Dec 31, 2004
Eating tamales on Christmas Day is a Texas (mainly South Texas) tradition. But as the state reverts to Mexican control and influence, these South Texas traditions are becoming established even in the Yankee dominated northern bastions like Dallas. Here at Casa de Verana, we used to get our Christmas tamales from a wonderful woman named Mrs. Ruiz. We would exchange gifts purchased at Target for her incredible tamales. We always felt we got the better part of the deal. But her family has grown up and moved on, and we have had to find a new supplier.
I meant to go by La Popular Tamaleria on Christmas Eve, but ran out of time. Instead, in the best Dallas new-tradition, I went by Central Market and got a dozen beef-pork tamales, and a dozen chicken-jalapeno tamales. They were OK, but a far cry from Mrs. Ruiz's handmade tamales (they were, however, superior to the canned Gebhardt's tamales I used to get on Christmas when I lived in San Francisco).
Pictured above is 13 year old Molly, "the world's best cat", enjoying a chicken-jalapeno tamale from the hand of Linden, the "world's best wife". I must tell you, that is not simply a taste she is trying. This was her second bite. If you look closely, you can seen her pink tongue wrapping itself around a sizeable chunk of tamale. Molly was seen a couple of months ago lapping up some chipotle hot sauce that had been set on a low table.
Like I said... "the World's Best Cat".