The Not So RV-Friendly Holiday Tradition

RV life has many pleasures that cannot be replicated in the default lifestyle. And sometimes, I’ll admit that the reverse is true. My family’s annual tamalada is one not so RV-friendly holiday tradition.

A Not So RV-Friendly Holiday Tradition That Starts in the Kitchen

not RV-friendly holiday traditions
Tamales need more space than our RV kitchen allows.

There are just some things that don’t work well in a home on wheels, like my family’s holiday tradition, the tamalada. Jim and I did make them in our RV once, but never on this scale.

Last week we gathered to make dozens of tamales. My family has always made red meat (rojo tamales) along with green chile cheese (Tamales de Queso con Rajas). 

not so RV-friendly holiday tradition
Try making twelve dozen or more tamales in a RV kitchen. Not.

I haven’t eaten red meat tamales since I became vegetarian in 1989. But this year was different.

See, Jim and I have been playing around with jackfruit as a meat substitute. The exotic Asian fruit makes a great carne asada or pulled pork filling. So this year I thought, “Why not jackfruit tamales?!” 

jackfruit carne asada
My family’s first (almost) vegan red “meat” tamales.

We followed a basic carne asada de jackfruit recipe for the filling.

Then stirred my family’s homemade red tamales sauce into the jackfruit. You’d hardly know that it wasn’t “real” meat just by looking at it!

almost vegan jackfruit tamales
We make everything from scratch, except the masa.

The filling got spooned into the corn masa smothered corn husks. No, the masa we used wasn’t vegan. In fact, it’s got tons of lard. That’s just the way it is in my family. Anything less is sacrelig. I’m going to look the other way this time, but in the future I may commit heresy and make it with vegetable shortening.

The tamales got wrapped with an outer paper layer to keep them nice and neat. We stacked them into the tamale pot, then steamed them for a few hours like usual. 

red meat almost vegan jackfruit tamales
My first red “meat” tamale in 30 years!

We took them out and just had to test one to make sure they were cooked. They were, and oh man, are they good!

The tamales have been in the freezer since last week. We’ll take them out on Christmas eve and chow down.

almost vegan jackfruit tamales
Our Mexican tamale Christmas presents!

And that’s the best Christmas present ever for two people who live in a tiny house that’s not so RV-friendly for making Christmas tamales! 

We hope you and your loved ones are having a beautiful holiday season. Cheers to all of the abundance surrounding each and every one of us. How very fortunate we are.

4 thoughts on “The Not So RV-Friendly Holiday Tradition”

  1. What a great family tradition. The more hands the merrier–I know from experience, having made tamales with only the two of us! Those look amazing! Do you use fresh or canned jackfruit?

    • Yeah tamales are a labor of love for sure. The jackfruit was canned, from Trader Joe’s. I love making things from scratch but carving fresh jackfruit is a total pain. At $1.99 a can I was happy to spend a few more cents to save time.


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