Corrie Street 28 Jan. 2018

Register Registry

sinead-wedding-dressMonday it’s Chesney and Sinead’s wedding at the Register or Registry Office. Whichever, it didn’t happen. What a surprise – not!

I also felt like who cares as long as it gets over with. The whole will- they-won’t-they triangle with Daniel seems to have gone on forever. Then on the actual wedding day, I mainly thought please, let it end because my eyes hurt looking at the dresses.

beth-sinead-and-mariaThose dresses were truly a marvel of tacky. They out-tackied Beth and Kirk’s wedding, where the theme was ’80s tacky. For Sinead’s day, Beth’s dress set the bar high. No other outfit could compete with that wall of sequins. The guests’ hats and accessories were back-up singers for the soloist of bling.

Sinead didn’t do bling with her dress. It would have been better if she had. At least it would have matched Beth’s. Instead, Sinead went retro-flower child. Absolutely the most hideous thing I have ever beth-dress-and-hair-bowsseen. When she and Beth came out the door, I didn’t know where to look. Beth’s dress was physically painful to look at, and Sinead’s was aesthetically painful. It was “ouch” followed by “WTF???”

So, good call on the costumes. But the rest of the wedding? It fell flat for me. All the components were there. The bride turning up late enough to cause worry. Threats of disruption, actual disruption, tears and confusion.

Components of a Corrie wedding

There was also the funny chatter among the guests, including a running joke. This one was about whether it’s Registry or Register sally-and-sophie-fascinatorsOffice. Ok, I googled it.  Officially it is the Register Office, commonly called the Registry Office. But no reason was given for several pairs of wedding guests to all have this linguistic quibble at once. The only explanation I could think of was this had been a debate at the writers’ table and someone said ‘we could write that in!’ Yes, you could. You could also write in an explanation so that we all get the joke.

at taxi to register office sinead-sees-danielI hadn’t really thought about Corrie weddings having definable elements, until I saw them. And that’s it – you shouldn’t see them. This was like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces weren’t cut smoothly. They fit together but the joins are visible.

The new production team at Coronation Street can do a wedding properly. Aiden and Eva’s wedding had all the elements I mention. daniel-watches-sinead-leaveBut the pieces were stitched together well so the seams didn’t show. The whole hung together as perfectly as Eva’s wedding dress. Sinead and Chesney’s? More like Sinead’s wedding outfit, I fear. The elements are there, but they don’t match.

Pegasus World Cup

This Saturday, January 27, is the 2nd annual Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The richest horse race in the world, it costs one million dollars to enter. The total purse is $16 million, up from $12 million last year. That’s the million each from the owners of the twelve horses running, plus $4 million from the Stronach Group which owns the track.Gulfstream_Sunshine_Millions_2006-Aht820-wikipedia

It is a Grade 1 race, with a distance of 9 furlongs or 1 1/8 miles. That’s one furlong shorter than the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. It’s open to 4 year olds and up. So horses from the previous year’s Triple Crown races are eligible. With January 1st being the official birthday of Thoroughbreds, those 3-year-olds have turned four. For many of them, it’s a final kick at the racing can before they take up stud duty.

Arrogate 1st Pegasus winner

arrogate after 2017 pegasus world cup winIn 2017 Arrogate won in a track record time, ridden by Mike Smith (Watch race on NBC). Named American Champion Three-Year-Old Male in 2016, Arrogate won the 2016 Travers Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Classic. In the Classic, he beat favourite California Chrome, winner of 2014’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness and Horse of the Year in both 2014 and 2016.

Gulfstream_Park_Clubhouse_at_Hallandale_Fla. 1930s postcardGulfstream opened in Hallandale Beach, Florida in 1939. The Florida Derby began there in 1952. The Canadian Turf Handicap started in 1967 in honour of the many Canadians who winter or live in Florida.

One of those “snowbirds” was Sam Russo. His wife was my mother’s best friend from childhood. They lived near the track, and Sam worked in the betting windows during their winters there. It gave him a good excuse to go to the races, he said. He loved Gulfstream, and I loved his stories about it. Sam passed away in January 2017.View_of_first_turn_of_track_with_crowds_in_stands_at_Gulfstream postcard

In this Saturday’s race, 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Gun Runner is entered, along with other top finishers in the Classic. It will air on NBC and TSN at 4:30 ET. It will be streamed live on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app as well.

