I Died and Went to Tamale Heaven

23 Dec


Have you ever had homemade tamales? It only takes the entire day to make, but it’s absolutely worth the time and wait. I’m here in Palm Springs, where my boyfriend and I usually spend part of the holidays with his family. Everyone participated in the preparation and joined the assembly line of making tamales con carne (beef), tamales con queso (cheese), and tamales dulces (sweet). Tamales are ojas (corn husks) filled with different ingredients: the tamales con carne are filled with masa, seasoned beef, green peppers, papas (potatoes), and olives; the tamales con queso with masa, Monterey Jack Cheese, and green peppers; and the tamales dulces with sweet masa (masa mixed with sugar and raisins) and pineapple.
They are so delicious, I must have had half a dozen of the cheese tamales and half a dozen of the sweet tamales (so far). I made sure I worked out before dinner, so I didn’t feel entirely guilty. I get to indulge in this craving once a year, so I had to take advantage of this opportunity to get my fill. Tamales are a traditional Mexican cuisine, and its not only a treat to eat, it’s so much fun to make. The amount of time and man power (actually, woman power) that it takes to prepare and cook tamales makes for a quality bonding experience, filled with Christmas carols, laughter, and 3 year old twins (boy and girl) dancing to Justin Beiber’s “Baby.” Making and eating tamales are one of my favorite times of the year, a time to crave and savor.

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