La Tamalera means the woman that makes Tamales. You may wonder what a Tamal is, but no reason to get impatient. I’ll get to that all throughout this post.
Tamales are one of the most time-honored Christmas traditions in Costa Rica. Like the rest of Latin America, tamales are a principal part of Christmas dinner. In Costa Rica, tamales are made from corn flour and are filled with many different ingredients, such as potato puree, rice, vegetables, garlic and onions, and shredded pork or chicken or beef, all wrapped in banana leaves and tied with string into squares, and boiled.
After last nights party I slept in. Something that resulted in it being very warm already (26C) when I woke up. So… I decided to sleep some more.
When I woke up again it was already 1pm and Roshy y Mami had started making Tamales.
Roshy and I were put into the time lengthy job of cleaning the banana leaves so they were all clean of dust and other stuff, preparing them for using.
Roxana washing Banana leaves
Me washing Banana leaves
mami started cookinge the meat and the vegetables for the filling and the broth.
Meat cooking and preparing for Tamales
Then we prepared the fillings.
We used Carrots, Prunes, Olives, Red bell peppers, Green peas, raisins and potatoes cut in stripes.
Not to forget: For each tamal a peace of meat.
Carrots prepared to be used as filling for Tamales
Mami preparing La masa (the dough)
How to fill a Tamal
Mami filling tamales
Once the Tamales are filled, bundle them up two and two and put in a huge casserole for cooking. They now need 1-2 hours of cooking.
Finished Tamales – Wrapped and ready for cooking
Tamales cooking over open fire outside in the yard
Of course, this was a lot of work and a lot of effort inside today, however it was an excellent way to spend the day with my family and learn one of the most popular traditions for christmas.
And.. For dinner. Tamales.. Yummy :D
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