Corrie Street 21 Jan. 2018

Dawn Light

dawn light kate-and-sophie-at-doorYou never see dawn light on Coronation Street. But in the first scene of Wednesday’s episode, there was the gray of dawn. Not from fog or drizzle. Just that brief morning twilight before the sun fully rises.

It was a little disconcerting, due to its unusualness and the eerie spell it cast on a familiar street. It also matched perfectly with the consternation – then and imminent – of the characters.kate-and-sophie-outside-door

Kate and Sophie were coming home from a night in the bars. Sophie didn’t know it, but Kate was distraught over Rana. She was totally fed up with Rana’s flip-flopping about leaving Zeedan. Sophie misread the situation totally and kissed Kate. Wrong move!

So while they were uncomfortably sorting out a changed dynamic between them, the door opened. It was Alya, thinking the noise she heard outside was Luke coming home. The night before he texted her that he’d gone to a pub with a mate. He hadn’t come home. She was angry and worried.alya-surprised-to-see-kate-and-sophie

He had gone to a pub, but not exactly to meet a mate. He was investigating the mysterious disappearance of Andy. So he went to the bar where Andy’s friend works. There, he saw Phelan having a word with that friend. When he confronted him, the guy admitted he had no idea of where Andy was.

That information led Luke to confront Phelan. A fight, a car chase, then Phelan’s handgun. He shot Luke, then shot the car’s gas tank. The car exploded, with Luke inside it.kate-and-sophie-kiss-interrupted

Soon enough, the police were once again on Coronation Street with the news of Luke’s death. No one knows of Phelan’s involvement of course, so the confusion continues. First with the simple disbelief that Luke could be alive one evening and dead the next morning, then the questions of who did it. There are obvious suspects, but no one except Seb suspects Phelan.

By this time, of course, the winter sun has long been fully risen. The viewer’s sense of disorientation has dissipated, so we can pay closer attention to the confusion reigning on the street.ayla-sadly-goes-back-inside

An effective use of time and light. It perfectly created a mood for the telling of the story. And technically difficult to do. That dawn light is very brief. Therefore a job to get all the takes needed before the light changes too much. If filters were used to smooth out the differences, it wasn’t noticeable. Thanks, camera people, it was beautiful.

One Trump Year

One Trump year is like one dog year – very long! Tomorrow, January 20th, is the first anniversary of his inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. A lot has happened, both silly and serious. The tweets and braggadocio coming from the White House have been entertaining and frightening. Also so mind-occupying that it’s hard to think of the serious stuff that’s happened. Actual legislation passed, revoked, deferred and proposed.Trump year begins - signing order permitting Keystone XL and Dakota Access

So here’s a summary of just one aspect of the past Trump year, the effect of his administration on the environment.

Earth’s 1st Trump Year

January 20, 2017

Trump is inaugurated. He says he’s going to drain the swamp. He meant the swamp of Washington politicos. But it’s real swamps that need to worry.

January 24, 2017

Stand-with-standing-rock_native-nations-rise-march-washington-mar-2017-slowking4-wikipediaTrump issues memoranda to permit Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines. He does this despite indigenous peoples’ protests and environmental concerns.

January 25, 2017

All references to climate change removed from White House website.

February 1, 2017

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is appointed Secretary of State. From 18 Dec 2016 in OilPrice.com:

[P]utting Tillerson at Secretary of State does present some questions over conflict of interest. After all, Tillerson could be instrumental in removing sanctions on Russia, which would be a highly favorable outcome for ExxonMobil, where Tillerson has worked for his entire 41-year career… As Vox’s Brad Plumer succinctly put it, “In a lot of ways, Putin and Exxon need each other. And Tillerson is now in the middle.”

February 14, 2017

Trump signs a Congressional Review Act resolution that ends a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.

February 16, 2017

stream-protection-rule-lcnewsgroup.com_coal-producers-face-new-stream-protection-rule-from-interior-Mark-Drajem-17-Jul-2015Trump signs joint resolution passed by Congress revoking “Stream Protection Rule”. The rule had placed restrictions on dumping mining waste into surrounding waterways.

