Sunday, January 21, 2007


Two news stories caught my interest today. One on AOL about a man living in Mexico who, up until a couple of years ago, was the heaviest person the planet. He weighed in at 1200 pounds; he’s now down to about 800 pounds. Many of the posts on the boards are or were (threads keep disappearing) um, unkind to say the least. As someone who has dealt with overweight all my life I can certainly sympathize with him. And hope he succeeds.


The other has to do with the millions in farm subsidies for the corporations that grow the makings for two of biggest dietary offenders in the country, corn and soybeans. The root ingredients for high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soy based shortenings. So our taxes pay the subsidies for corporations that don’t need the supports and our taxes pay for health care for problems caused by a diet heavy in highly processed foods. What’s wrong with this picture?


We had considered tacos for dinner, but settled on getting the crock pot going for a good soup. Out of curiosity I hauled out the package of commercial tortillas in the fridge and checked out the ingredients. Imagine my surprise. My tortilla recipes have two or maybe three ingredients. Flour, water and MAYBE salt. That wasn’t what was on the package. Granted, they list the ingredients in the commercial flour too, and it’s kind of long. But the other ingredients? Yeast? Shortning? Molasses? What the *(&&^%. Tortillas are flat bread. I suspect the yeast is there for flavoring, not as leavening. Mom and I had a little discussion and decided we would try making our own.


May invest in a tortilla press, may just try making them on the bread board between a couple of sheets of saran wrap. Oops plastic wrap. Trying to cut down on that too. Parchment paper? Might work. Could probably use a little flour on the board and the roller and just work patiently. We even have one of those cute cast iron grills to cook them on.


I’ve noticed when I see travelogue footage of street vendors sellingtacos or tortilla products in Mexico that they’re using tortillas that are a lot smaller than what we find up here. Probably sell them for a few pesos. Hit the fruit seller down the way and you’re set. I find myself suspecting that making little flat breads won’t be that hard. This is sounding better all the time.


Made a batch of cheese and onion rolls this morning. The recipe is a variation on a recipe for challah from a book called The Village Baker. Lots of yummy sounding breads. You can get a long way on soup, bread, salad and fruit.


toonguykc said...

Mmmmm...SOUP!  It sounds good, but I think me and Lumpy are going to make this a Pizza Hut night.  Those farm subsidies help big agribusiness but not little independent farmers.  Even tobacco growers are subsidized.  I don't get it.


hope5555 said...

I know, it's true...pretty much anything you make yourself is going to be healthier than anything packaged.  As for farm's really just corporate welfare. Small family farmers get pretty much nuthin'.

lightyears2venus said...

Can't view the other comments, so maybe you already got some tortilla advice.  I admit I've never made my own (all the brands around here are made fresh locally, with none of those other additives).  I hauled out my Arizona Cookbook and found four recipes.   Whether you are talking blue corn torts (a Hopi/Pueblo specialty) made with, of course, blue cornmeal-salt-water; or southern AZ Indian ones (Pima/Papago--aka O'odham) made w/ flour-baking powder-salt-lard-water; or Mexican corn tortillas, made w/ Masa Harina-salt-water; or Mexican flours made w/ flour-salt-lard-water, they all direct you to shape the dough into walnut or egg-sized balls and flattening very thin by using a rolling pin (flour), your hands (corn), or "flapping back and forth between hands" (flour).  Like making pizza dough.  The latter is the way I always saw the big flour tortillas used on the reservation where I taught being made.  It says flapping helps keep it stretched.  No mention of needing any flour on the board when flattening.  Although I imagine you're not into lard (!) and maybe that omission would make the dough a bit stickier? Both the flour and the corn recipes call specifically for a hot, UNgreased griddle.  Brown on one side 20-30 seconds until dough begins to puff or bubble, then brown other side.  I've been using this cookbook since 1978 (although I have seen newer editions) so the recipes you have or may find online are probably a more health conscious.  Good luck!

tenyearnap said...

I often wrap up in a tortilla whatever is "leftover" from dinner to make my lunch. Even peanut butter and bananas. Yum.--Cin

mlraminiak said...

Try using waxed paper to replace the plastic wrap.   I think they still make it...  Lisa  :-]