2/9/2009: The Art of the Tortilla

I don’t know how many of y’all know this, but making tortillas is an art form. April tried, now for the second time, to make tortillas tonight. She was successful in that they taste like tortillas; however, the consistency leaves something to be desired – they are quite stiff and break when we try to bend them. Still not bad considering an 80-year-old Mexican grandmother never taught her and she is learning from trial by error!

The Mexican rice she made was pretty good, as were the beans, although they were more like charro beans than refried. I still can’t get over the whole “Mexican food in South Africa” thing, but here we are.

South Africans seem to have a wide range of tastes in their food – from Boerwoers (traditional sausage – think course-ground bratwurst) and pap (think grits minus any liquid whatsoever), to American-style hamburgers (most of Wimpy’s burgers consist of double-meat, mayo, cheese, and whatever else fatty they could find) and, yes, Mexican food, which resides in its own specialty section in grocery stores. Granted, it is all Old El Paso brand (which I hear is made in New Jersey – get a rope!), but it still tastes like Mexican food. That reminds me, I need to take some pictures of the offerings at grocery stores…

My favourite thing, however, has to be that the cheeses here are inexpensive and varied. A huge tub of Feta is 2-3 bucks, blocks of blue cheese (Bavarian, Dutch, Belgian, and other varieties) are the same. It is truly a cheese-lover’s paradise!

3 responses to “2/9/2009: The Art of the Tortilla”

  1. “Favourite?” Oh, my! What’s next, “Cheerio?”

    Congrats on the tortilla adventure, April. Those who’ve never tried makin’ ’em have no idea how difficult it can be. It looks like it should be easy, but it ain’t!

    If y’all are feeding your children “Bangers and Lamb”(cf: The photo at Wimpy’s), please don’t mention it. I shiver at the thought of my grandchildren eating, gulp, “bangers” and, ugh, lamb.

  2. I’m just envious of the round shape April’s achieved for the tortillas. What an art. And, unlike my husband, favourite is just a fine spelling! After reading Crichton’s “Great Train Robbery” during my S.Africa trip, I became reacquainted with many British spellings and terms. I’m just hoping the grandkids come back with British accents!

  3. Unfortunately, I’m not sure the kids get enough interaction with other children to pick up any accents. Hopefully some nice family will take notice of us at church and invite the kids over for a play date or something.

    They don’t say “cheerio” or “loo” here, but as I explained to John (Clark), it’s hard to switch back and forth between spellings when one is immersed (and therefore bombarded) with the alternatives (and in fact uses said spellings in communication with those who are fluent in English but have a mother tongue of Afrikaans in order to avoid any misunderstandings within the business dialect).

    So, I will be using the UK English spellings when they eke in to my writings! They do say “Cheers” though, but also “toilet”. 🙂

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