by Ernest Hogan
The year is coming to an end, and is there ever a helluvalota stuff happening . . . but it's Christmas, and I should do a holiday greeting instead. So Merry Christmas, mi gente, from Coatlicue, AKA the Virgin of Guadalupe, with her connection to Mary, mother of Jesus.
Yup, it's Mama Goddess time!
It's totally appropriate, December 12 is Virgin of Guadalupe Day, and I wrote about it a while back.
But what I really want to celebrate is one of the Goddess' great gifts – tamales. They are one of the true markers of the season. You know you've got a bad case of cultural assimilation when you can go through December without a tamale fix.
I live in Arizona, far away from my family in California, so I miss my sister Linda's traditional tamale parties. I definitely have to do something about that. It's been too many years.
Meanwhile, I'm lucky to live in the Metro Phoenix area, where there are more Mexican restaurants per square mile than in parts of Mexico.
Also, my mother-in-law tutors English-As-A-Second language, and has often made connections with students who can supply homemade tamales. I remember this one time we made a buy in a college parking lot, after dark, like a drug deal. I wonder what the police would have thought if they spotted us?
My wife is good at scouting out the local restaurants so we can stock up on supplies for the season.
Ever the neomestizo non-traditionalist, I enjoy zapping them in the microwave, wrapping them in a wet paper towel to make for proper steaming.
I'm just an All-Purpose Heathen Devil, indulging in creative blasphemy for fun and profit.
Ernest Hogan is already working on stuff for 2015.