My family is all from Arizona, so we take our Mexican food very seriously. My mom tells me stories of my grandmother standing at the stove making tacos in a frying pan, with each one closed by a toothpick. Then my mom and her brother and sister would see who could make a bigger pile of toothpicks on their plate. 🙂 My grandmother is coming to visit, so my mom and I thought it would be very nice to have a day where we all made tamales, a very big tradition in all the Hispanic families we have known. So this is our menu for tamale day.
I am planning on cooking the machaca the day before, and grabbing a pound of the pork before we start making tamales. That is going into a bag for the freezer for pulled pork sandwiches later. The gnocchi dish will be prepped much earlier in the week, and frozen. This is just in case we don’t feel like eating tamales after making them all day (although I think my dad and my roommate might have something to say about that!). But if we do, I will go ahead and get a jar of green chili salsa to smother them in (pork tastes better with green than red) and serve with the rice dish.
Tamale making is not exactly our family’s tradition, but I know that it is a tradition for a lot of families. And it is a great way to get everyone involved in cooking, from my daughter to my grandmother. It is easy work, just time consuming. But with 4 of us working, it shouldn’t take very long. And then my dad will get a batch of homemade tamales for his freezer, and so will I. 🙂