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I’ve been distracted from blogging by family activities and photography assignments. Even though it is closer to January 1 than December 25, I want to tell you about our Christmas dinner.
I grew up in a family that had turkey and dressing for Thanksgiving. Then a month later, we had turkey and dressing again for Christmas. It was tradition! It never occurred to me that anyone ate anything else. When I got married, I found that my husband’s family had turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas. What a shock! The company my husband and I worked for transferred us to South Texas, and there we learned that the Tex-Mex traditional Christmas food is tamales.
I love tamales, so I decided to incorporate this tradition into my own. We had tamales on Christmas Eve and turkey on Christmas Day. In the early years, I had to search hard to find tamales made without lard and made with a meat other than pork. One indication of increased awareness and interest in health is that it now is easy to find lower fat chicken and beef tamales.
About a week before Christmas our Strong Son asked if he could invite three friends for Christmas dinner. All three live out of state and have jobs that prevented them from going home for the holidays. I said an immediate yes! Then he asked if we could have tamales on Christmas Day. One of the friends had never eaten a tamale; the others were intrigued by the unfamiliar tradition.
I made queso for an appetizer. To go along with the tamales, I made spicy black beans with Type Os in mind and milder pinto beans for the Type As. I made a “Christmas salad” with chunks of tomato and avocado.
My husband’s mother always served ambrosia for dessert on Christmas Day. She made ambrosia with half oranges and half grapefruit generously topped with coconut. After I found the blood type diet, I started making ambrosia with just grapefruit and coconut. My family liked it as much, if not more, than the original. I thought ambrosia would make a light end to a hearty meal.
Our three guests represented three different parts of the country. One was from California; one form New York; and one from Arizona. As they came in, they commented on the Christmas tree, and how much they missed being at home with their families.
I had completely forgotten about drinks. I apologized that I didn’t have Coke or Dr. Pepper or the usual sodas because no one in our family drank them. I had peppermint tea, apple cider, and fruit juice with seltzer. No one was offended, and the peppermint tea was a big hit.
At the end of the meal when I brought out dessert, I found out that ambrosia was a Christmas tradition in each of the families, but each mom had her own variation on the recipe.
Our Christmas Day was made far richer by these three new friends. Whatever your traditions, whether you were near or far from those you love; I hope your Christmas was full of joy. And I hope that you took a moment to thank and praise the One whose name is forever embedded in the word Christmas.
you can even make sweet tamales with dried fruit and nuts.....enjoy and HNY!
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