Wednesday, February 20, 2008

of tortillas and toothpicks

Simplicity. There are certain minor tricks to keeping life easy that some of us learn later in life and wonder why we never thought of such obvious solutions before.
Some are learned earlier. Either way, they are certainly meant to be shared.
As a child, I had a propensity for eating tacos by starting in the middle and then moving on to the other halves. This was not the least messy of eating style choices. While I no longer engage in such a tactic, a crispy taco can still present the challenge of a cracked shell.
My step-grandmother, who is of Mexican descent, taught me to simply take a warm corn tortilla and wrap it around the hard shell. Simple enough, but I rarely see other people participating in this practice.
Now, often enough, I just prepare soft tacos, but there are times when the Tex-Mex crunchy cravings take place. Tortillas can be fried easily enough, but a nice timesaver (and far less splattery) is to simply buy some hard shells at the grocery store.
These, of course, are heated in the oven in order to enjoy the optimum taco experience. The only problem is, the open side of the shells have a tendency to slightly collapse, making it difficult to stuff them without cracking the shells before even getting to the point of biting in to them.
Credit my incredibly creative mother-in-law for this small tidbit of advice. Let’s say you have two shells. Take a toothpick and break it in half. Gently place each half a toothpick vertically in a shell so as to hold it open. Voila! An easily stuffed shell.


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