Knife + Pen

!Viva la Revolucion!

In Uncategorized on April 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Before we moved to London my wife and I had many conversations about what food we would be missing. Most of these conversations were centered on the fact that there would be, no Tex-Mex, no BBQ and alas no Chili’s (a hybrid of the two and her favorite). At our peak we were managing about three delicious Mexican meals a day. Like camels about to take a voyage across the Sahara we made no apologies for the gluttony that took place on a daily basis. One day as we sat around stuffing our faces, per usual, with a mixture of corn and spinach or braised pork all wrapped up in a maize, flour and served in a corn husk my wife gave me a mission, to please learn how to make tamales before we went to the land of Fish and Chips. Baby gets what baby wants.

Irma’s is a Houston landmark. Run, owned and established by Irma herself. It is where politicians wheel and deal, sleeves rolled up because of the heat and cowboy boots on display, while kewpie dolls, black and white photographs of local celebrities and tablecloths made of oil cloth all rival for visual attention.

My day of tamale making wasn’t what I call a stage; it was more ‘why is there a gringo in the kitchen.’ For the first part of my apprenticeship, I stayed in the back and observed the ladies crammed together in an apartment size kitchen. When they weren’t busy cranking out lunch, they showed me how to make tamales. This was unlike any kitchen I had ever been in, music was blaring, and they were talking and joking the entire day, while still working like machines. Making tamales can be a very tedious task, and they made them out with ease, laughing and teasing me as I clumsily tried to assemble them.

Recently we made tamales at our apartment, with ingredients we somehow managed to pilfer from all around the city. Although it was only the two of us, it was impossible not to play music, start talking and begin cooking side-by-side.

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and it’s time to start getting ready. Now if we could just find some salsa that didn’t taste like ketchup.

  1. Looks good.

  2. Yummmmmmmmm!!!

    bbq….sniff sneeeeeff fff

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