I am slowly working my way to a culinary world where I make as much as possiblefrom scratch: it all started with Brian requesting homemade tortillas, got worse with Mark Bittman’s oh so easy bread baking instructions, and now I’ve just lost it. I want everything in my kitchen to be ingredients for things instead of things. In the coming weeks I am hoping to tackle handmade pasta, my ice cream maker, Smitten Kitchen’s pop tarts, and my own sweet tea infused vodka. In the next few years I’ll start homebrewing and keeping backyard chickens. I don’t know if I’m inspired by Martha Stewart, a fear of the apocalypse, a childlike curiosity regarding what’s inside everything, a shamefully inappropriate dream to time travel to 1950 and be a housewife, or a little bit of all of the above.
Anyway, here’s my advice on making tortillas, which will make your at home tacos approximately 200 times better. I don’t have one of those fancy tortilla presses so this is by hand:
- Buy Masa.
- Mix it with water (and a bit of salt) as per the directions on the back
- Get a good skillet nice and hot on the burner while you…
- Grab a hackey sack sized ball of dough and toss it back and forth between your damp hands until it’s flat.
- If you’re having trouble getting it flat this way (it takes a LOT of practice), try putting down a piece of saran wrap, placing a dough ball on top of it, placing another sheet of saran on top of flat, and flattening it with the bottom of a pan, plate, or skillet.
- Without a press, your tortilla will be thicker than the corn tortillas you’re used to buying, like about a 1/4 of an inch thick. It’s fine. It still tastes really good.
- Put it on the skillet (on high heat) for about 45-60 seconds, flip and do the other side for the same amount of time, or until it starts to golden slightly. You don’t want it to be crispy but you don’t want it to taste like dough either. Assuming you’ve eaten plenty of tortillas in your life, when to take it off should come pretty natually.
- Put good stuff inside of it and enjoy.
Summer Anne Recommends (if you’re in Austin, Texas):
Ordering the cookies at Alamo Drafthouse. My new job at the Alamo Ritz has afforded me several insider opinions on the best things about the best movie theater in the world. The most important is this: when you order the chocolate chip cookies (a la mode or not, depending on your tastes), they are baked to order. When they are delivered to you, they have just been lifted from the oven. Your runner is probably drooling at the smell of them wafting from the plate as she takes them to your table. They are the best thing on the menu and the five bucks you will pay for them is worth it and then some.
I forgot how good Breakfast At Tiffany’s really is. For some reason I had remembered not liking it as much as I felt I was supposed to, maybe because as a fourteen year old I didn’t understand why a guy as nice as Fred would fall for a girl as batshit crazy as Holly. That’s probably still a valid concern, except that since I’ve grown up, I’ve both been and loved plenty of crazy just as confusing and complicated as Holly’s. Whether it should or not, it all makes perfect sense to me now and Holly seems perfectly beautiful in there behind all of her neuroses and insecurity and flagrant lying.
It’s not the same with The Last Picture Show, a movie I love just as much if not a little more, but which does not have a happy ending. And while Jacy is very beautiful and alluring, I still don’t understand why a nice guy would love her and don’t think I ever will. Her heart is made of stone, while Holly’s heart, although difficult to uncover, is clearly made of kitten fur and banjo strings.
This is all common sense, but it’s necessary to explain to most people anyway.
The weather is warming up—which means it’s time to fire up the grill and invite friends over for burgers, brats, and a celebration of our victory over the edible mammals. But … what do you feed your weird vegetarian friend?
This question seems to genuinely concern a lot of people. Since many people organize meals around a meat dish, it becomes baffling to plan a meal without meat. But it’s really not hard.
What do vegetarians eat?
Food. Except meat.
Are chickens made out of meat?
Are fish made out of meat?
Yes. Some vegetarians eat it anyway. Either ask or assume they don’t eat meat.