Being a hermit, I tend to like being at home. I have friends who are hermits also, so they understand when I call them to say, “I had a social impulse!” and then find that the act of making a phone call has fully satisfied the social impulse, and I’m fine being alone some more.
Today, I overcame my inner hermit, and I’m so glad I did!
As usual, I forgot to bring out the camera (too busy living life to photograph it? That’s my excuse, anyhow.), so I have no photographic proof of my social impulse, but I did have witnesses, which counts.
To have your own Not Molly Tamale Party, you will need:
- Five extremely lovely friends who don’t think you’re weird for wanting to make food from scratch.
- These same friends should also be reasonably confident you have no tendencies toward sadism or poisoning.
- Said friends should also be comfortable with close quarters, and telling very bad jokes for an hour or two.
- Multiple little kids to act as hip adhesions throughout the process. It’s best if they take turns.
- One or two big kids to very kindly wrangle the little kids, and feed ’em PB&J sandwiches lined up in a row in the living room.
- One kitchen with not enough counter space.
- One tall table with not enough table-top space.
- Lots of bowls and plates
- A Kitchenaid mixer (preferably red–things taste better from a red mixer) willing to handle several batches of masa dough
- Lots of soaked corn husks
- Packaging supplies: tin foil squares, zip-freezer bags, and sharpies
- A variety of seasonings and spices
Here’s how we did it:
Each person brought about a pound of cooked, shredded meat (their choice), and about a cup or so of shredded cheese (again, their choice.) Last night, I made up some garlic-pork tamales, and some cream cheese-green chile tamales, and had those steamed and ready to go right at the beginning of our tamale party (gotta have tasties!)
I soaked and separated two bags of husks, so those were ready to go, then made up two double batches of masa dough in pretty quick succession.
I set out some basic spices and seasonings (pepper sauce, cumin, garlic, salt, black pepper) and chopped fresh cilantro and lime juice. Everyone mixed up their own concoction of meats, cheese, and seasonings. It was fun to see the radically different tastes possible with just basic ingredients… I had a hard time keeping my fingers out of the bowls, actually.
Everyone rolled their own, then packaged them 2-3 to a foil wrap, and wrote the contents on the outside. That sent each woman home with a variety pack (five flavors) plus their own single-batch packs. The packs are all freezer-ready, though I think a few of us are steaming them today, and putting them in the freezer fully cooked for quick nukage and snarfing later.
My Tall, Dark, and Slightly Neanderthal husband may be slightly traumatized from hearing the whole gaggle of Youthful Church Ladies in his kitchen… we had a great time, and told a lot of very… funny jokes. Matt Damon figured prominently, as did accidental dating, and Why We Don’t Name Our Kid THAT.
And then my friends did my dishes.
I should really listen to that social impulse more often.