Tamales - An Xmas Tradition

(Editor's note: sorry, but I thought I posted this Christmas Eve.)

Years ago when I was in college, we went to San Antonio to visit my cousins for Christmas. Originally from Louisianna, they took to Texas like ducks to water. They picked up all kinds of little customs and what-nots. One thing they picked up was eating tamales on Christmas Eve after going to Church. Well we have picked up this tradition from them and brought it home. A few tamales and a few cold beers are always a great way to spend your Christmas Eve with family and close friends. Much better than a vegetable soup or something else like that. Of course being from Memphis, we prefer the Memphis/Mississippi Delta style of tamales. We as a family have been doing this for years now.

Earlier today I was explaining it to the girls at work. I mentioned Memphis/Mississippi Delta style hot tamales, and they had no idea what I was talking about. I was able to find two articles immediately online about this. One is from NPR and includes a link to a story they broadcast about it. The second is from Gourmet.com and is great. No one is certain how it came to the Delta, but I imagine

One of the best local places I ever found is in South Memphis at the South Memphis Grocery at Mallory Ave and Florida St. Obviously it's in South Memphis and isn't that safe, but the tamales are good to order and pick up. I've had the tamales at Blues City Cafe. They are pretty good. I wonder if there are a few other places that have good tamales around the city.


Hangover Season

The Times Online (Great Britain) recently published an article that was linked onto digg.com. It's about hangovers and hangover cures. Kind of makes me think of the best ways to cure/handle/survive hangovers. Here are some of my favorites (not that I necessarily use them all):

1. Morning Delights/Wakeup Nookie: I know tons of people who swear by this. But I think the severity of your (and your partner's) hangover might limit the abilities/willingness to participate in this. Plus you'll probably want to brush your teeth before anything starts. I don't know if it would be the release of endorphins or the fact that it's a physical activity that gets your blood flowing (which would tie it into the next item), but it's supposed to be a crowd favorite.

2. Exercise: some people swear that working out (specifically aerobic) really knocks it out of you. I know that it does work depending upon the degree of your hangover. This past Friday I went to Johnny K's annual Xmas bonanza and then stopped by the First Annual Soulburger Xmas where Absinthe was put in my hand. Needless to say, I was a little hungover Saturday. But I had to get to the gym quickly because I had a wedding in Arkansas at 5PM (that is a story for another time). I swam a mile and felt great afterwards. Of course I chugged a bunch of water before hand. I even remember one of the movies I saw in high school about Steve Prefontaine where he had partied hard the night before and then woke up at 6 to go run. Of course he yacked before he was more than 10 steps from his front door. But I had a buddy who bragged about running 6 miles Saturday before last after being up until about 4:30 at Raifords. I don't know where the correct ratio is between the workout cure and the hangover severity. But I'm not going to be the guinea pig to test it.

3. Hair of the Dog: I've heard for a long time about the "hair of the dog that bit you" cure. I have friends who say "the best detox is retox." There is some limited truth to this. I believe that this works only if you are doing a multiday party like BBQ Fest or if you are in college. If you go out on a work night and use this as a way to survive the next morning, you have a drinking problem.

4. Water, BC Powder/Aleve/Advil/etc. : Ahh...the complete doctor's health kick. The recovery answer. The health thyself method. Basically this encompasses anything that you do health wise. Gatorade falls into this category. It works, but how well is still up for debate because it takes more time to work than #3. But the benefit is you might live longer this way. Or at least your liver might.

5. Greasy food: Kinda the opposite of #4 but just as important and successful. Nothing like a greasy hamburger or pizza to calm your rumbling stomach. Mmm...greasy burger. I don't recommend a typical fast food burger like McDonald's. I recommend somewhere with a real burger like Huey's, E&H, Belmont Grill, etc.

6. Sleep: Enough said. Unless you're sleeping in on the weekend, you always say "I need more sleep." I know this has been my mantra for too long. Hell, I say this when I haven't been drinking.

Then I read an article that the Telegraph (another British newspaper) published also linked to digg.com, but this was about how beer goggles last longer for women then men. I think men lose theirs a few minutes after...

Anyway, so what are your favorite hangover cures? Oh wait, I never blog anymore so no one really reads this. So if you stumble upon this in July 2009, feel free to comment.
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