Tamale No Fail and Having a Fish For a Daughter

okay, so I can’t believe it’s been another week without a post.  I seriously thought I did one…getting senile in my old age!


I went to another vegan meet-up last weekend.  The theme was Latin food, so I thought I’d show off my culinary skills by making some homemade tamales!  I used the black bean/chipotle recipe from Veganomicon – one I had used successfully in the past a few years ago.

I made the filling Friday night, and started the actual tamales about 4 hrs before I had to leave for the party.  These buggers are a time committment like few other dishes I’ve made!

They have to steam for about an hour to firm up.  I put the first batch in my makeshift steamer (about 7 fit).  An hour later…still mushy.  Crap.  I steam them for another half hour.  Mush.  Double crap.  I bust out the electric pressure cooker, put the steamer basket in, and start a batch for 15 minutes.  Mushy.  Oh hell….

By now, it’s 430 pm, I have no tamales for a party where 25 people have RSVP’d, I haven’t showered, and I have to leave at 5 to make it on time.  What’s a girl to bring when she had a total tamale fail?  Lots and lots of wine.

I’m pulling into the party when my husband calls.  I had set aside my tamales to cool off before pitching them.  He tells me they’re firmed up – apparently I just needed to let them cool down to set.  Crap.  Tamale no-fail after all, and now I have the makings of about 40 tamales.  LEFTOVERS!!!

The party was nice, the food other people brought was yummy, and the wine was appreciated.  Disaster averted….but honestly…the tamales were rocking!


The past week has been peppered mostly with solo runs and a couple of strength training sessions.

I ended up in squat hell, and 4 days later, I’m STILL sore.  Oh well 🙂


The biggest news is that my youngest R tried out for and made the swim team!  She just turned 9, so she’s pretty stoked.  Tryouts were last Saturday afternoon, and there were about 30-40 kids trying out.

all focus and watching everything that’s going on around here.

R was second on the list, so we watched the first kid.  The tryouts were to swim a lap front crawl and a lap backstroke.  If you could do butterfly or breast stroke or anything else fun, then let the coach know so you could swim that too.  The first boy did those, got out, the coach wrote some things down and said she’d let his parents know after everyone tried out.  Okay cool, we weren’t going to find out today, but I didn’t expect that we would when there were that many kids trying out for a limited number of openings.

clarifying with the coach exactly what she’s supposed to do

R did her front crawl (to which her brother M said “holy crap, she’s FAST) and backstroke.  Then said she could do flip turns and breast stroke.  No butterfly yet.  She did those, and as she was getting out of the pool, the coach – smiling broadly – put her hand out to shake R’s, and said “welcome to the team”!.  Okay, so no waiting after everyone tried out to find out if she made it.  Yes, she’s that good and I’m that proud!!!!  🙂

front stroke
welcome to the team!!! (oh, and dig the suit out of your bum at the same time!!!)

Team practice was every day this week for an hour, and she has a private lesson also for a half hour one day (to work on form and technique and new strokes she doesn’t know yet, like butterfly).  Every single day she was stoked for practice, and all the while in the pool, she’s smiling.  One of the Dad’s said to me on Wednesday “doesn’t she know this is a hard workout and not fun?”.  My response is that I hope she always finds swimming fun.


in her swim team suit and cap! Personally…I think she just loves wearing a swim cap 🙂


This weekend is planned a lot of time with D and the kids (some together, some separately).  I leave for another trip on Wednesday (VEGAS), and home for two weeks, then head out again for the first of 3-4 work trips left this year.  It’s tough on everyone when I’m gone that much, so hopefully I’ll get to spend as much time as possible with them when I’m here.

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I am a 45 yo busy career single mom and doctoral student attempting to find her inner athlete, be a gluten-free(ish) vegan, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, box, do yoga, dance, travel, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

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