Posts Tagged With: Texas

Spotlight on H.J. Worthington – Author of “Farewell, Amelia Mary: Long Time Looking”

Farewell, Amelia Mary: Long Time Looking

 

The stories and vignettes in this book represent the experiences and memories from World War II veteran H.J. Worthington. A first-time author at the age of 90, Mr. Worthington offers readers a personal journey through some of America’s most important moments in time.

Excerpt

Special Note

Friday afternoon, November 23, 1963 the nation heard the news: President John F. Kennedy shot and killed in Dallas, Texas.  All that day, Saturday, Sunday, and into the next week the event unfolded right before our eyes on our television screens.

I wrote the Kennedy memorial poem while watching the news coverage each day.  It did not matter what your political connection.  World War II was only 18 years back in the collective memory.  We had lost a kindred spirit – a fellow warrior – in the cause that saved the world from a new Dark Age of barbarism in the 20th Century, and possibly beyond if we had not prevailed.  Who knew? The raw emotional scar had healed over but was still tender to the touch of a lingering remembrance.

Robert Kennedy’s killing, less than 5 years after his brother’s, destroyed the possible promise of a bit more peaceful kingdom.  Dream denied.


In Memoriam – John F. Kennedy

On that morning… an hour before his final ride

He spoke of his brother,

Who had gone before him to the war… and died.

And she…when accepting the roses of red,

Held them and kept them,

Til her husband was dead.

 

There he sat and smiled and waved,

All through the ride;

She at his side … holding the red roses,

When there from out the sunlit sky,

A killer bullet flashed and said:

“You must die”.

 

And so; one week before Thanksgiving,

Under the Texas Sky,

She saw him live and smile … and touch,

Red roses that would die.

 

There beneath that Texas sky,

Where the President is dead,

There cries and anguished people;

And some roses that are red.

 

 

Now the lonely vigil,

Of a nation’s grieving heart,

Returned to waiting Washington,

The requiem to start.

She did not leave his lifeless side,

When the Hand of God said “NOW”,

But pleading she touched God’s Hand,

And asked: “Please … keep him here … somehow”.

 

Through the soul-sick shrouded night,

The line of sorrow filed beneath the great Rotunda dome,

Where lies their young and fallen Chief,

Who now has journeyed home.

 

And on that morning,

When they came to bear him slow,

It was heard by all who watched and harked,

His muted whisper softly said:

“I am ready now … to go.”

 

They bore him from the solemn church,

His requiem was done,

And there his little boy saluted him,

And softly back across the hallowed air he whispered:

“Happy birthday … and farewell my son”.

 

And standing there; just six years old,

Was his little daughter brave,

No longer could she run and hug;

Or for him,

All her kisses save.

 

And there on the side of a hill that day,

She whispered her husband’s name.

She took a ray from the setting sun,

And lit their eternal flame.

 

…So now we truly ask ourselves,

What kind of man was he,

What killed our president of tender years,

Who loved the wind and sea.

 

A very few of you may say:

“The man is dead,”

What more is there to say,

The evil plan is naked here before us,

All the certain consequences light the way.

 

Let us here speak finally …

Let us quit our rhyme,

Let us raise our urgent sight,

Let us press our words to freer verse,

Let us set the record right.

 

Yes… he is dead.

His day is done,

His manuscript is closed.

But there remains the reason WHY,

The tragic, wasteful painful reason WHY?

 

The sure and true malignant residue of hate,

Unleashed like a famished phantom in our midst,

Struck down this man.

For he; like the tall Emancipator before him,

Had thrust upon him,

An overburdened share of relentless condemnation.

 

He was struck down,

Not for the way he prayed to his God;

But for the way he prayed to his fellow man.

His warm prayer;

His clear and poetic words of truth and justice,

Fell upon cold hearts and dead consciences;

And they were stirred to anger and fear and despair.

This was his sin,

And it was a sin against those who hate,

For any reason; and in any measure,

And hate triumphed;

And he was gone.

 

 

And what have we lost?

…We have lost the sight and voice,

Of little children in the marbled halls of state.

