The Art of Tamales

The day before New Year’s Eve, a group of friends gathered at Casa Belisle to make tamales. What was I thinking? But we did it! Ten intrepid tamale makers, including our expert, the fabulous Elaina, spread homemade masa (lard-y and veggie) on shucks, filled the tamales with beef, pork, beans, squash, chiles, cheese – all manner of wonderful things, rolled folded stacked and steamed. The result? At least 16 dozen of what were undoubtedly the best tamales we’ve ever eaten. It was a holiday miracle – good intentions, lots of laughter, and one person who knows what to do and can show the rest of us works. Special thanks to Elaina, who can pull steaming tamales our of the pot with her bare hands to check to see if they are done, to Raven and Sandra for washing mounds of dishes, to the wine and cheese bringers, to Jim for being a good sport at a grownup party, to Michael for making masa and fillings, to Sherry for the awesome shredded pork, to Stuart for the veggie inspirations, to Carol for the Lady of Guadalupe that blessed the venture – and a happy new year to all!
Viva Tamales!

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