February 17, 2017

Scott Pruitt confirmed as head of Environmental Protection Agency. When he was Attorney General for Oklahoma, Pruitt was best known for suing the EPA. He was also known for his close relationship with oil and gas companies.

March 2, 2017

Newly appointed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rescinds ban on lead ammunition on federal lands and waters. NRA approves the move as being good for hunters. Conservation groups disapprove as poisonous for wildlife.

March 6, 2017

Boundary_Waters_Canoe_Area-US-Forest-Service-2007-wikicommonsAfter ordering an EPA review of it on Feb 28th, Trump announced his decision to rescind or revise the “Clean Water Rule: Waters of the United States”. Intended to clarify federal jurisdiction over US waters, it had extended federal protection to some waterways, wetlands and lakes.

March 7, 2017

EPA Office of Science and Technology removes word “science” from its mission statement. New wording stresses “economically and technologically achievable performance standards”.

March 13, 2017

First preliminary budget makes cuts to EPA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, other science and environmental agencies and social programmes. The cuts are made in order to allow $54 billion increase to defense spending.

March 15, 2017

EPA considers rolling back emissions standards for future new vehicles, as goal of greater fuel efficiency said to be unachievable.

March 17, 2017

EPA does not rescind $100 million to Michigan for water infrastructure upgrades in Flint. Hurray.

March 21, 2017

B-affinis-wildlifepreservation.ca_rusty-patched-bumble-bee-photo-christy-stewartThe rusty patched bumblebee is listed as an endangered species.  Trump had previously signed an executive order that delayed its listing by one month. It used to be a variety of bee commonly found in North America.

March 24, 2017

Keystone XL pipeline given permit by State Department.

March 27, 2017

Dakota_Access_Pipe_Line_Central_Iowa-carl-wycoff-wikipediaOil is pumped into the Dakota Access Pipeline.

March 28, 2017

Trump signs Executive Order to begin rescinding EPA’s Clean Power Plan, moratorium on coal leases, and more.

April 3, 2017

Trump donates first quarter of his presidential salary to National Park Service. His 2018 budget plan includes a $1.5 billion cut to the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service is part of that department. Funding for some National Heritage Areas will be eliminated.

April 19, 2017

All but one reference to climate change are removed from the climate change page on the Interior Department’s website.

April 26, 2017

Trump signs Antiquities Executive Order, instructing review of national monuments created since 1996.

April 28, 2017

ice-road-to-oil-rig-US-bureau-of-land-management-geology.com_articles_arctic-oil-and-gasTrump signs an executive order for a review of bans on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Also stops designation or expansion of National Marine Sanctuaries unless an “energy or mineral resource potential” estimate has been done by the Interior Department.

April 28, 2017

EPA climate change website is removed, remaining on the new page only in archived form.

May 5, 2017

EPA dismisses several scientists from the Board of Scientific Counselors. The EPA says this allows a “more diverse” membership of the board, including industry representatives.

May 23, 2017

Trump sends his budget to Congress. It proposes a 31% cut to the EPA budget. It also eliminates Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound restoration programmes.

June 1, 2017

Trump says the US will pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

June 12, 2017

Interior Secretary recommending decreasing size of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

June 13, 2017

Corpse_of_sea_turtle_drowned_in_fishing_net-salvatore-barbera-wikicommonsNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cancels a rule designed to prevent endangered whales, dolphins and sea turtles getting entangled in fishing nets.

August 7, 2017

Interior Department recommends relaxing plan for protection of greater sage grouse habitat. The Department also recommends reprioritizing oil development in the affected federal lands.

August 15, 2017

Trump revokes federal flood-risk standards that took predictions of rising sea levels into account. He also announced that environmental review for infrastructure projects would be ” streamlined” and speeded up.

August 22, 2017

Martin_County-KY_home-mountainroadshow.com-jun-2006-wikicommonsInterior Departmental Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement stops a study of health risks from mountaintop removal coal mining. Also, the Trump administration disbanded a federal advisory panel for National Climate Assessment.

October 9, 2018

EPA head Scott Pruitt announces plan to eliminate the Clean Power Plan, saying “the war on coal is over.”

