A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

12.21- Tamales

Holiday spread at Capt. Ray's

Capt. Ray held a holiday party at his home in "The village," the old part of Oriental, this evening.

Today's picture features my own contribution, San Antonio style tamales.

I lived in S.A. for twenty years, and tamales are an integral part of the season there.

Last year, my first Christmas in Oriental, I went without tamales. I had gotten used to purchasing tamales at some of S.A.'s many tamale houses during the holidays, and there is nowhere to buy them in down-east North Carolina, so this year I decided to make some myself.

I have made about five dozen so far... I plan on making about 12 dozen or more before Dec. 25. Pictured above are some from my second trial batch.

My only previous tamale-making experience has been at a couple of tamaladas when there were six or more women supervising, all of whom had years and decades of tamale-making experience.

Even though I had no Abuelas to show me the way this time (and no tamale stores) I decided to try and make some on my own...

Good consumer reviews so far, albeit from Yankee and down-east N.C. gringos, for what that is worth. So far only two folks have pulled the "Gerald Ford" - trying to eat the tamale without first removing the corn husk.

Besides liking this second batch myself (first batch of two dozen, not so much) I was also pleased at very enthusiastic reviews from a Southwest expatriate gringa from Arizona.

She was all smiles at having ANY tamales for Christmas season, and to boot said mine were quite delicious... Very much appreciated compliment from one of the few folks around here who are familiar with the Norteno/border region style of tamale.


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