Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve traditions

My mom holding a tamale ready to be wrapped up

Ojas and masa ready to be filled with chili

Fresh, delicious red chili

My mothers lovely hands demonstrating exactly how to spread the masa

There have been many wonderful days of Christmas over the past week. So that this post doesn't have a million photos, I am going to spread out the Christmas cheer over a few posts.

Many New Mexicans make tamales and posole for Christmas Eve. Making tamales is an art passed down from generation to generation. They are usually only made once a year (at least in my family) because they are so labor intensive. We make a bunch of them so that we may freeze them and have them all year long. But, the fresh ones are eaten on Christmas Eve as a very special treat. This year, my mom and my sister Ann and I all sat around a table making tamales together. It made us think about our Mama Lou (my grandmother, my moms mom) and how she taught us to make these special tamales. We also talked about other women in our families who we were missing over the holidays, like our sister Elisa who usually helps out with the tamale making, and Wendy and her kids who are in LA. We talked about Aunt Berta and had a discussion on who's posole is better my moms or hers We decided they are equally as wonderful, although Doug is willing to say that Aunt Berta makes better posole (sorry mama). Mostly it brought back wonderful memories of Mama Lou, who is no longer with us in person but sure is with us in spirit! We laughed and laughed. It is a wonderful tradition that I am blessed to share with the women in my family.
Doug was there to take these wonderful photos and capture the moment. These photos made me realize that mothers hands are very special to me. They are the same as mine and my sisters hands, we all have them. They represent comfort and strength to me and watching them get covered in the masa making tamales reminded me of how much I love them.
I hope you all had a very special Christmas Eve. What do you do?

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