A generation has lost a warm and kindred mystic spirit,

Who lived and shared a dear nostalgia,

Of younger urgent times.

Gone is a sweet embrace of memories,

Of not too long ago.

We have lost the simplicity,

Of the natural boyishness,

Of a great man.

Some say that he had no emotion.

He WAS an emotion;

And we have lost him.

We have lost the smile of a truly beautiful woman.

We have lost a President.

We have lost our hearts.

 

And so…

Time will go on,

Memory will fade,

The years will pass,

Men will forget.

And the millions of words of eulogy …will,

After a while;

Languish and fade,

On the yellow pages of dusty volumes.

Those of us who now silently weep;

We, who cannot dispel the ache;

We know, that death is but a changing of life;

And we will find our solace and peace in knowing,

That we will see him and greet him,

One day again,

In the long forever of eternity.

 

In Memoriam – Robert F. Kennedy

 

Four years and seven months

Since sad November,

Now sad June; more heartbreak

To remember,

We have loved and quickly

Lost again,

We have dreamed another dream

In vain.

Bio

 

H.J. Worthington is a WWII veteran, father of six and grandfather of nine. He has no publishing credits and this is his first book. He is not looking for fame or fortune. His next birthday will bring him to his tenth decade.

The stories and other offerings in this book are a selection from the archives in his mind from long ago—up to 2016. He finally realized that if he is ever going to see his work in print, he better take his own advice from one of his many vignettes:

Get going or you’re gone!

 

**********************

Paul De Lancey
www.pauldelancey.com
www.lordsoffun.com

 

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Texas Chili

American Entree

TEXAS CHILI

INGREDIENTStexaschili

3 pounds beef chuck or sirloin
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tomatoes
1 7-ounce can green chile peppers
½ cup chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal                                                                                                                                       This chili is kept in place by gravity.
2 teaspoons brown sugar

SPECIAL UTENSIL

slow cooker

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour preparation plus 4 hours in the slow cooker.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Add lard and enough beef to make a single layer to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef starts to brown. Remove beef when browned and add it to slow cooker. Keep lard in pan. You will need to cook in batches.

While beef browns, dice garlic and onion. Seed and dice jalapeno pepper. Dice tomatoes. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeno to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes of until garlic and onion soften. Add tomato, green chiles, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, masa harina, and brown sugar. Cook on low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir until well blended and occasionally after that. Transfer all contents in pan to slow cook. Cover slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until meat is tender to the fork.

TIDBITS

1) The four forces of the universe are: gravitational, molecular, atomic, and electrical. I might be remembering this wrong. You don’t me running the universe. Anyway, gravity is important. It keeps the chili in your bowl from floating. Molecular forces keep the meat in your chili from vaporizing into billions and billions of beef-chuck atoms. Atomic forces keep the beef-chuck atoms ripping themselves apart in a nuclear explosion; no chili is worth that. Finally, the electrical forces in chili are weak. That’s why the electrical wires in your homes are made from copper, not chili.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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Texas Corny Dogs

American Entree

TEXAS CORNY DOGS

INGREDIENTStexascornydog

Enough vegetable oil to cover hot dogs in deep fryer, maybe 4 cups (¼ cup more later)
½ cup flour
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
2½ tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1⅓ cups milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
12 ice cream sticks
12 hot dogs

Makes 12 corny dogs. Takes 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSIL
The squiggle says, “I’ll be at the music stage”
empty Mason jar (or any jar taller than a hot dog)
deep fryer
tongs

PREPARATION

Add enough vegetable oil to deep fryer to cover hot dogs. Set temperature to 350 degrees. Add flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and sugar to large mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Add eggs, milk, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Whisk vigorously until well blended. Pour batter into Mason jar. (Refill as necessary.)

Put ice cream stick into hot dog. (Leave enough stick out to make a good handle.) Dip hot dog in batter. Put hot dog in deep fryer. Repeat for all hot dogs. Deep fry hot dogs at 350 degrees for 5 minutes or until golden brown. (You might need to do this in batches.) Remove with tongs.

