Today my parents and I drove up to my brother's house for a lesson on how to make tamales from Simi's parents, who were visiting them. This trip also allowed me to spend some time with my brother, who has been working the majority of the time I have been here, and to see their house fully decorated as I last saw it right before they moved in.
Our tamale lesson began with James and my Dad kneading the shortening and liquid into the masa. Next we became an assembly line of tamale makers as we spread the masa, pork and an olive into the corn husks and then folded the husks to make a tamale. It was a huge batch but we got through the 20 pound bowl of masa fairly quickly. After about an hour and a half of steaming some of the tamales we were ready for our late lunch, which also included rice, beans, and salsa. It was so great to have homemade Mexican food! The rest of the tamales for assorted family members were divided into zip lock bags to freeze and eat later on. Too bad there is no way I could get through customs and bring some tamales back with me to Australia.