Our Christmas Tamales

My mom (left) Cecy Rodriguez and grandma Genoveva Ontiveros hard at work.

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great Christmas weekend! If you remember I blogged about my family’s tamale making tradition a couple of weeks ago. You can check out the post here. Me, my mom and grandma got together last Saturday to make 25 pounds of three types of tamales. My grandma said she learned how to make the tamales by watching her mother make them every year during Christmas time. Her and her mother never used an official recipe or accurate measurements. I asked my grandmother to write it down but she said she couldn’t. It’s not because she doesn’t want to share the recipe. Lynn, don’t worry I will get you the recipe one way or the other sometime! I didn’t forget about your request. My uncle, Fernie Ontiveros took some photos of our yearly tamale making tradition. I asked my grandma and mom why we make tamales every year and my mom said “because it’s a family tradition.” My grandma jokingly said “I don’t know because we’re crazy!”  It just doesn’t feel like Christmas without unwrapping tamales on Christmas Day.

My mom is preparing the masa for our batch of sweet tamales. Our sweet tamales included raisins, coconut, pecans and strawberries.
The masa is ready to be spread on top of the corn husks.


My grandma is boiling chicken for our batch of green tamales (left). The other pot is used to cook the tamales.


  1. Hey Lisa!
    I LOVE this!

    I’d love to see more like this! I can never get enough of seeing pictures of elders cooking. How bout sharing some of the stories they tell while they are cooking.

    Both mom and grandma are such beautiful ladies. Grandma sounds like she is a lot of fun! “We do it because we’re crazy.” LOL.

    I see where you get your sense of humor! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve watched my grandma do it many times. I help them every year. That’s true. Maybe when I have two free days I’ll have to experiment. I’m paranoid to cook them because you have to check them constantly. Eh what’s the worst that can happen besides messing them up? Lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I tried to write down everything but wow! Lol. It takes two days to make them and a lot of ingredients. My grandma was getting impatient too. Lol. One day soon I’ll have to organize these recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes! He got a lot of toys and clothes! Plus, his birthday was on the 13th so he gets double the gifts! We’re having a birthday party for him tomorrow but idk yet because it’s supposed to snow a lot. If it does I’ll have to cancel it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We all got great gifts and my babygirl was spoiled and she still is getting more stuff soon 🙂 I spent time with my fiances family and we had so much fun

    Liked by 1 person

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