One of the best thank you gifts I've ever received (if not THE best) was from my friend Mary recently when I picked her up at the airport, returning from a visit with her family in San Jose.
"I'm sorry, I FORGOT your real present," she said rummaging through her bag. "But thank you so much," she smiled, pushing a steam-fogged gallon-sized ziploc of wrapped goods into my hands. "I couldn't bring the salsa.. which is like famous, and I left the meat ones I got specifically for you in San Jose.. But these are the best tamales in the world."
I held in my hands a still-warm fresh bundle of Lucy's Tamale Factory jalapeño and cheese tamales. According to Mary, these tamales (which are a holiday tradition in her family) are SO popular that picking them up usually requires waiting in a lengthy queue. Naturally, I felt honored, but more so I was impressed how well Mary knew me. Best gift ever! I rushed home and savored my dinner that night, piling the spicy tamales with sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes, corn, cilantro, crema Mexicana and my chipotle salsa.