A while back while IMing my stepmom, I told her about all the yummy cuisines available in my neighborhood – Pho shops galore, Thai, Ethiopian, Indian. She commented that I was so adventurous in my eating. That took me aback. Among my group of friends, this is normal. We’re not talking tentacles (Am I the only one that thinks of Better of Dead every time I hear that word?) or anything still moving.
As I was walking over to the Asian market last week (my local grocery store), I realized how un-my-Dad-like the whole experience was. First off, he’d NEVER walk around in my neighborhood. Secondly, I can’t imagine him eating anything that came from that store, especially if he ever stepped inside. He would definitely never play the game that DH2U and I play, which is come home with something we’re not quite sure what it is. (That has led to the discovery of some really yummy sweet & salty crackers, some fabulous banana cakes, and some fruit that I don’t think I ever need to eat again.)
“Normal” is merely what we are used to, and “adventurous” (or in some circles, “wrong”) is out of our ordinary.
I used to not try new things – what if I don’t like them? One day I realized the perfect answer to that: Then order something else! Once I adopted the mindset that it is part of the learning process to discover I don’t like new things, I could feel like I was succeeding when I didn’t like something!
Yesterday I did feel truly adventurous. I made tamales for the first time!
Here is the recipe I followed for making Tamales in a crockpot! Thank you, Crockpot Lady!
I had never even seen things made, and I remember my Mexican friends in college recounting what a horrible experience it was that they would get trapped in the kitchen for 12-14 hours as all the women assembled for a massive tamale making torture chamber. Knowing that mine wouldn’t be authentic anyway – I was already substituting shortening for lard and green chili and jack cheese instead of pork filling – took some of the pressure off.
Things I learned: My $5 hand mixer that I bought 15 years ago wasn’t up to the task of mixing that thick dough; Always consider the first one to be an experiment and assume you will throw it back and start again; and with time and practice, I suck less! To steal a line from Keeping the Faith, I was embracing my suckiness and actually having a good time!
I am so glad I put aside enough time to try this and do it as right as I could … and even prouder of myself for accepting my best effort as pride-worthy! I’m sure my next batch will be even better, especially if I end up with a better mixer or at least a deeper sided bowl so I don’t spend long cleaning up than actually making them!
Adventure Girl is definitely alive and well and patting me on the back!