Christmas Spice

Like caribou, our herd made the eastern migration this winter holiday.  Fortunately, there was no calving en route.

Slow-moving ruminants, we crossed the Great Plains with a special case:


I was nervous as we brought it through the TSA checkpoint.  I wasn’t sure what sort of hoops I might have to jump through.  It went through the x-ray machine with no raised eyebrows. I was weirdly disappointed that they did not even open the case.

On the airplane, the case fit perfectly under the seat in front of me.

We joined the rest of the herd in the eastern wintering grounds and grazed to fill our calorie-depleted bellies.


On Christmas morning, my mother-in-law (MIL) opened the case I had hauled cross country to find…beautiful Posh Spice, the 1938 Corona Sterling.


My MIL gave me a beautiful glass typewriter ornament from Poland.  It is a mythological creature, a cross between a Continental and a Royal with the magical powers of supernatural snappiness:


My MIL is a superb typist. She has been looking for a typewriter for light correspondence and envelopes and asked me my opinion of this typewriter.

I knew that I could find a better typewriter for her.


Frankly, I have never gotten along with Posh. She’s the Queen Bee in our house, and all the other junkers felt plain uncomfortable around her.

Please don’t think that gifting Posh Spice to my MIL means I don’t love my MIL.  It means I believe that my MIL will be the perfect wrangler for this typewriter.

My mother-in-law is 100% alpha – she can put Posh in her place. Posh will start with her tiresome, “My mother raised me to be admired…” routine and my MIL will silence her with one withering look and put her to work.

After gifting, we spent a busy day cooking a traditional Cuban Christmas dinner: roasted pork, black beans, rice, yucca, plantains, pineapple salad and flan.

A Christmas Memory

The next day, my MIL and I pulled out Posh Spice and typed out a post-mortem of the previous day’s food and activities, critically evaluating the menu and suggesting changes for next year’s dinner.


Small woodland creatures emerged to try their hand on Posh Spice:


My own mother enjoyed typing up documentation of her cooking experiments. She used a lovely narrative style in her recipes. Here are my mother’s tamale notes from 1983:


My mother did not stint on the lard in her tamales. Her tiny tamales were about the size of a fat cigar and absolutely delicious.  I may make a tribute tamale batch for family and friends to celebrate the new year.

Wishing all of you the very best in food and typing in 2016!

7 thoughts on “Christmas Spice

  1. I think Posh will find your MIL to be an excellent owner. Typers *want* to work, and your hesitation to *make* her work was detrimental to Posh’s health. Excellent gifting choice! (:


    • Posh felt a little stiff and cranky when I first pulled her out of the case – she loosened up though. Posh really does need regular exercise – and my MIL will see to that.


  2. nombre7 says:

    Those old Coronas are just gorgeous, and the color on “Posh” is nothing short of amazing….

    (Am kinda interested in that recipe, though😛 )


    • Here are the 1983 and 1985 Tamale Notes in full. They’re not really recipes since they assume that the reader knows how to roll and steam a tamale. They are just “Notes”:
      Tamale Notes


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