This morning I am having my victory dance tamales. I worked my butt off last night to finish them, and I was so excited to try out the ground corn masa from El Milagro that we bought on Sunday. Well, in an unexpected turn of events, the damn masa was gone. Maybe I threw it away in frustration on Sunday because I couldn’t finish the tamales I started, but I suspect my better half accidentally chucked it. The verdict is out.
Instead, I used my usual bucket of masa. This one was quite bitter with that yucky preservative flavor, so I boiled tomatillo leaves and anise seeds into the chicken broth that goes in the mix. That usually does the trick, but it was still bitter, so I added salt. In my hurry, I forgot to save some red chile mix to cut down on the flavor, and I didn’t have time to mix more. (The kids had to go to bed by 8p.m., and I finished at 8:30p.m.) I also used lard for the first time in tamales. It didn’t do much to the flavor, as far as I can tell, and it was easy to work with.
Anyway, the inside tastes pretty good, but some of the masa still has that yucky flavor. To the non-tamale aficionado, she won’t know the difference, but like most Mexicans say, “Me fallo la masa.” The masa mix failed! Argh. They are nice and moist and meaty, but to me, the masa is prime.
And that is all I have for today because I am going to drop off my kid at school and give his hopefully non-tamale expert first-grade teacher from Ireland a few of my creations. She is really from Ireland with her accent and everything. Watch her be vegan.
Here is to experiments that fail. May your creativity flow in all aspects of your life.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,