Every year we buy the masa, roast the poblanos, crumble the queso fresco, cut the butter and add the chipotle peppers. Then we create the stations around the table and begin the factory-like assembly line. It takes three of us about 6 hours-sometimes more. Boyfriends and husbands help out. We have tamale-making down to a fine art! It doesn’t matter if we have 17 for dinner or 4. We always make one hundred and twenty, because if you roll tamales only once a year, with all of the production required, you must have some to freeze!
Sadhana is a sanskrit term which loosely defined means accomplishing something with mind and heart. It’s a practice of evoking the intention of spirit while engaging in the material world. And it’s not just possible when rolling Thanksgiving tamales. Sadhana allows and demands for complete presence. It’s a meditation on the divine as we create in this physical realm. We can imbue the tamale with our love, our gratitude, and sweetness. And it’s a training to, as often as possible, recall the divine in the everyday, in the moments, to summon the gratitude for the ability to accomplish the most menial or sacred of acts. Brushing teeth, walking the dog, watering the plants, rolling the tamales. The divine is here and now, waiting for us as sadhakas, (practitioners of sadhana) to embrace it! Happy Thanksgiving! Whether we’re hosting or invited, let’s participate with grace.