We mixed up our own masa, from corn ground right in the village, learning how to tell if it was the right consistency for turning into balls.
Mary’s little 8 year old daughter was an excellent demonstrator!
Pressing them was pretty easy, which was largely my job, but the hardest part was plopping that flatted tortilla on the fire-warmed tortilla stone!
I know, it sounds silly, but it takes dexterity to move a flatted masa circle onto the griddle without tearing it.
There’s a certain way to pick it up, but the real challenge comes in getting it to slide off your hand . . . You had to hand-ball a certain amount of tortillas so that your hands were coated in masa to provide a bit of non-stickiness for the tortilla to slide off of.
And no simple flipping it on the griddle, but laying it down gently with a sideways motion while whisking your hand away before the heat caused the masa to soften and stick to your hand!
Apparently, I have hot hands . . . Or else I was trying so hard that my blood pressure was rising and pumping more hot blood to my extremities!