After a brief hiatus, for this month’s World wide Wednesdays, I decided to focus on stories of holiday from different cultures around the world after finding this list of children’s books on Pinterest. This week we read Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto. The story takes place on Christmas Eve, and tells the story of Maria, a young Latino girl who gathered with her family to celebrate on Christmas Eve. Maria, is really excited because she finally has the opportunity to help her mother make tamales for their extended family. Maria’s mom has a diamond wedding ring that Maria has always loved, and her mom takes off the ring while kneading the masa for the tamales. She then leaves the kitchen. Maria determines that this is the perfect opportunity to try on the coveted ring, and she does so, while kneading the masa. Hours later, to her horror, after the 24 tamales are ready to eat, she discovers that the ring is no longer on her thumb.The rest of the story tells how Maria decides to “fix” the problem, and teaches great lessons about honesty and family.
Since my children have never had tamales before, I decided this was the perfect opportunity for them to try them out. You would like to think I made them since that is what they did in the book, right? Hah! No. Instead we went to this little Salvadorian bakery and restaurant nearby, Susy’s Bakery and Deli, where we ordered chicken and pork tamales, and their favorite Salvadorian dish, pupusas. Enoch says, “Delicious!”