Saturday, October 22, 2011

Purple (or blue) Tortillas!

Armando, my new favorite Mexican, gave me the sweetest gift last week. I should start by saying last Monday and Tuesday were the kind of days that were really great all day long for absolutely no reason. Nothing too superduper happened, and plenty of potentially irritating things happened, but my kids had me laughing and my mood stayed light-hearted all day long. I was making my usual pass through town, and stopped into the Mexican's for eggs. I'd been the day before and he was out which I told him was simply unacceptable ;) When I was in the day prior I noticed the prettiest corn hung in the back to dry. You know that crazy-colored corn used to decorate Thanksgiving tables across the States? Some richly purple ears were hanging at the market, and I noticed a few deeply red ears as well. I got so excited thinking of all the beautiful creations I could make with such vibrant corn. Armando and I got to talking about the colored corn and he spread my face with a smile when he confirmed that people do in fact make tortillas with the decorative kernels. Not having a molino has the potential to stunt my tortilla making abilities, but where there's a will... I've been asking around the neighborhood if anyone rents use of theirs, but so far the answer seems to be negative. Armando said his friend (maybe Linda's sister?) could make me a masa when they go to make their next batch, and that got me all excited. He said she'd probably make some at the end of the week, so I was looking forward to a weekend of colorful tortillas.

Oh Armando---when I walked in Tuesday he seemed more excited than normal to see me, and he walked to the fridge saying he had a surprise for me. His surprise was a fat stack of beautifully lavender/almost blue corn tortillas made by the gentle hands of his loving mother. He wouldn't let me pay for a single one, and sent me home with the bag full. They take such good care of me here--and the tortillas were ridiculously good!!! Not only were they incredibly tasty, but each time I enjoyed one I couldn't help but smile at the thoughtfulness of such a kind gift. He and Linda have taken good care of me ever since I arrived, and I'm very grateful I met them so soon into the trip. Linda and I have talked a few times about how I had been wanting to learn to make tortillas, and I wanted to make the real tortillas from masa and by hand. None of that maseca crap, and I had to first learn without a press. We discussed that I of course needed to learn before I headed back to the States, and she said I'd be a soltera until I learned. She also warned that once I had the hang of making them I'd marry a Honduran and change my travel plans at the end of the summer. I always appreciate life advice, and have to admit I'm now a little shy when it comes to bragging about my newly developed tortilla making skills :)

I wish I had gotten a good picture because they really were pretty. And delicious. But next time I want to help make them. And now I just need to figure out how to thank them for the tasty tortillas!

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