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40ish and beyond... 40ish and beyond...

Our Tamales Tradition (w/photos)

Posted by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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It's a yearly Christmas tradition for my family to get together and make tamales, and yesterday was our making/cooking day. 

Each year, the matriarch of the family prepares the masa (corn dough) and the meat filling for the tamales.  (we make a traditional pork and red sauce filling)  For years it was my grandma and grandad who prepped everything.  A few years ago my mama and dad took over the prepping to give my grandma a break.  On tamale day, all the women of the family get together to make the tamales.  It's an all day thing of working, talking, and hanging out.  My sister and I have brought our daughters into the tradition, so it is usually 3 or 4 generations of our family making the tamales.  Because my grandma is mostly blind now, she opted out of helping this year. 

We have one little twist on the usual practice of making tamales - our family puts a single black olive in each tamale.  We really don't remember when or how that little tradition started, but it makes our tamales different from everyone else's and it's a special job to make sure each tamales has an olive.  This year my 10 yr old neice was the olive placer - her first year to help with making tamales.  :)

We used 25 pounds of masa to make the meat tamales and another 5 pounds of masa to make sweet tamales.  For sweet ones, we start with plain masa and add brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins and crushed pineapple and mix it all in until it's well blended and sweet to taste.  Sweet tamales are great with coffee!

Below you'll see a couple of photos of us in the kitchen. It was a long day and a lot of work, but the tamales came out great.  And it was nice to share our tradition with our daughters and have that family time together.


That's me on the right, my daughter Makenna next to me, my neice Victoria in the black tshirt and her friend Alexis, who asked to join in this year.  We're speading the masa on the ojas (corn husks) and laying them out to wait to get filled. 

In this picture, you can see my mama, left, my sister Alicia in the yellow t shirt, her daughter Victoria drinking coffee, Alexis, and Makenna. Yup, Makenna is wearing reindeer antlers to keep things festive.  lol  And we're all wearing aprons and head scarves to keep ourselves clean and the area clean.  That masa is messy stuff!




  Goddess Johnnie 

by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
rosebud727
by Mac Goddess on Dec. 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM
1 mom liked this

THIS is what tradition is all about! Love it.

wenuck
by Moonshine on Dec. 22, 2013 at 2:05 PM
1 mom liked this
Awesome =)
Thanks for sharing
looneymom424
by on Dec. 22, 2013 at 5:51 PM
1 mom liked this

That is awesome love the pictures thanks for sharing.

Carmen66
by Hot Latina on Dec. 22, 2013 at 6:18 PM
1 mom liked this
Omg. That reminds me of my family when we make pasteles
Moms_Angels1960
by Husker Babe on Dec. 22, 2013 at 6:20 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow, awesome you all get together and do that I can see it now doing something like that here I would do all the work they would all watch.

dancer
by Sister -lp on Dec. 22, 2013 at 7:12 PM
1 mom liked this

I love tamales!

hk2kids
by Sister on Dec. 22, 2013 at 9:58 PM
1 mom liked this

Wow!  Looks fun and tasty.

Mariagma3
by Wild Midwest Lady on Dec. 22, 2013 at 10:12 PM
1 mom liked this

 Neat tradition! Sounds yummy!

KW1280
by Silver sister on Dec. 22, 2013 at 10:19 PM
1 mom liked this
Love it
wildchild.com
by Rapunzel on Dec. 22, 2013 at 10:20 PM
1 mom liked this
I love it. What a great way to bond with your family :-)
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