My maternal great-grandmother was Mexican. She lived to be a 100 years old. My family joked that her longevity was due to her daily pork consumption. Whenever I came to visit her I always showed up with pork tamales in hand. If the weather was nice, we would sit in her back yard and eat them with our afternoon coffee. Her stories entertained and captivated me. There's still some in my family who believe we are related to Geronimo as her colorful tales were very convincing. As a child, I remember her taking me to the local Mexican grocery store. She always bought me pan dulce and herself pork rinds. As an adult, I spent many years living in San Francisco's Mission District where I was no stranger to those same markets. So, of course, a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve dinner is one of my most favorite meals to cook. And you will always be sure to find homemade pork tamales on a most colorful table.
For inspiration my favorite cookbooks are: Rancho de Chimayo, Frida's Fiestas and The Essentials of Latin Cooking, which I photographed for Williams-Sonoma. Below are my photos from the "Latin Cooking" cookbook and examples of my Christmas Eve dinner menu.
|Guacamole with pomegranates and Margaritas!|