Category Archives: Other

Homemade Tortillas

I didn’t start making my own tortillas until I moved to Germany.
It was more or less out of sheer necessity.
You see, Germans don’t really cook or eat Mexican food.
One of my best friends in Munich, Peteski, hails from Texas. This recipe comes from Peteski, and every time I make a batch I am taken back to the funky 1950s WWII era student dorms that we resided in.

During our 9-week break between winter and summer semesters, we decided we NEEDED a Mexican feast. We spent a few hours scouring German grocery stores for all the ingredients we needed. We were able to find black beans and hot sauce at an Asian market and avocados, onions, tomatoes, and garlic at our regular stomping grounds, Marktkauf.

We spent all day soaking black beans, making tortillas and guacamole. Everything came together beautifully and we were beside ourselves with joy. The best part of the meal? Teaching some of my floor mates how to make a burrito. I’ve never seen such confusion; Germans are all about rules and efficiency, not to say that is a bad thing, but it was difficult for them to grasp the idea of making a burrito with any of the ingredients that they wanted.

I’d say it was successful for all parties involved.

::: Ingredients :::

— 3 cups flour

— 1 ¼ cup water

— ½ tsp. salt

— dash of olive oil

::: Directions :::

>> Mix together the flour and the salt in a medium bowl.

>>  Add the water slowly to the dry ingredients, mixing as you go, until the dough is soft and no longer sticky. Remember, you can adjust the amount of flour and water if need be. More flour if it’s too sticky for example.

>> Knead the dough until smooth. Place in a pre-olive oiled bowl and allow to rest for a little while. No exact time, just enough to rest.

>> Separate dough into golf ball sized balls.

>> Lightly flour a surface and rolling pin to roll out the tortillas on, either a big cutting board or counter top.

>> Roll out the balls until they are fairly thin.

>> Heat up a pan on medium heat. The first couple of tortillas will take a little longer to cook than the rest when the pan is fully heated.

>> Cook tortillas for a minute or two on each side, just until you have some brown spots.

You can store tortillas in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator for a few days. They make delicious burritos, quesadillas, and you can even cut into triangles and bake to make your own tortilla chips.

Guten Appetit!

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Happy May Day!

I can’t say that I enjoy holidays, generally speaking. I’m not one to decorate or send out cards. Sometimes I forget they’re even coming up and it isn’t until someone reminds me to purchase a gift or call my family that I realize my mistake. That has never been the case with May Day.

May Day is my favorite day of the year. It’s even better than my birthday.

As a child my mother would let us pluck flowers out of the garden. We would arrange them in plastic cups, baskets, or vases and leave them on our neighbor’s doorsteps (we would ring the bell and run away – if caught, we had to give the recipient a kiss). It’s a practice that I continued through high school, college, and now into my adult life. None of my friends have escaped the tradition and many have joined me in the game at least once. What’s more, no matter how far apart, many of my college friends still contact me each May 1st to wish me a happy day. It really is the best holiday around.

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Birthday Wishes

I feel like I keep saying and writing the same thing – the kitchen is still under construction. Though there has been some progress, it’s still too dusty to really cook. Boil water, sure, but prepping for an actual meal at this point would be close to impossible. The utensils and appliances are strewn about the house not to mention the pile of tiling equipment taking up the dining room and spilling onto the kitchen floor. It’s like navigating a ropes course just to pour a bowl of cereal in the morning. Needless to say, it’s been a take-out kind of week. It’s making me ansty.

On to the birthday wishes: today is my sister’s birthday! Since she is the other half of this blog and an amazing person all around, I wanted to surprise her with a cake or something delicious. The best I could do was a store-bought cheesecake at midnight. Oh well – there is always next year. And the year after. And the one after that.

To my beautiful sister: I wish you joy, love and adventure in the year to come.

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Kitchen Makeover

It’s finally here! Our new kitchen countertops go in today. Having been under various stages of construction since last November, I am ready to have my kitchen to myself.

It’s on rainy days like this that I want to start a pot of spaghetti, bake some bread, and leaf through cookbooks over a steaming mug of tea. Instead I will hole up in my office and peek around the corner occasionally to see the progress in what will surely be my new favorite room in the house. Until then, help us choose our first meal/dessert!

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