So on Christmas morning, after all your loot is unwrapped and you are lazing in the sugarplum afterglow — how about some tamales? On TV! Tune in President Doti’s new food show, “Reality Cooking,” on The OC Channel (listings below) at 9:30 a.m. December 25 to learn great recipes for savory and sweet versions of the traditional Mexican holiday treat, courtesy of special guest Maria Diaz (the mom of show producer-director Armando Diaz, senior media services specialist). She and President Doti will be cooking up the masa-riffic morsels, and you can learn all the tricks of molding, filling and wrapping them in cornhusks. Yum!
So how did tamales come to be associated with Christmas? Many Mexican-American families hold a tamalada leading up to the holidays – a tamale-making party where family members pitch in to make batches of the treats. One theory goes that the holiday roots come from the time of Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez, who in November 1519 entered what is now Mexico City with his troops. The Spaniards may have seen the Aztec women making and selling tamales in the market and, since it was close to Christmas, may have linked tamale-making with the holiday.
(Ok, weak, we know. Perhaps some things just should remain holiday mysteries.)
If you missed any of the preceding episodes of President Doti’s “Reality Cooking,” which debuted in November on The OC Channel, you can catch them all on iTunes for free. Download them here: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=462373098
“Reality Cooking” spotlights real ingredients that anyone either has around their kitchen or can easily get from any grocery store (nothing exotic), cooked up by real people (not TV chefs) who have the same sort of limited time that most of us have when we’re cooking. PBS SoCal’s OC Channel can be found over the air at 50.2; cable or satellite provider channel numbers may vary based on your location (see channel list here: http://occhannel.pbssocal.org/about/channelList.php).