26 May 2011

Full kitchen press

A few Mothers Days ago, I received a tortilla press. The white girl is strong in me. I make lousy white girl tortillas. I also learned that making tortillas turns Taco Night from one of the easier Nights into one of the harder ones. So not a whole lot of tortillas get pressed around here.

But I have zero regrets about owning this awkward and heavy piece of hardware, and this is why:

--Runzas are a million times easier now, and I married a guy from Nebraska.

--Until Grandpa gets my pneumatic pie crust press built, I use the tortilla model to train up my pie crusts in the perfectly circular way they should go. (The press is only eight inches but starting the dough there keeps it from taking the shape of some creepy un-pie-like trapezoid so it's easy to roll out the rest of the way. I also think pressing keeps the dough from getting overworked. Or maybe it overworks it. I don't know.)

--This past Laetare I used it to squash beautiful, uniform, round layers of marzipan for our simnel cake.

--Although I also avoid cracker-making on the grounds of pain-in-the-neckness, the tortilla press gets pulled out on the occasional cracker days, too.

--Lacking a juicer, I used the press to squeeze a five-year-old's weight in splendiferous grapefruits we received as a gift (that was after we ate as many as we could--thank you snowbirds!). I also managed to squeeze a "Clever girl" out of my husband for this one, which is all I'm ever really after.

So, white girls, don't rule the tortilla press out of your kitchen's life. There's so much more in the world than tortillas that needs to be flattened.


K said...

after living in guatemala, i was convinced i needed a tortilla press and a citrus juicer press thing. i never bothered to get either one. now maybe i'll consider the tortilla press again. maybe it will make me make a pie. thanks.

Megan said...

I love my tortilla press. But then I'm a whole grain Nazi and whole wheat tortillas can be really spendy. I also discovered that I had better luck with tortillas then pita bread so I make them when we have ground beef gyros. My husband LOVES them so that's all the success I need, and the kids, well they love the dough.

Since we live in Cali now I went ahead and spent the $15 on a citrus juicer, it was worth every penny especially because once we move into the parsonage we will have a grapefruit tree!

But I just might have to try that tortilla press on pie. It might also be nice for the unleavened bread for Maundy Thursday.

By the way Rebekah, did your husband so his vicarage in Waterford? Pastor Bischoff said something on Facebook that made my husband wonder. My hubby was Vicar there almost three years ago now, which is also when I started reading this blog!

Katy said...

Interesting. I have the same "pain-in-the-neck-and-other-regions" philosophy about homemade tortillas and crackers (even though they healthier and about 1000 times cheaper). I also don't like a bunch of appliances all over my kitchen. I'd be interested to hear about other multi-functioning kitchen gadgets.

Rebekah said...

K, use the tortilla pressed grapefruit juice to make a key lime style pie. The perfect storm.

Megan, see, I wanted the press in the first place because I'm a whole grain Nazi too. How do you do whole wheat tortillas? I use the King Arthur recipe and I just can't be happy with it. I have better luck with masa but of course it's not the wholest of grains and, being a white girl, I don't like them that much anyway. And YES to Waterford. We had our first baby on vicarage. What a year. :D

Katy, I have a whole post in the works about retooling various Pampered Chef products. It may be slightly less practical than this post.

Anonymous said...

You're somewhere around the 1000th person I have seen mention Runza this week. Runza fever?? I can't understand how it is that I grew up [on a long and lonesome highway] east of Omaha (the land of Runza) and have never eaten there!


Rebekah said...

Susan, I think Runza mostly runs west of Omaha.

Gauntlets said...

That's because "west of Omaha" is New Prussia.

Megan said...

I whisk together 2C flour ( I've done all ww, but my hubby prefers 1/2 and 1/2, or thirds with wheat germ) 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder. Then I whisk in 3 TBS canola oil. Then mix in 2/3 cups warm water. I separate into balls then squish It says it makes 12, but I usually make 6 or 8. I've found I need to not be in such a hurry and hold the press down for a few seconds then I take it out and turn the tortilla and press again. Then I just cook on a fairly hot skillet, or an electric griddle works great for cooking two of three at a time. Don't over cook, just a few brown spots seem to be perfect then flip to cook the other side.

It works good for us. They are defiantly different then the ones you buy, and I have no idea how authentic they are, but my family thinks they are yummy!

Louise said...

I like the multi-purposefulness of your tortilla press. I have so many one-task tools in my kitchen, it's incredible. Someone just got my husband a 'garlic peeler' for his birthday - it works great, but all it does is peel garlic! (All these years I've been peeling by hand... :-)