Our annual Tamalada was this past Saturday. That means tamales for all. Well at least for us.
Eight years ago we started making tamales. Not for sale, but just to do something together as a family. Bringing a new tradition to life.
Usually everyone gets a handkerchief for their hair and an apron, but this year we did aprons with Santa hats, a new look suggested by my cousin Anna, that I feel worked out great. The most fun about this part is that all the little girls can’t wait to suit up. While they may not help for too long they are willing participants. They are part of it. They eventually run off to play with the rest of the kids.
My Aunt Mary and my mother began taking notes on year one. Now they can sort through which way worked better. Whether to add more or less manteca (lard), more or less chili powder, garlic, etc. It’s a science, I tell you.
Now almost a decade into it we’ve just about got it down with the help of everyone especially my aunt Patty, who has done wonders in helping get it just right. Her expertise have been greatly appreciated. Forty some odd dozen later we feast and relax. Saving some for our Christmas Eve celebration and others for lunch later in the week. Oh and we joke. After hearing funny stories from multiple family members, we practically lose ourselves after aunt Patty recites a quirky anecdote none of us had ever heard of. Needless to say we will be saying it now.
All in all the scene there was amazing. Four generations together, laughing, creating, loving and just being. The kids run around the backyard of my parents’ house playing tag, hide-n-go-seek, jumping fences and enjoying each other. There were no video games here just torn jeans, dirt stained knees and laughter. Like it used to be when I was a child. The only technology around were cameras to capture the new memories and a radio playing conjunto “oldies” that brought back memories to my grandmother singing with her father as a young girl, sitting in her chair she swayed back and forth to the tune. Priceless.