Every now and again, I get an idea into my head to make something the HARD way, for no other reason than because it seems cool. Last summer, I devoted most of a weekend to making THE ULTIMATE BURGER: homemade buns, homemade ketchup, homemade fries... the works. (It was delicious.)
I have a new project: the making of an authentic cassoulet, a French comfort food involving beans, ingredients not often found in the states, and a good deal of ritual and superstition.
They just yelled out of their truck, "You wanna sell that Volvo?" I just went, "Um, no, not really," and they were satisfied with that and drove away. But seriously, wtf? Is there such a market for 16-year-old cars that driving around hoping to stumble on someone with a spare car is a viable business plan?
They are a buttload of work. You have to make a special trip to Jon's or Vallarta to get the fresh masa, then another when you realize that--contrary to your most firmly held beliefs--you do not actually have corn husks on hand. Then you have to prepare the masa and the filling (this batch: chicken with leftovers), assemble them (pitting wimpy little corn-husk ties against a tamale full of goo), steam them, fish them out of the steamer, and freeze them, all before you can cart them to work for a week's worth of lunchtime delectation.
Here's the other thing about homemade tamales: they're so worth it.