Oh, I do so love the tortilla press. Just look at the thing. It's wondrous I tell ya! It's all metal-ly and big with some sort of crazy certain-to-be-toxic paint coating on it.
Andy and I acquired this lovely piece of kitchen equipment after spending half a year in Guatemala trying to make our own tortillas by hand. (Not at all easy, even if it looks like it.) We tried many times to make them without a press. Very nice patient people showed us how to do it many many times truly believing we would get it...some...day. And each time we thought we were showing great improvement and could possibly be on our way to having our own tortilleria, we would show one of our Guatemalan friends. Each time our friend would laugh, violently thrash around, summon an impressive gag reflex with a lovely vocal accompaniment, and tell us to just go buy our tortillas from someone who knew how to make them. And usually, after such an impressive performance, that's just what we did.
But at some point during the start of our very long trip home from guatemala, (because it often takes quite a long time to go from the mountains of Guatemala to Cincinnati, Ohio by bus! Yes, that's right. By BUS! How might you travel back from Central America?) we began to realize just how much we were going to miss having those fresh delicious tortillas everyday for every meal. Seriously! We never got tired of having them. So we did what any other sane couple taking a bus home from Guatemala might do. We began our frantic search for a tortilla press. Oh, oh and find one we did! So along with our six months worth of belongings that we would be intermittently carrying on our backs between bus rides we decided to add a twenty pound tortilla press because anytime you can add extra weight to your pack you should, right? Okay, so it doesn't really weigh twenty pounds, but it is big and heavy and if I didn't love it and all the memories I have wrapped up in it, well, it just wouldn't have made it all the way here. To our home.
Now, many things have been leaving our kitchen. I have utensils fearfully hiding out in cabinets, shaking uncontrollably in the wake of my last great kitchen purge, but not the tortilla press. Nope. It sort of hangs out in the back of the cabinet like The Godfather talking to all the other kitchen gadgets, "You talk about vengeance. Is vengeance going to bring your waffle iron back to you...." That thing is not going anywhere and It knows.
What I never imagined about this tortilla press that I so completely enjoy is how many good memories it would continue to bring me. I have watched these little hands so many times shape a little sphere of dough, place it in the press, pat it down just so and then watch that sweet happy face as his little fingers pull off a perfectly round soon-to-be-delicious tortilla.
*and just a little side note here. These are not the corn tortillas we would normally make with this. No, this was 3 weeks and 2 days (but who's keeping track) of no grocery shopping and all of us seriously craving some sort of gluten filled wheat bread. And fast!