Tamale Making Time

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So I've been bugging my friend to teach me how to make tamales for some time now. But she has all these strange hang ups about when and where and how to make them. Finally, I was told Christmas time is tamale time and we can make them in December. So, last Friday, both of us got off work early, and got to it.

Now, there's no recipe here. I get too tired thinking back to that that day to write about it in any detail. So I'm going to let the pictures do the talking, and summarize the lessons learned.

Roasted tomatillo sauce for the chicken tamales.

Red chile sauce for beef.


Beef with sauce.

Carrots, cheese and pickled jalapenos went into the chicken tamales.

Phew! Just looking at those pictures brough back memories of doing dishes for two hours. Here's what I would never do again:
  • Make tamales starting at 2 pm
  • Use a steamer that's too big
  • Use so many dishes
  • Make tamales with my friend. This can cause some major friendship problems, especially if you're too alike and have different cooking styles. We couldn't even agree on whether to add the tomatillo sauce to the shredded chicken, so I made my own, with the sauce. And I have confirmation the sauce makes all the difference.
Here's what I would do:
  • Plan better
  • Soak and clean the corn husks the day before
  • Boil all the meat the day before
  • Make the sauces the day before
  • Buy enough masa
I'm thinking of making some tamales in late Spring, who's in?

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