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Thread: chacales

  1. #1
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    Default chacales

    trying something new, without very specific instructions.

    chacales is boiled, then dried corn, used to make a variety of dishes. popular with my wife and her kin in north central mexico.

    got lots of sweet corn and not many folks about at the moment to eat it. last year i gave sacks to all the neighbors, but my generosity--with produce, eggs, cider, and even nice cuts of beef--has been met with so much silence that i guess i am done being communal.

    so, picking it for my ownself

    8D04BAF2-10BD-4427-997B-2E1FBB834DF3.jpg

    boiling in the smoke--er--canning shack.

    AD782135-6A3F-4005-BE86-8FCE41527571.jpg

    hung to dry in daughter's long-unused budgie cage that i am now happy i did not toss any one of the dozen times i thought of tossing it. knew i was keeping it for a reason: to keep the birds out. also, fergus the chow hound.

    9FB71CD3-9482-4BA0-A50C-51FEE860A83C.jpg

    i am unsure that i picked the corn at the optimal ripeness for chacales. also, i understand that it is more typically cut from the cob and dried on screens, but i read that drying on the cob works too.

    shall see.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: chacales

    i love this kinda stuff
    looks like a lot of fun lee
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: chacales

    Nice pressure cookers.

    The neighbors are probably hiding in shame as they can’t match you.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    You could also make some tejuino. A bunch of tejuino carts have popped up around here lately.
    you know, i've never had that

  5. #5
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    i love this kinda stuff
    looks like a lot of fun lee
    well, if by fun you mean quietly satisfying, then yeah. it's better than being out there, for me anyway, for now.

    i'm running out of stuff to sell to maintain the lifestyle though. anybody need a kidney?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: chacales


  7. #7
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedog225 View Post
    Nice pressure cookers.

    The neighbors are probably hiding in shame as they can’t match you.
    not even looking for reciprocation in kind. but if you give a neighbor a couple nice ribeyes, or ny steaks for the whole family, i think a mention down the line of "hey, those steaks were good, thanks" is appropriate. but this is america, i guess we would rather just buy stuff at the store than feel any obligation to be friendly.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: chacales

    wow, that kid likes corn almost as much as i do. but he is more eloquent about it.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: chacales

    Maybe so. I remember something like the rule of reciprocity (or similar). I bet you have some credit in the neighbor relations bank.

    Anyway, looks fun. Wish we could grow stuff in the ground. Seems like magic.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    wow, that kid likes corn almost as much as i do. but he is more eloquent about it.
    theres a song... no ..no ... don't thank me.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: chacales

    danged wasps are getting after my corn!

    i should probably put this on the photo thread

    2367A925-1FA9-447B-A585-A759BC5DD0A4.jpg

  12. #12
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    theres a song... no ..no ... don't thank me.
    ok! lol.

    really pretty catchy.

  13. #13
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    Default chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    not even looking for reciprocation in kind. but if you give a neighbor a couple nice ribeyes, or ny steaks for the whole family, i think a mention down the line of "hey, those steaks were good, thanks" is appropriate. but this is america, i guess we would rather just buy stuff at the store than feel any obligation to be friendly.


    I share your thinking. Not that I am trying to encourage bitterness or disdain for your neighbors, but I would expect a pro-active thank you as well. It is what I would do, at the least.


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    Default Re: chacales

    Lee, I get the impression that only a small fraction of Mexican cuisine makes it into this country. Mostly it's the street food plus the occasional mole. (That sentence looks awful to an English eye!)

    Any of your wife's family's recipes that she is willing to share would be very interesting to me including what you are doing now.
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

  15. #15
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    Default Re: chacales

    anti-bug counter measure, the arms race is on! the barn fan, "this goes to eleven"

    good thing i have nothing else to do.

    2550031A-6409-49F2-9BC4-D97D90DC1E00.jpg

  16. #16
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I share your thinking. Not that I am trying to encourage bitterness or disdain for your neighbors, but I would expect a pro-active thank you as well. It is what I would do, at the least.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    yeah, i'm not actually bitter. i still like my neighbors, decent folks, just minding their own business, i should probably keep trying. somebody has to, why not me?

    and actually, i do have one really neighborly neighbor, the guy everybody else dislikes and talks crap about, the junk collector down at the corner. piles of junk cars and scrap of all kinds, overgrown with blackberry, the least couth, most rednecked, and the one person who has ever said thanks after the fact. and brought me a case of beer, even. isn't that interesting.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    and actually, i do have one really neighborly neighbor, the guy everybody else dislikes and talks crap about, the junk collector down at the corner. piles of junk cars and scrap of all kinds, overgrown with blackberry, the least couth, most rednecked, and the one person who has ever said thanks after the fact. and brought me a case of beer, even. isn't that interesting.
    he sounds like me
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    Lee, I get the impression that only a small fraction of Mexican cuisine makes it into this country. Mostly it's the street food plus the occasional mole. (That sentence looks awful to an English eye!)

