Until last week I never knew there was whole word devoted just to describing a tamale-making party: tamalada. Thanks to my friend, Anna, I am now enlightened. I am also now the proud owner of a freezer full of hand-made tamales.
We got together a group of adventurous and epicurious souls at Anna's house on Saturday and set about making 350 (!) pork and chicken tamales. None of us had attempted tamales before, but we came armed with spatulas, mixing bowls, and pre-assigned portions of the tamale. Mine was a tomatillo sauce (which, incidentally, ended up taking me 3 hours to make...yikes!).
We took over the kitchen and dining room at Anna's, banished her husband and boys outside to jump in the leaves, and organized an assembly line of sorts: unfold husks, mash masa onto husks, spread sauce onto masa, put mean over sauce, fold, tie, put in pile according to spiciness. It was quite the process.
It took us 4 hours to put together 350-ish tamales. That meant I'd been on my feet cooking/preparing for seven hours that day and my back was completely spent.
I didn't know cooking could be so painful. When I got home, I took two Advil and complained the rest of the evening about my aches and pains (poor Blake!).
53 tamales in my freezer = a lot of easy meals for the next couple months. Not too shabby for a Saturday: a freezer full of dinners and a sore back.