Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25th...We Made It!

I know, it's like six days until the real year end, but I'm celebrating all the baby steps at this point.
Besides, I work all next week, so it'll be new year's eve before I know it.

For this year's LBJ birthday-stravaganza I spent some cash at the local Daiso store. (Do you have Daiso?  It's the Japanese dollar (-fifty) store (unless otherwise marked).)  Oh yea baybee, this year's tree?  $1.50.  Or maybe a was already on sale by the time I decided to update my Xmas decorations and not try to kill my "Charlie Brown Xmas Plant" that hates me enough already for Seattle NOT being the tropical weather it thrives in (I rescued it from being an office plant, where it was really dying; you just can't win).

Just a note for me for next year:  I need a better backdrop, maybe a cork board where I can pin all the awesome "Kid" xmas cards, which are all currently on the refrigerator...maybe dress up the make-shift "table" (which are currently discarded speakers...classy, I know) with a green cloth or something.

I used to think putting these kinds of hints for me was silly, but seeing as I just dug back into the blog to remind myself how to get the image details so I could post the above picture from iPhoto?  Not at all silly.  In fact, I feel like I should pepper my posts with more hints.  If I were better at knowing how to search the HTML after publishing, I'd document my code the way all my computer science friends did when they were in school!

As is usual (and preferable) for me, Xmas eve was spent calmly watching the 4 hour version of "The Sound of Music"on network teevee.  Yep, filled with commercials galore.  What better way to clean up the mess from the days'-worth of cooking?  See, I attempted tamales again.

The chicken mole part is fantabulous!

The masa?  Weeelll, the texture is good.  The flavor?  Kinda bland. I  followed the suggested proportions on the web and the bag of masa harina. Unlike previous years I did not follow my mom's... (you don't call them recipes...suggestions?  Hints?) letter describing how she makes 80-100 tamales (with no real measurements of course...).

I was aiming for 3 dozen at MOST.  I just don't have the capacity, nor the minions required to mass-produce the way my family did when we were kids.  Nor do I have the access to a fresh masa I used the bag flour again - but a different version, one specifically ground for tamales!  Like I said, good texture.  But maybe the way it's processed leaves it missing something?  (Like taste?!?)  And also?  I didn't use lard.  (I KNOW! What was I thinking!!!)  In years past I've used a corn oil/butter mixture to get the needed fat in...but last year I used vegetable shortening and it worked...this year?  Different can/brand, different result.

It's like using a random ball of yarn instead of the suggested ones will not give you the object the pattern describes...I get that now.  Thankfully there is extra mole which can be drizzled on top for more flavor and/or this is why God had us invent salt shakers :).

But next time?  (Yep, another note.)  2 tsp of salt to 4 cups of masa harina is BS and was written by people who are watching their salt intake and/or using bullion cubes/canned stock instead of the homemade stuff I made.  LISTEN to the little voice that actually read the entire recipe and noted that they were using BULLION CUBES instead of blindly going forth!  And also?  Must get someone else to taste the masa. I am not a very good judge of how salted/seasoned something is after I've been cooking all day.  Palate = ruined.

However, still a successful endeavor as now there are tamales in the fridge-but not too many, and I've figured out how to make them better for next time!

On that note, Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

Beth said...

What, you don't have minions to help you cook? :)

Merry Christmas (belated!) and Happy New Year!