With the Food Preservation Occupation we have been learning how to harvest, store and use the Hopi Blue Flour Corn that we grew this year. We have made corn bread, corn pancakes, tortillas, and now we have made tamales. To make the tamales, first we had to harvest and dry the corn. Then we ran the corn through the antique corn sheller pictured below. That removed the kernels from the cobs. Then we winnowed the corn and then we cooked it for ten minutes and then soaked it overnight in water and and a tablespoon of lime (Calcium hydroxide powder - sold in the Mexican grocery store as "cal"). Then we rinsed the corn to remove the lime, and then ran it through the "Estrella" hand-crank mill to make the "masa."
We moistened the masa, whipped some vegetable shortening with a blender, added some veggie bouillon, and then mixed it all together with a little salt and baking powder.
Then we took moistened cleaned corn husks and made little bundles of the enhanced masa. We tied them shut with a strip of corn husk and placed them in the steamer. We realized too late that corn husks we had gathered were too small and thus we made mini-tamales. We had also hoped to fill them with some sort of veggie chili, but they were too small to accept the filling. Then we steamed them and enjoyed the results with lunch.