Saturday, October 2, 2010


We have a new colleague in town who shares our love of cooking, and he came over today to teach us how to make tamales.  We've always been told they are very hard to make, but it turns out that they are really not that tough and we had a great time creating (and eating!) them.

Elena and Clara help make up the masa:
Clara shows off an olive (at least one has to go into every tamale).
Elena turned out to be really good at making strips of corn husk for tying up the tamales - she's going to get that job all to herself next time!

Learning how to spread the masa onto big pieces of corn husk.

A family assembly line - Steve or Christina heaped on the pork mixture after the girls did the masa, and Clara would get us all olives to put on before we wrapped them.

Clara took a real shine to the whole process.  She would remind us if we missed a step, and she took to narrating her steps for us all, "teaching" us how to make up the tamales.  As Steve said: "Clara is a little blond girl, with a Japanese last name, who is great at making tamales."  We think very few people probably claim that description!  Here she explains how she ties the small string of corn husk "into bunny ears, like this"
And then demonstrates the "like this" part.
Her finished tamale!  It got rave reviews from our "real" teacher, Craig.
Here's Craig giving Elena a tutorial in tying the bottom of the tamale.

And Elena's finished tamale!  She's not proud or anything...
Dad and daughter cooking time.
Some of our finished tamales - beautiful, if we do say so.    So much fun - we'll be sure to make these again!

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