October 23, 2017

Department of Interior announces largest ever auction of offshore oil and gas leases. 77 million acres of federal water in the Gulf of Mexico outer continental shelf, off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The announcement comes days after a 672,000 gallon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico due to a pipeline leak off the coast of Louisiana.

December 4, 2017

Valley_of_the_Gods-Plain-US-Bureau-of-Land-Management-Aug-2012-wikicommonsTrump announces an 85% reduction in size of Bears Ears National Monument and an almost 50% reduction of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Both are in Utah. The Valley of the Gods, above, is now outside the boundaries..

December 18, 2017

Trump administration drops climate change from national security threat list.

December 20, 2017

Congress approves opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. It was bundled with the tax reform bill.

December 22, 2017

Department of the Interior removes “incidental takes” – industry-caused bird deaths – from being a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

January 4, 2018

Interior Department releases new offshore drilling plans. 5 days later, Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts are excluded. “Florida is obviously unique” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. It’s also home to Trump’s “Winter White House”.

January 6, 2018

Izembek_Lagoon_Amak_Island-chris-dau-1984-us-fish-and-wildlife-wikicommonsInterior Department says it will approve a road to be built through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. One village and a fish cannery wanted it. It was added to the tax reform bill passed by Congress in December.

January 15, 2018

Nine of the 12 member National Park System Advisory Board resign. From their letter of resignation: “For the last year we have stood by waiting for the chance to meet” with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Trump Year Chronologies

This chronology is based on National Geographic’s A Running List of How Trump is Changing the Environment. Also well worth looking at for environmental,  social and economic impacts of one Trump year is The Trump Effect compiled by Reuters.

Corrie Street 14 Jan. 2018

Team Acts

Carla and Roy. Roy and Brian. Carla, Roy and Brian. Maybe add Cathy to any or all of these team acts. Friday, all four were in Roy’s kitchen. It was the moving of Brian out and Carla in.brian-proposes-toast-to-roy team acts

All week Roy and Brian were dithering, each wanting to tell the other that it was time for Brian to move on. Brian wants to move, with Cathy, into the flat that he evidently still owns. Roy wants Carla carla with cup of teato move in with him, platonically of course, so that he can take care of her. But neither Roy nor Brian knew how to bring the topic up to the other. Both assumed that the other wanted their arrangement to continue.

Finally, it got sorted. But it took a lot of scenes between the various duos before that happened. I enjoyed every one of them.

Carla and Roy – characters and actors – are so comfortable with each other. Theirs is an odd friendship but I believe it. It came out of Carla’s friendship with Hayley – also odd but believable. After her death, Carla and Roy came to rely on each other a lot and their friendship has matured into deep and comfortable affection for each other.brian-grabs-council-coaster

Brian and Roy? Can’t really say Roy likes Brian but he tolerates him, maybe is amused by him. Certainly, I think he recognizes Brian as another odd duck and maybe makes allowances for him. Brian has intellectual curiousity so I think Roy would find conversation with him to be enjoyable. When he isn’t being irritating, of course. And they – characters and actors – are comfortable with each other.cathy-roy-carla team acts

Carla and Brian don’t have a lot of history, but they share familiarity with Roy and his apartment. So maybe the three of them will hang out now. And Cathy. While she doesn’t have a lot of history with Carla, she fits well with the two men. So maybe with Carla too. Based on the scenes with all four this week, I’m looking forward to their continued team acts.

Corrie the Soap

When did Corrie become a soap opera? Here I mean that in the derogatory sense of the phrase, denoting melodramatic, formulaic and often illogical storytelling. About four months ago. That’s when Coronation Street went to six episodes per week.Media-City Footbridge July_2016 Ardfern-wikicommons

Corrie Changes

Maybe it’s coincidence. There have been a lot of changes at the Coronation Street production site in the past year or two. The actual site itself moved and expanded. They are working on further expansion of the set. Actors have come and gone. A new producer, Kate Oates, took over in August 2016.

But only that last one, a new producer, is something that can cause changes that are apparent on the screen. With good producers, historically, changes are seamless. Watching the show, you shouldn’t be able to tell right off the bat that a new person is in charge. That seemed to be Kate Oates’ style. She kept the Corrie tradition going while also doing some spectacularly dramatic stories.

