food & drink

Generous Knowledge and the Tamale Process

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.

Evidence of 2016

2016 was a beautiful year for me. I've come out of much harder years. 2016 was just everyday goodness. Here are a few of the unsung moments that made my year wonderful...

When I made lamb curry:

I really love the feeling I get when I make a fulfilling home-cooked meal. I indulge in my domestic fetish as often as I can, though that may only be once a week or once a month depending on the month. Sometimes I go on baking sprees. Which I find relaxing and incredibly therapeutic. Lamb curry seemed exotic and complicated to me. But then again, any recipe I haven't made more than five times feels unfamiliar and difficult. Looking at these photos, this recipe seems kind of easy and maybe I made a big deal about it. Here it is for the world to enjoy. 

When I had blue hair:

Have you ever done something that's kinda crazy for your usual and then come to find it opens all kinds of internal doors and that "crazy" thing becomes your new normal? For me it was blue hair. I loved it. Really, really loved it. I did a "self-portrait" series because I knew there would be a day when the blue hair had to come to an end. That day happened in early December of this year. I had my future grandchildren in mind when I took these so they would know I had a little personality, even if it took 33 years to kick in. I'm trying to decide what color to make it in 2017...

When we did other things:

Water, sand, flowers, carwashes, pumpkin carving, and my feet. These are the everyday things that I happened to photograph. Sure, there's a lot more to my life, but somehow these are the scenarios I chose to photograph purely for personal reasons in 2016. Sometimes I feel guilty (like uselessly so) that I don't take more pictures with my DSLR. A lot of my pics are on my cell b/c convenience. However looking back at these pics, they're kinda cool and I will likely document more of my everyday life. Though not to satisfy guilt, instead because it's fun!  

Goodnight and good luck, 2016.