At the Still Point of the Turning World
Residency is over, NOW what? (While I'm waiting for the answer, I'll get some spinning done....)

Friday, December 27, 2002


Now that the Christmas season is over, can I confess how glad I am that it has passed? Without actually being a Scrooge, I felt particularly gloomy this year when faced with the candy canes, overdressed trees, co-workers wearing Santa caps and felt antlers, etc. etc. Perhaps it had a lot to do with working nights and feeling weird all the time, and certainly it had a lot to do with accumulated stressors, too many to list here, but this year I really felt like I was putting on a brave face to the world. I found myself saying, "Oh, happy Christmas," and wondering which was correct, happy or merry.

One of the few things that saved the season for me: POSOLE!

Posole (pronounced po-SO-lay) is a traditional Native American stew, shared with Mexican immigrants at some point and refined by them into a special-occasion meal. It is usually served at Christmastime, and during one midnight feast in the switchboard room, I tasted it for the first time in many years. Heaven in a bowl!

Being a woman of action, I researched posole recipes on the internet, compared many of them, contemplated my past experiences with stews and sauces, and came up with the following recipe which I whipped up yesterday. If I do say so myself--it is DEE-LICIOUS.

Posole Theresita


1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 (15oz) cans of hominy, white or yellow--your choice
1 (15oz) can of tomato sauce
1 cup of chicken broth
1 pound pork shoulder with the bone in
Vegetable oil

Garnishes: any or all of the following are desirable, but the tortillas and lime are a must

Warmed flour or corn tortillas
Lime wedges
Avocado, cut into cubes
Green onion, finely chopped
Radishes, finely chopped
Cheddar or jack cheese, grated

Cooking instructions:

1. In a skillet, warm vegetable oil and brown the pork shoulder on both sides.
2. In a stockpot, fry onions and garlic until onions are clear.
3. Add pork, broth, tomato sauce, hominy and spices to the stockpot.
4. Simmer covered until pork pulls easily off the bone--about 3-4 hours.
5. Add chopped cilantro immediately before serving, or at the table.
6. Serve with suggested garnishes in little bowls.

Serves 4-6 as an entree with a nice green salad and a wee bit of tequila.

If you are interested in alternative posole recipes, here's a few I found and plan to try in the future:

Vegetarian Low-Fat Posole
Chicken Posole--beware! Lots of pop-ups!

Ta-ta--I'm off to eat the leftovers.