Tamale Making: Assembling Tamales

OHMIGOSH!  Can you say, "Time consuming?!!?!"  I think the second lesson learned from the Tamale Making experiment is:  do NOT make tamales the day OF a special event.  I cannot explain the depths of exhaustion I feel today.  Making tamales and preparing the house for guests, making the rest of a birthday meal and dessert was just TOO much.  In retrospect, I wish I had made the tamales Wed/Thurs or even last week.... Alas, hindsight is 20/20... I hope I remember that for next time.  A pictoral tour through the process:

masa mixture
smearing masa
husks smeared w/masa

meat added
rolling tamales
rolled tamale

open end

steaming tamales

Again as I expected, tamale making washing DIFFICULT it was just a LENGTHY process.  Lessons learned from the final step, making the tamales:  

*count out corn husks and don't even waste time soaking the tiny ones you won't really use

corn husks soaking

*LESS meat!!!!  that recipe I used called for WAY too much meat!  I used the amount they said, and I had to double the masa quantity and I still had so much left over that we are planning a meal of barbeque using the meat, AFTER using it on tacos at our fiesta.  There was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much meat!!!!!

meat left near end of 2nd batch of masa

*the corn husks MUST dry off before you try to spread the masa mixture on them or the masa won't stick

corn husks drying off

*an assembly line (I drafted my boys) works nicely and REALLY speeds things up

my assembly line workers

*it wasn't really highlighted in the directions, but COOLING OFF is a VITAL step; if you try to eat them to soon they are wet and icky

The tamales were YUMMY.  We had them for dinner, I left about 20 in the fridge for leftovers, and froze about 3 dozen too!  I will DEFINITELY do it again; however, much wiser from the battle.


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