TIDBITS

1) Mustard squiggles are an ancient form of communication dating back to the American Civil War. Union generals communicated with their vast armies via telegraph, a system subject to frequent breakdowns. So, Northern officers often sent instructions via mustard squiggles on strategically placed hot dogs and corn dogs. Unbeknownst to the North, General Lee’s cryptographers had cracked the mustard code. Union generals marveled how Lee always anticipated their moves. However, the Southern string of victories ended when Northern mathematicians came up with an early version of the Enigma machine. The South would never decipher another message. The Confederacy would lose the war. Mustard code only lives on at county fairs.

cookbookhunks

Chef Paul

 

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World,  with 180 wonderful recipes will be available in just a few days. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, is already available on amazon.com

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Shrimp in Garlic Butter

Mexican Entree

SHRIMP IN GARLIC BUTTER

INGREDIENTSshrimpingarlicbutter

4 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons butter
¼ cup lime juice
1½ pounds jumbo shrimp peeled, deveined
4 small flour tortillas
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (optional)

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Mince garlic. Add butter to pan. Melt using low heat. Add garlic. Sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Stop if garlic starts to brown. Add lime juice and shrimp. Sauté at medium heat for 3 minutes on each side or until shrimp turns pinkish-orange. Stir frequently. Warm tortillas in microwave or in pan on stove. Put shrimp in a serving bowl and tortillas on a serving plate. Let guests add shrimp to tortillas and garnish with cilantro as they wish.

TIDBITS

1) The ascent of life One-billion years ago: Viruses appear.

2) 900 million years ago (MYA): Taco trucks arrive. They serve wonderful food.

3) 800 MYA: Taco trucks disappear. Viruses, while great fans of all Mexican food, simply cannot eat much. It takes trillions and trillions of viruses to eat one taco. And viruses simply cannot carry enough cash with them. And they’re sightless and cannot even find a taco truck even if one were to bite them on the nose. Which viruses don’t have. One wonders how taco truck owners managed to find the financial backing to last through 100 millions years of disappointing sales.

4) 63 MYA + 1: Taco trucks reappear. The food is, as always, fantastic. Carnivorous dinosaurs love them. Taco vendors work out a barter agreement with them.

5) 63 MYA: Taco trucks disappear along with the dinosaurs and most of life on Earth. Giant meteors slamming into Earth, always a bad thing.

6) 1788: Taco trucks reappear in Paris, France. King Louis XVI loves their food.

7) 1793: Louis XVI is beheaded. Taco trucks disappear. The French Revolution has many excesses.

8) 1880s: Taco trucks arrive in San Antonio, Texas. We are living in a golden age.

 

cookbookhunks

Chef Paul

 

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World,  with 180 wonderful recipes will be available in just a few days. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, is already available on amazon.com

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Beef Jerky

American Appetizer

BEEF JERKY

INGREDIENTSBeefJerky-

1 pound flank steak, London broil or round steak
¼ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon pepper (Freshly ground is best)
¾ teaspoon liquid smoke
6 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Serves 4. Takes 13-to-20 hours.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

wire rack
baking sheet

PREPARATION

Slice beef across the grain into strips ¼” thick. Add all other ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients with whisk until well blended and brown sugar dissolves completely. Add beef strips to bowl. Mix by hand until strips are well coated. Cover bowl or put in large, sealable plastic, bag. Place in refrigerator for 8-to-12 hours. Stir at least once.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Put wire rack on top of baking sheet. Place marinated strips on top of wire rack. Do not let strips touch each other. Bake at 160 degrees for 5-to-7 hours or until strips are ready. Strips will be ready when jerky is dry enough to easily tear off a piece, yet will not snap when bent. Preserve jerky strips from air and humidity by storing them in mason jars or sealable plastic bags.

TIDBITS

1) Origami flourished in Texas during the dark, final months of the Confederacy. The Union blockade ships had deprived the state of all sorts of fun things: fine linen, playing cards, refrigerators*, baseball bats, anything that reeked of fun. All they had left was paper. Which was used for spitwads and even sent to the front lines, where they proved utterly useless in thwarting the bluecoat advance. Soon however, the thriving art colony of Tyler, Texas experimented with making animals out of paper. The Texas Art of Origami was born. Drovers, far from sources of paper, turned to making thin strips of cooked beef for their origami material. And so, beef jerky was born.

