|Roasted fresh pork leg|
after its rest, just before carving
(that little flap of fat at the bottom makes this look like a giant turtle!)
Our main celebration was Christmas Eve, which El Jefe tells me is the Honduran traditional day to really celebrate, at least in his family. That's a time when people go to visit friends and family, who always have plenty of food on hand for expected or unexpected visitors. Christmas Day is similar, but more for family and more laid back.
Tamales are especially popular at Christmas time. A big bag of tamales in the fridge can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or for those drop-in guests, often accompanied by a pork or chicken sandwich. I didn't make any tamales this year but I've been promising to post my Honduran tamale recipe for years and I really need to do that soon. We did get some from my sister-in-law and some from my mother-in-law so we weren't completely tamale deprived.
Unlike the US, presents aren't a big part of Christmas, especially among the poor and struggling. Children whose parents can afford it generally get a new outfit of clothes and they are as excited and happy to get that as US kids are to find dozens of toys under the tree. Christmas has probably been a lot more commercialized for the middle and upper classes because the newspapers are often more than an inch thick during December with all the ads for toys, clothes, appliances, and electronics.
El Jefe and I seem to rotate our traditional foods with one year having American style roast turkey with all the trimmings and the next the traditional fresh pork leg served as sandwiches. Since we recently barbecued a turkey breast, this was a roasted pork leg year. I was excited to make it, but not half as excited as J was. This was the third time I've made a pork leg. The first time I used/modified my sister-in-law's recipe. The second time was a boneless leg because that is all we could find. On that one, I modified the marinade further. Both were good, but I wanted to do something slightly different this time. My cookbooks didn't have any recipes for whole fresh pork leg so I searched for recipes on the internet. I settled on three different recipes that sounded good, one was a Martha Stewart, one was a Cuban style, and I forget the other one. I took a little of each to come up with my recipe, which I think I would call a bit of a Caribbean style. Pork legs are easy to do; they just take a loooong time.