Posted by: Nice Melons | December 29, 2007

Making Tamales and the Olive Conspiracy

Ahh yes, the New Year is upon me… the time of year that I always make tamales. 

WHAT?!  A WHITE girl?  Making TAMALES???  Surely you jest, Melon Head.

It’s true.   I even make my own masa… and that means LARD.  Wahoo!  I grew up here in Phoenix and used to help our friends  (the Mondragon clan) make them, so the tradition started that way… of course, they made hundreds… possibly thousands.  Now, I don’t make that many, and I also make a sweet green corn tamale in the spring or early summer.  At this time of year, I usually stick to the red ones, but I have also been known to do green ones as well…  maybe a little spicier than the red, but different.  I also like to make a lake of chile verde to dive into.  Yum! 

 Sometimes I’ll get help from a friend or two, and there is always some controversy over whether or not to stick an olive in the middle.  Now, I don’t mess with that.  I’m kind of simple that way.  The green will usually have a big ol’ piece of a roasted, peeled, and seeded Big Jim green chili in there (I am serious about these – I get them from New Mexico – those Hatch chilies that grow in that volcanic soil taste like nothing else), but OLIVES?  That boggles my mind.  I’ve got nothing against a good olive, especially in a Bombay Sapphire martini… or eating garlic-stuffed green ones and breathing on unsuspecting co-workers, ha ha ha – but I equate that particular food more with Spain or Italy.  Now, I suppose there has been a lot of cross-pollination in South-of-the-border cuisine, but OLIVES?  In TAMALES?  I just can’t get my brain around it.  However, it’s pretty funny how heated the olive argument gets, though…  I’ve had to make sure not to invite the warring factions regarding olive placement over to make tamales unless I felt like knocking heads.   Or knocking back several shots of tequila.  


  1. ok, more and more I’m startin to think you are my kinda gal. A musician, she sings, a shiksa extraordinaire, avid cyclist AND makes tamales. Can it be there is actually one good girl left on earth.

    YES! I proclaim… and her name is Melongirl!
    [tasty corn husk wrapped treats can be sent to Houston, Tx c/o Julian sans olives. all i have to say about olives in tamales is ewww!]

  2. OK, I thought I was the only one who thought the olive thing was weird. It just doesn’t go. DO NOT WANT.

    I don’t know if I’m an “avid” cycler; more of an anti-couch potato. 🙂 One of my resolutions (later post today) is to get back into better shape. *Sigh* I’ve kept my weight down, but I want to get more toned. Of course, I am also fighting the great evil – GRAVITY. Egad!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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