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Making Tamales is Family Time

Every year close to the holidays it’s a tradition that my boyfriend’s family gets together to make their famous tamales! Now these aren’t any normal tamales…they are the secret of their Grandmother. I’ve been helping Omar’s family for the past 6 years and let me tell you its starting to get easier (well sorta).

Ok, so a couple definitions that will help you out.

  1. Corn Husk or in Spanish “Oja”- is what you spread the Masa on then meat.
  2. Masa- it’s the dough that is used to cover the meat to make tamales.

Now most Hispanics use a “Cabeza de Marano” (Pigs Head) or some people just use pork roast. You cook it in a pan for a good 2 to 3 hours, or until it is tender.


Now Omar’s older cousin is the only one who knows how to make the Masa and its just one of those things that you had to learn from their grandmother! No measurements, you just have to eye-ball it (that’s one hard part). But as she was making it I actually listened and tried to get it down.

This is what the Masa turns out to look like when its all made.


And this is what the meat looks like chopped up.


After the meat is all chopped and cooked this is how you make a tamale. The Oja’s have to be soaked overnight too in super hot water. They just make this an assembly line type thing which works out pretty well. So now, this is how you make a tamale.

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And then finally the finished product!


While doing all this it is good just to hang out and talk. This whole process is very time consuming but I thinks that’s the best part about it…it gives us more time to enjoy each others company. Getting together for stuff like this is always fun for me and its memories that I will cherish. Just to be asked to help with family stuff like this makes me appreciate the people I have in my life and makes me very thankful for each and every one of them!


This is something special that we do around the holidays…So I wanted to share this with you, but now what are some traditions you do as family during the holidays???

Let me know!

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