"Tamalada" by Carmen Lomas Garza

The Tamalada: Tamales and Community

misssk Family, Handmade, Mesoamerican, Scratch cooking, Texas, Tradition Leave a Comment

Earlier this week we explored the holiday tamal tradition, tracking down possible explanations for the connection between these tasty steamed masa cakes and the holiday season. Of course no discussion of tamal customs and tradition would be complete without mention of the tamalada, a grand fiesta in which families gather to catch up, laugh, share stories and memories, and oh …

Tamales_12.17

Tracing the Holiday Tamal Tradition

misssk Family, Handmade, Mesoamerican, Scratch cooking, Spirituality, Texas, Tradition Leave a Comment

In Texas, the holidays mean tamales. Along with Christmas trees, sparkling lights, and sweet treats, I will forever associate the abundance of tamales—making them, craving them, seeing them, eating them, buying them—with the holiday season. As the wonderful aromas of warm masa, stewing chiles and tamales de dulce emerge once again this year, I found myself wondering where tamales’ holiday …

Latkes_12.19.11

Goldman Family Potato Latkes

misssk Family, Handmade, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Tradition, Veggie Leave a Comment

These are my mom’s self-proclaimed, undisputed world’s best potato latkes, like big cakes of crispy hash brown served hot with applesauce and sour cream. The onion and potatoes weep quite a bit after you shred them, so be sure to squeeze out all of the excess liquid before you fry. Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen Cook time: 90 minutes Ingredients: 3 …

Kolachis_12.19.11

Traditional Slavic Kolachis

misssk Baking, Dessert, Family, Handmade, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Tradition Leave a Comment

These little filled, fold-over cookies have been in my family for a long time, and they’re much different than the Czech kolaches popular in Texas. This recipe is a combination of my Great Aunt Clara’s and one taken from “The Original Cookbook of Favorite Slavic Recipes,” a vintage cookbook of my grandmother’s. You can use any pre- or homemade filling …

HoppinJohn_12.19.11

Spicy Tomato Hoppin’ John

misssk Gluten-free, Handmade, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Southern, Texas, Tradition Leave a Comment

Nothing says New Years like black-eyed peas. Rumored to bring good luck in the new year, there’s lots of ways to eat them—this is my take on a Southern preparation called Hoppin’ John. Along with the typical ham, onion, pepper, and celery, chiles and a tomato-based broth give it a spicier, Creole flavor. Yield: 8 to 10 servings Cook time: …

Nana_12.19.11

Kolachis, Cookies and Brittle: Holiday Baking with Nana

misssk Baking, Family, Handmade, Kitchen, Scratch cooking, Tradition Leave a Comment

It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas. After whipping up some ginger candied nuts last week, I spent a few days with my grandma in Georgetown, baking our family’s traditional fold-over kolachi cookies as well as a couple of newer goodies. Much like my mama’s potato latkes, my Nana’s kolachis were passed down from my great- and probably great-great-grandmother. …