Sunday, April 22, 2012


Last week was a bad week.  My sisters and Ryan will likely  have to cancel their flights to Indonesia and Cambodia.  Ryan's father was in an accident.  For the past two weeks, his condition was precarious, and Jen has been in Missouri with Ryan's family the entire time.  It's unlikely that they will be able to fly out to see me in the next two weeks, which sucks, but is minor.  What was harder for me was not being able to be there for my sister.  In times like this, it is difficult to be so far from home.

Then, I became sick. Very sick. Doctor visit. Medicine. Fatigue and overall crappiness. I couldn't eat, and it was just so hot and uncomfortable. (April is the hottest month of the year.)  And while I was running to the doctor and in a very characteristic-of-me state of denial, I was also running around attempting to do my day job and complete the research for my consultancy.

In the two years I've lived in Cambodia, I have seen people break. Fatigued by the work, the heat, the germs in this tropical climate, and/or the government, several friends and colleagues have cried, out of frustration, anger, and helplessness.

I hit a wall. I broke.  And, I cried to Ethan.  

He hugged me and listened and reminded me of all the good that I've found here.  

Another night, when I was sick and flat-out exhausted from the day, he made me tortillas using the recipe below. (I have been searching for proper tortillas since I moved to Cambodia.)  I was blown away by the gesture.  They would have been delicious used in this crispy black bean and feta taco recipe.

I'm on the mend.

Flour Tortillas
Recipe from Homesick Texan
Makes 8 tortillas

Two cups of all-purpose flour (he substituted one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
3/4 cups of warm milk

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil.  Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. 

After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter.  Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a dry iron skillet, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done.

Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.

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