Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
CLICK ON THE RABBIT ( yes, those are cabinets) TO SEE MY PORTFOLIO, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT MY SERVICES...theartofthehome.com

Saturday, December 31, 2011


These days, I don't cook nearly as much as I used to, but holidays are all about traditions, and  one of my traditions is tamales at Christmas time.  I don't make them every year, and I wouldn't have made them this year, had it not been for my two amigas, Ann and Cat.  We make it a point to get together once a month, just the three of us, to do something fun.  We've perused unusual shops, had an evening at Orchestra Hall, eaten at interesting restaurants, and on occasion, just hung out here at Belle Ami.  This month, it was a day of tamales.  That's why I don't make them every year.  Even with three of us working on them, they take all day.  In fact, as I type this at nearly midnight, the last batch is finishing up in the steamer. 
Tamales de cerdo en salsa verde, served with field green salad and kidney beans.
If you aren't familiar with tamales, they are corn dough wrapped around a filling, usually meat, rolled in a corn husk or banana leaf, and steamed.  We made both chicken and pork-filled ones, and were most pleased with the pork, which was seasoned with garlic, onions and cumin, as one would expect, plus cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and raisins.  Typical for many Latin American cooks, but not exactly the tamales that come in a jar in the grocery store, which (don't tell my mom) I actually secretly sort of like.  Hey, Cat confessed to liking the annual can of Spaghetti-O's - cold.  Ann, who brought us a midday snack that included quince paste, bosq pears and the most incredible truffle cheese, the latter of which had us moaning in ecstasy (I'm not kidding, it was really that good), could not think of a single low-brow secret food love, but I bet she has a Little Debbie fetish, or some such thing, that we'll out one of these days..

The Three Amigas,  Ann Viveros, Dawn-Marie deLara, and Cat Isles, steaming up the kitchen.   
The holidays are coming to an end, but with a stash of these in the freezer to pull out for quick work-day lunches, the memories of today will linger on.  Great friends, great conversation (low-brow all the way, but great! ), great food, and great fun.  What better way to end a great year? 

I hope 2011 was a year of dreams and hopes fulfilled for you, and that 2012 turns out to be your best year ever.  Happy, happy new year!

1 comment:

Kit said...

Sounds like pierogy day for us (hours of rolling dough, stuffing with cheesy potatoes and hash, boiling and frying); which hasn't happened yet this year. Usually for Christmas, but figure New Years isn't over yet.