Good Golly, Tamale!

Posted By on December 31, 2010

Er…yeah.  I made the tamales last night.  I’m thinkin’ Mom’s right ~ making them is something that’s better left as an annual tradition.  But, then, I might be willing to make them again sooner than a year from now if I were a little more organized than I was this time.  I thought I was being organized by putting the beef and pork roasts in the crockpot the night before.  Actually, that part worked out great.  It was the part where I didn’t get home from grocery shopping and running errands until 3:00 p.m. ~ and then had to put everything away, which took until nearly 4:00 p.m. ~ that messed me up.  Who in their right mind starts building tamales at 4:00 p.m.?

I don’t have any fabulous photos of beautiful tamales to share with you.  Instead, I thought the image in the cartoon above sort of encapsulates my experience quite well.  No matter how hard you try, sometimes things just don’t turn out like the others around you.

Instead, I have this photo taken of the few tamales that remained this morning.  I give you fair warning, though…it ain’t pretty.

I’ll spare us all the gory details and share with you some of the highlights, okay?

  1. I slow cooked the beef and pork roasts over night so that all I had to do was shred and season on the day ‘of.’  That worked well.
  2. I couldn’t find any premixed masa, so I had to mix my own using Maseca.  Do you think living in the Midwest had anything to do with the scarcity of a thing called masa?  In the process of mixing my own, I learned that you can beat shortening long enough to make it ‘fluffy.’
  3. Being surrounded by thousands of acres of corn, I had to wonder why I purchased husks at the store.
  4. A Pampered Chef Spreader works better than a rubber scraper to spread the masa onto the husks.
  5. All the recipes I read said to add 1 tablespoon meat in the center of the masa.  Seriously?  How many tamales would it take to feed the men in this ol’ barn house if I were to put only 1 tablespoon meat inside?  I put about a 1/2 cup in mine ~ you know, git ‘er done.
  6. Every action has a corresponding consequence.  My consequence was that it took my tamales nearly 4 hours to thoroughly cook instead of the 1 – 2 hours the recipes said those little wimpy tamales would take.
  7. Steam is hot.  Steam is really, really hot.  It burns knuckles.  Especially when you’re a knucklehead.
  8. When you use 1/2 cup meat mixture in each tamale, you get about 18 tamales instead of the 4 – 5 dozen the recipe says you’ll get.
  9. The 2-1/2 hours of prepping and 4 hours of steaming seemed like an awfully long time to get 18 of anything, you know?
  10. The tamales are all gone today.

So…yeah.  I’m really excited about making homemade tamales ~ and, I’m perfectly fine with it being an annual tradition. 

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Let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. ~ 1 John 3:18


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