Monday, July 19, 2010

Homemade tortillas

Ever since my group house days before I met Rob I have cooked what I just call 'mexican' - most often burritos, sometimes tacos, occasionally quesadillas or just beans with rice.
What is always present is:
beans (the main event - large batch (eat some, freeze some) of kidney bean, tomato, capsicum - ish mix with lots of paprika, some cumin, coriander, salt, red wine and chillies BK (before kids)
grated cheese
grated carrot
shredded lettuce
sour cream
pickled jalapenos (Sandhurst brand)

Not to sound fanatical about it (ha ha), but for many years we ate some form of 'mexican' weekly. So I guess you could say that in the 16 years Rob and I have been together, we have probably eaten this meal at least 500 times. 500!! That's a lot of cheese, a lot of jalapenos, a lot of packaged tortillas.

So what surprises me now is that tonight was the first time that I've ever made my own tortillas. And they worked out really well. It just hadn't occurred to me until recently that I could and should make them myself.

I'd been thinking lately, after conversations with friends about healthy food for kids, that I'm not an overly healthy cook - not that I serve chips and cakes every day, but I certainly do use a lot of white flour, I use sugar, butter, oil, salt, and in some cases I don't hold back. I make cakes and sweets (not just for special ocassions) and I fry. But on the other hand I use and love lots of vegies, fruit, pulses, grains, seeds & nuts. So I guess it's a reasonably balanced kind of cooking but with some treats thrown in.

The conclusion I've come to is that even though I don't cook super healthy food all the time, at least when I cook it myself I know what's in it, ie no preservatives or additives. And these seem to be what a lot of children react to.

So... with this in the back of my mind I arrived home from the shops and realised I'd forgotten to buy tortillas for tonight's burritos. Damn that baby brain (oops, baby is almost 1, must stop using that excuse!) but it turns out to be a blessing in disguise as I'd now have to have a go at making them myself, and after the usual Google search, I found this great post. Now, I love it when I find equally food obsessed people, and Homesick Texan seems to take her tortillas pretty seriously. She's done all the hard work, tried all the recipes and distilled it down to that one. I'm happy to go with that, and it turned out just as I wanted (though Homesick Texan's pics are much more pretty than mine!). No dry, tough frisbees as I find often come from the major brand on sale, and no weird aftertaste that possibly comes from the preservatives - because there are none!

I'm not saying I'll make these every time and sometimes I just need a really quick meal before the kids turn feral and I have a(nother) nervous breakdown (I'd call this recipe quite quick to cook, but lets face it, not as quick as cutting open a packet). But, they were definitely worth the effort.

Do you have any particularly frequently cooked dishes in your house?


  1. Jo - I showed Sas your blog this morning and she loved it. We both love Mia's jacket. She now wants to have a blog when she's older (not sure how she'll manage in amongst the 7 kids, but who am I to give her limits?). I took a photo of her later and then she wanted another one of all her dress ups lined up 'artistically' -(Still Life of Young Girls Belongings') - undoubtedly influenced by your photography. Great tortillas by the way ...

  2. make that ... 'Girl's Belongings'...

  3. Hi Al, I'm sure Sas will fit a blog into her busy life - she'll be delegating jobs to the kids! Love the sound of the still life. I'm thinking of getting Mia a digi camera for Christmas, kids seem to love photography, a great way to express their creativity.


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