Sunday, December 2, 2007

Tamale making update

For my zillions of readers who have been worrying themselves sick over my post from Thursday, I wanted to provide a follow up after my Cookie Exchange and Tamale Making Party. In short, it went great. Here are the details....

Yesterday and this morning, I worked pretty hard. I had a great experience at Chavez Market, where I was able to pick up the masa, corn husks, pork and chicken, as well as some great Mexican crema, fresh salsa and queso fresco. I also visited Trader Joes and Safeway for a couple other things, and got home about 11am. Then I got to cookin'.

I roasted three butternut squashes from my CSA, Two Small Farms (it is not really my CSA, I am just a happy subscriber). To this, I added the queso and white cheddar cheese. I also boiled the crap out of a chicken and once it was cooked, shredded the meat and added some roasted tomatillo salsa that I made this summer (tomatillos also from Two Small Farms).

While this was working, I mixed my cookie dough - I made two different cookies from one master dough, from the One Dough, Fifty Cookies book. The two I chose were Lebkuchen Biscotti and Rugelach Spirals. Last year, I made Walnut Maple Syrup Cookies and Chocolate Dipped Coconut Sticks. All of these have been excellent, I love this book. I would recommend it, you should buy it!

Yesterday afternoon, after The Big Guy returned from his chess tournament (5th place among all 2nd graders!), we went to see the open studio for Mitchell Johnson, an artist friend of ours. While the kids ran around, we viewed his newer pieces from Italy and work he did this fall back east. It was nice to have a break and view someone else's creative work. On the way home, DH suggested a quick stop by the Toyota dealership to check out the colors of the 2008 Prius. Tee hee!

Last night, we had a quick dinner of soup and Hatch Green Chili Bread (from Trader Joes, DH is sooo happy!), and then got to tree decorating. DH did the lights, the kids did the bulk of the ornament hanging and I decorated a separate 3 foot tree with ornaments from my Great Aunt Marie. She sent me her collection last year after she decided she was done having Christmas trees and it is great to be able to display them on a special tree.

This morning, after coffee and newspaper in bed (Sunday morning routine), I got up and got going again. Little A helped me package the cookies into little holiday bags. DH helped me with the Quince Tarte Tatin. I finished cooking the Posole Soup and got the salad ready to go. Also mashed the avocados for guacamole and put the chips out. Then a quick wipe of the counters and I was ready to go.

My guests arrived, I poured Gruet and Italian Sodas while we snacked on the guac and chips. Lunch was nice and relaxed, with great conversation. After our lunch, we proceeded to assemble the tamales which went a little quicker than I thought. Everyone seemed to get into it and many tamales were produced. I steamed mine tonight and we will eat them tomorrow. The one I sampled was pretty tasty!

Four rounds of cleaning the kitchen, and two loads of dishes in the dishwasher, everything is finally cleaned up. We tasted all the cookies tonight and DH and I have picked our favorites (which means they will be squirreled away out of sight of the kids!). Tomorrow I will take all the extras from my baking to work to share the joy. Gosh, I love this party and all the work was worth it, I will continue the tradition next year.....

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