Chilly today, not tamale. Again.

Yesterday was the final follow-up appointment at Duke for Travis’ surgery. He spent a relaxing half hour stretched out on the exam table gripping my arm because he felt like he was going to roll off and I was never so glad to see a doctor walk into a room because that meant I could get the blood flowing to my fingertips once again.

photo (29)

T had psyched himself up for getting an X-ray (not his favorite part of going to the doctor which cracks me up because somehow he’s okay with people SAWING HIS BONES IN HALF but not the little click of the picture machine) and then seemed disappointed that the doctor said he wouldn’t need one so he drowned his disappointment in a package of chocolate chip cookies from the vending machine that we.must.visit. every time we go.

photo (36)


We left with happy discharge papers for the left leg and a tentative plan for the next surgery for the right leg which fortunately will not be as complicated  a procedure as the previous one.  We’ve known he needs a hamstring release on the right leg and could have done something about it when he had surgery in July but our surgeon wanted to give him the most optimal path to recovery so we left it alone at the time to give him a good leg to stand on.  I’m super grateful that this will be a quick overnight hospital stay, no cast or special wheelchair, and he should be back in PT and on his feet within a week.

After dropping him off at school, I ran to the Mexican mart for a little comfort carbohydrization and shopping for supplies.

photo (37)

A friend invited me to help her make corn husk tamales on Saturday and I wanted to pick up a few things that we’d need and while I was there I got a hankerin’ for the real deal Guatemalan tamales so I got the supplies (banana leaves, lard, lard, more lard and corn flour) and came home to spend the rest of the day ditching all my other responsibilities.

Don’t worry, moms, I fed your grandchildren.

photo (30)

I’ve had one ill-fated attempt at making tamales before and had sworn them off but I found a Youtube video (it’s in Spanish which is fine for my brothers who may want to try this at home but if anyone needs a translation, let me know) from an ex-pat Guatemalan woman who now lives in Montreal and she made it seem relatively easy and so away we went with the sauteeing and the saucing and the washing of the leaves and the mixing of the masa and the denial that I was adding CUPFULS of lard to something I was about to consume.  All of this while my friend Angie, whom I’d invited to dinner with absolutely no menu in mind, sat perched at the bar and feared for her life and/or her clogged arteries.

photo (34)photo (32)

I made mine with chicken because this was a whim thing and I didn’t want to wait the additional hour to cook the pork but what’s more important than the kind of meat you use is that there must be two olives and a bell pepper strip in each tamale or else it doesn’t taste right.

It’s like the pickle on the Chick-fil-A sandwich.  Somehow, it makes the world go ’round.

photo (33)


Then I popped them into the steamer for an hour, made dinner for starving Angie and my children who weren’t about to eat something cooked in leaves, and we sat down to chicken Alfredo with tamales for dessert.

And I wonder why people don’t come back for second dinner invitations.

When that timer went off, I danced a happy dance, we oohed and aahed and burned our fingers opening them and sat down and took a bite…..

photo (35)

And I realized I forgot to put salt in the masa and pretty much ruined them.

So close, and yet so far.


Have a nice day.

4 responses to “Chilly today, not tamale. Again.

  1. Susie, You are so brave to even attempt to make tamales. I tried once and didn’t get them wrapped good and the pot was too small to steam them and we had horrible soup!!! Where is the YouTube for making tamales?

  2. A for effort? I’m glad your boy is doing well : )

  3. Lahoma Greenwood

    It was just a trial run, wasn’t it? The next ones will be the REAL thing! Hang in there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s