An important part of homesteading for us is enjoying what we do. Sometimes homesteading can seem like all work and no play. Often we only grow things we know we can put up for the winter, or enjoy fresh. A great way to make the homestead more enjoyable is to try growing something new and make use of it. It doesn’t even have to be in your future homestead plans, it is just for fun. A great time to make these decisions is when you are looking at your seed catalogs in January or February. One of the fun crops we chose this past year was blue corn from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company. We wanted to make our own blue corn tortillas. We grow several types of corn already, and they need to be separated to prevent cross pollination. We had no room in our usual gardens, so after a bit of argument, we planted the blue corn in the front yard. It was just a little 8×8 patch and didn’t take up too much space. It was sort of fun to watch the corns progress whenever we left the driveway.
Soon it was time to harvest. We had done some research (the fun part ) and found out that we needed it to dry if we wanted to make flour. So we found a nice dry place in the garage and hung it to dry.
After a few months, and after all of the harvesting on the homestead was over, we ground the corn into flour. We didn’t have a flour mill so we just used a spice grinder. It was a slow process but in the end we had our own blue corn flour and corn meal.
Now it was time for the fun. We tried a few different recipes and finally found one that worked.
Blue corn tortillas
1/2 cup of blue corn flour
1/2 cup blue corn meal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup of warm water (110 degrees)
Mix all dry ingredients then add oil. Slowly add water until mix comes together. Knead dough for 5 to ten minutes then roll into a log and cut into equal pieces. Put in covered bowl and let rest for 15 min. Then put in tortilla press or roll into circles then cook on hot griddle until brown.
We had made our blue corn tortillas. We found that even after pressing twice they still needed to be rolled thinner. The wax paper helped us keep them from tearing and sticking. In fact we could have even made them thinner and we will next time. We decided to fry some of them in oil to make blue corn chips, again they should have been a bit thinner.
The chips were a bit thick but went excellent with some salsa. We had accomplished our goal and had a wonderful time doing it. And watching the big game eating your own chips is kind of cool, right? So this year when you start making homestead plans be sure you don’t forget the fun.