What could tamales and Easter have in common? Believe it or not, there are a few common traits, such as longevity, sustainability, yummy hidden treats and most importantly happy springtime gatherings!
Spring is in the Air
Like the hibernating bear, in many places around the world it’s almost as if springtime brings life again. We enjoy the long awaited sunshine and warmth. Beautiful bright colors sprout again. The singing birds, the pretty flowers and serene flowing waters open the season to social outdoor activity.
Easter season, which is linked to the Christian faith, is celebrated throughout 50 days all around the world. Holy Week is preparation for Easter Sunday when Christians reflect on the life of Christ, practicing self control and deeper examinations of the heart through fasting and prayer. Then Easter Sunday is the celebration of Resurrection Day! In my small world this day brings out Sundays best. From the pretty dresses and hats, the solemn Communion and Easter egg hunts in backyards everywhere. All this before the feasting begins!
In my experience Easter celebrations can take two directions. You can have a sit around the dinner table ham feast with all the trimmings. A creamy soup to kick off your meal, then a plate full of baked ham surrounded by carbohydrates.
Just writing this made me feel like I was overdoing my eating. Scalloped potatoes, homemade dinner rolls, roasted asparagus… this list could be endless. Just remember that like most things, moderation is a good tool to bring to your Easter Sunday meal.
When you bring your Easter feast outdoors, your grilled meats will be accompanied by every imaginable carb. Rarely do you see these grilling spreads without the basic potato or macaroni salad. Springtime will demand a variation of fresh garden vegetables and fruits. Nice colorful green salads, grilled vegetables. Around our table, whether that be the dining room or the patio you’ll always find fresh salsa, it's in my blood or my genes to always have salsa available. This can open the door now to tortilla chips or maybe tamales.
Tamales, like the Easter egg, can have a delicious surprise. If your meal is planned around the dinner table, then consider a different savory filling other than pork, especially if
someone around your table doesn’t eat pork. When you keep Easter outside and you’ve got a few meats on the grill, cheese tamales will compliment your springtime meal offerings.
After all that eating, can there be room for desserts? In my home dessert is important, maybe too important! Refreshing fruit dessert, Easter sugar cookies that the kids have decorated. Arroz con leche, something to satisfy that sweet tooth.
The singular Easter dessert in my home growing up was capirotada. Ama would spend a lot of time preparing it. From my little kid perspective I always found it a bit strange, with so many different ingredients. but I never complained when she served it. As strange as all the mixture of sweet and salty flavors seemed, I liked it. Through the years I’ve heard it compared to bread pudding, but in my opinion, it’s very different. My mothers capirotada included both corn tortillas and bread in it and I can’t seem to find a recipe quite like hers! This is when I throw my hands up, frustrated that I was way too busy with my kid life to pay attention to the kitchen affairs.
Nevertheless, springtime and Easter are a time to gather with your loved ones. Pull out all the delicious surprises and enjoy the day. Discover what’s in your golden Easter egg and unwrap a savory or sweet tamales and savor the hidden treat.
Are there still surprises left to uncover in Easter eggs or tamales? What new treat have you discovered?