Wednesday, March 14, 2012

End of Day 25: $3336.00

So, no official dollar change today.  I say "no official change" for two reasons:  1.  I am still waiting to find out how much was raised from the Pizza Pie Café fundraiser out in UT; and 2.  I received a donation for raffle tickets today from someone who can't come to the Zumbathon this Saturday, but wants to try winning a prize and helping with fundraising, which is awesome!  But, I decided to keep a running total for the  Zumbathon event so I can give a total amount raised from that event on Saturday, rather than piecemeal.

So... now is the time to find out how you can help!  And check out the two fundraising events coming up if you want to Zumba or eat out to help with fundraising- check it out!

I always enjoyed learning new words in Spanish (or re-learning ones I had forgotten...) when I was down in Camarones.  I also love food, and learning to cook new things.  Combine them, and you have the day I learned to make tortillas de maiz, and learned the word for a woman who isn't very good at cooking or domestic things..... which is and was funny because I love cooking and baking, as those of you that know me know, and my friends in Ecuador knew too as I baked a number of cakes when I was down there, so it became a pretty funny fiasco.

This was actually the second time I had made tortilla de maiz.  The first time being after a baile I helped Doña Berna make some for breakfast, and that time they all turned out beautifully.  The second time, well, not quite as good.

Tortilla de maiz are really pretty easy to make, and I've made them since with slight modifications (as I didn't have extremely fresh cheese, straight from the cow, etc), but have found they work fine with corn flour, egg, milk, and sometimes butter (one recipe here that has more things in it than I usually use).  The difficulty came in waiting for the tortillas to cook...

 Mixing the dough for the tortillas

From husked corn

 To de-husked corn

 To de-kernaled corn

 To corn flour after grating the kernals

 Nicely cooked tortilla de maiz

 Burnt, poorly cooked tortilla de maiz.... 

Trying to repair the damage by scraping off the burnt parts

So, what are the keys to success?  Being sure to use corn flour, not corn meal or course corn flour (as I learned when I tried making these for friends with the latter...a little crunchy).  Kneading the dough well.  Then forming a nice ball in your hand, making a pocket, stuffing it with cheese (or all sorts of creative things I've tried), and then not rushing the cooking (either over an open fire, in the oven, or stove top... these are very versatile!).  Best of all, these are fun to make with family or friends (I've made them with my aunt and mom and middle school kids  at the Meadowood Neighborhood Center after-school program).   Have fun!  Here's another recipe idea:

Tortilla de Maiz 
Tortilla ingredients:
2-3 cups corn flour
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk to start

1.  Mix the flour, egg, milk, and water in a bowl.  Add water or milk until texture of the flour is moist and packable.
2.  Can also add salt if desired.
3.  Knead the mixture well and allow to sit for 5 or 10 minutes before filling

Filling ideas:
One package Queso Fresco, crumbled
Chopped garlic
Chopped shallots
Steak and cheese
Meat and cheese
Peanut butter and chocolate

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