Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
When my beautiful sister was in college in Chicago, she worked for a time at a Mexican restaurant. The cooks there called her Flaca (meaning skinny) because she is tall, skinny and very blond. For Spring Break, our parents let me fly to Chicago for a visit, and I spent quite a bit of time hanging out around the restaurant while she worked. The cooks quickly dubbed me Flacita (or Little Skinny). I decided to called these treats Flacita Burritos, not because they are skinny or healthy, but because calling them that takes some of the guilt out of eating them. Denial is a powerful thing.
I got the idea of these in my head on Friday, and just couldn’t shake it. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pull it off, but by Pete, I was going to figure it out. I ended up spreading out a buffet of warmed corn and flour tortillas, apple butter, peach and apple jam, toothpicks and a pot of hot oil. Okay, really the pot was the end of the buffet line, but I’m guessing you get the idea.
I tried corn tortillas first because I wanted to do a sort of taquito, but since I was using apple butter as opposed to diced apples, they were hard to roll tight enough without ripping them. I tried both rolled and fold ones, and although they fried up well, the crunchy texture and corn taste were a bit more than I wanted.
I tried round 2 with the flour tortillas, which were quite a bit larger. The rolled/taquito style still didn’t work too well, but the burrito-style ones I tried worked perfect! Simply roll them up, and stick a toothpick in somewhere to keep everything nice and compacted once you put it in the fry oil. If you don’t have toothpicks, you can use metal tongs to hold them together for a good 25-35 seconds just to be sure they’ll hold their shape.
Once in the fry oil, the burritos only take about 1 min on each side. or until lightly browned on each side. Remove from the oil, and place on a baking rack to drain. I use a roasting pan with paper towels between the rack and the pan to keep it clean and keep the burritos crispy. As soon as you get them on the cooling rack, sprinkle them generously with a mix of cinnamon and sugar. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Serve these immediately, preferably while piping hot. Or if you’re like me, bite them the second they cool enough to be picked up, therefore burning your tongue repeatedly in a wanton fashion.
Cinnamon and Sugar, blended
Oil for frying
Heat tortillas in the microwave, covered with a wet paper towel, for 30 seconds or until pliable. Lay flat, and place 3-4 table spoons of apple butter on bottom 1/3 of the tortilla. Roll up, pin with toothpick, and set aside.
Heat 1″ of oil in a pot (I use a dutch oven) to 350*. Place burritos in the pot, with the ‘tortilla flap’ down so the burrito doesn’t expand. Cook for 1 min on each side. Remove from oil unto cooling rack, quickly sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, then allow to sit for 3-5 minutes to drain off excess fat.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
I got a phone call this morning saying my boys got off the bus and immediatly started fist fighting. Bruiser somehow convinced the principle that he was totally innocent. Not sure how he accomplished that, but he knows better than to try it with me. I got th real story out of him. He was mad at Butch for keeping him in line so he started kicking him. Butch got sick of being kicked so he doubled up a fist and punched his brother in the face. What a day! I hae an appointment with the principal on Monday so Bruiser will be getting detention along with Butch. He isn't going to skip out on punishment when he was just as much at fault.
I have been on the phone all day with various chores and rescue stuff so the house is still a mess. Guess who gets to spend their evening (possibly the whole weekend, hrmmm that has potential!) cleaning? Not Mom! There are a ton of chores to be done, I hope it makes them think twice about losing their temper.
Maggie and Lila have had similar days. I wonder what it would take to just rent an island for a while?
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Yesterday, I found myself at our post's Readiness Center (long story I won't bore you) and could help but look around and think that it could have happened to anyone in that room. The thought floored me. I've taken several days to try and organize my thoughts on it, and I still don't have a good grasp on my feelings and I still haven't. I'm anger, terrified, and saddened all at once.
But today, something happened that shaped at least one thought. On Facebook, you can make/take quiz's that usually involve some sort of current events. Today, I saw one that asked the question "Should Muslims be allowed to serve in the US Armed Forces?" At almost 80%, the answer was 'no'.
I was floored. The only number I could find on Muslims in the US service branches was that the Pentagon states the numbers are around 3,500 Muslims out of 1.4 million U.S. service members.
Of my personal experience, I met people of all religions and backgrounds. Conservative Christians from the Midwest, Catholics from Boston, atheists from Alabama. And one Muslim. His name was Kareem, and he was born and raised in NJ.
I didn't know Kareem well. He was more of a friend of a friend. But once my boys left for Iraq, his name popped up more and more in the stories I heard. My friend Scottie and he grew very close, and slowly I learned more about him. He joined the military because he wanted people not only to change the world, but to show his patriotism. When he was finished with his service, he wanted to go to medical school. And in the pictures I saw of him he was often goofing off and making funny faces.
On August 6th, 2007, Kareem and 3 others (Nick Gummersall, Jake "Tommy" Thompson and Juan Alcantara) were killed when an IED went off in a home they were entering to search for insurgents. These men were my friends, my "family by choice" as Tommy used to say. And their deaths were devastating to me. Never once did it cross these boys minds that Kareem was Muslim. He was an American, a soldier, and their brother.
But Kareem became known to the world when Colin Powell mentioned a photograph taken of his mother at his grave site, used by the New York Post in a photo essay about the War on Terror. I agree the image is powerful, but for me it's for another reason.
I was at the service where a 21-gun salute was made in his honor. Saw his mother break down in front of the helmet and dog-tag memorial meant to represent his honorable service. Saw the tears fall down his fathers face as the notes of "Amazing Grace" wafted through the Chapel Air.
For me, those who question the rights of Muslim-Americans to protect their country. I feel they directly question every action Kareem made for his country, including his death and the honor he gave our country by serving it.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
ARE YOU KIDDING ME!! Ok, yes there are some valid points, but seriously people, this is sick.