It’s Tamalada Season Texas But Why Is It Important to Families?
It's Fall in Texas which means many families are getting ready for the holidays which includes lots of amazing food like turkey, ham, and best of all the tamales. Tamales are actually a lot of work for just one person but usually it's not a one person job as many Hispanic families gather for tamaladas weeks before the holidays start.
Tamaladas are like a big party when all your tias (aunts), cousins, grandmothers and some tios (uncles) gather together to make tamales. Sounds simple but actually it's a very fast paced, and loud, event for everyone to relax while also not relaxing at the same time. To get started the person hosting the tamalada starts days before the actual event, usually held on a weekend.
In the Beginning
To get started that person will make room in the fridge or freezer and then go buy what they need to make tamales like the ojas (corn husks), meat, and pre-made masa (dough) or the ingredients to make their own masa. You then have to soak the corn husks in water so they can be pliable and will hold the tamales as they cook. Some people will also marinade their meat during this time and make the masa in advance. You can skip making the masa in advance and do it the day of just for more family time and to make others do the work.
This is the second most important part of the tamalada and that's your job because if you can't spread the masa, which is an art form, then you can mess up everything. So usually the tias and older cousins will do the masa spreading while the older women, or men, cook the meat that will go in the tamales. The smaller kids will add meat to the corn husks once they have masa spread on them because it's easy and if they add to much then pick some of that meat off to eat it.
While everyone makes tamales is when the important part comes up and that's the stories. Whether it's stories of when your tias were little fighting over the chivo, your uncle calling little donkeys little burritos, or scary paranormal stories from Mexico this is the time for bonding. Families can grow apart sometimes but tamaladas help stitch the time that's been lost and brings us closer together. Tamales are that magical and they can bring families together.
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