Wednesday, December 26, 2007

its just not christmas without tamales

normally i only tell you about the recipes that turn out well.

sunday was not one of those occasions.

i got it in my head that i would make tamales. i actually found the recipe in november, have since purchased the perishable parts a couple of times, let them rot, tossed them out, bought them again, repeat. and now i've finally made them. except it was a complete flop and all ingredients were chucked out.

but while i was making them, i called up my mom. mostly to brag about how i was making tamales (she's a spanish teacher). she told me about how this woman who used to attend their church always made tamales for christmas. before she died, mom used to see her doing her christmas dinner shopping and it always included corn husks (which i would not have thought you could buy in rural western ky nearly a decade ago). she once said that her kids felt that it just wasn't a proper christmas if their mom didn't make batch after batch of tamales. i can't help but wonder how that got to be their family's tradition. they weren't hispanic. i don't think they'd even ever lived in the southwest. but maybe one random sunday, years before her kids were born, she happened upon a tamale recipe, succeeded at making them, and just played it by ear from there.

maybe i'll get it right next year.


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