Snow Means Chili & Homemade Tortillas

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Discovery # 1 today: curved wooden stirrer rests there.

When it snows in Seattle, the two snowplows which the city owns are pulled out of the DOT barns by rented blue cranes, warm batteries installed in those converted dump-trucks and some roads get sand or salt. The side streets get nothing but cars packing the snow into ice and most of the sidewalks do not get cleared because what used to be single-family houses are being demolished and replaced with four and five of the 3-layered skinnies in one boxy structure. Folks who live in them cannot be bothered to obey the law and clear the sidewalk in front of their joint building and thus there’s no safe walking. It’s been an icy mess on and off for a few days and there’s more winter storm on the way.

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After 2 hours of simmering, in go the beans.

Snow and stay-inside?  I decided to make a big pot of chili. Fine and dandy. My daughter is visiting in a few days and this is a dish I can freeze for whatever day we want it. I sent her a note about maybe stopping at a store on her way here, picking up some tortillas. But tonight I had that aha! moment and pulled out the masa flour I’d got to make some spicy bean tamales and prepared homemade tortillas for the first time. Five of them, a bit odd shaped, using my marble rolling pin and the small seasoned cast iron pan.

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My rewards: fresh chili, fresh tortillas. Leftovers, too.

I had no idea that it is exceedingly simple to make fresh corn tortillas. Water and masa. I used 1/2 cup of the masa flour and 1/2 of 3/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon of water, stirred two minutes. Roll into balls and smash to appropriate thickness, then heat cook them for 30 seconds a side in a medium-hot pan and stack them on a plate under a dampened cloth napkin. Gotta email that daughter of mine and tell her to forget stopping at a store for those. I’ve got it covered.

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Saturday night time in snow.

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