Friday, February 27, 2015

Grandma Olga's Fresh, Hot, Homemade Tortilla Recipe (more or less)

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Back in 1995 when our Chief Travel Correspondent was only about five months old, her great grandmother Olga came to stay with us for a bit. I can't remember how it was decided, only that she "liked to clean". I think it was maybe "compelled to clean".  Nevertheless our windowsills were, in fact, spotless for the weeks of her visit.

Homemade tortillas:

In addition to keeping the windowsills squeaky clean, she showed me how to make tortillas. This was early internet days - no looking it up on youtube. Cooking blogs were not a dime a dozen and in fact did not exist to my knowledge.

Of course, the Chief Travel Correspondent has asked for the recipe. So here it will stay for safe keeping, the measurements (and even some of the ingredients) perhaps not even close to Olga's original recipe since I tend to change things up over the years. Her instructions, however, I remember as clear as day:

Mix flour and salt together. Work in oil and butter into flour and salt mixture by hand.

Olga told me that it should look, "like little peas". It never looked much like peas to me, but I figure the point is that the shortening is evenly distributed throughout, with no giant clumps anywhere.

Homemade Flour Tortilla Recipe: Do Try This at Home

Next add in the boiling water.  It's great if you have "asbestos fingers" and can begin to hand mix right after you pour in the water, but if not, just stir until it's cool enough to handle.  Then mix together and knead.

For ten minutes.  Everything from here on out took "ten minutes" according to Olga. Everything.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

They Start As Girls: Picture Books With Strong Female Characters

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It always happens the same way: I return a book just a month or two too late, or I lose one lousy book out of 23, and suddenly a trip to the library doesn't seem quite as fun.

So we've been hanging out with our books at home lately.

But since I'm still participating in the Womens Lives Campaign, by Blogher, SheKnows Media, and Public Radio International (PRI), I figured why not make this book post about strong female characters in children's picture books?

And what GREAT TIMING too, because it happens that the Women's Lives story for today is (partially) about a book!!  Why YES, I am very impressed with myself thankyouvermuch.  After all, good timing is so rare.

Plus, it's a photography book which means I love it double!!!  Lynsey Addario is one of the world's few women war photgraphers.

Her pictures are absolutely amazing, and you can see them here!

So that's what I'll be reading soon.  Meanwhile, here are a couple of books I've read to my daughters. And I read them to my boy too when he was little, because a boy needs to know that girls can be brave and strong too.

Plus...he enjoyed them.

Extra Yarn

A girl finds a magical ball of yarn.  What she does with it is pretty amazing!  The story is fanciful, she is brave, and the pictures are gorgeous. A great combo all around.

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