Dear Curiosity Journal,

It all started with some shiny poblano peppers. They gave me a craving for tamales de rajas. I shared the recipe in our Keewaydin Farms newsletter, which intensified my appetite. Being surrounded by all of my beautiful Mexican friends and food artisans during Dia de Muertos caused the mention of making tamales together to come bubbling up – more than once. Gaby and I made a plan, which magically manifested as a farmhouse full of our dear friends, Chefs Ryan and Jorge from the Driftless Cafe, Chefs Mateo and Sylvia from Jovita’s Kitchen, Masa Masters Julian and Heidi from Tortilleria Zepeda, Driftless Curiosity board members, volunteers, friends and family, 17 of us, wall to wall. It was the perfect storm of Driftless foodie passion and curiosity. We learned how to make a variety of savory and sweet tamales in corn husks and banana leaves, as well as marigold and pumpkin atole, and micheladas. Also, Chef Jorge brought a cheesecake, his grandfather’s recipe, that was the essence of food euphoria, pure bliss to the palate. Everything turned out so delicious, the kind of flavors that cause you to close your eyes and do a little happy dance from the outright glee. Qué rico. We had the house so hot that we were peeling off layers and wiping sweat from our faces, making ourselves a little tamale sauna. My favorite comment of the night was that our house smelled like Christmas in Mexico. I am so thankful for these friendships, for people who are willing to teach, to share their culture, and bring us all a little closer together through these connections. Could there be a tamale and atole workshop in our future?