Tuesday, December 22, 2009


I don't know what it is about traditions.. I mean besides the obvious link to family or culture.. Some people just don't care..They ignore them or fight them as if that will change them.. Well, not me. I love traditions. I love the comfort of following in the footsteps of our ancestors. For me, its a link to my grandmother and the roots of our family tree..Its great memories.. Where is she going with all this rambling.. Tamales.. Of course!

Just keep up.. my grandmother would make food with so much love.. I can remember her sitting in her kitchen besides her beautiful stove (some day I will also have a vintage stove).. I was a small child but the impression was deep.. After she passed the cooking of traditional foods was up to my aunt Josefina, my mom and other women.. Some of my uncles have a mean hand with food so if they offer up Carnitas, fried fish or tamales you are there front and center eating as if for the first time.. Again, I digress..
After college I found myself cooking and craving some of the traditional foods that I grew up with.. I had seen people cook but had never really seen a recipe or heard anyone discuss ingredients.. Raw food, spices and pots came out and next thing I know there was the smell of food luring me.
At Christmas time, it was always tamales.. Every variety of tamales from savory chicken to sweet corn.. My mom had never really been into the traditional Mexican dishes venturing into Italian cooking and American cooking for every day food.. However, for special occasions she would make Mole or Chiles Rellenos..
Again, I am a bit long of the story... Somewhere along the way I decided that since I no longer wanted to beg my aunts to make tamales and no one else was volunteering, I WOULD. I would grab the torch of Christmas Tamales and bring it back to our family..
I know. I am a glutton for punishment.. I mean tamales are no small feat. If you take it on, you plan to hurt from standing, your back will ache from all the dishes and huge pans.. I don't care... Its been about 8 years and its going strong..Every year I have oraganized and invited othter friends to join the family for what tends to be a gab session over food. Just like quilting, the talking flows as your hands accomplish their task..
This year it was a 3 generation event. It was my mom, Missy and ME! That is it.. People were busy, traveling, caring for others.. We missed the extra hands but at the same time it was neat for me to see mom and missy in mischief mode deep in the throws of Masa..

In the words of one of my favorite Latin artists, Gloria Estefan "Que viva la tradicion!"

which tanslates to "Let the tradition live"..

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