2) *Culinary historians are at a loss to explain these apparent artifacts in the Texas of 1865.

Chef Paul

LutheranCookbook

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, are available in paperback or Kindle on amazon.com

The cookbook is also available as an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Vidalia Onion Rings

American appetizer

VIDALIA ONION RINGS

INGREDIENTSVidaliaOnionRings-

3 medium Vidalia onions or other onions
1¼ cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 egg
¼ cup beer (8 ounces left in that bottle for drinking, eh?)
½ cup milk
3 cups peanut oil

SPECIAL UTENSIL

electric skillet

Makes 40 onion rings. Takes 45 minutes.

PREPARATION

Peel onions. Slice onions into rings ⅓” thick. Punch out onion rings from slices. Add flour, baking powder, and salt to first mixing bowl.. Mix with whisk until well blended. Separate egg yolk from egg white. Add egg yolk, beer, and milk to second mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add egg yolk/beer/milk mixture to bowl with flour mixture. Blend with whisk until smooth. Add egg white to third mixing bowl. Whip with whisk until peaks form. Fold egg white into bowl with flour/beer/milk mixture. Mix with whisk until well blended.

Add enough peanut oil to completely cover onion rings. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Dip onion rings into batter. Turn onion rings until they are completely covered in batter. Make enough battered rings to cover skillet. Sauté at 375 degrees until onion rings turn golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Place paper towel on plate. Place onion rings on towel. Put towel on top on onion rings. Gently push down on towel to remove oil.

TIDBITS

1) Onion-festival groupies will want to know that the Vidalia Onion Festival is held in late April in Vidalia, Georgia and features: onion tasting, cooking demos, concerts, chef competitions, and an onion run. Onions are historically rather sedentary, so this last event is only for the patient.

2) Walla Walla, Washington’s onion festival is held during the first week in June. Go there and watch an onion grow. Again, this is an activity only for the persevering and independently wealthy.. They also have onion bowling. If your onion gives you a 7-10 split, why just eat it. Woot!

3) Go to Weslaco, Texas in late March for its onion festival. It’s the only one with dancing horses.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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Tex Mex T Rex

Cretaceous Entree

TEX MEX T REX

INGREDIENTSTRex-

1 medium tyrannosaurus rex
300 garlic cloves
1,500 medium yellow onions
2,999 jars (18 ounces) barbecue sauce
1 15 ounce bottle organic ketchup
200 pounds chili powder
100 pounds cumin
25 pounds thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
40 gallons lemon juice
120 gallons Worcestershire sauce
12,000 hamburger buns

Note: Getting the amounts exact is critical. If your sums are off you just have to recount.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

1 time machine
1 sonic obliterator (not sold in Oregon as of publication)
1 culinary chainsaw (I recommend the Bushnell 303TM model)
1,500 crock pots
1 multi-story mixing bowl
1 24,000-hole toaster
1 deluxe surge protector

PREPARATION

Set time machine to Wednesday, June 3rd, 3 p.m., 65,403,002 B.C.. (For goodness sake, don’t push things and try to get yourself a T-Rex minutes before that giant meteorite slams into the Earth killing nearly everything. If you die in this cataclysm and don’t come back, your guests will never talk to you. You don’t need this social awkwardness.)

But it does remind me, to make Tex Mex T Rex you really need to kill a T Rex. For this job, you’ll want to get a premium sonic obliterator. One with a T-Rex rating. Don’t expect to waltz into a WalMartTM and buy the first sonic obliterator you see. You’ll be sorry. Indeed, you’ll be dead when the feeble sonic vibration from your off-the-shelves obliterator merely angers the T Rex into charging you. Always, always buy quality kitchen utensils.

Do not forget to kill the T-Rex. Be sure to slice up the T Rex into the various cuts of meat at the site and the time of the killing. This takes a long time and culinary chainsaws are noisy. You don’t want to annoy your current time, human neighbors. But in the Cretaceous period the chainsaw noise will scare off all those pesky predators who’d want to eat you. Take all your T-Rex cuts back with you. Don’t drop any. No one likes a litterbug.

