Tag Archive | cooking

Corianne vs. the tortilla

I received one of the best phone calls ever the other day (at least, before the phone call saying Max had been found).  I’ve been trying to rent out my spare bedroom, but have had a hard time finding a roommate. Which, frankly, minus the money issue, I’ve been fine with.  I like living alone.

Anyway, I got a call Tuesday? Wednesday? Sometime early in the week from a girl interested in renting my room.  She’s coming by later today to take a look at it.

I’m the type of person who claims not to be messy, I just have a complicated organizational system.  It’s true.  If I put everything away, I have a hard time finding it.  I don’t, however, have a problem remembering for instance, that one of my brown dress shoes is under the couch, while the other one is in the closet.

Most people don’t understand or appreciate my style of organization, so yesterday, I returned to my home to straighten the house up to the point of presentability.  In the process, I discovered that I have at least twice as much counter space in the kitchen as I had previously thought.  Crazy how that happens.

Well, in celebration of my newly cleaned kitchen and all the discovered counter space, I decided to do some cooking.  ‘Cause that’s how I roll.

I’d used up all of the tortilla mix that I had bought, so I decided that it was time to try tortillas from scratch.  I found a promising looking recipe on recipezaar.com.  It looked simple enough, that I thought I could just memorize the ingredients and amounts, and not bother with printing a recipe or taking my computer into the kitchen.

I should know better.  I really should.

For starters, I thought I needed a teaspoon of both baking powder and salt–which is twice as much salt as was actually called for.  Secondly, I used baking soda instead of baking powder–yuck.

For those who don’t know, soda is just sodium bicarbonate, and unless mixed with an acidic ingredient, will taste horribly bitter.  Powder is sodium bicarbonate and something that acts as an acid, like cream of tartar.  Powder can be substituted for soda, but soda cannot be substituted for powder.

Needless to say, the first batch of tortillas didn’t work out.

This morning, having realized my mistakes, I decided to try again–using the proper amount of salt, and actual baking powder this time.  The results were MUCH better–even though once again, I didn’t have a copy of the recipe.

So, here’s how I made the tortillas:

Flour Tortillas

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c oil OR shortening
  • 1/2 to 3/4 c warm water or milk

Mix flour, powder and salt together.  Cut in the oil or shortening.  Slowly mix the water or milk until the dough reaches a consistency that is neither too dry nor too sticky.

Divide the dough into balls–both times, I got about eight.  Place the balls on a plate, then cover with plastic wrap.  Let rest–the recipe says for a half hour, I waited perhaps 5 minutes and they turned out just fine.

Heat a dry skillet over high heat for several minutes.

what homemade tortillas SHOULD look like. I don't have a picture of the duds, but they were--yellow. And they didn't have the little puffy spots.

Thinly roll out each ball–I don’t care about shape, but you may want to try to keep things as circular as possible.  Cook on the skillet for 30 seconds on each side. The dough should get brown spots.

I can roll out two tortillas in the time it takes for them to cook, so I’m usually rolling and cooking at the same time.

Allow unused tortillas to cool completely then store in a plastic bag in the fridge.  You may want to separate each tortilla with a paper towel, just in case.  They can be re-heated in the microwave or in the skillet.

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A funny thing about anti-depressants…

Crazy thing…medication works better when you actually take it!

Despite being on the Lexepro for about five months now, I’m still not used to taking a pill in the morning, and lately, I haven’t realized I forgot my medicine until well after noon–at which point taking it would severely disrupt my sleep and digestive system, so I won’t take it for that day–and when that happens for several days in a row, especally when I’m feeling an inordinate amount of external stress, well…

So, I’ve remembered my medicine enough days in a row to have gotten it built back up in my system, and while the stress is still there, it doesn’t feel overwhelming to the point where I can’t do anything.  I’m actually in a good mood today.

Sis came down to retrieve a toy that G had left at my house.  I’m afraid that kid is going to think that I’m stealing his toys–I talked to him about it, but because I used words like “besmirched” and “misaligned” I don’t know if he understood–I just remember when I was his age liking it when grown-ups talked to me like a grown up.  Sis assured me that they had had a conversation about being responsible for toys on the way down, using vocabulary more appropriate for a three year old.

