Okay, I have been gone for a long time. I know I won’t give you the spill about my life issues and all I’m sure I have posted that many times before. So, saying that I will not bore you with that spill again. Just close your eyes and imagine that you just read it okay? I’ll give you a couple of minutes to remember… go on… do it…
Okay after several minutes later (or short, how ever your memory works), I’m going to be writing about my Christmas past, a memory that will never be forgotten but hopefully will be given in the future to future generations. just as much as I appreciate my parents for giving me these memories Insha’Allah my husband and I will be able to give to our children too.
Christmas!! Yes of course I don’t celebrate this holiday anymore but I still have the memories of my childhood. Being an hispanic we don’t have the traditional of doing things differently then the traditional American way. First of all during thanksgiving is when my parents and us kids decorate the the apartment for christmas. We make a big deal about it by mom making hot chocolate, sweet tamales, and other foods while blasting hispanics christmas songs. Wow, I already want to cry just remembering that first part.
From Thanksgiving on my parents start buying the ingredients for the famous Guatemalan Tamales!! Some ingredients you have to buy in a speciality store ( most likely a little mom and pop Central American shop). then its the famous masa (flour; for you gringos), once everything is bought it takes the masa just five days to cook before you start setting up the tamales into the leaf. Yes, your eyes read this correct the masa takes five days to prepare. Of course my mom always cooked 1 or 2k tamales, yes that many because that was the only time we literally had my father’s family coming over to visit us the whole year. ANYWAYS, back to the good times.
While my mom is cooking the masa my dad is helping here while my sisters and me are helping chopping up whatever needs chopping. While doing this we are literally dancing and cracking jokes. My dad is trying to taste the masa and other ingredients even though the tamale is not made yet. Once the masa is done thats when we start a little small assembly line. My dad is giving us a huge spoonful of masa on the leaves that we use to cook the tamales in. Then my sisters pour the red sauce while the other put the other ingredients. I got the “important” job, I put a huge beef chunk into the middle of everything. My mom wraps it up and puts each tamale in the huge silver pot that she only uses for this time of the year.
Once all the 2k tamales are in the pots then we cook them for I believe is 1 day in a half. Yes it takes awhile to cook but once it is done, OMG!!! It beats ANY tamale that you have ever tasted in the world. I promise you. I have tasted so many tamales that I have not found any that can compare to this one. So my mom lets us share two tamales before we can actually eat our one. Usually my dad and me steal a third one and share it later on, sometimes we get a raw one but most of the time we get a very good one. I think mom always new we did it but let us have it… I hope… if not sorry dad just let our secret out!! lol
Well on Christmas Eve we eat breakfast (no tamale) and lunch (no tamale), we fast the rest of the day and just enjoy spending time with my family and the few uncles and aunts and cousins that come by. Through out the day when we don’t have visitors we go and visit more of dads family. My mothers family is in Guatemala so unfortunately we can’t see them. Basically we the small kids are excited and we see the christmas tree get smaller and smaller because everyone that has come by has brought presents.
Once it hits midnight my parents wake us up and then before we can actually open a present we eat … YES…. a steaming hot TAMALE!!! I have hot chocolate, an hispanic bread to eat it with. I drizzle some lemon on it like that it adds to the flavor that already is there.
Great now I have tears started to surface. This is my Christmas story. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas because of religious reasons I still have wonderful and amazing memories that I will never forget. Insha’Allah when we have our children my husband and me can give our children similar if not more amazing and beautiful memories.