tamalada days and Driskill nights

we topped spicy sweet tamal mix with raisins, pineapple, and pecans

I only ever tried my first tamal after moving to Texas. In fact, it was at Curra's, the Mexican staple on East Oltorf. The next spring, I produced a crazy amount of tamales and sold them off my bike during sxsw (true story). I went on to make them... hmm probably twice more? But never had the pleasure of taking part in a big group effort to make tamales-- known as a tamalada. This year, Maggie decided to brave hostessing her first tamalada... and I made some delicious atole for us to enjoy in the process! (Atole is a warm masa-based drink, and this version was spiked with rum and sprinkled with a little bit of cocoa) One of the ladies had pit-roasted a goat the day before so we could make cabrito tamales (now that's some serious business). We also made green chili chicken, veggie (cheese and peppers), sweet tamales with pineapple/raisins/pecans and another with chocolate chips (which I'd never even heard of!)

Oh- and if you didn't think gringos could make good tamales, think again as you scroll through these photos! :)

our lovely hostess deems our first batch a success!

cute aprons are essential!

roll on!

We totaled 200-somethin tamales!

After a day of tamalada-ing, you'd think I'd be all full on holiday fun right? Welp, guess again! Carson, Willi, Chip, Juliette, and I headed to the Driskill to get some proper Christmas photos in front of their majestic Christmas tree...

gingerbread version of the Driskill, made by Escoffier students!

pretty nice, eh?

Dickey bros or Three Ninjas?

Aw shucks, these two

Aw shucks, us two!

And then, since it wouldn't make sense to visit the Driskill without lounging in the bar for a bit, we did just that-- over Manhattans and right beside the toasty fireplace.