New Year’s Resolution

Since the last few posts have been so serious, I thought it was time for a little lightheartedness. Thus, my NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!!

I rarely make NYRs, which isn’t to say that I’m not into self-improvement. In fact, I make resolutions all the time. (Some of my more recent? Go the Y more often. Write daily. Stop buying fruit and vegetables out of season. Floss.) It’s just that my urge for self-betterment usually does not strike on January 1. Call me crazy; I just don’t feel like mending my ways on the eighth day of Christmas.

But this year! This year will be different, because I have a NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION!!

My resolution is to make tamales from scratch.

Perhaps this will strike some of you as lame. Tamales = self-betterment? In defense of my choice, I submit the following:

1. I did not grow up eating or cooking much Mexican food. Tacos and tostadas occasionally, fajitas if I was feeling REALLY adventurous at the restaurant. I ate my first tamal at the age of 16, on a Girl Scout trip to the Texas-Mexico border. It was homemade. I LOVED it. Since then, I have not eaten a single tamal to compare with my first.

2. I love to cook and eat. I baked two varieties of bread in the past 24 hours. I am gearing up to make my own mozzarella cheese, once I get over my irrational fear of opening the freeze-dried cheese culture packet. I have no less than 30 condiments in my refrigerator, reflecting at least ten food cultures. I own a wok AND an immersion blender. I dried my own herbs last summer. Need I say more?

3. I eat out far too often, especially in light of my household budget. Tamales are, in essence, baked cornmeal mush wrapped around a filling. They should be easy and cheap to make. So why do I spend ten to fifteen bucks for a disappointing plate of them at my local restaurants?

So I WON’T ANYMORE! I WILL make my own tamales. I WILL!

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4 Responses to “New Year’s Resolution”

  1. Michelle Says:

    Oh man. Yet another reason we need to live closer. If only. But um, they are steamed not baked 🙂 Anyway, I would so do this with you. I keep meaning to try it and haven’t yet, from what I understand most recipes make a good number of them and are a bit time consuming; perhaps not hard, just time consuming – but they are supposed to freeze nicely. You could also take to visiting little mexican markets with deli/meat counters and ask if they make them.

  2. fractone Says:

    They’re steamed?! Apparently I need to read my recipes again.

    I made my own flour tortillas yesterday, using the recipe from Robert Rodriguez’s “10-minute Cooking School–Sin City Edition.” They were pretty good, but…I think I need a little more practice. Maybe next time I’ll try the recipe from Jeffery Steingarten’s “It Must Have Been Something I Ate.”

  3. Ana Says:

    Hello Holly!!!!! The singular of tamales is tamal (not tamale).
    P.S- We hate tamales-

    • fractone Says:

      Whoops! Improving my Spanish is more of a five-year resolution. (But I didn’t do TOO badly last month, did I?) Anyway…gracias para la ayuda. (That’s probably really awful Spanish, too. Sorry!)

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