Everything is bigger in Texas. The restaurants, houses, highways, cars…even the tamales. Well, when there’s a tamale novice making them, that is! (Yes, I’m referring to myself.) While not a novice tamale lover or eater, I definitely struggle with the spreading, folding, and proportioning side of things, which led to some laughably gigantic tamales that definitely weren’t Texas appropriate. (If my mother in law’s smoothly spread, nicely proportioned tamales are any indication, they’re expert tamale makers down here.) By the way, hers are the ones pictured. I had to move mine out of the way when taking photos!
This is also her family recipe, which she shared with us last year when our Christmas tamale making tradition started. I had every intention of writing a post about them then, but never got around to it. So this year, I’m making sure to share the tamale love. Fair warning, the recipe doesn’t have any measurements – it’s a “do by feel” kind of process which is actually much more my speed. (I never measure when I’m not creating or testing blog recipes!) That said, I think it’s pretty forgiving and easy to follow, if fairly time consuming. Making tamales is a multi-hour process that is best done with friends, family, or both. In addition to yielding deliciousness, it’s quite fun!