We got our Christmas tamales!  Dylan and I tentatively ordered two dozen tamales from Ileana, the owner of the kolache bakery, because her mom was in town from Houston for the holidays and might have time to make some.  Things got busy for all of us, but when I stopped in last week Ileana said she had tamales in the freezer and did I still want some? So for Dylan's last meal before leaving for Boston we had a feast of tamales and I've been rationing out the leftovers.  These are serious tamales - the pulled chicken and pork filling is well seasoned, the masa is light with good corn flavor, and they're each probably twice the size of your average factory tamal.  I have to learn to make these. 

Below: Frosty morning in Ellicott City. Henry and I like to watch the ducks play on the ice. The mill behind the bridge makes mostly corn meal, but not the yellow gritty kind I like to use.

By evening all the ice was melted and it was warm enough to sit on the patio.  I was almost all set: patio, knitting magazine, loyal dog to warm my feet, but must remember to buy wine. Luckily it looks like the new apartment we applied for (cross your fingers!) has a nice deck and yard so we can do more of this in Boston.