Not quite ready for prime time

The good news is that yesterday afternoon I did indeed jump in bravely and make my own tortillas so that the dogs would have a steady supply for the next couple of weeks. Things I learned during the process: volkoren (full kernel – whole grain, I think) flour doesn’t make the sort of junk food flavor tortillas but rather the wholesome flavor kind, rolling pins are not as easy to use as they look, cooking them takes patience in terms of not letting yourself get distracted in the two minute window that they are done.

I admit to being a little disappointed. I had visions of being my own tortilla factory with the boys dancing around the kitchen, out of control, while hoping I would throw them the irregular ones. Yesterday with the doors open to the terrace and the sunlight streaming in, they were more interested in baking themselves in the sun than what I was doing – on their behalf, I might add! I also expected them to be completely over the moon and begging for tortillas. Well, let’s say that while they didn’t spit them out, they weren’t as crazy about them as they are over the ones that I get from the store. When George doesn’t grab a tortilla out of your hands with a look of sheer joy on his face, it can be a little confidence shaking as a cook!

I will try again next time with different flour and hopefully more rolling pin skills so my tortillas look less like random shapes and more like the perfect circles you see in the store. They are not bad, just healthy tasting – which is not always what you are looking for when you eat tortillas so I understand the boys’ restraint.

I did have a Mom moment in the kitchen. I was worried that I didn’t have nearly enough water for that bowl full of six cups of flour. I went back to the recipe three times and realized that my liquid measurement math was bad. I assumed that it was 1/3 a cup of water per two cups of flour when in reality it was 2/3 of a cup. This made me laugh because my mom used to love to tell how my liquid measurement skills were lacking – making brownies in 7th grade where I was convinced that 1 cup of water equaled 16 ounces, not 8 and proceeded to pour that into the batter. The batter never got better, it stayed the consistency of a puddle.

I didn’t go out for King’s Day. I wore my orange when I walked the dogs but I couldn’t face all the celebrating people. I wrote, I cried, did lots of things around the house, hugged my pets and thought a lot about my mom. Since King’s Day will always be on the 27th (since it is Willem-Alexander’s real birthday) I think I can anticipate that it will probably not be a day that I really feel like being happy. Maybe one day it will grow easier but for now it is too close to home.

Tonight is Melissa Etheridge in Utrecht. I am looking forward to seeing her on stage. It has been a couple of years. The last time was at the Woodland Park Zoo.

In the meantime, like the motto of the Netherlands Je maintiendrai, I will maintain and hope that the days get a little easier.

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