duck-shaped pain


25 March 2006
Porky fingers.

Today's lunch was entirely random. I had a cherry limeade, some fries, and three freshly steamed pork and red-chile tamales.

I am visiting my mom this week, and this morning, we drove around looking for yard sales. Most of the ones we went to were sad, super sad: a few chipped coffee mugs, some broken furniture, boxes of old romance novels, etc. After about an hour of this, we gave up and advanced up the used-crap ladder to thrift stores. At one store, I bought a jar [1] a tiny 3-cup stovetop espresso maker [2], and a assuredly irritating Wendell Berry book.

On the drive from the thrift store to some as-yet-identified restaurant for lunch, I saw a sign for a church yard sale. Church yard sales are usually pretty good, and here, in this part of New Mexico, church yard sales usually mean one thing: tamales.

Because tamales are fairly time-consuming to make (I helped make a big batch of tamales a few years ago, and it was fairly difficult, and not at all helped by the fact that me and the other tamale-makers kept taking time out to have tequila shots in the back yard), they tend to be special occasion food, like for holidays. They're also used as fundraisers, since people tend to buy them in large batches. This church was selling tamales and menudo to raise money for their youth group.

Anyway, there wasn't anything I really wanted to buy at the actual yard sale, but my mom went in the back of the church and got us a dozen tamales. Because it was fairly early, the tamales were in the process of being steamed, and our bag contained a dozen that were straight out of the steamer. In the car, I tried to hold the bag on my lap, but they were far too hot to do so.

So this seemed like an ideal lunch solution. We drove over to Sonic to obtain drinks (and, in a last-minute decision, fries, as Sonic fries are about as good as fast-food fries get [3]). Then we sat there in the truck and ate approximately three hot, pork-filled tamales each. They were excellent: spicy but not too spicy, with good chile seasoning, and tasty masa. For randomly chosen and acquired food, it was a surprisingly satisfying lunch.

[1] I needed something to put my ever-expanding supply of quinoa in.
[2] This is something I most assuredly do not need, since I have three of them, all larger. However, I felt compelled to buy this tiny one, since the four of them are the closest thing to an actual collection I have right now.
[3] The standard of quality for fast-food fries is, of course, whether or not they can be eaten without ketchup. Few qualify, unfortunately.

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