My old friend Jay Rascoe, known to many as the man behind Guns & Tacos sent me this lovely care package from Houston. The teenagers were overjoyed to see the familiar Texas brands and ordered me to immediately produce a steaming bowl of chili con queso.
Armed with cheese product and chili tomatoes, we rung in the New Year with chips, queso and champagne.
As for the traditional black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day, we had to settle for the canned variety which we found at an Indian grocery. But they tasted fine in a cold salad tossed with minced raw onions, celery, green peppers, garlic and olive oil: a concoction better known as Texas caviar.
The other highlignt of the holiday season was a huge batch of homemade tamales. Tamales smothered in queso kept us well-fed for the rest of the month.
On a whim, I asked the staff at my favorite French bakery in Galway, C’est la Vie Boulangerie if they made King Cakes. “Oui,” they answered, “Which size would you like?”
And so we had our annual King Cake party–I was the lucky one who bit into the tiny ceramic figure hidden in the filling and got to wear the paper crown that comes with the cake.
Which means I have to buy the cake next year.