As a kid, I dreamt of eating pasteles year-round, but now that I'm old enough to make my own, I realize that the arduousness of their preparation is the reason they are made only annually. To accompany a large holiday meal of roasted pork and turkey, glazed ham, rice with pigeon peas, and potato salad, the classic pastel is prepared by grinding green plantain and other white tubers, such as malanga or potato, and mixing them with milk, annatto seeds for color, oil, and bitter orange to make a masa, or dough. The masa is then placed on a plantain leaf and topped with a juicy filling of stewed chicken, meat, or pork that has been simmered with onions, tomatoes, and spices. Other accoutrements, such as chickpeas, olives, raisins, nuts, and hard-boiled eggs, are then added. Finally, the whole package is tied with twine and either cooked in boiling water or frozen for future preparation.