I’m not much of a “bread” person – I suspect it leads me to overeat and feel bloated – but I enjoy “wraps,” which don’t have the same effect, so I buy them regularly to cuddle my salad fixings.
Spelt is an “ancient” grain with a different kind of gluten and I’ve heard some people find it less troublesome to their digestion, so thought I would give it a try. For the record, this is about as scientific as my dietary knowledge gets. I rely heavily on instinct and my body’s feedback. Anyway, last week I bought a bag of organic spelt flour, grown and milled in Madoc, Ontario so I could try home-made tortillas “local style!”
Today was that day.
The sun finally came out long enough to make it a pleasant prospect to park on the beach at Point Petre (pronounced PETER; its pronounciation is how you tell a local from a visitor) for a little afternoon tortilla-making session. To my delight, I could navigate the narrow paths down to the beach in the van (sometimes they are impassable depending on how much rain there has been) and found the entire rocky shoreline empty.
A little Van Morrison was necessary for the occasion, some seagulls contributed to the ambiance and the whole occasion was awash in some serious wave-lapping. The conditions were perfect for the perfect tortilla.
Being able to make my own bread – even just tortillas and maybe crackers or the occasional breakfast biscuits – while in the van is appealing for a few reasons. 1: I can enjoy something fresh I don’t have to go looking for. 2: I can choose an organic flour 3: No preservatives or chemicals 4: No stale bread means no wasted food 5: Affordabilty.
But truly, the most powerful motivator for me is pure pleasure.
Its important to me to enjoy food. At some point in my healing, I made the connection that eating was a three-times-daily opportunity to experience something pleasant, and I was completely in control of that decision. Eating is an opportunity to enjoy something from a purely sensory perspective – colour, smell, taste, texture… and when one is experiencing other less-pleasant “feelings” … adding pleasant ones helps to balance the scale a little.
Also, when you set into eating with a bit of boldness – to try something new or experiment – it becomes a memorable whole-body experience.
Today I had a total, beach-front tortilla experience 🙂
I looked at a number of recipes on the web for spelt tortillas, and decided that generally, people had success with flour, baking powder, salt, a bit of oil, and hot water. I learned that “kneading” spelt was to be done in moderation. I don’t carry measuring cups and never have, so I just eyeballed it. I used a Tamari bottle as a rolling pin. Minimalism at its finest! One thing that is very helpful working with flour and dough is one of those flexible cutting boards.
There really wasn’t much to it – I used about a cup of spelt, a bit of salt, a splash of oil and hot water and kneaded it just enough to make three soft balls. Which I then rolled out on a bit of flour, with my Tamari bottle. When they were as thin as I could make them without them falling apart, I transferred them to a hot cast iron pan, with no lid. I tried the lid, but it made condensation, and then it stuck to the bottom a bit. No oil was needed.
These were not as “soft” as a purchased wrap, and would fold in half but not “wrap” … but they were pleasantly aromatic and tasty. They were slightly less circular than most store-bought cousins 😉
Most notable for me was how “satisfying” just one was. I had absolutely no need or mindless desire to eat a second. The two others went into a ziplock bag and into the fridge!
I topped mine with a bit of Fifth Town Maple Cream Cheese – made by goats from Harrowsmith, and helped by people in Waupoos – a delicious juicy red tomato from north of Brighton, and some fresh local parsley, whose family I hadn’t met.
The cucumber came with the tomato, same family 🙂