in between sets of outfit photos taken while visiting family in redlands, i tried to take the time to snap a few personal photos to keep as memories. while many of these are just for me, i thought it would be fun to share a little glimpse at my favorite holiday traditions. and yes, they revolve around food. like many mexicans and mexican-americans around the country, my family all gathers around the kitchen table on christmas eve to make tamales! this year, i sat at the table with my grandmother, mom, sister, and brother to spread masa and fill the tamales with our favorite fillings. we used to just make the traditional pork with red chile, but have since come to love a vegetarian style with california chiles stuffed with jack cheese as well. you can really put whatever you want in a tamale, but these are the two flavors that everyone in my family enjoys. though for fun, this year my mom bought some pre-made strawberry and pineapple masa for a little variety.
it may sound silly, but my grandma usually makes spanish rice and potato salad to complete the meal and we top it off with her home made salsa. i suppose it’s just one of those hybrid meals that springs up from a mexican family living in southern california for generations. i joke that it’s about the food, but clearly it’s so much more than that to me. i can remember sitting around the table spreading masa way back when i was a little girl and my great-grandma was there, too. four generations of women sitting around the table to learn and enjoy the tradition passed down from so many generations before us.
anyway, i know this is a boatload of pictures already, but you can view the full set here.
menudo and pan dulce
i very rarely get to stay in town long enough to celebrate new year’s day with my family, but this year i was lucky enough to be there to enjoy my grandmother’s home made menudo. i know it’s an acquired taste for many, but for me, it’s a real treat. the only day of the year that we get to enjoy this dish is on new year’s. i remember when i was a little kid, we would heat up the tortillas and roll them up to dip into the broth. this of course, naturally meant that the little tortilla roll could be used as a straw for us to drink the hot broth from the bowl. we would also enjoy warm pan dulce from the local panaderia. i still can’t decide my favorite, but i love the look of those bright pink conchas!