Hot tamale!

When it comes to food, I am much blessed.  Not only is my wife a great cook — but so are all three of my children.

A couple of days ago, Aaron — my son who is home on winter break from grad school — decided to make something he’s never made before: tamales!

Aaron and his tamales

Alicia told him that they were a lot of work, and that it’s great for a family activity.  A kind of party.  With lots of people helping.  A tamales making party.

Yesterday, he went shopping.  Apparently, a nice Mexican lady at a Mexican grocery store took him under her wing and not only gave him the recipe, but sold him everything he needed to make them.

Today, he got up, had a cup of coffee, and got busy in the kitchen.  After about four hours, I could see he was getting frustrated.  He was in the middle of something bigger than he expected.

Tamale making is labor intensive.

Enter Alicia.  She helped.

At six o’clock this evening, I unwrapped the husk of my first tamale.

It was fantastic — so I ate another.  And another.  And another.

He made a huge number of tamales.  He plans to freeze some, and give some for gifts.

The kitchen looked like it had been hit by Hurricane Hugo.  Alicia cleaned it after the last tamale was cooked.

Thanks to Lose It!, I’ve lost 28 pounds in the past seven months.  Actually, I lost almost all of that weight in the first four months.  For the past three, I’ve maintained — intending (but without pressuring myself too much) to lose 10 more.  Thus, each day, I count my calories.

After about seven tamales, I announced that I would have only one more and wasn’t sure how to count these calories.

“You don’t want to know,” Aaron said.

“They’re a lot?” I asked.

“Oh yeah.  A lot.”

“Don’t tell him,” warned Alicia.

“There’s lard in ’em,” Aaron said.

I know when I eat out there’s a chance I’m consuming a little lard, perhaps bacon fat — but I don’t eat out a lot — and lard is not something I eat at home, knowingly.  At home, I choose tasty, nutritious food.  I’ve always eaten very healthy, but twice as much as I should.

“The lady in the store said they had to have lard,” he said.  “In order to taste good.”

It’s so true that context is everything.

Somehow, I’m not craving tamales right now.  They still smell good.  They still look good.  But I’m not hungry.  Not a bit.  I just walked a couple of miles and, as I sit here pondering how clogged my arteries really are, I’m quite sure I won’t be taking in a lot more food tonight.

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