Six episodes per week

pat-after-he-shot-andyThen we added the sixth episode. Storylines began to be very gloomy and dark. Some, like Phelan’s move into murder, were spell-binding and truly horrifying. But others were just horrifying in their petty nastiness. A change in volume, even, people yelling at each other seemingly all the time.

Oh, the humour was there. Dropped in like a brick once in a while, apropos of nothing, amid the snarling and weeping. The necessary flow and balance of mood was not there.

Things will sort themselves out, I tried to convince myself. Accept the stories as what they are, and assume there is a good reason that will become clear down the road.

Soap Clichés

gary-on-phoneBut I started noticing something else: soap clichés. Too many private conversations overheard by someone lurking nearby. Actions that make no sense for a character until you see the result. Aha, they needed to get to B from A and that stupid move provided soap lurking seb-appears-after-eavesdroppingthe most direct route. Characters jumping to conclusions out of nowhere. Oh, we needed a misunderstanding so that x and y could happen. Or we needed something mentioned so that a character could return or be introduced.

Script clunkers, contrived situations. These are not uncommon in soap operas. Also not uncommon in movies, television series and novels. They are more excusable in soaps. American soap opera production people say that they create the equivalent of two movies a week. Five hours of screen time, year around.

Writing and producing this amount of material so quickly also has to take into account real life circumstances of actors. Illness, decisions to quit, being fired, even death – expected and unexpected events crop up and must be dealt with somehow in the story. The show will go on regardless. It is a testament to the skill of actors, writers and production staff that American soaps are as good as they are.

Therefore, the writing and production method is a kind of machine. It’s a system that continues to produce regardless of the specific individuals involved at any one time. That machine keeps the identity of the show, its look and feel, consistent over decades.

The Character of Corrie

Coronation Street is a soap opera in its production and storyline. Multiple episodes per week, year around, with no end foreseen. Stories focussed on personal relationships and emotion.

Granada_TV_studios_Coronat_geograph.org_.uk-1999-wikicommonsBut Coronation Street has never really looked like a soap, at least not the American kind. That’s due both to its production schedule and its ethos.

In its stories, Coronation Street has more comedy and more characters with whom the average viewer could identity. Less dreams coming true, more chuckling through the bad times.

In production, attention to details. History of the show, its people and places, is remembered. And characterization stays true. Characters don’t have to stay static, but changes in behaviour occur in such a way that makes sense to viewers.

There is the time to take that care. Writers have time to say ‘hmm, maybe there’s a better way to do that.’ More rehearsal time, more time for retakes. Coronation Street‘s air time is half that of American soaps. So there’s that bit of time to reflect, to redo.

Speeding up

Adding another half-hour of air time exponentially increases the preparation time. Maybe there has to be more reliance on the formulaic part of the writing machine. The process must speed up. I haven’t noticed glitches in acting. I assume that’s due to the expertise of the actors and directors and long, long hours of rehearsal and taping. The clumsy bits I’ve seen are in the plotting of stories, that creative imagination where time for reflection and rewrites is so necessary.Granada_Studio_Tours_Manchester_2011-Mikey-wikicommons

Maybe it will get better? Coronation Street has faced this challenge before, and risen to it. They went from two to three, then four, then five episodes a week. Each time, there were complaints and fears. The quality couldn’t be maintained. But it was. If there was a period of not-so-great adjustment, I don’t remember it. And I’ve been with the show since it was two episodes per week. I don’t remember feeling like I do with this change to six.

Time to take a break?

Just fitting that extra episode into my Corrie routine has made watching feel like work. So that plus dissatisfaction with the stories? Maybe time to take a break. Remove Coronation Street from my pvr record settings. That’s a big decision after having lived with a show for so long, gone through highs and lows with it. But when you’re Coronation_Street_Sign-Andrea_44-flickr-wikimediawatching and thinking you’d rather be cleaning out a closet?

Since the new year, in Canadian air time, it’s been a bit better. Still some cringe-worthy moments. But I’m not looking at the clock every couple of moments, wondering how much longer I have to endure.

Corrie Street 7 Jan. 2018

Let it bleed

peter-holds-cloth-on-legPeter presses down on Billy’s leg wound to stop the bleeding. Then he takes away his hands. He lets it bleed. Billy has been telling him a story, a confession. He has told him that he was responsible for Peter’s sister’s death.

