Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hosting a Tamalada

Tamalada by Carmen Lomas Garza

When I was growing up every Christmas Eve we would gather at my great grandfather's house in the morning to make tamales. It was a lot of work and took the whole family's effort to get such a large quantity made. We would make dozens of tamales that would steam during the day and later be enjoyed at our Christmas Eve party that night.

Now that I'm older it's harder to get the family together to carry on this tradition; even so Hank and I make a big batch of tamales every year and this December is no exception. I plan on doing the traditional pork, and branching out a little with chicken/jalapeño, bean, and a sweet variety. Recipes and how to's will follow.

Thinking of hosting your own Tamalada this year? Here's everything you need for a fun (and productive!) tamale making party.

Basic tamale making supplies
large bowls for masa and fillings
spoons or other spreaders
large tamale steamer
newspaper (to spread out on your table)
corn husks
prepared masa
prepared fillings

It's great to have some good eats on hand while you're spreading and rolling tamales. Tamale making always makes me hungry, and since they take awhile to steam there's no instant gratification. Here are a few suggestions for a Tamalada menu:

Mexican Hot Chocolate, Coffee
Atole de Arroz
Pan dulce
Tortilla Soup
Beer, Micheladas

Hope this helps you plan a little, look out for recipes in the coming days!


  1. My former in-laws still tease me about the look on my face the first time I lifted the lid on the huge pot on the stove and saw a hog's head staring up at me. What did I know? I was just an East Texas girl who had only eaten tamales out of a can. LOL I learned in a hurry what REAL tamales were though, since my mother-in-law's were absolutely delicious. I bet yours are too!

  2. We have Grandpa's recipe and make them every year. I make chicken and green chili ones for me. I am so glad George got pictures of the process. Someday I will finish that painting. Didn't Grandpa put an egg in the hot chocolate?