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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tamales! Yum!

Note: This photo came from Tamara's Tamales an' doesn't look a whole lot like the ones that Mom an' Grandma made 'cuz ours aren't tied.

The house smells furry good right now 'cuz there are three steamers steamin' up the house with the smell of freshly made tamales.

In the southwest, tamales are a traditional part of Christmouse celebrations.  Even fast-food places like El Pollo Loco are sellin' tamales as a part of their seasonal menu.

On Tuesday, Mom, Grandma, and Grandad went to a San Diego landmark restaurant called El Indio (it was featured on "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives") to have lunch.  The food is marginal (there's MUCH better Mexican food available locally), but they had five pound and ten pound pails of masa preparada available for sale so that patrons could make their own tamales or corn tortillas at home.

Grandma has a thing for fresh, home-made tortillas an' Mom LOVES tamales, so they bought a five pound pail of what they call "red masa."  Red masa has chile powder and tiny pieces of jalapeƱo mixed into the prepared batter.  Having it pre-seasoned like this makes it fool-proof for the home cook.

Anyway, the masa was purchased ... along with a bag of corn-husks ... so that Grandma and Mom could make tamales.

Mom purchased a tamale at El Indio ... it was a dessert tamale with pineapple, raisins, and brown sugar ... so that she could see how they assembled their tamales.  They actually used TWO husks overlapped with the pointy ends at the outside.  Mom had always used ONE husk and then had to tie her tamales ... an' it was furry difficult when the husks were too small.  Mom had an "a-ha" moment ...

So today, Grandma and Mom made tamales while Grandad was out Christmas shopping.  They made green chile and cheese tamales inspired by the delicious ones sold by Trader Joe's.

Uh, oh ... What's that smell?  It doesn't smell good in here anymore ...

One caveat, tamale-makers ... When steamin' your tamales, make sure that you use lots of steamer water an' that you keep an eye on the water level.  Right now, our house smells like burned corn husks 'cuz Grandma ... who was in charge of steamin' ... fell asleep with Charmee on her lap an' let the water burn off. Oh, an' she caught her vest on fire a little bit, too. Her vest saved her from gettin' a furry nasty burn on her tummy when she was carryin' the tamale steamer to the sink. Gotta be careful, Gran!

It's 65 degrees right now, but all of the windows an' doors are open to keep the smoke detectors from going off.  It's furry smelly in here!

9 comments:

Parker said...

Oooops! Sometimes stuff like that happens in the kitchen!

muffinmidi said...

Gee, Mommy sets the smoke detector
off a lot when she cooks.....

topcatrules said...

Hey mom is about to get up and serve us burritos for lunch - well, serve her and gran!

Now, we are going to sing for you:

We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

With lots of hugs from Tigger the FBI cat. :)

P.S. Mom says I have to say that Pyewacket and Trixie from topcatrules wish you a Merry Christmas too. :) {{hugs}} from all three of us.

Jan said...

OUCH! We're sure glad everyone is okay. Jan is getting bad about forgetting what she is doing. She doesn't fall asleep. She just wanders off.

Drop by when you can and help yourself.

Jan's Funny Farm

Boy said...

Oh dear! Tell your Gwandma to be careful! Haha...the kitchen's a fuwwy exciting pwace. Mine Mummy keeps having funny things happen in our kitchen too!

Daisy said...

Mmmmmmm! Tamales sound like a very delicious treat.

Angus said...

MMMMmmmmmmmMMM! Tamales are the best, and are in so much demand around here, my mom can't find any. So glad Gran wasn't burned! Merry Christmas DMM and all you wonderful Feline Americans! (and all the people, too!)

Big Piney Woods Cats said...

Our Daddy was stationed in San Diego when he was in the Na-vie. That was so long ago, it was before they started naming the years.

It is furry white and snowy here, the snow is deep and we think maybe Santa won't efun be able to find us.

We are wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (and hope this posts, cuz we don't have much luck with comments on the blogs)

Rocky the Gutter Cat said...

We're havin tamalleys tonite, too. Maybey yoo shood come over heer it duzn't smell too bad yet.