Friday, December 30, 2011

Tamales Tonight

I just read Kim's blog (www.kimsbigquiltingadventure) and noticed that she posted every day this week--even though she was busy.  All I did was obsess about finishing  a quilt called  Sweet Days by the Acorn Quilt & Gift Company (see my post August 8, 2011).  I wanted to use up my scraps, so I cut a few of the
1-1/4" squares individually.  I did a couple trial runs for the ribbon border I used because I didn't like the border on the quilt pattern.  It can take a long time to cut 200 little squares.

I am thinking of my new year's resolutions.  Only one more day before I have to try to keep them.  I think I will finish my list tonight.....

So, here is a little story.  I stopped in at the Walmart in Roseville.  I was waiting patiently for a clerk to finish with a customer so I could ask where they sold string--the kind you use to tie tamales.  This woman walks by holding one of those little dogs.  The dog was wrapped up in a pink blanket and the woman was holding it like a baby.  I looked at her and rolled my eyes and then turned my back to her.  If there is anything that just gets me worked up in a hurry, it is this insistence on the part of some people to bring their dog with them, including the grocery store.  I don't care how nice or wonderful you think your dog is, it doesn't belong in a grocery store, unless it is a service dog.  People disregard the rule because the dogs are small.  I have a 100 pound yellow lab and I am sure people would object to my walking him around Walmart. 

There I am waiting and the woman (wearing slippers and desperately needing to comb her hair) waves someone over and stands there.  Her friend comes up with a cart and when I heard the noise, I turned and looked, saw the dog again and shook my head turning back toward the clerk.  The friend (also in need of a comb) tells the first woman, "she doesn't like the dog."  I turned around and said, "what you are doing is illegal. You shouldn't bring your dog in here."  The friend looks at me and says, "why not, you're here."
Oh my gosh.  I think she called me a dog.

Afterward I went home to make tamales.  I made pork tamales and sweet corn tamales.  My husband told me the first time I made them that I didn't use enough masa or filling.  This time I used more of each, but still not enough.  For me this is trial and error.  I don't have a traditional Mexican family that hands all the secrets down from generation to generation. 

Sweet Corn Tamales

corn husks soaked in water.
2 1/2 cups masa harina
1 cup sugar
1 14.75 ounce can cream style corn
1 stick of softened butter
1/2 cup hot water

Make the dough.  Combine the masa harina, sugar, cream corn and butter with 1/2 cup hot water.
Put 1/4 cup dough down the center of a husk.  Roll and tie the ends closed or fold into a packet and tie closed.  In a steamer pot, steam the tamales for one hour.  Let rest 10 minutes before eating.

Food Network Magazine, November 2011--page 78.

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