Sooo, it took me some time to think of what I’d like the new year goal to be. But I must admit that I had been thinking about it for some time…since October or so. I definitely had a blog in mind, but I took care of that one when I decided to use it as part of my final project for my abstract painting class…so I had to move on down the list! Considering this IS a blog about my art, I tend to do everything like it’s for the sake of art…….hey!, cooking IS an ART FORM! 😛
One of the things that is really important is eating….hahahaha! See, I got really sick with congestive heart failure at the age of 30, and was diagnosed AGAIN with advanced heart failure at the age of 41 (both were unknown etiology)…that’a whole other show on Oprah and a whole other blog!!! *LoL!* Eating was no fun…everything was bland and because of the condition, I had no appetite. I still don’t have an appetite, so I have to force myself to eat. It’s no fun, but it’s something that I KNOW I need to work on. Having said all that, my goal for this year is to cook more exciting foods! I know it’s my “wifely” duty to feed the hubs, but feeding ME is never part of the equation…I get excited thinking about new foods to try cooking, but don’t always plan and/or follow through. Like I said, this goaling thing is about changing my lifestyle, so bear with me as we get on with it!
How did I come about this?, you ask…weeeeell, I decided that I would make hallacas as my first exciting food thang! They are one of THE MOST WONDERFUL dishes in Venezuelan cuisine! As a Christmastime tradition, many families make “hallacas” [pronounced ah-ya-kas] for Christmas dinner (Venezuelan version of Mexican tamales…and sooo much better), but since I was still in class we cooked them up this week…tried to get 100 or so made, but I have a sprained tendon on my right thumb and only made it to 50! This was MY FIRST attempt! Like I said, hallacas are like tamales…you make the “masa” from yellow corn meal (Harina Pan or Masarepa by Goya) and then fill them just like you would a tamale. You then fold over and seal the edge with pressure, like you would a pie; then wrap in the banana leaves and tie with rope…drop in a large pot of water to cook…the mixture that goes inside has already been prepared and cooked, so really you’re just putting it together and cooking the outside when you drop it in the water.
I looked around to see if I could find some of the fotos from 2 years ago when my uncle and his wife, along with another aunt and my mom, made them here at our house, but all I could find was a foto collage I put together above. They’re tied with rope, so when you’re served it’s like unwrapping a gift! *lol* Below is MY very first hallaca and first batch!!! It was DEE li SHUS! I gave it to my Mami and the second was for my dear hubby…aaah, life is good! 🙂