Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Santa’s Little Helpers

Or should I say “Nurse Ratched’s Little Helpers” because, making delivery of tamales to three of the regulars in the Community Room, I found several residents hard at work decorating the hallway Christmas Tree.


If that’s what they want to do.

Chances are they’ll live to regret helping Nurse Ratched out -- as most do, when she later turns on them -- which she always does.

To top it off, the residents are also planning to decorate the Game Room tree.

While in the Community Room, I learned residents are planning a Cookie Swap this coming Saturday.

The sugar cravings appear to have subsided but, had the cravings not, I still wouldn’t be interested in cookies. On the other hand, about two weeks ago, someone on facebook posted a Melted Snowman Cookie.

If I were interested in making cookies, thought I, this would be a fun project. So now that an opportunity has presented itself, I’m going to give ‘em a go. As for the cookies I get at the swap, plus a few I make, I’ll just take those over to the granddaughter’s workplace and tell everyone to have at it.

Yesterday’s tamale making adventure was a learning experience. Swapping out olive oil for lard netted this …

I wouldn't call these an epic fail, because the flavor is there. Problem is, they look more like cigars than tamales and majority of the dough is sticking to the husk.

I’ll eat them but, with that appearance and sticking dough, I wasn’t about to set any aside for the residents who’d requested.

I had enough filling leftover to make two each for the three residents. So, this morning, I made just enough masa for six tamales and added unsalted whipped butter instead of olive oil.

That netted tamales that looked like tamales.

When I’d mentioned my project for the day was making tamales, Apache was one of the three present in the Community Room that wanted to purchase. He seems to not be overly thinking about me these days, so I felt comfortable it would not otherwise encourage him if I agreed to give him tamales. I would have squeezed out a plate for the writer of Christian literature, but she’s fallen into disfavor. She’s what my mom use to call “sometimey” -- sometimes she’s friendly, sometimes she’s moody, doesn’t want to talk, doesn’t want to be talked to, so I didn’t bother.

Besides, she wasn’t present when the others made their requests, so I didn’t feel compelled to.

At any rate, Apache ate his right away, which gave me an opportunity to check on the filling.


The masa did not stick to the husk.

So it will be whipped butter, instead of lard, henceforth.

On tap for today is picking up an online order from Lowe’s and, while I’m out and about, gather ingredients for the snowman cookies.


  1. You are very courageous to make tamales. I am impressed.

  2. I have a former coworker, Angie Martinez, to thank. She taught me how, but its taken years and several tries to finally get it right.