Monday, September 7, 2009

Tortilla Smackdown 2009!

Today proved to be a victorious day for me indeed! You see many years ago when I was first married and was an eager newlywed, I decided that I would surprise my husband with a batch of freshly made, homemade tortillas. He is of Spanish decent and was quite used to the delicious hand rolled tortillas made by his mother for many years.

Although I was newly married I had already considered myself a pretty advanced cook prior to marriage. Living on my own I had enjoyed preparing gourmet dishes for not only myself but also for friends and even the older couple who lived in the apartment just above me. They were my taste testers for many of my cooking adventures. In fact, the husband would often peek his head out the door and call down the stairs to my window when he smelled something cooking and ask what they would be "sampling" this time?

So here I was newly married, an advanced cook and full of all the eagerness to please of a new wife. I set about making the tortillas from scratch. It turned out to be a lot more work than I expected. I couldn't get the texture just right and the flavor was a whole other story that I won't go into!

Tortillas finished and artfully arranged on a platter, my husband comes through the door from a hard day's work. "I made you a surprise", I said. He spotted the tortillas and flashed a bright smile as he eagerly reached for one. "Wait!", I shouted. "Before you taste these I know that you know how hard I worked on them but I want your honest to goodness opinion on them". "I want you to tell me if they are as good as your mom's and don't lie! "I promise, I won't be hurt if you tell me the truth!" With fear and trepidation he took that first bite. I could tell by the effort it took to force down that first bite that the news wasn't good. I can still see the look of fear come across his face as he struggled to answer the question.

Finally he got the courage and said "Well, yeah, I guess they are as, no, I mean they ARE as good....but they do have a, um... a different, not quality but..... By that point I had already burst into tears of humiliation and embarrassment and found myself running up the stairs to the comfort of a locked bedroom door to bawl my eyes out!

Of course he was hot on my heals trying to console me by taking it all back. Suddenly they were THE BEST tortillas he had ever eaten and he tried to prove it by painfully eating one after another. (Poor guy!) *laughing hysterically as I write this* And so that is how the great tortilla debacle ended with me never attempting to make them again.

So here it is, ten years later and this afternoon I attempted to beat the beast one last time. I gathered all of my weaponry which consisted of all my supplies and a new and authentic recipe. This time I followed each step meticulously and added a few tricks learned by my more experienced palette. Halfway in, everything had gone smoothly and I felt good that these were going to come out fabulous! They rolled out just right, they cooked up even better! Finally I tasted one and they were Delicious. I was so proud. Once again I artfully arranged them on a decorative serving piece and lay in wait for my husband to return from work. The excitement was almost more than I could stand as I eagerly awaited my redemption.

When he walked through the door and saw that plate of tortillas you should have seen the expression wash across his face! It was a look of sheer terror as flashbacks danced across his memory I am sure. "Look honey", I said. "I made you a surprise!"...pretending not to recall the previous trauma of tortilla-gate.

Then came the moment of truth. I handed him one and he slowly took a bite. As he chewed, a smirk of approval came over his face and I knew that I had done good. "These really ARE good...I mean these are good!", he said. I knew he was sincere when he ate several more and this time he slathered a bit of butter over each piece as he had always done when eating his mothers tortillas. When I asked him if they were as good as his mothers, he looked at me with a smile and with a bit of loyalty to his mother in his voice, he said " I think you guys are neck and neck now." Hey, that was good enough for me. :)


  1. OMG you have me laughing so hard!! Tortilla are hard to master, certainly not one I've tried. Instead I watch my father make them. And right off the warmer with butter YUMMY!! I'm so happy for you!

  2. tsk tsk broke one of the cardinal rules of marriage - NEVER ask if your cooking is as good as his mothers !!!!!! LOL. I am glad yout tortillas worked out though. You asked about the water color crayons, the ones I have are Karat Aquarell and are made by Staedtler. I got them in Michaels and they are wonderful !!!

  3. Ok, now that you've told the story,you gotta tell us how you make 'em! I've been wanting to try making some.

    Thank you for the comment on my kitchen towel. I upped the price a little after thingking about it. I spent quite a bit of time on it, too!


  4. The recipe is really quite easy. 4 cups all purp flower, 1/2 cup butter,shortnening or lard, 1tsp salt,1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup warm water plus a few sprinkles to use as you go.

    The hard part is in getting the dough Kneeded to just the right point. Over knead and it will be tough as rubber, under knead and it will have a mealy texture. Once that is right then the really hard part is trying to get them rolled out into a perfect circle! I finally gave up on having them round and now I like to consider them "abstract" in nature...yeah, that's it, they're abstract...I meant to do that! :)

  5. Oh I love it(:)
    AND your pig boyfriend made me laugh (:)
    sooooooooooo funny ..hugs, patty

  6. Oh, I just had to laugh as I had a very similar story being a young bride 23 years ago, but it was with steak that I fried! I have learned, best to let my DH grill them to perfection!

    Thanks for popping by and saying hi.

  7. Hi Cindy:
    What a loving and kind husband you have!!! I think the story is sweet. I am glad you made the last batch and he really enjoyed them : ) Moral of story; keep trying!!!
    thank you for coming by and saying hi


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