Peter is driving Billy home from court. Billy got off with a warning for attacking Peter. Outside the courthouse, a young guy got mouthy with them and pushed Billy into the side of a car. Billy winced in pain. Turns out the four leaf clover Summer had made for him wasn’t so lucky. Its rough edges pierced his leg. Hit an artery.peter-listens-to-billy

Peter calls for an ambulance and keeps compression on the wound. Billy is losing consciousness. Talk to me, Peter says. So he does and, thinking he’s dying, he confesses.

Peter’s face changes, as he hears Billy’s words. He focusses on the leg-wound-let it bleedstory instead of just wanting to hear the voice to know that Billy is still conscious. When what Billy is saying sinks in, he lifts his hands. Peter sees the blood pour out of Billy’s leg. He seems to decide, ok, let it bleed. Let him bleed to death right here. Justice served.

Then he hears the siren nearing. He puts his hands back on the peter-looks-back-at-legwound, increasing pressure again. Is it because he realizes he can’t just sit and watch a man die? Or is it because he doesn’t want to explain to the paramedics that he did nothing to help a bleeding man? We don’t know and that’s the beauty of this scene.

That was Wednesday, first episode. Corrie is back on track! Understated, powerful, a whole story told in a gesture.peter-puts-compression-on-leg

Three episodes later, high drama took over. Atop a very high cliff, Peter teases Billy with death. Billy is in the trunk of Peter’s cab, Peter says he’s going to put the car in reverse and rev the engine. Is Billy ready to die?

peter-reaches-for-billyInstead he puts the car in first gear. It shoots forward. Peter hauls Billy out of the trunk and unties him. Cliff-edge confrontation: ‘how did it feel?’ Then Billy falls over the cliff, hangs on the edge, Peter tries to pull him up, can’t. Billy plunges way, way down. No one could survive that fall.

But Billy does. “A miracle,” a rescuer tells Ken. It reminded me of what Michael Zaslow said about the return of himself and his character to the American soap Guiding Light: “They said, ‘But he fell off a cliff!’ Eventually, they viewed the tape and decided that he bounced.” (Soap Opera Digest 4 Jul 1995:51)billy-falls-off-cliff

Zaslow’s tongue-in-cheek recount of his return to the show after a decade away recognizes the absurdity sometimes needed in soap writing. But Billy’s “miracle” happened within a couple of episodes.

We can see what the writers needed to happen. Peter had to believe that he had killed Billy so the whole Barlow family could get involved in the revelations and cover-ups. And Billy needed to survive so that peter-turns-away-from-cliffthe whole Barlow family could get involved in the revelations and cover-ups. But surely there had to be another way! More time at the writing table might have got around a credibility gap as huge as that cliff.

Tamale Pie

tamale pie with saladWith salad or garlic bread on the side, tamale pie makes a perfect winter’s night meal. It’s a Tex-Mex type of shepherd’s pie or baked polenta with tomato sauce. My husband uses his mother’s recipe, but has adapted it.

Jim’s Tamale Pie Recipe

“Basically, you make taco filling and put corn meal on top.”

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1-2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chili powder
dash cayenne
2 1/2 cups canned tomatoes (whole or diced)
1 1/2 cups corn (frozen, or 1 14 oz. can)
1 cup black olives

1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tsp salt

1 cup grated cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar)

Directions

Sauté garlic, onion, celery, peppers and ground beef in a frying pan. Cook until meat is lightly browned. Add seasonings, tomatoes, corn and olives. Simmer 15 minutes. Oil a deep casserole dish and transfer mixture to it. (Or, if your casserole dish is stove top safe, use it for the frying as well.)

Mix corn meal with 1 cup cold water. Put 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Add salt and cornmeal mixture. Cook and tamale piestir until thickened. Reduce heat, cover pan and cook over low heat for 10 mins. Stir occasionally.

Pour over meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 350°F oven about an hour. Serves 4 or 5.

Marji’s recipe

tamale-pie-recipe card 2I don’t know who this recipe card originally came from. It is not in Marji’s handwriting. I think she likely adapted it much the way he has. Cut down the salt, increase the ‘heat’ with jalapeños and eliminate the fat. However, Jim says that bacon fat would make it more flavourful. You can click the images for a larger view.