Family · Uncategorized

Christmas on the Kucek Ranch


How in the world is it that a bunch of polish people celebrate Christmas with tamales?  We have my dad to that for that one. Not sure how other families celebrate Christmas, but this is how we have always done it. Every year for Christmas dinner we come together in the early morn to work! But I must admit, we are doing a whole lot of eating and playing at the same time.

Everyone, and I mean everyone gets involved in the tamale making process, taste testing being the most sought after position.

IMG_1800We start them young in our family whether it is driving a tractor or folding a tamale. This little guy got the hang of it quick. We have a new rule: If you are 2 years old, you only have to fold 4 tamales, if you are 3, then 6 tamales. Poor grandma Sally had to fold her heart out. Oh well. We gave her a free pass on that rule. 🙂

This year we made a record number of tamales and somehow it seams we still fall short. We had three large pots cooking on the stove for at least 4 hours. I have to say I think this year has been our best tamale year ever.I can almost say after 30 something years of making tamales, we have gotten pretty good at it. And still they are my favorite food of all time.

Our flavors of choice are pork, chili and cheese, and chicken. When my dad was alive we did beef with raisons, but I sort of ended that tradition, sorry dad.

I have taken over as chief meat mixer and taste tester with a lot of testers nearby to edit the sauce. This year we really worked together to make it fantastic. I can’t think of a more labor intensive dish than this. And when it is all said and done, we take joy together in our work.

I did really enjoy making them this year. Sometimes it seems frustrating and strenuous and I often wonder how other people do it. It reminds me of harvest. If you want something done bad enough and quick enough, you just can’t do it alone. And lord knows working with family can be one of the greatest challenges there is.  We seem to really be getting good at working together. Not sure if it is age, or simply wanting to understand each other, either way, I am happy to be part of this family, and this farm. There is nothing like blood sweat and tears together. Of course when we were making the tamales we had mimosas, carnitas and cheese to much on. Now we just need some good music added to the mix…maybe next year.

Recipes to come soon, or one resembling a recipe.

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