(almost) wordless wednesday
el milagro tortilleria
If you've been reading along, you probably know why we have pictures of El Milagra Tortilleria on our blog, today. If not, let me just catch you up. This holiday season, we prepared, wrapped, sold, delivered, and gifted over 3000 tamales. I believe 3700 is closer to the count, today. This was not a solitary effort. We had the help and support of friends who might just not answer our calls come about November of next year. I'm relieved they are still answering them now. They are the salt of the earth, and this is not the last you'll hear of them, or the Great Tamale Campaign of 2012.
Every year, we begin the production with a trip (or two, or four) to El Milagro Tortilleria on East 6th Street, in Austin. And every year, it seems the word spreads, as we sidle up to the counter early in the morning, with a building clientele. El Milagro opens at 5:30am, and you'll find us there right about sun-up. This year, we ordered 250 pounds of masa, and it was loaded into our car proficiently, and politely--in the back, on the seats, everywhere!
A word to the wise--if you order the masa, it will be frozen when it is loaded. If you buy it from the case, it is not. The friendly cashier assured us that it would thaw, set out on the counter top, within an hour or two. It was still frozen in the center 6 hours later. It created a sizable bump in our operation, but we'll know better next time. You learn something new every year. It won't keep us from ordering from them again, because they have the best, and most economical, masa, both in preparda forms, and plain (without lard, spices, or stock) in the city. We elected to use the masa preparada this time, but added our own spices, and a little more of this and that, along with a bit of dried masa, to the mix.
With a car loaded, and a five pound bag of their delicious chips, our favorite, added to the front seat for tamalada snackage, we were on our way. With blessings.
El Milagro is open to the public, and their small storefront, located on East Sixth, in Austin, stocks those chips, tortillas, tostados, and almost everything you'll need to make tamales, too. Stop by and see them sometime, and grab a bag of those fresh chips. Seriously. Your best salsa deserves them!