Mince garlic cloves and onions. This should take no time at all as you have a time machine. Put T-Rex bits in crock pots. Add garlic, onion, barbecue sauce, organic ketchup, chili powder, cumin, salt, thyme, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce.

Set crock pots to high and cover them. Cook for 6 hours or until meat is tender. Remove T-Rex meat. Shred meat and return meat to crock pots for 30 minutes. Toast buns. Serve meat on buns. Note, this is a big meal. May I suggest serving it picnic style with plastic utensils and cardboard plates?

TIDBITS

1) Until the invention of the time machine, Cretaceous cuisine was impossible,

2) We have, of course, always had Cretan cuisine. However, food from the island of Crete is usually considered to be indistinguishable from the rest of Greek cuisine.

3) However, things would change dramatically if a Cretan restaurateur were to successfully transport T-Rex meat back to the current time. Crowds would certainly flock to Kronos’ Cretan Cretaceous Crudités.

4) This development would certainly provide a challenge to the Tex Mex T Rex cuisine of southwest Texas.

5) As of press time, 43% of all Tex Mex T Rex sandwiches are served in El Paso, Texas.

6) There are lots of non-culinary things to do in El Paso, Texas.

7) Be sure to take in the town’s T-Rex processing plant. Tours cost $20 person if you book now. However, the cost conscious can always go back in time, deposit a dollar in the bank, and gather enough interest to pay for the tour.

8) For an alternative experience, go to Hueco Tanks State Park and scale its huge boulders.

9) Those in your group who survive this experience will want to take in the Museum of Art and see American and Mexican colonial art.

10) Stargazing is quite popular here, especially at night.

11) So is sleeping.

12) Pleasant dreams.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pralines

American Dessert

PRALINES

INGREDIENTSPralines-

1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup butter
2 cups pecan halves
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

SPECIAL UTENSILS

candy thermometer
cookie sheet
waxed paper

Makes 23 squares. It should make more but the family keeps nibbling before I can get them all wrapped in waxed-paper squares.  (The squares, not the family. Goodness sake, you didn’t think you were going to get an exciting admission, did you?)

PREPARATION

Add all ingredients to large pot. Cook on medium heat until temperature of syrup reaches 234-to-240 degrees or until a drop of syrup forms a soft ball that can be flattened when dropped in cold water. Watch carefully and stir constantly.

As soon as syrup is ready, use large spoon to quickly and carefully drop syrup onto cookie sheet. Try to make praline patties about 2″ across and ½” high. (Be careful, hot praline syrup will burn like molten lava if it gets on you.) Let syrup cool. While dessert cools, cut waxed paper into 6″ squares. Wrap each praline patty in waxed-paper squares. Tie at top with rubber band.

Makes a great gift. Great for yourself as well.

TIDBITS

1) Pecans help a man’s sex life. Pecans have a lot of zinc. Zinc helps men produce more testostone.

2) Chocolates make women feel slightly more romantic.

3) Chocolate-covered pecans make for a night of whoopie.

4) The pecan tree is the state tree of Texas. There are a lot of Texans. Need I say more?

– Chef Paul

 

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com4novels

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Salsa

Mexican Appetizer

SALSA

INGREDIENTSSalsa-

3 serrano chiles
9 cloves garlic
1 white onion
8 Roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cilantro
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove seeds from serrano chiles if you desire a milder salsa. Put chiles, garlic, onion, tomatoes, and oil in baking dish. Stir until garlic, onion, and tomatoes are well coated with oil. Roast in oven at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Dice roasted veggies. Add veggies, cilantro, lime juice and salt to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk or fork. Goes great with everything except lutefisk.

TIDBITS

1) May, 1997, was National Salsa Month. Our officials have too much time on their hands.

2) In 2003, Texas declared tortilla chips and salsa to be the Official State Snack. The Texas government has too much time on its hands.

3) Pace Foods uses over 20 million pounds of hot peppers every year. That’s a lot of peppers or maybe just one huge pepper. Can you imagine a pepper that big? If you managed to eat it you’d need a really huge glass of milk to coat the pain receptors in your throat.

