Hmmmm - don't know if I can claim éxito, but I can claim much improvement on the tortilla front . I did some combing of various Internet recipes and then just decided to combine them all with my own desire to use butter (as opposed to lard, shortening or oil) as the fat and ended up with some pretty tasty whole wheat tortillas. When I whipped them up yesterday I was super excited about this - I ate one (or two) right out of the skillet with butter and they were perfect. The sun was shining in my kitchen window where I look out at beautiful Caribbean flowers and hear the pool pump (yes, my husband is an Entry Level Officer and we have a pool - don't blame us, we just showed up and there it was) and wind chimes (always blowing with the nice sea breeze even though we are about two miles from the water). Life was good. I wasn't rushing. I had plenty of time to make the short walk over to the boys' school to pick them up. I was singing happy songs in my head.
Then I reheated the tortillas for dinner and they were nice, but had dried out a little bit. This was to be expected - fresh tortillas are always better right off the skillet. Today I reheated one in the microwave with a wet towel. While I normally strongly disagree with heating tortillas in the microwave, it can be done if you wrap them in a damp towel. This actually softened up the tortillas quite a bit - I'm glad I tried it. We have about 6 left - that's how I'll reheat the rest of them too. They were tasty, but on day two they left me feeling a little disappointed.
Sometimes, in these cooking adventures, I feel completely satisfied with my creation - like yesterday around 11:00 AM. Other times, I feel like, "Ya cool. So what. I made tortillas. Last year I was helping people not commit suicide." I have been on a bit of a high the past couple of weeks. I feel like somehow I am finding my voice and my space; as a trailing partner, even with the most supportive of employed partners, you tend to have your career (and perhaps more) sidelined. It's not all bad by any means. I never dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom, but I wouldn't trade all of the time I have had with my boys in the past year (we reached our one year FS anniversary this week). In DC and here in Santo Domingo, we have had free reign of millions of adventures. In our family, I am the one who has ended up knowing how to navigate our new cities. And I can't imagine giving up the opportunity to live abroad. But, at the same time, I wonder if making tortillas is my best me. Perhaps I should be doing something more productive. Maybe I should be making more of an attempt to return to my professional life in some form.
The very recent truth is…and this is a reality that is, for some reason, difficult for me to admit…I actually really, really love my non-professional life (whatever that means). Making tortillas gives me great joy. I'm trying to remind myself to admit to the great happiness I feel with what I am doing now and not get hung up on what I believed would make me happy when we started this journey. Life is so teeming with unpredictability - especially in the Foreign Service - what an opportunity for reinvention. So, with my apparently successful bid at making a likeable tortilla, I am reminded of the need to embrace the wide-open space ahead, spoon in hand and possibly a dash of reinvention here and there. These things make me happy. My life is good. I make tortillas.
Oh, and if you want to make some too - here's how.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (I used bleached because (1) that is what most of the flour is here and (2) it has a lower gluten content which I read is good for tortillas, but really, who knows)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- ½ cup soft or melted butter
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups warm water
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder