What a morning! Fascinating! I never knew how much preparation goes into making tamales, and we saw only part of the process. Community members arrived at the communal salon at five-thirty this morning. When I got there at eight so much was happening.
Favio and Eugenio were busy grinding the corn by hand, along with a friend of theirs. Here they are. I tried grinding and had to us both arms to make a go of it. Thirty seconds was exhausting. I can’t imagine doing this for hours! Later Bill came down and tried his arm at it. Once the corn is ground, and this was after about three hours of three men cranking it out, water is added to the corn flour, a scoop of the mix is processed through cheesecloth, and the liquid will later be cooked down to a paste consistency. The bulk is pig feed! This is what it looks like.
Meanwhile other workers are cooking rice, beans, beef, and pork. Soup is being made in various stages. I think this is animal innards of some sort. Perhaps someone viewing this video can tell me what it is.
For all this cooking lots and lots of wood needs to be chopped for the fire. This, too, is a time consuming process requiring much endurance. Watch these men work. They store the wood in an enclave right there with access from the kitchen. There is another storage area on the other side as well.
A few people were preparing red peppers, carrots, and garlic. They soak the individual garlic cloves in cold water for about twenty minutes which makes peeling them much faster. Didn’t know that….
Preparing the banana leaves is another long process. It seemed they were being pressed, but they are being cleaned carefully because any missed spots create bad tastes. Here is a video of the work.