Monday, September 12, 2011

snatching victory from the jaws of defeat

Okay, so the title isn't totally accurate...more like snatching just-a-plain-old-defeat from the jaws of we-got-completely-stomped-on-and-crushed-defeat.  Still, I'll take it. 

On Cinco de Mayo, I tried unsuccessfully to make tortillas.  They didn't turn out well at all, and I wrecked the kitchen.  What a mess to clean up! 

Last week, I was really trying hard to skip grocery shopping and just use what we had on hand.  On Thursday, pickings were starting to get a bit slim, but I did have the ingredients to make black bean burritos.  Well, I mostly had the ingredients.  I didn't have tortillas.  So I took a deep breath and tried that whole making tortillas at home thing again. 

It's funny; I can make breads of all description.  I can even concoct a pretty decent pie crust.  I can make pizza dough.  But I can NOT make tortillas.  Not even a little bit. 

The "dough" for the tortillas (that I was supposed to knead for five minutes) never actually became dough.  I followed the directions exactly as to proportion of ingredients called for, but all I got was glop.  You could stir it, but it wasn't going to knead. 

So I began adding more flour.  And more.  And more.  Finally I gave up.  Sarah and Natalie stirred the batter-like goo for awhile.  Natalie smeared it around the kitchen, then tasted it and declared it "good."  I stashed it in the fridge so I didn't have to see it mocking me.

Apparently hanging out in the chill chest did improve the tortilla makings a bit.  Sunday afternoon I pulled the stuff back out.  It still wouldn't cooperate enough to roll it out into nice thin little rounds, but I did manage to get it into nice, not-so-thin amorphous blobs.  I cooked them, and I made the black bean mixture.  The darn things are too thick to be tortillas, so I told the girls they were tamales.  They ate them and declared them good.

That's something, right?  I can sort of claim a victory here?  Or at least say I staved off total defeat?

I think I'm buying tortillas in the store from now on.  It saves my sanity and makes my kitchen easier to clean. 

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