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"The Legend of Zora's Masa"


hillvalley
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It was really fun and helped reinforce how satisfying it can be to cook with someone equally as enthusiastic. I'm not experienced enough to try something close to this unsupervised (:. Thanks to Zora for being so generous and for orchestrating such a great experience.

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It was really fun and helped reinforce how satisfying it can be to cook with someone equally as enthusiastic. I'm not experienced enough to try something close to this unsupervised (:. Thanks to Zora for being so generous and for orchestrating such a great experience.

Thanks to Melissa for writing such a great piece. We had lots of fun that day-- cooking, playing Mexican music, drinking a little vino, taking snack breaks. I'd be glad to teach others how to make tamales--I can only fit two or three in my kitchen, in addition to me, though.

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Reading this article brought back childhood memories.

I am Cuban but Cubans make Tamales very much like the Mexican minus the chilies. (I imagine we adapted their style). My parents went through much of the same angst as Zora when they moved to the US but multiplied as it was the 60's in Dayton, Ohio! They were used to making their own tamales but the main ingredient was not readily available,the corn. Well it was but the farmers called it pig corn! I was so mortified whenever we went to the farms and bought corn! The farmers could not understand why these foreigners wanted the pig corn instead of their delicious sweet corn! If I could of crawled under the trough, I would have!

We would make huge batches and freeze them so that we had them all year long. It was hard work, (I got to peel) but it was immensely rewarding.

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I have been mulling this thread ever since it appeared. None of you have ANY idea what "homemade" tamales taste like if you haven't experienced them from the Tex-Mex border--although I will happily be the first in line to taste zoramargolis's creation. Yes, they are a LOT of work and are saved for the holidays. Nevertheless, when I would go to my parents' house for vacation (which, I must admit were the ONLY vacations I took for years) and find myself microwaving a tamale for BREAKFAST, that would be my cue that it was time to head back to the real world; i.e., the District. My Mother bought them from folk who would ring her doorbell and offer their hand-made creations. My Mother, not being a dunce, would buy what was on offer and freeze 'em for future consumption.

I can even talk about the "sweet" tamales which had raisins in them (which I never liked and never really understood) made by my "Godmother" who was actually born in Mexico and brought North to escape Pancho Villa as an infant. Shall we talk about "authenticity?"

In El Paso, you can even skip the making of the masa (and risk ruining your mixer) and just concern yourself with the filling.

Lord love a duck, I haven't eaten what I consider a real tamale in years. The Salvadoran version is to weep.

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I have been mulling this thread ever since it appeared. None of you have ANY idea what "homemade" tamales taste like if you haven't experienced them from the Tex-Mex border--although I will happily be the first in line to taste zoramargolis's creation. Yes, they are a LOT of work and are saved for the holidays. Nevertheless, when I would go to my parents' house for vacation (which, I must admit were the ONLY vacations I took for years) and find myself microwaving a tamale for BREAKFAST, that would be my cue that it was time to head back to the real world; i.e., the District. My Mother bought them from folk who would ring her doorbell and offer their hand-made creations. My Mother, not being a dunce, would buy what was on offer and freeze 'em for future consumption.

I can even talk about the "sweet" tamales which had raisins in them (which I never liked and never really understood) made by my "Godmother" who was actually born in Mexico and brought North to escape Pancho Villa as an infant. Shall we talk about "authenticity?"

In El Paso, you can even skip the making of the masa (and risk ruining your mixer) and just concern yourself with the filling.

Lord love a duck, I haven't eaten what I consider a real tamale in years. The Salvadoran version is to weep.

Over the years I've done a pretty good job of eating my way through border towns from Juarez to Tiajuana with stops for tamales throughout the Southwest. I've also been fortunate to eat Zora's cooking. She is the equal of any.

On a separate note, the restaurant in the Camino Real in El Paso makes the best tortilla soup that I have ever had.

Edited by Joe H
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