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!