Sequestration Meal #251

A little while ago some locals were selling vegan tamales for a fundraiser. I was excited about this because I love tamales and I haven't had one in ages. At last, the tamales arrived, made by some local people who are raising money for service workers. It all seemed like a good idea. 

I wanted to make the most of them, so I prepared some Mexican rice, opened a can of refried beans, and added a dollop of Tofutti sour cream to go with them while I stuck a tamale in the oven to warm up and kill the germs. I left it tightly wrapped in foil in the oven, as it had arrived, and as is the preferred way to reheat a tamale in the oven.

The good news: My Mexican rice was almost perfect! I think I'd make a few tweaks here and there but it could have stood in as a meal on its own. So good. But that's not that uncommon, because I adore Mexican rice.

The bad news: Having given up Goya for ideological reasons, I had to find new refried beans; these were terrible and I never want to have them again. (Seriously, I do not know how you can even call that refried beans. So bland and still with half the beans left whole.) So either I have to start making my own from scratch (which I can do, and they are amazing, but also they're a lot of effort), start heavily doctoring canned beans, or I need to go on a bean-finding quest.

The worse news: The tamales were like hockey pucks. I didn't even know it was possible to turn corn masa into something that dense. There was zero flavor (I swear they hadn't seasoned anything) as well, and rather than the filling being inside the masa, it was a thin, flavorless stripe inside the banana leaf next to the hockey puck of masa. It was so bad I ate three bites and threw away the tamale. It was especially disappointing because I'd looked forward to this meal for at least a week. But oh, well. Such is life. There are still good things here. The charity got its money, and I got some good rice.

Fortunately, I still have plenty of rice (which excites me, because I really love Mexican rice) and I can doctor my sad beans and maybe rescue them. I suspect some onions and garlic sautéed in butter and a pinch of cayenne will at least improve matters. I feel somewhat bad about the wasted food, but I remind myself that I am allowed to not make a place for bad surprises in my life. Next time I'll just throw money at the charity tamale-makers. Live and learn.


  1. Oh, that is a shame about the tamales!
    I have a couple of recipes for super quick refried beans if you'd like me to send them to you?

    1. I think I may just have high standards--when I make refried beans, people say it's the best they've had in their lives--but I always welcome your suggestions!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts