Too Many Tamales

Around this time of year, I get sick of tamales. I’m not the only one either. My siblings get tired of hearing “tamales” every time we ask “what’s for breakfast?” (or lunch or dinner). Yes, there is such a thing as too many tamales… and I’m not referring to the Gary Soto kids book of the same title.

tamalada.jpg My family, like many other Mexican families makes tons of tamales. Well, not tons, but 20 pounds of masa (the cornmeal mix) worth. My mother, grandmother and another aunt got together on Thursday to make 200 tamales to feed about several families. The “tamalada” is a big production much like the Carmen Lomas Garza painting of the same name. The kids are charged with cleaning the “hojas” (cornhusk leaves). My grandmother was always the one making the meat and chile stuffing and then adding that stuffing to the tamales before folding them and stacking them like bricks in a giant pot. The other women, my mom and aunts, spread the masa all over the hojas.

Once all the mess of the tamalada is cleaned up and every aunt gets her share of tamales, my family is left with several dozen sweet, red chile and pork, and cheese and chile tamales waiting to be gobbled up as soon as they’re ready and we run out right around Three Kings Day.

¬°Feliz Navidad!

5 Replies to “Too Many Tamales”

  1. Sick of tamales? I didn’t think it was possible. Usually, my grandmother starts making tamales around this time, but I had a friend who brought more than enough hand-made tamales over, so this year my grandma can rest. I’m pretty sure come Dia De Reyes, they’ll be all gone.

  2. I had one tonight! Judy gave us five, and mine had an olive. Is that like the toy surprise in the box of cereal? It was so good. Feliz Navidad!

  3. I imagine the whole production line of making tamales is very similar to the production line of making homemade lumpia (Filipino eggrolls). When my mom finally takes some time to make them, she makes a TON and freezes a whole bunch of them, too. Yummmmmm.

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