WARNING: You will NOT find any pretty or staged food pictures in this post. Anywhere. This is REAL, messy, family cooking and it is NOT pretty but it is OH so yummy!!!!
For my entire life, we have eaten tamales for Christmas. I am half Mexican (my mom's side) and it is just something we always did. We used to buy tamales from a lady and her family that made delicious home made tamales. Eventually, she got too old to do it and her children took over. They just weren't the same anymore and we were left with only one option.....make our own. Let me just say that it is a TON of work!! My mom and uncle do most of the prep work before we even start making them as a family. My mom cooks the meat and strips any and all of the fat off of it. She makes red chili sauce from scratch. FROM SCRATCH. Like cleaning dried chilis, boiling them, pureeing them, etc. It is intense. Luckily we buy pre-made masa (aka masa preparada) otherwise the process would take even longer. Anyway, we end up making a TON....no joke.....like 40 dozen!!!! Oh, and, they are DELICIOUS!!! Here are some pictures :)
Here is a shot of my mom (red shirt) and aunt Annie hard at work getting everything ready:
And here is a little tamale making tutorial for you:
First you lay out the hoja on a flat surface:
My sister and I joke around about how this tradition will most certainly die with my mom. We are no where near qualified to do all of the prep, nor do we have even a quarter of the stamina that she does. Many years from now, we will be sitting around the table with all of the cousins, enjoying the tamales we bought from Costco and reminiscing about the ones our sweet mama used to make and how much more delicious they were!! Ha ha!!! MANY many years I hope ;)
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