It seems I have been on the road for the last three weeks straight. This last week had me in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A place I have been to many times but never seem to have free time to explore. This trip I had two full days to play. What to do? Where to go? So instead of running all over trying to see everything Santa Fe had to offer, I decided to take a cooking class.
There were about 16 pupils in this class ran by Santa Fe School of Cooking. It was a three hour culinary journey to make the following:
Southern Mexico Style Chicken Tamales in Banana Leaves
Red Chile and Pork Tamales
Blue Corn Tamales with Calabacitas Filling
Tamales de Anis
Aggressive task for three hours, right? So upon arrival, some of the basics had been prepared already for us. Chicken and pork were already cooked and shredded, which really did help with the time crunch. So we broke up into four groups and each was assigned a tamale recipe.
While creating these tamales I couldn’t help but notice all the love of food in that room. What I observed, would lead me to say that food, at it’s essence, is love, life and the heart of a community. Food brought us together that day. Sure, some of us knew others in the room, but one could clearly see that we all enjoyed the tastes and the textures of the food while sharing the flavors with new friends. I think this is one of the reasons I love to do these Food Friday posts. To me, food means love. It doesn’t matter if I’m growing it, cooking it, eating it, sharing it, or photographing it. Without it, we wouldn’t exist.
My groups tamales were the Southern Mexico Style Chicken Tamales in the Banana Leaves. Anyone that has ever made tamales knows that there is a lot of work that goes into this food. There is the sauce, and the masa, and the filling. And lets not forget about the rolling of those tamales into a perfect little package of food for your loved ones.
The masa is on the left image above as it was cooking in the pot. The image above on the right is the ingredients for the sauce being put into the blender. The images below are the filling for the blue corn tamales with calabacitas (squash)
So by the end of the three hours, we had made new friends, and were enjoying the foods of our labor while celebrating the indigenous ingredients of the region like corn, chiles, and squash. I’m so glad I spent the time taking the class. Through this shared experience, I will always have the memory of making tamales, meeting new friends, and a stronger connection to others through our shared love of food.