When I first moved out here I knew what burritos were, or at least I thought I did but I had no idea what tamales were. Those little packages of corn leaves, tied carefully at both ends that hold masa (corn meal slaked with lime) and filled with bits of beef, little strips of potato and an olive. There are as many variations as there are mothers and grandmothers, who make tamales in great batches for the holidays. I hand painted 18 plates, like the one you see above, all with different designs inspired by south western petroglyphs, when I first got here. In spite of the tamales, I miss my mother's oliebollen and appelflappen on new year's eve.