Monthly Archives: December 2019

Tamale day

I finally put to use the recipes and skills learned in the tamale cooking class at Kitchen Conservatory some months ago.

On Monday I drove the 20 minutes west to Grace Jones’ home, where from scratch we cooked up pork tamales, a spicy tomatillo salsa, and a corn relish dip that actually worked beautifully as a side dish.

Along the way: a cup of lard, four different kinds of peppers of varying spiciness, eight ears of corn, an onion, a dozen limes, and much more.

Grace made a tres leches cake for dessert.  And a good time was had by all!

The masa is starting to come together. That’s just lard and cornmeal and salt.
And done!
Obligatory kitchen selfie.
Roasting corn and peppers for the corn dish.

That’s two dozen tamales in there….
The tomatillo salsa.
YUM!
All in all, a worthwhile effort.

2019 in pictures

And now abide (according to these photos):  family, faith, friends, travel, MUSIC, Circus Harmony, Variety, cooking, Auggie, the garden, and Webster University.  That pretty much sums it up.

Family photos

My immediate family gathered together on Friday, the first time all of us were together since my father died two years ago. The family has grown by one since then.

L-R: me, Joseph, Anna, Luke, Beth, Robert (all Beth’s family); Karen, Kristen (holding her son Leo), Jimmy (married to Kristen), Debby (Karen’s partner), Blayne, Sarah (married to Blayne, and holding Lily). Leo is one year old; Lily, two and a half. Kristen and Blayne are Karen’s children.

Photos from Friday:

This Nativity set is the one that was in our house when I was a child. Karen hosts the gathering now —

Family time

I spent Christmas Day with my sister Beth’s family in Lee’s Summit, and saw them again on Thursday.

Anna, Luke, Beth, Joseph, and me. Robert took the photo.

Friday was a morning and early afternoon for me.  I got two Circus Harmony charts finished and posted.  And I went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, more of which later.

Then Friday afternoon, for the first time in two years since father’s funeral, all three of us Carter kids and the children and grandchildren were in the same place.  Photos will follow later, but great-niece Lily finally warmed up to me:

I only cried twice Friday during gift-giving.  Karen presented me with a memento book of scans of recipes in the handwriting of my mother Marie, G-ma Blocher, and Aunt Esther.  I was a puddle.

Then Beth passed along to me a fountain pen that had belonged by Aunt Esther’s husband John, one that after his death she gave to my father, along with a hand-written note.  To see Aunt Esther’s handwriting nearly six years after she died was just a bit overwhelming.  And what a joyous gift were both of these treasured items as well!