revised 24 Oct 1996
The original structure was completed in 1900 by local architect, C. G. Lancaster, who designed many prominent buildings in Marshall. The congregation requested a round building but because of cost got a rounded one instead. It’s hard to know if the Moorish/Gothic elements were part of some genre or meant to lend an exotic flavor to the building. Whatever was intended the effect was (from pictures) charming. Note the hexagonal pavers leading to the front steps–a feature mentioned by everyone who recalled the building details.
An annex with a social hall, stage, kitchen, and rabbi’s study was built in 1930 with money raised largely through the sale of (Mabel Stein’s) hot tamales, made and sold by the Sisterhood.
- Cut 8 lb. brisket and 5 lb. chuck roast into hand-size pcs and put in boiling, salted water with 3-4 cut garlic pods, 1/2 can tomatoes, 2 hot dried chili peppers, 3 oz. chili powder. Cover meat with water, cook 2 hrs or until tender, refrigerate overnight. Skim off fat from broth and remove fat from meat and save.
- Grind meat, all skimmed, trimmed, and seasoned fat, and some trimmings with 15-20 garlic pods. Add 6 oz. chili powder, 4 tbsp. ground cumin, 2 cans tomato sauce, 1 tbsp. oregano, 4 tbsp. cumin seeds, 1 tbsp. crushed red pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add enough strained, heated broth to make mixture juicy. Simmer in large, flat pan till flavors have blended and liquid has cooked down.
- Mush 8 c. white cornmeal, paprika for color, chili powder to make orange colored, salt to taste, 1 c. shortening. Mix with boiling broth to the consistency of mush. Prepare corn husks by covering with boiling water to soften. Lay large husk (or 2 small ones) flat, smear with mush in a half-moon shape, place 1+ tsp.meat on mush, roll and tie with strips of husk fiber.
- Invert metal pie tin (or crushed foil) in the bottom of the large kettle. On top of pie tin (or foil) layer tamales, covering them with broth, then laying plate on top of them. Heat 45 minutes. For more broth boil a shinbone with seasonings. (courtesy of Joan Jones, Audrey Kariel)