This week is almost over and I have never looked forward to Christmas break more. I have been pumpin' and blowin' since 6 a.m. Monday. I have hardly been in my house, which would make one assume that means it can't get messier but that is a wrong assumption (as most assumptions are). My house is in a Red Alert Disaster! Laundry and dishes have piled to the ceiling as have all the crud we like to dump on the island in the kitchen. Now it's like...a volcanic island.
This week I have shopped, worked out, seen the nutritionist, waxed my eyebrows, volunteered at the school 3 times, planned parties, baked, baked, baked, (for a cookie exchange) made tamales, shopped, did the post office thing, wrapped presents and have forgotten lunch at least twice.
I sent the following e-mail out Tuesday night (after a band concert and after staying up to frost the cookies for the cookie exchange):
My Dear Ladies of the Kitchen,
I have been going non-stop today trying to get everything ready for school events, baking day, and Christmas (like all of you, I'm sure.) I walked into the laundry room today when I needed the restroom.... I think the Starbucks barista did not comply with my order for DECAF but...I digress.
The rest of the week is looking to be just as crazy, including tomorrow. Drew's eco-fair is tomorrow (selling mini donuts) and I have been wrestling all day with how to do eco-fair and make tamales. It's tough, really, trying to choose between your child and tamales.... His fair starts at 9:30 and ends at 11:30. I've decided I can indeed do both, though I will have to leave both my child and tamales hanging a tad. Drew and I can get up early tomorrow; he to make his mini donut batter and I to make the masa for the tamales. (I know, Caren. Sounds like how you operate every day but though I dream of it, I am not an actual superhero.)
I have stopped the tornado briefly to send you this note of instruction:
I will drop the husks, masa, ect. at Caren's. You will want to start by soaking the husks in warm water. This is to both soften them and clean them. I am unfamiliar with the brand of husks I bought so....i have no idea how they will be. Sometimes they have dead bugs and corn silk in them, so get that all off.
Page 10 of the Historic Cookery cook book will give you instruction for the carne con chili. Do the one for Red Chili. I do not use a chili sauce but powder and I don't add any stock or tomatoes unless the meat mixture seems really dry.
Page 7 has the masa instructions but I should be back before you run out of the first batch I make.
After the carne con chili is made and the husks are clean, dry them. You may need to trim the husks, mainly the pointy end off. Spread the masa (I use the back of a spoon) on the smoothest side of the husk. You will see that one side is much more bumpy then the other. Should take about 2-3 T of masa. Then add a heaping T (or 2 depending on the size of the husks) into the masa. Fold the sides together and then the bottom up. Clear as mud?
I should be there by 11:15.
I'm sorry to do it this way and leave you in a lurch but...about 7 years ago I had this kid... Also, I just read the recipe and I know you all are much better at following a recipe then I am!
144 tamales later...
Just before bed last night my oldest informed me that he would need a treat for band the next morning because they were going to have a party. Seriously. Thanks for the heads up. I figured I would just send the cookies I got at the exchange.
I woke up this morning still feeling exhausted. Not a good sign. I have not been this tired since I was pregnant! Then I remembered it was Polar Express Day for Drew's class and I was supposed to bring hot cocoa and a treat.
I can use the cookie exchange cookies, I thought. Wait. No I can't. I'm using them for Gabe's party.
I was also bummed because I wanted to save those cookies for my family. Then I remembered my mom telling me a real easy holiday treat. I planned on using it for Gabe's class party but figured I could make them now for both the band and Polar Express and just buy more ingredients when I was out running errands today. The treat (and I've been so stinkin' busy I did not even take a picture) are made with chocolate donuts, like hostess brand. You stick a red candy (m&m) in the hole and then broken mini pretzels in top for antlers and wa-la! Rudolph Donuts! Oh, and dot on some eyes with icing. My sons did the m&m noses and pretzel antlers and I did the eyes. Thank you MOM!!!
As I said before, I was pumpin' and blowin' and a song was running through my head:
A sweet friend had posted this on her Facebook profile and it has become my anthem the past two days. (Not to mention the killer dance moves this chick has. I can totally work that!) "I'm runnin' and I won't touch down! Oh no! I've got to keep on movin'!
While at the school this a.m. I ran into Gabe's teacher. I'm his room mom and am in charge of the Christmas party.
"Hey...sorry I haven't decorated or anything, " I told him.
"Oh, I'm not worried about that. Gabriel said it's going to be an awesome party!"
I have sent out e-mails to the parents and it seems like everything is going to come together. Several are pitching in by bringing snacks, paper goods, etc.
"Does anyone have party ideas? I would like to not do musical chairs. A child in Gabriel's second grade class threw up during musical chairs and I will forever associate it with that. But that's just me..."
A mom suggested a game where the kids wrap boxes while wearing gloves. (Oh my gosh! I'm supposed to bring gloves. Note to self....)
Still I would like to start the party like this:
"Hi kids....I'm Mrs. McDowell...I heard a rumor that this is going to be an awesome party! If you heard that rumor I would like for you to just take a minute to lower your expectations a bit, mmkay? Once you are ready for a mediocre party then I think we will be all set for a good time!"
One more day and then I can spend the next 3 weeks relaxing with my kids... (Tell me you get the irony of that.)