Ivan and I have been together since 2006. During those years his mother magically produced little packets of corn-husk wrapped masa filled with beef, chicken, cheese or pineapple chunks. I didn't really know what went into the whole process but I growing up I was told it was a labor-intensive, it was "hard." I never met a cooking challenge I didn't want to master. Too much Anthony Bourdain maybe. If I was a still a teenage girl I would probably have posters of Food Network stars all over my room. Anyway, for the last several years I've wanted my mom-in-law to allow me to help her with the tamales since I never learned and it wasn't part of my family's tradition ever. 2017 turned out to be my lucky year! Ofelia generously shared her tamale-making magic and knowledge with us and I couldn't help but photo-document it.