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Tamales, tamales, and more tamales. I love making tamales this time of year; and this year is extra special. Every year for the past five years I have hosted a tamale making party, a “tamalada” and although it’s a lot of work the outcome has always been the same — dozens of tamales to share with family and friends. This year I decided to host a tamalada with soldiers based here in Germany. With the help of a couple of soldiers, my hubby, kids, and colleagues we made close to 500 tamales. That equals to 35 pounds of masa. Holy masa!
I’ve prepped for this special day for weeks but this year will be extra special because the tamales are actually being flown this week by special delivery to our troops in Afghanistan. We will also deliver some tamales to some of our servicemen and women here at the Wounded Warriors Center. This year I didn’t need to call mom to confirm the masa and filling recipes because this year I was able to prop open our very own cookbook and follow the recipes that we labored over for months to get just right.
The best part was using fresh schmaltz (rendered lard) from the local butcher in town. Making the masa always takes time, especially with this many tamales and my KitchenAid mixer always comes to the rescue. I’ve had my dependable KitchenAid for twenty years and it still works like a champ! But I’ve seen so many new and beautiful colors out there that I am very tempted to trade it in for a larger and colorful model.
Every year our tamalada begins with hot coffee and pan dulce (sweet bread) for everyone. This year I was able to share some of mom’s biscochos. She sent me a care package with homemade biscochos and they arrived just in time for me to share with everyone who was here. I also included some delicious German pastries from one of my favorite local bakeries. After an hour of mingling, coffee sipping, and pastry eating we put on our aprons and got to work.
The hard part was done. I premade all the fillings so all we had to do was the fun part — spread the masa across dozens of cornhusks and then fill them generously with three different fillings: red chile and pork, queso con rajas (cheese with roasted green chile), and pineapple and coconut. I created this sweet recipe especially for my kids a couple years ago and now it’s a must on our tamale-making list. I have two large IMUSA steaming pots, which I love, and they were quickly filled with several dozens of tamales.
Because our tamales are going out to our dedicated service men and women here in Germany and abroad, our friends at KitchenAid wanted to celebrate with us by rewarding one Muy Bueno reader with a gorgeous KitchenAid Mixer. Thank you KitchenAid! A big beso and abrazo for your generosity!
Another big hug to everyone who came over and lent a helping hand on this December morning. Matt Syarto, Deb Brown, Jenna Mauriello, Erin Harris, Steve Smith, Dakota Smith, April Moyer, and a big thank you to our two servicemen TSgt Luis Escalante with the 721 APS/TRKS and MSgt Donald T. Moyer Jr. with the 86th Maintenance Squadron.
Thank you to TSgt Luis Escalante, our photographer. We love all the pictures you took for this event.
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