I'm not sure how it started...possibly a very bleak, gray day wherein the Finance Team was overworked, overtired, and possibly on the brink of losing the proverbial "it."
What, pray tell, could save the day? Sugar, of course.
Someone busted out candy and it was manna from heaven. Dances of joy were performed, chatting replaced grumbling, mini-rant sessions calmed nerves, all pulled through.
From that day forth a "sugar altar" was designated and periodically all bring in tithes to sustain the masses. One of the commandments of this worship dictates:
- S/he who travels, must bring back treats for those
chained to their desksleft behind...
Anywho, it's true, we ply one another with treats (candies, chocolate, cookies, chocolate cookies...) to make it through the more hectic times of the month. Some days one person contributes to our sanity, others...well we're not a very coordinated bunch, there have been times when the tribute has indeed overflowed and maybe lasted a few days...we are bad.
Knowing I was going to the land of Mexican Candy, also known as East LA, I asked my coworkers what I could contribute that they would eat?
Did I mention I work for a GLOBAL non-profit? We joke that Accounting takes the whole "global" bit rather seriously with our multicultural members, so I just knew someone somewhere would have a treat from the "motherland" that might fit into the same category as what I'd run across.
As my Philippine coworker chided, the masapan is a "cheap knockoff" of a favorite childhood candy of his. I'd'a been offended but yeah, his version, whose name I can't remember, involves chocolate powder. And as we all know things are better when you add chocolate... Except for masapanes. No way, no how, dude... These "peanuts confection" (how international they've become) is perfect as is, to me, who grew up munching their crumbly goodness. I guess if I'd grown up munching on the chocolate version, I'd have a different opinion, to each his/her own.
The tamarind was also a suggestion from the Philippine contingent as really, the Spanish brought a whole lot of the same stuff to us and them...but as another coworker stated, those balls are like crack candy! Which had actually been her suggestion when I asked what "delicacy" I could possibly bring back from East LA. Close enough.
What I don't have pictures of is my mom, little brother, and I searching for tamarind (not tamarind flavored) sweets. Who knew there were so many kinds and varieties and creative ways or marketing them! There was only one "miss" when we bought what we thought was real tamarind/chilie paste in what looks like one of those old play-doh dolls that you could add "doh" to and squeeze and "doh" hair would grow out of the top? Yeah, can you just see the Accounting Office sucking on those?
Me neither. So I left them with my lil' bro as he likes them a lot. Hmm, that would explain how he convinced us to buy them. Yeah, I'm a bit slow, I admit it.
I also don't have pictures of my mom, my nephew, and I finally locating everything and more at the local Panederia (sweet bread shop) and Carniceria (butcher shop). Yeah, my mom's 'hood has such places. Yeah, I'm a little amazed at how much the place has changed since I lived there.
I tried to get a picture of the sweet bread we bought, but um, yeah, it disappeared before I got the camera out...I'm not sure how it happened. Magic! Yeah, that's it.