Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tamale Time--Again

I know I've told the story before, but those of you who aren't long-time blog readers may not have heard it, so I'll tell it again. When I was a kid, my dad worked in a liquor store in a heavily hispanic section of town. Dad was quite friendly, and over the many years he worked at the store, he made quite a few friends. Traditionally, tamales are made and served in hispanic households each Christmas, and each year my dad would inevitably bring home two, three, or more brown paper lunch bags stuffed with tamales given to him by different customers. So, in our household, tamales became the traditional meal served sometime between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Later in life, when I was 20-something, my crazy friend Lisa and I decided to make our own tamales. With the help of different cookbooks and some experimentation, we eventually succeeded--to our own satisfaction, at least. All I can say is that it's a good thing so many wonderful hispanic dishes are based on leftovers and whatever happens to be available, because I'm sure our tamales bear only a loose resemblance to the traditional styles.

You may recall that early in December, I had my stitchery ladies over and we made tamales. So, yes, I already made my quota for the season, and I have three or four bags of pork tamales in the freezer. For some reason, though, I decided I needed to make MORE--chicken tamales this time. And I needed to make enough to take to work to share.

So that's what I've been doing tonight--making chicken tamales.

Earlier in the day, I told another work friend my plan, and she offered to bring a salad. Then she offered to bring beans and rice. Before long, we had the whole lunch planned, so we emailed everyone, inviting them to come and bring something to share if they wanted.

I like the tradition I first experienced when I was young--sharing tamales with friends during the holidays. And I guess that's why I suddenly decided to make more tamales.

Now I'm just waiting for the last batch to come out of the steamer and then I'm off to bed. Fiesta tomorrow!


Kelly Ann said...

That's what this season is all about...sharing...

Hand Quilting Nana said...

Growing up in Tennessee each family in our neighborhood had a prized tamale recipe that they guarded. So I grew up thinking everybody ate hot tamales.

When i married and moved to Georgia nobody here knew what I was talking about. I couldn't find tamale papers in the stores. LOL

We prepare ours differently using ground beef and sausage. But they sure are good no matter what your preference.

Brought back childhood memories reading your blog today.


Anita said...

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Wish I were there! Dori

Mamacessories said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I have been following your blog since the summer, so I was curious about the tamales (and hungry after reading it). I enjoy the time I spend at your blog, you always make me feel like I am sitting having tea with an old friend! And your office sounds like it is a nice place to work, makes me miss my old working buddies!

Judy in Michigan said...

Wow Kim, you sure do give a whole new meaning to "sharing" - you are the BEST! Wish I worked in your office or lived next door. Tell me more about tamales - a filling (chicken this time) and corn husks. Where do you find corn husks? and is there a dough in there? I don't need a recipe, just a general idea. I could look it up but then, you are the expert! LOL. Happy New Year to you and your DH and family!!!

Brandie said...

Yum! Comfort food at it's best. Wishing I was there sharing in your Fiesta!

John'aLee said...

Oh I've always wanted to learn how to make tamales. Sounds like you all had fun! Check out the recipe on Homesick Texan for turkey tamales with cranberries. Looks divine.