When I was a little girl, there was nothing better in the whole world than a homemade flour tortilla made by my own dear mom.
I remember that she would knead the flour, lard (because we didn’t use the much lighter shortening or oil that we use now, we used big huge blocks of lard) baking powder, salt and water in a big bowl. I loved watching her hands, strong and sure working the dough.
Little Balls of Dough
Then she would make these perfect little balls of dough. I made the ones in this photo and they are not perfect at all, but mom's were. She would then line them all up on a clean dish towel, ready to be rolled out into perfectly round tortillas.
Mom would always give my sister and me our own little ball of dough which we would pretend to knead and roll out as she did. Sometimes, depending on our mood, we wouldn’t knead or roll it out; we would instead form it into animal shapes, like it was clay.
Here's the rolling out in process
When my mom was done making the family tortillas, she would have us roll out our little ball of dough and she would place it on the “comal” which was made out of cast iron and heated over the open flame on the stove. We would watch her flip our little tortilla around until it was perfectly browned on both sides. We couldn’t wait to eat them!
This is the Cast Iron Comal
Mom would slice a pat of real butter which had been softening to room temperature and sit us down, each with our little tortilla. She taught us to rip off little pieces of the tortilla and dip them into the warm, melting, sweet butter. There was nothing better! We felt as though we had cooked these tortillas ourselves, my sister and I. Sometimes we would save them for our dad to eat so he knew his little girls had been slaving away making tortillas for him.
Comal with a Tortilla
My mom was great at including us in on her regular household chores and making it fun and like a game for us. We didn’t need fancy play-doh with all the little accessories they come with now. We just needed the plain tortilla dough, our imagination and our wonderful mother by our side. My mom's name is Tomasa and I am her child.
This post is inspired by the novel Julia's Child by Sarah Pinneo. Worried about what her kids eat, Julia Bailey starts a prepared organic toddler meals business. With names like Gentil Lentil, can Julia balance work and family and still save the world? Join From Left to Write on May 24 as we discuss Julia's Child. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.