Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Oh My Goodness! This is out of order, but here we journey back in time to last weekend...Hugh and Connie came up, or over, to the country, and like many of my visitors this summer, started off resting. Time out from the weight of our daily burdens is good for all of us. I'm happy to be able to provide such a relaxing environment for others.

Labor Day weekend was one of the first rainy ones of the summer, so our planned hiking, was fairly easily diverted into cooking, eating, and watching movies.

I had picked blackberries the night before, so of course Connie, the Queen of Pies, made a wonderful (large) blackberry pie, while Hugh and I made second try, and I promise I'll publish the recipe, because most of the recipes online would have made hundreds of them.

Food Art: Tamale on a plate...what cute packages!

Sunday was raining, too, so we ate our way to Port Townsend, stopping to see the Trolls north of Wild Birds Unlimited.

Very Picturesque!

I showed you a picture of this Port Townsend Victorian in a previous post, but Connie pointed out that it is another HASTINGS house...must have been a different branch of the family from the one that settled in New England during Revolutionary times.

We saw two movies at the ROSE Theater (best
popcorn anywhere), Seraphina, about a French
naive artist...I could relate to her obsession
with making pictures, no matter what the physical/emotional price, and a British comedy about US political corruption--probably more true than I'd like.

Ate at a hotel overlooking the water: crab wrapped in sole for me. Bell St. Bakery in Sequim on the way over. We reluctantly resisted was a good thing Connie made a Large Pie, so we had some more pie with pumpkin ginger bread ice cream when we got home.

I'm pretty sure I did work on art projects on Monday. The Big Doll is ready for breasts...maybe after work tomorrow.
Deadlines keep me pushing along, so I want to have her significantly progressed when Tom is back from London. It sounds as if more wall art is needed for the Fiber Arts Festival in is never boring when one is making ART!

Tamale Recipe, as promised, with my changes: This made enough for three of us, plus three more bags of tamales for the freezer. They can be taken out and steamed for more delicious dinners later.
Ingredients: 4 cups Instant Corn Masa Mix (comes in a 5-pound bag like flour)
3tsp salt, 1tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp cumin
2 tablespoons chicken broth powder (from the health food store)
1 cup fresh corn oil or 1 cup lard
2.5 cups warm water
1 package dried corn husks
1/2 teaspoon baking powder at the end.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. If using lard, cut in with a pastry cutter, if oil, mix that in.
Add the warm water and keep mixing/kneading. The dough should be the consistency of cookie dough. I was told to knead the dough a LONG time, then drop a small ball of dough (the size of a pony bead) into a glass of water and it will rise to the top of the glass when it's mixed enough.
Then add the baking powder and mix it again.

In the mean time, soak the corn husks in a pan of warm water to get pliable. Use some of the longest ones to tear lengthwise strips for the ties.

Take a corn husk, a tablespoon of masa mixture and smear the massa on the husk toward the curved part of the husk. put a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the masa, and wrap the husk tightly, folding both ends toward the center and tying a strip of corn husk around them to make a tight package. It is good to have help with this operation.

Pile the tamales in your biggest kettle with a steamer in the bottom and get the water boiling. Put a folded dishtowel over the top of the tamales and the cover of the pan. Keep the water boiling at a low pace, adding more water periodically. I just poured the hot water down the sides of the pan. Check one of the top tamales after two hours, and it may be done. I'm not sure if the weather or the size of your pan will affect the outcome.

The fillings I like:
Green chicken: poached organic chicken, onion, garlic, roasted tomatillas and poblano and ancho peppers, lots of cillantro, some salt and pepper.
Mole pork: cheap cut of pork, cooked a long time, add a mole sauce with all the different seeds and chocolate, rich dried Mexican peppers, garlic, onion, celery, some tomato sauce, slivered almonds, Spanish olives, raisins.



Blogger ellen said...

sounds like a very yummy weekend...

7:23 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

sounds like a yummy weekend...

7:23 AM  

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