Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Grandma & Lizards


Over the past several days I've been in southern California and northern Mexico, visiting family and attempting to find the seemingly ever elusive hand-made flour tortillas.

Guys. I don't require much in this life. Just really nice things, constant praise, 5 hours of direct eye contact every day with Paul Simon while we read one another the vows we have tattooed onto our chests and torsos, and an infinite supply of fresh hand-made flour tortillas from Mexico.


There's this place in Rosarito where a woman named Maria makes them all day and Krishelle, Will, and I will typically stand in front of her tortilla stand with our hands outstretched for hours on end every time we go. We tried to make these tortillas ourselves at home once but when we got back to Salt Lake City last time and went to the store, they didn't have all of the ingredients.

Maria's Handmade Tortilla Recipe

1. Lard
2. Flour
3. Maria

This trip we were in San Felipe, which did NOT have all of the ingredients either.

Fortunately the trip was still wonderful, mostly because I got to visit my 83-year-old grandma, whom I haven't seen in about a year and a half. This woman is my kindred spirit. And not just because the first thing she said to me when we walked through the door was, "Oh good. You're here. I've been looking forward to a late night of clubbin' all week."

Every time Krishelle, Will, and I go visit Grandma, we always laugh about one of our favorite Grandma memories, which happened about five years ago.

Krishelle and Will had arrived at her house and when she opened the front door to let them in, a small lizard made its way in. Grandma, with apparently much higher standards than I have, immediately put her hands to her face and started saying in her always sweet voice, "Oh my goodness! I'm so embarrassed! How embarrassing! A lizard just came into MY HOUSE!"

Will was able to direct it back outside with a broom and in the process the lizard's tail came off (I'm told this is some kind of defense mechanism?).

Grandma yelled, "Oh dear! That poor poor thing!"

Will responded, "Don't worry mom. It will grow another one."

Grandma pointed at the tail and emphatically asked, "that tail is going to grow another lizard?!"

~It Just Gets Stranger

23 comments:

  1. As a newly wed I discovered my big, outdoorsy husband turned into a little sissy girl that screamed for me to'catch the lizard!!!!!!' Of course he happened to be trapped in the shower with the terrifying creature as he jumped around, flapping his arms screaming, "Andrea! Help! Get it!! CATCH THE LIZARD!!!!" I was so busy laughing I had to apologize to the lizard for leaving her longer than needed with the freaky girly man.

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  2. You can't maintain direct eye contact AND read tattooed vows on another person's chest. This blog is friggin' ridiculous.

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    1. You can if the tattoos are in braille, duh.

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    2. I said "chests and torsos." Get it right, jon. And please don't underestimate mine and Paul's abilities to maintain direct eye contact with one of our eyes and do something entirely different with the other.

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    3. jon- you obviously have no clue of the powers of Eli and Paul. Doubting them? for shame!

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    4. You can if The First Eye is involved. I can almost picture the scene in my head... Peaceful as a hurricane eye.

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  3. 1. You're taller than someone!
    2. Cafe Rio.

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  4. Do you have Taco Cabana in your neck of the woods? Their flour tortillas are TO.DIE.FOR! They make them fresh and they are hot off the tortilla press. Like butta I tell ya.

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    1. I so miss Taco Cabana, they do not have them here in Utah.

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  5. Remember when you, Krishelle and Uncle Will went on trips and then emailed the travel log home every night? .....I loved that. Buy me a purse Shelle!!!

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  6. Trust me on this:
    1 cup bread flour
    1 cup all purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup shortening (or lard but I've never actually had any lard on hand, though they do sell it at my local grocery store)
    1/2 cup warm water (the warm part is important! Err on the side of hot)

    Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, then cut in the shortening (this is really easy and fast with a stand mixer but you can do it with a hand held mixer, a tool designed to cut in shortening, or even a fork and lots of elbow grease, the goal is to make the shortening into tiny pieces). Then add the warm water slowly as your mixer mixes or take breaks to stir well. Keep mixing until it forms itself into a ball. You may end up needing a tiny bit more water.
    Then walk away for at least 10 minutes. This is a seemly arbitrary step that makes all the difference in the world!
    Separate your dough into balls, roll them out into tortillas (I have no tips for round tortillas, mine always end up looking like states or something. Once, I made Darth Vader's helmet.)
    Best cooked on a cast iron skillet, though any skillet will do, over medium-ish heat. This is the super technical part because I just wait till they're done and I use my fingers to flip them. My husband is a wuss and used tongs to flip but I've never burned myself and tongs sometimes tear the tortilla. Then when that side is done, too, eat it! (Our favorite thing to do is to cook then in the cast Jenn skillet and then use it to cook the rest of the meal and then clean up is super easy! Like bacon and eggs fur breakfast tacos or skillet fajitas or hamburger meat for tacos, etc.)

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    1. Ok. I'll try this. But how many Marias does the recipe take? You never said.

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    2. @Branalyn: Ooh, thank you! I might have to give this a go!

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    3. Only 47 Marias. This recipe is nice and simple.

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    4. It takes 9 Marias for a batch this size. Also, so sorry about all the typos...

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  7. Tortillas are one of my favorite foods, ever. I could live off of them. You can make just about anything taste good in a tortilla- bonus points for adding cheese. But really... you don't NEED the other stuff. Just the tortilla.

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    1. Ohmygosh I SO agree! O just roll 'em up plain and chow down. Instant snack! Mission Tortilla Extra Fluffy are my favorite name-brand/store-bought ones. :-P

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    2. When I was first dating (now my husband) that was his idea of dinner. Whatever is in the frig, throw it into a tortilla and add BBQ sauce. Whoa-La!

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  8. Floriburto's in Brigham City. Just saying...

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  9. Great post but I wanted to comment on the ads on the side. Todays add was for kitty litter. I think you really own 200 cats and your getting a discount on litter by allowing them to advertise on your blog.

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    1. I think the ads depend on what you the reader is into. The ad appearing as I read this blog is of World Vision's 30 hour famine fundraising event for youth.

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  10. I lost both my grandmothers a long time ago, can I borrow yours? She sounds awesome. PS - I promise to not lose her.

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