Saturday, December 22, 2012

Making Tamales

Every Christmas Eve we eat tamales for dinner. We've done it for years. It's one of my favorite traditions.  We usually buy our tamales, though Cody and I did make them one year when Ava was a baby.  I remember that is was sooooo crazy hard to make them.  We had to search for the ingredients, it took us all day long, and it made a huge mess.  So I'm not surprised that a decade had to pass before I got the urge to make them again!

But last night, as plain as day, the urge to make tamales came over me.  It wasn't a slight urge either.  I had an intense desire to make tamales!  I slept on it, and sure enough this morning the urge was still there.  I reasoned it had to be easier this time because after 10 years I'm a much better cook.  Plus we have a dozen Mexican grocery stores within blocks of our house so finding the ingredients couldn't be that tough.

I sent Cody to the store with a list.  He was so sweet to brave the crowds today.

I decided on a chicken filling.  To make things even easier, I used store-bought rotisserie chickens.  I added lots of yummy things like tomatillos, poblano peppers, green chills, onions, cilantro, and lime juice.

Spreading masa and rolling up the tamales was just as difficult as I remembered.  My Anglo hands are pretty much inept when it comes to making that happen.  I got teary once.  The Youtube videos (I did my research) make it look so easy, but trust me people, it's not.   Cody took a turn and was much better at it than me.  Together we made a few dozen tamales and placed them to steam on the stove top.

A few hours later, we unwrapped the treasures and were delighted to find they had turned out perfectly.  Nate really loved them.  He ate 4!  It certainly didn't seem as all-consuming as I recall it being a decade ago and I can't wait to eat these on Christmas Eve this year!

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