    Any of your wife's family's recipes that she is willing to share would be very interesting to me including what you are doing now.
    i will follow up with this thread if my chacales turn out right, for sure.

    as for her family cuisine, it is so simple that "recipe" barely applies. they did not have much access to ingredients when norma was a child. beans and tortillas, milk and homemade cheese, and whatever local produce was being harvested. chiles, watermelon, corn, pecans...any involved dishes generally involved dried chile.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    he sounds like me
    you in about twenty years, if you don't take care of your teeth. i will get a picture with him next time he stops by for your comparison. we are good buddies. we never talk politics because he has no idea what is going on aside from the estate sales and swap meets and junkyard brouhahas.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    yeah, i'm not actually bitter. i still like my neighbors, decent folks, just minding their own business, i should probably keep trying. somebody has to, why not me?

    and actually, i do have one really neighborly neighbor, the guy everybody else dislikes and talks crap about, the junk collector down at the corner. piles of junk cars and scrap of all kinds, overgrown with blackberry, the least couth, most rednecked, and the one person who has ever said thanks after the fact. and brought me a case of beer, even. isn't that interesting.


    Not interesting. Not surprising.


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  21. #21
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Not interesting. Not surprising.
    yeah, he is a bit of a throw back to the time when people's recreation was mostly talking to each other.

    it is hard to break off a conversation with him, but the pace of my life these days makes our conversations a welcome pleasure. every conversation starts with him trying to sell me something from the back of his truck or wanting to buy one of my farm implements. "how much you want for that tractor" followed by thirty minutes of verbal sparring.

    i have done some grapple bucket work and mowing on his place for him. he has a tractor but he can't get it out of the thicket....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: chacales

    Sweet corn gets a little starchy as it matures to the dry state. But retains plenty of sugar. Why go to the extra work Lee?
    Wished I got in on this tread sooner but I was busy swatting hornets.
    You finding any huitlacoche?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: chacales

    i don't know that drying this way is much more work, tom. just the boiling part. i can't leave it on the stalk to dry as the starlings will get most of it.

    no huitlacoche, all my corn has been clean, but my grapes have been stricken with something and looks like there will be no wine this year. first the pinot noir vines, nearly all the fruit burst when very small. chardonnay grapes were looking good until just a week or so ago and now i see the leaves graying and the fruit hardening just when they should be really filling out and sweetening. we had a long wet spring and i may have failed to prune sufficiently, leading to a fungus.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: chacales

    how about nixmatalizing some for making masa and pozole ?? !

  25. #25
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    Default Re: chacales

    How about making Cornmeal out of some of the dried kernels, then you could make muffins!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by coelcanth View Post
    how about nixmatalizing some for making masa and pozole ?? !
    hey, i've even got some agricultural lime just lying around. not sure that's the right stuff...probably not...

  27. #27
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    Default Re: chacales

    video of the stone grinding by hand part please
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralphie Boy View Post
    How about making Cornmeal out of some of the dried kernels, then you could make muffins!
    it's a good idea ralphie boy, though in years past whatever i have dried has ended up going to the chickens.

    norma tells me i'm supposed to leave some husk on and tie the ears up that way to dry, so i did another batch. hanging with wire is marginally easier but this does look more auténtico...

    F5D3CE98-5642-4712-83FD-D914916FE996.jpg

  29. #29
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Pless View Post
    video of the stone grinding by hand part please
    it starts with harness training alfalfa...

    yeah, this is not the right kind of lime.

    A7F72C87-882B-409D-B96F-73B47C5AD4DC.jpg

    dolomitic lime

  30. #30
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    Default Re: chacales

    I've got a wee bit of dried blue corn that I grew last year that I plan to make some masa with. Will use hardwood ashes for the nixtamalization.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: chacales

    I simply cannot grow corn without huitlacoche. Well, it’s been a few years since I tried, but we always get the fungus. I’m not a real fan, so I have given it to the neighbors when we do try to grow corn.

    Oddly enough, one of the neighbors on this street is buddies with a neighbor from my old street. When we moved here, he saw me and yelled over to me. They call me Berto. “¡Oye, Berto! ¿Que estas haciendo aqui?”

  32. #32
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by J P View Post
    I've got a wee bit of dried blue corn that I grew last year that I plan to make some masa with. Will use hardwood ashes for the nixtamalization.
    just wood ash? i assume to make lye? have you done it before?

  33. #33
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    They call me Berto.
    berto is pretty cool. better than leelito.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: chacales

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    just wood ash? i assume to make lye? have you done it before?
    No, I haven't done it before. Just want to experience a totally home grown/made corn tortilla.

    Speaking of corn ... I'm just about to chow down on some green chili chicken enchiladas and esquites (corn salad).

  35. #35
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    Default Re: chacales

    That West Bend barn sweetener made from the Niagara Escarpment ain't lye. Better get to talking to Norma's kin folk. USDA says food grade lye is a unreliable commodity. My son's in-laws make the best tomales i ever ate. Running out of Tia's that made them so very good. They like to say 'Gringo style'.
    A balance of meat and masa.

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