Coming from a Mexican American family, Christmas was always a special time. As kids, we had to go to sleep early so that Santa Claus could come in the middle of the night to leave our presents under the tree.
Such a joyous time!
Always meant for us to be on our best behavior, especially when going shopping. Knowing what we already wanted, we were forewarned by Mommy Dearest to not ask for anything, because Santa already knew what we truly wanted, and it was unfair to the other kids around the world.
Yet, aside from Santa Claus and Christmas shopping, we had a tradition that went on for years & years that of course required my favorite substance in the world...FOOD!
Every year close to 2 dozen Tamales were made by hand. I, of course, would oh so generously volunteer to be the taste tester on a Saturday for about 6-7 hours and help make them (not continuously). By the time the tamales were all done and ready to be served, I was on the couch ready to go to sleep with no desire to eat anymore.
It was a blissful time I have to say!
Then came the wonderful time I was in charge of stirring the chocolate based drink called Champurrado. A very tedious process that requires an individual to continuously stir the much loved mexican drink for 3 hours...yes 3 hours! Just standing there and stirring! No iPod back then, couldn't find my walkman, and my discman had no batteries... I was going insane! I tried to convince Mommy Dearest that for all that time I spent stirring she would have to pay me....yeeeaaah that didn't work, though it was worth a try!
All said and done, the Champurrado came out just as she had wished, all thanks to her ingredients and my constant stirring.
Since I've started my career much of that food tradition has died down, especially since our relationship has suffered in part to our conflicting personalities. Nevertheless, these and many more memories continue to live in my heart and I can remember them fondly as I look back and laugh.
If you haven't had Tamales or Champurrado,
I urge you to give them both a try, your taste buds will love them!