Friday, December 25, 2009

Because it's Christmas (Day 1)

Having once lived for several years in SoCal, I am quite familiar with the Southwestern, Mexican and generally Mesoamerican tradition of making tamales for Christmas (that is, I know of it, although I myself have never had the good fortune to partake in the tradition). Even though this is not a tradition my ancestors took part in, or even really knew about, I have wanted to do this for some time. For various reasons, this was just not going to be the year.

But leave it to the folks at the Food Network and their online-only show The Power of Food - the same guys who brought us a Hanukkah brisket from Bawlmer earlier this month - to head to the Southwest and set up shop in a cheery abuela's kitchen on Christmas Eve. This woman, along with two or three generations after her, do it all from scratch - from the roasting of the chiles to the soaking, nixtamalizing and grinding down of the corn to make the masa. God, I could use some tamales right now. ¡Feliz Navidad, y qué comas muchos tamales en el año nuevo!*

*Happy Christmas, and may you eat many tamales in the new year!