As much as I look forward to spending the holidays with my family, there’s one element to it that I dread every year, and that’s having to prepare tamales. And the bigger your family, the more back-breaking the task of making tamales gets.
If you’ve experienced this exhausting labor, then you’ll be able to relate to the following process:
It all starts with having to wake up early AF to drive to the store to buy the masa.
Yes, it’s a whole-day process that starts at the crack of dawn.
Since everyone likes to buy their masa at the same spot, the line goes all the way down the street.
And it takes foreverrrrrrr.
Unfortunately, masa isn’t the only item you have to buy.
Along with the big bags of masa, you also have dozens of corn husks and all of the fillings for the different types of tamales you’ll be making on your shopping list. Rajas, cheese, chicken, veggies….
Once everything is purchased, it’s then time to gather you tamal-prepping team.
Usually the head of the team will assign everyone their tasks and keep every person in check. At my house, this role is filled by my grandma.
Sometimes you get chosen to help whether you want to or not.
This happens to me every year.
The assembly line begins, and it’s a 2+ hour process depending on how many tamales you’re making.
And there’s no lunch break in this process.
Once your fingers are wrinkled and shoulders are on fire from making dozens of tamales, you end the process by organizing all of the tamales into a large pot.
Make sure to organize them the correct way (with opening of the corn husk facing up) or else they won’t cook at all. The masa won’t harden and all the fillings will dump out. If you do it the wrong way, your mom or grandma WILL yell at you.
Despite how much this process drains your energy…
…eating and spending the holidays with your friends and family makes it all worth it.
💖 And they better not dare complain about the tamales.