The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Families create traditions

By Leah Bosworth/reporter

The last months in the year are a time when many TCC students and faculty uphold holiday traditions established throughout past years and past generations and focused on culture, family and food.

NE student Dakota Garrett’s roots tie him to El Paso, Texas, where his family has continued its tradition of tamale-filled holidays for generations.

“My aunt collects aluminum cans throughout the year and turns them in for money at the beginning of December,” Garrett said.

The money collected from the recycled cans is then used to buy masa, the cornmeal dough used for making the tamales, he said. After the masa is bought, the tamale-making process begins.

“Two weeks before Christmas, my aunt’s in the kitchen and nowhere else,” Garrett said. “This is her thing, and it’s what we expect every year.”

NE student Sarah Guyote’s family is from Louisiana even though they feast in Texas. Still, they keep a Cajun zing in their festive foods.

“We go all out,” Guyote said about the full-figured, elaborate foods her family prepares during the holidays. “Being Cajun, we put meat and cream in everything.”

Her family’s table is cluttered with slow-roasted goose, fried quail eggs, grilled catfish, homemade sausage and “every kind of pastry and pie.”

“My favorite thing is the pecan and rum pie,” Guyote said. “It’s so rich, dense and creamy — one tiny slice can fill you up.”

Other holiday traditions take place outside of the home.

NE English professor Debra Sikes’ family has eaten at the same Fort Worth Mexican restaurant, El Asadero, for the past several years.

“It’s the only restaurant that I know of open in Fort Worth on Christmas Day,” Sikes said. “It’s a very small and interesting place, and it reminds me of the sort of family restaurant you’d find in small towns.”

She said she appreciates the warm, inviting atmosphere and the cozy time spent together enjoying Mexican food and “the hottest salsa I’ve ever tasted.”

Sylvia Jones, NE language laboratory assistant, celebrates the holidays with traditions taken from Germany, her country of origin. She said her family used to make stollen, a German bread loaf spread with almond paste, to eat with breakfast or coffee in the afternoon.

“It takes about six hours to make, so I just buy it now because I don’t have the time,” Jones said.

She said her family’s table is adorned with stuffed goose or turkey, German sausages, red cabbage and potatoes for the holidays.

NE student Russell Weihs appreciates the traditional “central Texas style” of his family’s holiday festivities.

“My absolute favorite thing is the chicken-fried venison my mom makes with a Wheaties crumb crust on the outside,” he said.

Weihs said his family lives in a very small town in central Texas so they like to give sugar cookies to all their close neighbors.

“The girls in my family spend an entire day just baking all sorts of cakes, pies and cookies,” he said.

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