One of the things that G loves to do at my house is to go with me when I take Max and Lulu for a walk.  The enjoyment of this is fully limited to those of us who only need two feet to walk.  Still, G showed Max a fire hydrant he needed to pee on (without demonstrating, thankfully) and we went to the jungle and heard a rooster.  Really–just ask G.

I was able to do some shopping with my sister–amazingly, I was able to just stick with the groceries I needed.  While wandering through the produce section, I told Sis about one of my favorite dishes–potatoes and onions sliced then boiled together, then you eat them with ketchup.

Sis laughed, and said it sounded like I was Canadian. I countered that it sounded like I was poor.  G heard this exchange and said “Mommy, be nice to your sister.”

So, for those of you following along at home, it’s not nice to call someone “Canadian”.

I’ve actually managed to get some writing done today–I think I’ve figured out how I want my main characters to meet.  Again, I’ve reached the “wait and see” stage.  I don’t know if it’s any good.

So, yeah–overall, It’s been a good day, minus the mystery smell that I can’t locate the source of.

For once, I don’t think it’s the dogs.

I love to see the temple, I’m going there today…

Finally!

Today was the day.

Sis, the Bro-in-Law, and G took E to the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity.   It was a beautiful ceremony, even it would have been better if the sealer had talked to my sister’s family before hand–he was honestly confused as to why E needed to be sealed, when Sis and the Bro-in-Law were married in the covenant.  That is, until G and E came into the room, and he could see how little they look like Sis and the Bro-in-Law.

Okay, I tried to take the easy route, and find a page that would explain sealing.  I couldn’t–at least, I couldn’t find a page that explained it in the way I wanted to.

We believe that temples are quite literally the House of the Lord.  They are the holiest places on earth.  We go to the temple to make sacred covenants and ordinances with the Lord. (Covenant: A two way promise between man and God.  Ordnance: A ceremony with a sacred purpose–like baptism) When a man and a woman are married in the temple, if they both live worthy, they will be married for time and all eternity.  Any children born to them are considered “Born in the Covenant” and will also be a part of their family for eternity.  If a couple is married outside the temple they can later go to the temple to be sealed together.  If they have children, or, in the case of my sister’s family, if their children were adopted, then those children can be sealed to their parents as well.

When G was a baby, he was sealed to Sis and the Bro-in-Law, so he wasn’t part of the ceremony, but was still able to observe.  This surprised me a little–the age of 12 is usually the first time a child is allowed to enter the temple, unless, of course, they are being sealed to their parents.

E’s biological grandmother was in the temple with us this morning, and his birth mother was waiting outside.  This surprised me–both women have a lot more guts than I do.   I’m afraid that in their situation, I’d be sitting alone in my room crying. G was glad to see them, though, E has a biological half-brother who’s only a week older than G, and they are best friends.

It didn’t take long for them to start running around–including literally running circles around random people.  Which of course happened all the way back to Sis’s house.

Which was a trick, because they were both strapped in car-seats in different cars.

The party was a success, but we learned a few important lessons:

  1. A corgi, or a mostly corgi mutt may look like a small dog, but when she stands up on her back legs, she’s tall enough to steal food of the table.
  2. White plastic table covers and bright sunny days aren’t a good combination.  At least for those who like to see.
  3. If the recipe for your cookies tells you to store them in the freezer, there’s a reason for it.   And they shouldn’t be left out on the buffet line on the bright sunny day with the blinding tablecloths.

Five of my dad’s eleven siblings were there–including an aunt who lives in Western Nevada, and an uncle from Wisconsin. (If I missed anybody when I was counting, I’m sorry.)  It was good to see the family we don’t get to see all that often, even if after I ate and had a few minutes of conversation, I went to check on Max and Lulu and “forgot” to go back.

I have an uncle who’s in the hospital, he had a bad car accident a few weeks back, and while his injuries were being examined, the doctors found kidney cancer that had spread through his body.  Most of the family had lunch here, then went up to the hospital in Ogden to see him.  Dad says he’s in better shape than he was expecting, but still in rough shape.

Um, what else?  I know I skipped yesterday, and it feels like a ton of stuff has happened since I last wrote, but I suppose I’ve covered all the important stuff.  I don’t even really have anything on my mind–except the fact that I don’t want to do any baking for a very, very long time.

The lemon bars were a hit.  I’d share the recipe, but that would require getting up and finding the cookbook.

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