MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: TAMALE INSTRUCTIONS
  Categories: Mexican
       Yield: 50 servings
  
       2 pk Dried cornhusks
            Warm water
  
   Contributed to the echo by: Leti Labell Prepare the corn husks: First
   go through the corn husks, separating them, and removing pieces of
   cornsilk (and also dirt, etc.) that you find. Then place them in a
   large bowl and cover with tap water. (I put several plates on top of
   the corn husks to hold them down, because they have a tendency to
   float.) Let them soak for at least half an hour. Rinse the corn husks
   several times, to clean them. Then drain them well. Next, dry off the
   corn husks. While you do this, you can separate them into piles: big
   husks, medium, and too little to be worth using. At this time, you
   can also prepare some thin strips of corn husk, that you will use to
   tie the tamales together. (This is where you you the little pieces
   too small to make a tamale.) (I found that the pieces weren't long
   enogh to tie around the tamales, so I tied two shorter pieces of thin
   husk together. More on this later.) Make the tamales: Hold a large
   corn husk in your hand, with the narrow end pointing to the right.
   Take a spoonful of dough (I used a serving spoon, about 2 Tbs or so)
   and spread it on the corn husk, about 1-1/2 inches from the wide end,
   and about 4 inches from the narrow end. Spread the dough right up to
   the edge of the corn husk on one side, leaving enough of a flap to
   wrap around the tamale. (If the husk isn't wide enough for you to be
   able to wrap it around, you'll use another husk - more on this
   later.) Next, spread a spoonful (again, about 2 Tbs) of filling down
   the middle of the dough. Roll the sides of the corn husk in toward
   the center, bringing the edges of the dough together, enclosing the
   filling. Wrap the rest of the corn husk around to the back. If there
   is not enough husk to wrap around to the back, place another corn
   husk around the tamale, to hold the edge closed. Now, wrap the top
   (broad end) edge down, and flip the bottom part (the narrow end) up,
   so that it covers the edge of the broad end. Then, using the thin
   strips of corn husk, tie across the middle to hold the top and bottom
   flaps in place. Steaming the tamales: Stand the tamales on end in a
   steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you could put the tamales in a
   metal collander, and place the collander in a large pot. Just be sure
   that the tamales do not touch the water below. Bring the water to a
   brisk boil, and steam the tamales for at least an hour. I did it for
   an hour and 15 minutes. You can test one to see if they are done: the
   dough will easily separate from the husk. Just be careful - don't
   burn yourself on the steam! You can reheat tamales in the oven at 350
   degrees for about 15 minutes. (Don't try to re-steam them.) If you
   freeze them, you can reheat them by putting the frozen tamales in a
   casserole dish, covering with foil, and heating in a 350 oven for
   30-35 minutes. This was a lot of work, but it was well worth it!
  
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