Hah! Gotcha there, didn’t I? Actually, my life is a bit of circus of its own right now with The Manimal, Sweet Son #1 (temporarily renamed “Mr. Snottyfacepants”), Princess (the Wonder Dog Who Thinks She’s a Human), and The Husband.
I would, however, like to run away to the Ranch. And become a Pioneer Woman-in-Training. If you haven’t ever visited Ree, you absolutely must. She’s absolutely amazing, and she cooks too! Maybe she’ll take boarders. Just me, of course, because it wouldn’t be running away if I had to take the circus performers with me!
I’ve been feeling the cooking bug the last few days. Mostly it’s been making the normal dinners, cooking in advance to save time, etc. But I really went out on a limb and decided to make beef tamales. From scratch. By myself.
A bit of history.
The Husband’s family is Mexican. I have learned how to make many Mexican dishes, which have, over the years, improved (which is a good thing for all concerned). I do a mean red rice, make refried beans, regular frijoles (the precursor to a good refried bean dish), chile reallnos, tacos, flan. You get the idea. I have made tamales only once before and it was with his mother.
The concept is pretty easy. Take a corn husk, soak it in water for about 20 minutes, pat it dry, smear some masa (pre-mixed corn meal, salt, shortening)into it, add some meat, roll that puppy up and steam the heck out of it. Unfortunately, there are some nuances in the rolling, and, oh, did I mention that you have to steam them for about 40 minutes or so?
Lesson learned? Don’t start steaming tamales at 8:30 pm when you have to get up for work the next morning.
The upside of being awake steaming tamales until almost midnight? They didn’t turn out half bad! AND I don’t have to cook dinner tonight. Just heat up some tamales!
Because this was the maiden solo tamales voyage, I didn’t take pictures. Because, quite frankly, while they taste yummy, they’re not quite ready to be Tamales en Fotografias. And I’m not really a neat cook. When I was done, my kitchen looked like Mexico City, post-earthquake.
A bit of trivia. Did you know that a single of a group of tamales is called a “tamal”? Not a “tamale” as I (and most of the other gringos) call it! Who knew?
And don’t think I’ve forgotten about my MouseLand postings. I haven’t. I promise. They’ll just take a bit longer. And show up when you least expect them. In between posting about tamales and Webkinz (don’t even ask…).