Last weekend with a help of a friend I made some tamales. They were pork in red chili tamales, the light version, not too heavy and not too spicy. My men loved it, they shoveled one after another, and in 15 minutes only corn husks were laying on the plates. For me clean plate is always a perfect sign that food was good. Although in this case most of the credit must go to my friend as I was a prep-cook this time.
It took us about two hours to make it, two hours of laughter and fun.
For now I am sharing the pictures only as we didn't do any measurements. She makes her tamales by heart. I have to take one more "lesson" from my friend and then I will post her recipe.
My grandmother was the same, she never had a single recipe written down, and she was one of those cooks that was famous in the area for her food.
I remember her catering for a big parties, and for some parties during the summer she took me along. I recall a crowd of people giving orders to one another, some arguments at times, but grandmother was always calm and smiling. She would always say a joke or two, specific to the situation, and the whole atmosphere around would change.
I asked my dad recently how many events she catered and for how many people. I was shocked by his response: from "small" two hundred people anniversaries to fifteen hundred people weddings! Yes, it's fifteen hundred! From what I remember, the only thing grandma ever wrote down was the menu and how many people were attending the event.
The rest was done by heart.
Do you have a recipe that you make by heart?
I have never had these but they certainly look very interesting. Your photography is very good.ReplyDelete
Thanks Alida! They taste good too. As soon as I get the "right" pot for it, I am making it and will post. Stay tuned! :)Delete
Nice looking tamales. Yummy :DReplyDelete
Your grandmother sounds like a truly talented cook.
I'm a recipe person. I usually change some things when I get to the kitchen. But I do like to cook.
She was, people in the area still remember her cooking and how well she was able to organize those parties...Delete
It's been a long time since I made tamales but oh, the homemade ones are so good! I make most everything by heart...I don't very often need a recipe!ReplyDelete
I am almost the same, sometimes I have the recipe before me just to completely change everything around..:)Delete
Wow! 1500 people? :O She must've been a dynamo in the kitchen! :)ReplyDelete
She had help, I remember about 10-15 ladies helping her. For such a big parties they would start a week ahead. Oh, it was so much fun to be around them!Delete
I love home made tamales. I use to make them, but have not in a long while. YUM! I cook about 75% by winging it, only 1st timers I use a recipe because I always change them and make them mine anyway! Cannot wait to see her recipe!ReplyDelete
I hear you, Ginger! I am the same when it comes to the recipes! :)Delete
1500 people? Your Grandmother was amazing ... I see where you get it from :)ReplyDelete
Thanks Jane. Yes, my Grandmother was a great person and an amazing cook...Delete
Oh, I'm sooo happy you came to visit my blog, it's giving me the chance to discover yours! I like it, a lot! Can you believe I never made or eat tamales????? Think I sould try to play with it!!!! I will definitly follow you, Marina!ReplyDelete
Thank you Kim! I discovered tamales for myself just a few years ago, my kids actually bought it at Trader's Joe and that's how we tried it for the first time. But homemade are far-far better from the store bought. I already have all the ingredients and just need a pot to steam it in.Delete
I make nearly everything by heart! I started cooking when I was 6 years old. I remember standing on a chair in front of the gas stove to do it. Now I look back and thank my lucky stars I didn't catch my clothes on fire!ReplyDelete
My daughter recently started making homemade tamales, and she is supposed to come over and make them for us. I'm dieing to try them! Looking forward to your recipe!
Wow! 6 years old, that's impressive! I was always in the kitchen with mother, grandmother but started to cook when I got married. That's when all came back to me: I remember how the bread dough should feel, what ingredients go into cabbage rolls, how to make sausages... :)Delete
I love tamales! I bet these where divine! I had all my recipes by heart but decided maybe a blog would solve that problem! Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Yes Serena, they were really good, now I know why people love then so much.Delete
I have never made tamales but I love them! You're always making those recipes that I've considered but haven't yet tackled (home-made pasta!) so it's good incentive.ReplyDelete
Lol! Catch up, dear! :)Delete
I've never had a tamale so I'm hoping you learn the recipe quickly I'm interested to try them. Lots of my recipes I make by heart but I especially enjoy making chicken curry as it comes out a little differently every time.ReplyDelete
I know Liz, it is so much fun when the dish tastes a little different. I enjoy it myself. I already have all the ingredients for the tamales, need to buy a pot to steam it in: believe it, I don't have a steamer! :)Delete
Beautiful photos, Marina! And, wow, your grandmother was amazing!!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you Lizzy. She was amazing, she was also my best friend...Delete
What a fun story about your grandmother! She was quite amazing and I have the feeling that you take after her! My grandmother was an incredible seamstress. We would just point to a picture of a dress in the JC Penny catalogue and she would get a newspaper and cut out a pattern an away she would go! I had three sisters and before we knew it she'd have 4 cute little dresses all lined up, fitting each of us perfectly!ReplyDelete
How much influence our grandmothers have on us! :)Delete
Most of my recipes are cooked by heart or come from my heart. Only when I put them on my blog they become real recipes but I am not using them in my kitchen. Those recipes I create for my readers. But there is one exception. I striclty refer to recipes if I have to bake something like cookies, breads, pastries, cakes or tartes. Everything else flows directly from my heart :-)ReplyDelete
Great tamales. I wish I could taste them :-)
That's why I rarely bake: I hate to follow the recipe, it's just not me! A little creativity here and there makes it fun to cook! :)Delete
wow impressive and 1500 i would be so scared :-)ReplyDelete
Now when I think of it, it is a lot, but they managed, and had fun along the way too.Delete
Your grandmother must have been a great professional Marina. I have never made tamales and these ones look delicious. I am going to wait for the recipe!ReplyDelete
No, Katerina, she wasn't a professional. She really cooked from the heart. And I think people felt that love and passion in her food.Delete
Hi Marina, thanks so much for visiting my blog earlier! I love the look of these tamales - can you believe, I never had one?! I've seen a lot of them on the web recently but alas they're not common at all where I live (France). I'd love to try and make them myself, but I've definitely never seen those husk wrapper things here. Short of buying them online, do you know if there are any "alternative" methods I could use to wrap them?ReplyDelete
Oh yes, Charles, I can believe it. I am originally from Europe, and never had tamales before. My kids actually introduced me to the Mexican food, and I found it really tasty. As of the corn husk, it may be available in Asian markets. As an alternative, some other green leaves can be used, again, Asian market (or store) would be the best choice to find it. I already have all the ingredients for tamales and just need to buy a pot to steam it and will be ready to go. Can you believe this kitchen doesn't have a steamer?! :)Delete
Tamales are one of my favourite Mexican food with some mild sauce on it...Looks really yummy!ReplyDelete