Thursday, December 20, 2007

Untraditional Mexican

Yes, I am Mexican. For some reason when people know that I am Mexican, during the holiday season, I will get asked if I will be making tamales. Umm no. I'm not a "traditional" Mexican. I never grew up making tamales, but we do order them from a lady that makes good tamales. Even though my mom was born in Guadalajara, I guess when she married my dad who's a third generation, alot of traditions went out the window. Although really, my family isn't all that traditional. Have you read Sandra Cisneros "Caramelo"?? There is a character she calls the "Awful grandmother". Honestly it's like she took part of my grandmother, but only 50%. I always wished I had a grandmother that babysat, spoiled me and baked cookies. My grandmother (abuelita) was harsh. She lived a very rough life. She had 7 children with 4 different men. In the 1930's that was so taboo. If she married any of them, I don't think she ever legally divorced them. She was a smoker. A carton a week. From like 14 years until 80. She was a stubborn an old lady too. Even though I have a mess of allergies, and certainly smoke was on the top of that list, she smoked inside the house when she stayed with us. She visited all her children and stayed with us about 4-6 months out of the year. She had a chair near the window and the curtain was completely yellow, and the tips of her fingertips were calloused and yellow. One day she asked my mother to bring her a carton. Well, my mom forgot. Later during the week, she took her a carton, and abuelita told her to forget it. She quit cold turkey. She didn't smoke from that day until her death in 2004. She was 94. The smoking did her in. I didn't cry when my abuelita died. I felt bad for my mother, but I didn't cry for her. Why? I dunno. She was so mean to us.

Anyway, don't know how I go to my abuelita, but there you have it. No tamale cooking for us. In LA there is plenty of places to get good tamales. Most of them have lines around the corner for them. Those are the good places. Last year I waited on Christmas Eve for over an hour at Tamales Liliana's. They were very good! My godmother will be making our tamales this year. Oh an you have to place your order well in advance, cause you know, they sell out. bummer. It's the only time of year I eat tamales. Tamales remind me so much of Christmas. Tamales and some hot chocolate or champurrado. Good eats!

1 comment:

Stacie said...

mmmm Tamales...

I had no IDEA you were Mexican ;)