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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Making Tortillas with my Lil Dude

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Hi guys,

Happy fall to you!  

I want to share with you one of my 6-year-old's all-time favorite books, which inspired our recent tortilla-making:

written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Rafael Lopez

It's a gorgeous, colorful book of haiku poetry about foods native to the Americas.  My Lil Dude knows many of the poems by heart now.  It's interesting how he often *thinks* he likes the Ninjago, Star Wars, Hotwheels, etc books best, but he doesn't actually enjoy them (and they're really painful for me to read-- there's not even an author-- it's like they're one big commercial-- unfortunately, he brings them home from school.)

This book, Yum! Mmmm!  Que Rico!, on the other hand, feels warm and happy and delicious, and has been a bonding night-time read over the years.  The other day, Lil Dude said he wanted to make tortillas.  (He has such a beautiful Spanish accent, it gives me shivers.) 

So I got some mazeca (corn flour with the mineral lime) from Safeway and followed the directions on the box (basically adding a little water.)  Instead of a tortilla press, we just used two smallish wooden cutting boards.  We used cut-out circles from plastic Safeway bags so the maza (dough) wouldn't stick.  Then we cooked them, without oil, on a cast iron skillet, and within minutes, we had tortillas!

For me, the whole process was a delicious flashback to my years in Oaxaca, helping make tortillas in smoky kitchens in Mixtec and Mazatec villages.  And it was so, so easy-- and so much fun for my son-- I can't believe we don't do this more often!

Our tortillas turned out small, like the ones we had in Guatemala on our visits as part of the adoption process. We brought our son home when he was 9 months old, and I'm sure he had bits of home made tortillas for those last couple months in Guatemala... I wonder if he has some vague taste-memory of them.

Speaking of my Lil Dude, he wants me to watch Alvin and the Chipmunks with him for the twentieth time now... and unbelievably, somehow those piercing, nasal voices are growing on me...



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