Every year my family makes tamales, some of which we eat for Christmas Eve dinner and the rest we divvy up among ourselves to enjoy for as long as we can make them last. I’d say we average around 75 dozen each year (900 or so tamales). It takes us a full weekend to make them. This year we had 14 people helping, including my aunt, uncle and cousins who came in from Austin and Waco, so the job felt quick (and extra fun). 🙂
This is one of my favorite December traditions. Hanging out with the family, laughing, singing, telling stories, being generally ridiculous and making delicious food. We also decorated my Grandma’s Christmas tree and did a gift exchange with the out-of-towners who won’t be here on Christmas Eve. I gave my uncle some coffee that I brought back from Rome; my cousin gave me this beautiful bag that she brought back from Thailand:
We usually say that each year’s tamales are the best we’ve ever made. This year, though, we didn’t. Not because they aren’t good. No, as a matter of fact, I’d put our tamales up against anybody’s. I think it’s because they’re SO good that we can’t top ourselves.
Or maybe it’s because this tradition is less about the food and more about the family. Yeah, maybe that’s it.