Posts Tagged ‘steamer’

Raising Tamale Awareness

June 21, 2008

Here is my friend Suzi and I on the Tamale Line.  I got this bright idea to have a tamale cooking day… and wanted someone to join in the festivities and raise tamale awareness, so I coerced my dear friend into joining.  We figured on making 150 little wrapped bundles of corn dough and chilies.  We borrowed four steamers (already had two).  We gathered the ingredients and set aside Friday, June 20, 2008 as our inaugural Tamale Day.  Let me just say, I had many warnings from concerned friends that it is an ALL DAY job… and we proved them right.  We started at 10:30 am and finished at 6:45 pm… exhausted.

Many valuable lessons were learned yesterday over the savory chicken tomato sauce and the corn husks.  Suzi unknowingly took the job of grinding the corn kernels and cornmeal… unbeknownst to either of us, it was a 3 hour job  with a blender.  We think it might be a one hour job with a food processor.  (Mental Note:  add food processor to my Christmas list.)  And the soaking, washing, rinsing, removing debris and silk from the corn husks was also a time intensive task.  I’m not sure how that could be prevented or improved upon.

At 2:45, when we hadn’t even started assembling the tamales… we looked at each other with weary faces and I asked, “What are you thinking?”  Suzi’s answer was priceless.  “I feel like Ethel  when Lucy talked her into some scheme and it turned into a huge affair that neither of them expected.”  And we laughed as our hands were shoveling corn and pushing husks.

We picked two different recipes, Green Corn Tamales  and Shredded Chick Tamales, but we never even made it to the dough from recipe #2.  Recipe #1 produced so much masa that we didn’t need the other.  We wrapped and tied and steamed and taught the kids how to wrap and tie and steam.  We converted the “Song that Does Not End” into the song “The Job that Does Not End,”  And sang it until we were almost as sick of it as tamales.

I was happy when I awoke this morning knowing that there were 70 tamales in my fridge, but relieved that yesterday was over.  Whew.  THANKS, SUZI!  ¡Usted hizo un gran trabajo!

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