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May 13, 2002
a year ago
three years ago
four years ago

Homemade Tacos

19:36 pm: Store-bought corn tortillas are very different from hand-made tortillas. I know that fresh masa is even better than rehydrated, but it has to be cooked all at once. For small infrequent batches of tortillas I'm happy enough with masa harina, which is basically dried, ground hominy. The lye processing makes more of the corn human-digestible. When it's property hydrated it feels like nothing more than Play-doh, a little tacky, pliable, and when pulled apart it tears easily.

I had to experiment a little with the tortilla press. Especially since Jet was kind of clingy while we were making dinner, and I had him in the sling while I was shaping tortillas. He would occasionally reach out and pat one as I was transferring it to the pan or he'd reach over and make the press go *clang*. He really liked doing that. He was smart, though, and never reached towards the hot, cast iron griddle, and he never made me start or yell with sudden moves around the stove or oven. That was very good indeed.

Jet had a much better night, last night, than he has for the last three or four nights. He was only up twice, once at 10:30 before we'd even gone to bed, the second was at 5 am, and after I fed him he wouldn't go back to sleep, so John took him. He slept on John for about ten minutes and then wiggled enough that John set him on the floor, expecting Jet to go off and play. Instead, Jet just lay down on his stomach and slept on the floor, only waking up when he rolled over half an hour later and hit the bottom of the couch. It's kind of hard. When John moved him away from the couch, back onto his stomach, Jet went right back to sleep again.

I guess he was as tired as John and I were. So everyone pretty much slept until about 7:30. I got up at 8, and then made banana pancakes and turkey bacon on my new cast iron griddle. Whee. It was really good for pancakes, though they could stick without a little oil put down between cakes. The texture of the pancakes were very nice, though, and they were quick and easy and yummy. Jet even ate a small one along with most of a strip of turkey bacon and several sections of orange.

He had a great morning with the Goodells, and napped for two and a half hours after he got home. I got stuff done, and when he woke up, I went down and got him. He was really grumpy until he got to nurse a little, and then we played for a while before I tried feeding him solids. I got him to eat oranges, goldfish, and half a jar of turkey and sweet potatoes before he insisted on taking the spoon. So I found the small bowl, dumped half the jar into it, and handed him the spoon. He grinned at me and then dug in. He wasn't quite getting the angle right getting it into his mouth and was spilling food; but he was, at least, putting it into his mouth!

I was pretty glad of that, and let him go at it. Eventually he picked up the bowl and drank from it. He ate nearly half the food that way, and then went back to the spoon for a while, his fingers for a while, and then back to the spoon. When he started painting with the food more than eating it, I got another spoon and started giving him the stuff he'd missed, and he ate it absentmindedly as he turned the bowl completely upside down on his tray. I took that as a sign that he was pretty much done. I did feed him the last of the jar, and whatever I scraped off the tray pretty easily. He was eating.

The jar was done, though, and for the last couple of months Jet hasn't eaten an entire jar of food at a sitting. So I was pretty sure we were done. When I set him down, he wandered around, played and then ended up in the kitchen. I was cleaning stuff up and watched him with some interest as he pulled open the pantry door and pulled out a bag of marshmallows. He brought them over to me and, quite obviously, demanded that I give him some out of the bag.

So I gave him two. He frowned as he bit into one and then smiled. He then insisted that I give him more. I ended up giving him about eight mini marshmallows. Each about two bites for him. I then put the whole bag up on a far higher shelf. Jet then went back into the pantry and pulled out the box of Life cereal, and he opened the box and dug a couple handfuls out and ate them. He then went back to the pantry and pulled out the box of fruit snacks, pulled out one of six pouches of Gerber fruit snacks and tried to open the pouch. It wouldn't open for him, so he brought it over to me. I opened it for him and he happily ate out of the pouch until the folds in the paper hid some from him. He scolded the pouch, brought it over to me, and I just opened one side of it so he could get at them all. He ate the entire pouch.

Jet then went back to the pantry and pulled out the box of graham crackers, and I gave him a couple of those as well. He munched one in each hand and wandered off to the livingroom to look for his water. When he found it and couldn't reach it he pointed a cracker at it and vocalized. I gave it to him and he promptly dropped both crackers to drink with both hands. I do love how he does everything he does with everything he has.

Finally, I decided that enough was enough and I took him upstairs with me to the office, and he played up there while I worked. It went well, for the first time in a while. Jet was intrigued enough with his toys, the FreePlay radio that I'd wound up and let him adjust to his liking, and with the toys in the bathroom and his room that he pretty much occupied himself until John came home.

John took Jet while I worked for a while, and when I was done, John went downstairs and got some ground beef while I started making corn tortillas. We made soft-shell tacos with fresh tortillas, seasoned beef using Penzey's taco seasoning, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, avocado and fat free yogurt. Yum. Not particularly authentic Mexican food, but we really thought it was yummy anyway. The corn tortillas were fat and soft and crisp on the edges. The tortilla press took a little getting used to, because if I squeezed it too tight it would be paper thin on one end and fat on the other. So I had to figure out how much was enough. By the fourth one I was doing pretty well. I made nine all together and only the first was mildly inedible.

John and I ended up eating four tacos each. They were a wonderful mix of cold and hot, creamy and spicy, and crisp and soft. I liked all the textures, tastes, and temperatures especially since nearly all the ingredients were impeccably fresh. It was good eating.

John really enjoyed his and Jet liked stealing bites from both of us. John finished first, and took Jet outside for a wander around the yard while I finished my dinner. When I caught up with them, with the stroller, Jet was munching happily on a dandelion that he'd pulled and gathered for himself. He seems to like food he finds himself much better than food we give him. Hee.

We plopped Jet into the stroller and he turned into perfectly happy and content boy and we went on a good, long walk into the short twilight. It was cool and darkening. The breezes were pretty cold, but the last of the sunlight was warm enough, and we didn't really need coats, but it was on the edge of being uncomfortable. Much better than a year ago when it was already in the 90's for a good long while. I'm glad that there really is spring this May, and later this week there may well be more rain. I'll hope.

When we got back it was pretty much pumpkin time. Jet nursed to sleep during the opening period of the sixth Aves/Sharks game. He went right to sleep when John took him upstairs. John and I shared popcorn and watched while typing away at stuff. It's been quite the game. It was all zeros until the last five minutes of the second period and then both teams scored within a minute of each other. The Sharks first, and then the Aves answered nearly immediately.

This is going to be interesting.

11:27 pm: Dang. Overtime.

11:40 pm: Wow. That was utterly excellent, the winning goal was a beautiful piece of work between three of the Avalanche players and it was just a whole lot of give and go and get to the goal. They really wanted it. I'm glad

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