Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tamales for Christmas

I am a wonderful mix of cultures. My mother breathes the fire of the Latino culture and my father proudly wears the plaid tartans of the Scots. At Christmas we have the delicious foods of both cultures grace our table. But the Christmas meals I remember with great fondness are those of tamales, beans and rice that would bring the women together in the kitchen. We would gather around the table and make the tamales in assembly fashion. The tradition of daughter to daughter was celebrated through the passing of the tamale from the oldest to the youngest, with each of us adding something to the process. The steam would fill the kitchen and our noses as we waited patiently for the plates piled high with the tamales to be set on the table for all to enjoy.

Our Christmas dinner so many years later, is minus a few of those tamale makers. Even my mother was snowbound this year along with my granddaughter. But in spirit, every daughter in this family stands beside me as once again, the corn husks are laid on the towels ready to be filled.


Cook pork roast in a red chile sauce in a crock pot overnight or until tender. Shred in a food processor.

Dried corn husks soaked in water overnight. Spread on towels and pat dry.
2 cups masa
3 cups water
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups shortening or lard (manteca)

Mix the masa, water, baking powder, salt and shortening to make a smooth spreadable paste.

Spread masa inside the corn husk. Add a heaping tablespoon of the pork to the center and fold the corn husk up from the bottom and the sides overlapping each other.

Steam on a rack in a roaster in salted water until the masa pulls away from the corn husk. Unwrap and eat! That's what a wise grandma would do!

1 comment:

jen duncan said...

Hi Eularee! Great blog...have fun with it! I know your Christmas was probably lots of fun with the grandkids. Here's to an awesome 2009!