Because, who really wants to hear about cancer all. the. time.
I love to cook. LOVE LOVE LOVE. It is seriously one of my favorite things to do. Bob and I almost never go out to eat – even before I got sick. I’m just too good of a cook, and I love to do it. And since I’ve been off work (and discovered Pinterest), I’ve been cooking a lot. A LOT.
I’ve made all sorts of things that have been delicious, and totally not good for us. I’ve made Swiss Steak (for the first time, and OH MY it came out wonderful), and broccoli chicken alfredo with whole wheat pasta, and I’ve learned how to make all sorts of things with a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, including homemade cheese danish. That last one I won’t make again. Not because it was awful, it was actually the best freaking thing I’ve ever put into my mouth. That’s why. We ate 24 small danish in three days. Yikes.
Since I’ve married my husband, I’ve researched and learned more about authentic Mexican cuisine. I married into a ginormous Mexican family, and my husband has about a thousand aunties who are all kick ass cooks. They make red chili, tamales, tortillas…all from scratch, and oh how wonderful it is to travel back to Colorado when we can to stuff ourselves with it. And this little WASP has slowly been watching and learning how to make my husband’s favorite things.
I have mastered tortillas and even have my own press now. Go me.
I’ve learned how to make green chili, burritos, carne asada….all up to the standards of our Aunties.
The one thing I have been terrified of trying though, is pork tamales.
So many steps. When my husband’s aunties make them, it’s a labor intensive event involving several people. Which is part of what I absolutely love. A kitchen full of 60 and 70-year-old women with their jet black dyed hair and drawn on eyebrows (I love them – I’m not making fun of them) chattering away, with the smell of pork and red chili and tamales steaming. It’s the ultimate show of love.
So today, Bob and I are going to attempt to make tamales. I’ve spoken to the two master tamale makers in the family (Auntie Linda and Aunt Fabby) and got their recipes. I’ve researched on Pinterest and found the recipes there are much the same. So yesterday, I put a pork shoulder in the crock pot and let that bad boy cook all day. It’s nice and tender. When I get done here, I’m going to go soak my corn husks and shred my pork, and then make my red chili. And then, Bob and I are going to have a little taste of far away family love right here in Baltimore. We are going to steam us some tamales. I even made sure to purchase the masa made just for tamales.
I’m so excited. Every time I do something like this, I feel more and more a part of the wonderful rich family heritage that my husband brought to our relationship.
And it makes me forget, even for a little while, about everything I have in front of me.