If you have spent any holiday time in a community with Hispanic influence, you are likely familiar with tamalada. For those who haven’t, a tamalada is a get together of family and friends where everyone pitches in to make dozens upon dozens of tamales. In years past, these events would normally be for women only and would take place either just before Los Posadas or on a night during the tradition. Making tamales isn’t hard but it is amazingly labor intensive and the addition of lots of helping hands where everyone gets their own assignment makes the process go by faster. In addition, it provided plenty of time for the ladies to gossip about the men and teach the tradition to the younger girls in the family. Nowadays, many people invite every age and gender and it becomes a bit of a chaotic free for all. Having spent many, many years in Texas I have attended both kinds and both are equally rewarding and punishing (did I mention how exhausting it is?)
In light of the upcoming holidays and in learning that I would have a houseful of children one Sunday (when it was scheduled to storm and possibly snow so our normal outdoor pursuits were out of the question) I decided there was no better time to hold my own mini version of a tamalada. It would keep them occupied, teach them about a holiday tradition in another part of the world and everyone would be able to take home a basket of tamales for their own family either to eat or give as gifts.
The next few entries will be a sort of tale of my weekend adventure including photos of the entire process (assuming I remember to take them!) Mind you, I haven’t made tamales in about a decade but hopefully it’s like riding a bike and you never forget. Oh, wait…I never learned how to ride a bike. *blinks*