4) It would take a really big cow to give enough milk to fill that glass in tidbit 3).

5) Tomatoes and serrano chiles are not vegetables. They are fruits. So is a banana.

6) “Sometimes a banana is just a banana.” – Sigmund Freud. Freud would have been greatly interested in a dream about a twenty-million-pound serrano chile.

7) Oh, and some historians think Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic Ocean to get away from lutefisk.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tamales

Mexican Entree

TAMALES

INGREDIENTS – MEAT MIX

1 onion
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast (or ground beef or shredded pork)
1 beef bouillon cube
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder (1 tablespoon more later)
1/2 tablespoon coriander
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/4 cup yellow corn meal
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon more later)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

INGREDIENTS – CORNMEAL COATING

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoons chili powder (2 tablespoons more earlier)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (1/2 tablespoon more earlier)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package corn husks or tamale paper

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 cup tomato sauce
1 7.5 ounce can chili
1 bouillon cube
1 cup vegetable oil

(This recipe is spicy. If you prefer milder food, consider reducing the amounts of chili powder by up to half the stated amounts.)

SPECIAL UTENSILS

2 large pots
Box of wooden toothpicks (optional)

PREPARATION – SOAKING OF CORN HUSKS

Place corn husks at a time in first large pot. Heat corn husks at warm heat for 1-to-2 hours.

Soaking makes the corn husks pliable. Stiff, brittle corn husks really don’t roll well. The corn husk will split or the tamale will unravel. (You’ll end up shouting over the ensuing disaster and your whole family will head grumpily out to a fast- food joint.) Soak those corn husks.

PREPARATION – MEAT MIX

Set aside an afternoon to do this. Mince onions. Shred chicken breast or meat of choice. Crumble bouillon cube. Combine onion, tomato sauce, shredded chicken, chili powder, coriander, cumin, corn meal, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and bouillon.

Mix thoroughly with hands. Shape mix into sticks no longer than about 3/4 the width of the corn husks.

PREPARATION – TAMALE COATING

In large bowl, mix corn meal, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Roll meat sticks in corn meal until coated all over.

Take a tablespoon of this coating and place it near the top, narrow part of the corn husk. Roll the husk from the top until the meat stick is enclosed. Fold in the sides of the husk and finish rolling. Be sure to roll it tight. Place the resulting tamale in second large pot with the seam side down.

Continue with the rest of the tamales. Put each tamale right up against the side of the pot or another tamale to prevent the husks from unraveling. You might wish to hold the tamales together with a wooden toothpick as well.

REMAINING PREPARATION

Mix sauce ingredients together. Pour sauce over tamales. Add enough water to cover the top layer of tamales. Bring to boil then reduce heat. Simmer for 40 minutes. Add vegetable oil. Simmer for 5 minutes more. Let soak for 30 minutes. This gives the cornmeal time to absorb the sauce.

Unroll the corn husks and serve the tamales. Cover the tamales with as much sauce as desired from the pot.

ADDITIONAL MEALS FROM THIS RECIPE

It’s possible that you might run out of pots to cook all the tamales you would otherwise make. You can use the excess meat mix as a burrito or taco filling. The remaining sauce in the pot makes an excellent chili soup. Reorganize the fridge. Make room for all this great food.

TIDBITS

1) My grandmother, who was born in Sonora, used to make tamales. I wish I remembered this better.

2) After making this dish, you’ll have a much greater appreciation of why tamales cost so much in stores and in restaurants. You’ll also see why establishments make tamales in such big batches.

3) Profusely thank your sweetheart who cleans up after your cooking. If you don’t have a sweetheart, consider finding one to help you tidy up after making tamales.

4) There is a Tamale Museum in Newport Beach, California. Featured there are paintings of Los Angeles’ taco trucks.

5) The first tamale factory in America opened in Austin, Texas in 1911. Prior to that, America was in the culinary dark ages.

6) There is a tamale factory in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It opened in 1939. I’ve been there. Their food is good. People in Northwest Mississippi are serious about their tamales. Who knew?

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

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