Tamalada!!

Oh yes, I love tamales.  I love all kinds of tamales.  There is no better time to enjoy them than during the Fiestas Decembrinas (December holidays).  This is a really quick post with a really quick video about our families that get together to catch up on each others’ lives over the building of a mountain of tamales.  You can’t just eat one tamal, even when you try.Tamal Isaac
Even my baby nephew got in on the action except… his was more of a sculpture session. Because we are increasingly mobile and my family is spread out, we gather once a year and tamales are usually part of the celebration. This Christmas Eve 2015, we made tamales of chicken in red chile sauce and poblano pepper strips (rajas) with cheese. We also made Chopes which are sweet small tamales using the same masa (corn meal mix) but with fruit and nuts added. They are delicious! I should have thought ahead and videotaped a step-by-step but… too late; we were caught up in our creations. This was us during the process. Merry Christmas everyone (although I also pulled out my aluminum pole for Festivus, the delicate family balance…. hmmm…)!!

Downtown is going to be busy with tours, farmers market, wrestling and an animal posada

So much to do, so much to eat :P, so much work, too!

This weekend is an exceedingly busy weekend for many in Laredo. Offices are starting to wind down or speed up as the holiday break time comes.

Shockingly – well, for me anyway – I actually received an invitation for the annual Border Patrol tamalada, not for the other hats I wear but addressed to the Que Fregados Blogger! It turns out, the Chief read my post from last year (gulp!) stating that su servidora (your humble servant) had not been invited last year (I went anyway, but representing another group). All I can say is that those border patrol dudes make some delicious mollejas and pozole and no one asked me for my ID (unlike my recent battle at a major airport with TSA not liking the countries I visited on my expired passport but that is a different story).

Saturday morning is going to be a trip to the Laredo Farmers Market at Jarvis Plaza. I love visiting! For the first time, the Laredo Main Street nonprofit and the St. Peter’s Historic Neighborhood Association soon-to-be a nonprofit are collaborating on tours that will depart from the farmers market and visit the cradle of religious activity in early Laredo – St. Peter’s Neighborhood! The tours are free and are led by Jesús Najar of the National Trust for Historic Preservation but they do have a maximum capacity of 20 – 22 people. It will be first come first board. Of course, readers know I love the downtown area – it may not be the most opulent but it is a great mix of architecture and of economic diversity. Not only that but it is very walkable. If you take this tour, you will see the following buildings that are not in not the best of states:

  • Methodist Church
  • St. James Tabernacle
  • Mary Help Convent
  • Knights of Columbus Hall
  • First Baptist Church

& my Atheist home (ok, that is not part of the tour but I love the diversity of faiths and nonfaiths that are/were contained within the 36 blocks that is St. Peter’s neighborhood)

From there its only a hop skip and a jump to join the Laredo Wrestling Alliance on a very special wrestling match. The men and women of the LWA will be hosting a charity Battle Royal (I sponsor and support them but I still don’t get the battle royal deal). Check them out on KGNS with Mindy Casso. At this match, they will be raising funds to buy toys for children who wake up in the hospital on Christmas Day (hope kids don’t get any ideas…). The wrestlers will be personally visiting and distributing gifts at the two larger area hospitals. It’s incredible the number of young fans the Laredo Wrestling Alliance has and the big hearts they share with others. For $5 entrance fee, it is good fun and while being entertained, you will also be helping the wrestlers with buying gifts. Make sure you catch them downtown at the former Galaxy Billiards, 802 Juarez Avenue. After 6pm, no parking charges apply.

I just received an interesting and unexpected invitation for Sunday. St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church (mentioned and to be visited in the tour above) is increasingly becoming an active force in the downtown community although many Catholics (and the occasional atheist when her mom is in town and wants the company) attend mass from all parts of Laredo. It has doubled in activity with the arrival of Father Toby and positive activities seem to be happening left and right but at St. Peter’s Church. It is really exciting to see and hear about new projects.

The Gateway Gatos of Laredo will be hosting a Christmas Animal Posada. Personally, I am a dog person but there are Laredoans who came together as:

A non-profit organization that wants to protect and foster respect for cats in the Gateway City.

It is open to other pets and people are encouraged to come dressed as an animal or wearing a mask… interesting. If you want to participate with your pet, bring them by at 3pm on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at St. Peter’s Plaza.

Tamalada Border Patrol style

Not in celebration of la Virgen de Guadalupe or Christmas, but Chief Patrol Agent Robert Harris of the Laredo Border Patrol hosted a TAMALADA which is a Mexican tradition during the holiday season! How very cool and not expected of Border Patrol. I think the agency might be getting hip as it continues to grow… or maybe not. It does make for good public relations, though.

Unfortunately, this invitation created a conflict in my household with the definition of what is a tamalada. In my understanding, it is a big tamal-making gathering where you all pitch in to do your part for the big feast. My partner on the other hand said “You are crazy, it is a party to go eat tamales.” He told me to go tell BP Chief Harris to start preparing to embarrar hojas (the part of the preparation where you put the corn meal mix on the corn husk) to which, I had no response other than that a traditional tamalada is to make tamales. I still think I am right. It doesn’t matter because local bloggers were not invited 🙁 – or maybe they were but I wasn’t, ha!

The invitation sent to many local leaders in Laredo for the annual Tamalada at Border Patrol offices

Check out some footage of the Border Patrol Tamalada on Univision