Food, Humor


I’d heard about Texas. So many stories. But there was one story that intrigued me, foodie that I am. The tale of the illicit dealings in tamales. I figured it would take a while, making some connections, getting to know the right people, before I, too, could make that covert exchange with an abuelita in a parking lot. 

Then this evening I’m standing in the kitchen, having gotten home a little late, a little exasperated at traffic, a little tired… and there’s a loud knock at the door. I go to open it, shushing the dog, and look out… then down. In front of me is a petite munchkin. She looked up at me, with big eyes. “Empanadas?” 

I blinked. “Yes! Si! How much?” 

She shrugs and I hear a voice call in Spanish from the sidewalk, so I go look down and there’s a lady standing there with a stroller. In the stroller, swaddled in a blanket and a bunch of foil, with a roll of paper towels next to it, is a roasting pan full of something. 

“How many?” The little girl asks from the region of my elbow. “Two dollars each.” 

“Seis! Por favor!” I call down to her mother. 

“Muy grande?” She responds doubtfully, peeling back a corner of the foil to reveal her trove. 

“Si, si, seis! Un momento!” 

I run back into the apartment, cackling gleefully at my husband that I’m getting drug deal empanadas. He looks up and asks in confusion ‘what?’ but I didn’t explain, I just grabbed cash and ran back out, gathering a bowl as I went. The lady put my prize in the bowl, and I found out I could have gotten a dozen for $15 – oh well, next time – and then I waved goodbye while the little junior saleswoman went up the stairs to the apartments above us. The First Reader met me as I came back in, cradling my bowl full of golden brown pockets. 

“Empanadas? I knew about the tamales, but…” 

The Little Man popped out of his room. “What are those? What’s in them?” 

“I didn’t ask. There are things you don’t ask in this world, and ‘what’s that meat?’ is one of the first ones you don’t ask.” 

He eyed them. “They smell good.” 

We heated them up in the oven, and they proved to have been stuffed with ground meat (see above), diced potatoes, and possibly a little bit of onion. With salsa and sour cream they were delicious and two apiece made for a hearty dinner. Greasy yummy goodness. I still want to find tamales, but maybe the little girl will show up again when we’re hungry and tired! I need to keep a stash of cash on hand… 

6 thoughts on “DDE

  1. You’d love Colombia. Every single day there are empanadas on the streets, in addition to in 3/4of the restaurants.Informal tamale vendors abound. Last one I bought from was working the parking lot of the local Walmart. Relax. It won’t be long before you find a steady dealer.

  2. Oh, my! I doubt that tamale and/or empanada sellers will come through this neighborhood. I’ll have to keep an eye out elsewhere. Or just hang out at your place! 😀

  3. Welcome to Texas, Cedar. The DDTs and DDEs abound this time of year. You’ll be fully connected in no time at all.

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