Michael. Michael. Michael. Nora kept on pressing at him, kept on pushing at him, kept on hoping that they could go back to the days of squirrel sweaters and toaster-oven breakfasts.
Propped up against two floral pillows, with their voluptuous and vibrant blooms, Michael sipped, slurped, pretended that he couldn't hear Nora's higher pitched, female voice emanating from the kitchen. Because Michael needs his space, needs his quiet early morning cup of tea, needs his thumbs stained by newsprint, page after page of neatly typed rows and paragraphs aligned to move the eye from one column to the next.
Squirrels and things like a package of unopened Cranola crayons, an Oreo milkshake with two thick straws, a copy of Ghostbusters found in the alleyway, lying amidst bird poop and half eaten tacos, these things that Nora keeps digging up and placing out and hoping that Michael will come over to examine with a magnifying glass or even just a trained eye. These things are not what Michael knows.
He knows that two espresso shots mixed with hot water and a dash of heavy cream will make his tired eyes begin to see that light is not the enemy. He knows that Philip Roth will make him wish he was both Jewish and living near those small New England towns with their seasons, their changing, the smell of fall now thick in his mind.
Squirrels? He finally answers because it is Nora, and he does love her, this he knows. I don't ever remember you wearing a sweater with squirrels.
But alas we are poor, and so as much as we would like to visit Torchy's Tacos every Sunday or Saturday morning, we can only afford the indulgence every few weeks. In lieu of trailer tacos, we've been making our own at home, and I recently found a wonderful wrap/tortilla recipe that has made our taco experience even more enjoyable.
These wraps are soft and pliable; made entirely with whole wheat flour, they still retain a softness that can normally only be found in regular tortilla recipes. The addition of potato flakes is a key component, so be sure to track some down before you begin baking.
These wraps freeze well, and when we finished dry-frying twenty of them, we wrapped ten in plastic wrap and foil to freeze for a later date. They make delicious tortillas for tacos or serve well as wraps for lunch. I even made a pizza yesterday with fresh farmer's market tomatoes, mozzarella and a heavy dose of roasted garlic.
*Adapted from King Arthur's Flour
3 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 cup potato flakes
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 tsp instant yeast
1. Place 2 cups of flour in a bowl and stir in boiling water. Mix until smooth and set aside to cool for 30 minutes (covered).
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, potato flakes, salt, vegetable oil and yeast. Add to the cooled flour-water mixture and stir until combined. Knead for several minutes to form a soft dough. The should form a ball but will still be slightly sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
3. Divide the risen dough into eight pieces and allow to rest, covered, for 15-30 minutes. Roll each piece into a seven inch circle and dry-fry them over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side until they are puffed and flecked with golden brown spots. Transfer the cook bread to a wire rack and stack additional wraps on top, to keep them soft. Serve immediately.
Anecdotes and Apple Cores