around their warming gas portable fire pit.


Except for taking up storage space in the bay, such a thing would be really nice to have. It felt warmer than a wood camp fire, and no one had to move to get out of the smoke. We aren't going to run out and buy one, but it is something to think about in the future. They said they bought it at Sam's Club for around $60.   If fire wood is as expensive in the rest of the country as it is in California, it would pay for itself very quickly. A night of propane would cost way less than a bundle of firewood, especially since our Alfa has an outside LP connection. Something to think about.
This one looks a little smaller than the one they had. It is called a Camp Chef
and is on sale at Cabela's


Sunday we went to the lovely home of one of our family for a tamale-making party. Some of us helped our hostess Josie prepare the masa, slice the cheese, cut the veggies, and shred the meat she had cooked overnight. 



When all of the ingredients were ready, we gathered around for a tamale-making lesson. The boy in the white chef's jacket is my younger grandson. He takes cooking very seriously, and won this jacket when he took second place in a county fair kids' cooking competition.


The women and children all pitched in.


The men watched football.



The kids finished up folding the last of the tamales while the women cleaned up.  

The men watched football!


After steaming the first batch in a very large steamer, they were finally ready to taste.

They were the best tamales I have ever eaten. The kids loved them.

The men filled their plates and went back into the living room to watch football!

Sorry guys.  I'm really just kidding you about the game. It was the Steelers and the Packers after all.  

Everyone was pretty happy. Craig is a Packer fan said that despite their loss, it was a terrific game. Josie's husband Max is from Pennsylvania, so he was pleased with the result.

We brought home a couple of dozen tamales for dinners in the Alfa. Josie also told me they were very good for breakfast, if I just fry them a bit and serve them with a sunny-side-up egg or two.

I now have a far greater appreciation for the simple tamale. It is a lot of work to make them from scratch, but oh so worth it. No wonder it is a Holiday tradition in most Hispanic homes.

12 comments:

  1. Yum, I have never had tamales but they looked delicious. I hope I get the chance to try them when we are in TX this winter.

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  2. I loved reading all about your fun weekend! What nice memories you all have made! It's so refreshing to read about families enjoying each other! Our grandson also enjoys cooking. We might see them on TV one day.....

    Merry Christmas Merikay and Craig!

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  3. I've never been a big tamale fan, but I'll bet those home made ones are delicious. You can make some for us when we meet up sometime in the Keys!

    We recently bought a gas fireplace and wonder why we didn't do it sooner. Ours came from Lowes for $99. It has a nice cover and is just the right size. I posted pics of it on the blog a few days ago. We use it much more than the wood fireplace because it's so easy.

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  4. That is one thing that I am going to learn ...making tamales!!! Has been on my list for years!

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  5. Last winter, while spending time with our daughter in Menifee a lady came around our campground selling tamales. OHHHH they were excellent.

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  6. How much fun was that! Both things :-) To win with a tacky Christmas sweater is pretty cool. Love tamales too, one of my favorites.

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  7. Growing up in Montana, we had very dear Mexican friends. They always shared their homemade tamales and shells with us. They were wonderful. I hadn't though about that in so long. Thanks for the good memories.

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  8. I've never eaten a tamale, but have always wondered how they tasted. I don't even know what's inside one.

    Hey, where's the picture of you in the prize winning sweater?

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  9. Fun! Would love a photo of that tacky sweater.

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  10. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Christmas Eve we will be melding 2 family traditions. Tamales from my S-I-L's family and Pierogi ftom my family. Yummy holiday food.a Tex/Mex-European Fiesta in San Antonio.

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  11. Our friends Allen and Lolita made Tamales for us last year and they were dee-lish-us.

    Merry Christmas to you and your entire family.

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  12. I love learning about all these wonderful traditions, all with tasty food!

    And those ^%#& men... why is it that they get away with "enjoying the game" (or other such activity), while the women slave in the kitchen - usually before AND after? Of course kitchen time is usually the best visiting time so I guess that's okay.

    Have a very Merry Christmas!

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