Hippy Abuela

For most middle-aged white guys, acquiring all of the skills and nuances of an Abuela does not make the short list, bucket list, radar, register, or score card. For me, it is the under current of my entire existence. This is a slow-paced game of patience and messes with many foes, battles, levels, and easter eggs. It is best played on a Sunday with your favorite, cheap and grapey intoxicant. Winecraft. Today, I am twelve tortillas closer to leveling up.

Some of y’all know that I also dabble in the arts of hippy and have been perfecting an oat milk recipe over the past few months though I have never quite mastered a use for the super-healthy lump of oat grout that is left over.

I had limited success with making crackers that were good, not great. Actually, they were fine. They were alright. They were fine.

I also had limited disasters going for Abuela gold, the home-made tortilla. The first attempt yielded eight oily communion pancakes. Dad body of Christ.

Today was different. I studied several different traditional recipes and took my time.

All of you that have attempted a soft, chewy, light, home-made, flour wedding veil know the sheer delight that washes over you when you get it right. Multiply that by diez, when you get it right with non-traditional ingredients.

So here is the goods. These were made with the leftovers of oat milk that required one cup of oats to start. My oat milk recipe also includes 1 tsp powdered vanilla, 1/4 cup pecans, and 3 dates, but I’m quite certain this tortilla recipe will work with any oat milk leftovers.

  • Oat Milk Leftovers
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp light olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup hot water

In a large bowl, stir the flour, salt, and baking powder into the oat milk leftovers. I used a fork to mix until I had a soft, granular consistency. Keep stirring while adding in the oil and then the water. You should have a dough that is a little on the dry side.

Transfer dough to a floured surface. Divide into 12 happy, little balls. Make sure each ball gets a light coat of flour before slightly flattening it on a cutting board or baking sheet with your hand. Cover the balls with a towel and let them rest for at least half an hour, longer if possible.

After the dough nap, medium heat a cast iron pan. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, stop reading, you have failed and are dead to me. Roll out each piece into ameboa shapes while thinking about circles. Dust the entire kitchen with flour, as needed, to keep everything from sticking. These things need to be FLAT. Like, “see through” flat.

Cook each one for about 1 minute and then flip with tongs to cook for another 20-30 seconds.

Eat them all and don’t share.

These suck.

Fortunately they suck in a good way. Gray Redhorse Suckers or Moxostoma congestum.

No, these are not a new discovery. These are the same fish, perhaps even the same exact fish, that I have complained and moaned about ever since first exploring this stretch of Walnut Creek 4 years ago.

My first glimpse of these natives and my foolish brain instantly read “carp”. Carp evolved into grass carp and common carp and invasive and bad, bad, bad. I was the one that sucked.

Late last year, I even went as far as to go all “Gladys Kravitz” by reporting my latest sighting to the Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database (NAD) AND a biologist with the City of Austin. Luckily, Matthew Neilson and Todd Jackson set me straight and treated my naiveté with the respect that it certainly did not deserve.

I was prejudiced against a school of fish.

I have only ever apologized to a fish for being undersized and fatally swallowing a hook. I sincerely apologize to the entire Congestum species for my ignorance.

I am delighted that this is all behind me. They are actually quite lovely to watch and I would even consider trying to land one of the larger ones. I must hunt for a proper recipe first and quite possibly a certified scale. I sincerely doubt that there is a record for Walnut Creek and any one of these healthy inhabitants would be a fine candidate for the history books.

Perhaps, I will just let them do their yearly spawn in peace and wait for their friend Mr. Channel Cat to come back.

Look Who’s Back in Town

I am pretty sure that this is the same overachiever from 2017.

A little over two years has passed since we have seen this gentleman and all of his splendor. What a monster he has turned into. Here is a link to the the video from 2017 if you want to compare. https://youtu.be/1jV1ReBlX9k

If this is indeed the same beautiful creature, we need to borrow a little biological research from Charles W. Ramsey and the Wildlife Management Handbook to get a very rough estimate of his age. The minimal changes to his physique and the mature antlers in 2017 suggest that he was at least 5 1/2 years old back then. This puts his minimum age today at 7 1/2. We cannot know for certain unless he makes a dental appointment.

It could be the camera, but the deer in 2019 looks younger and healthier. This could be attributed to just coming off a period of drought. As always, I enjoy hearing everyone’s thoughts, comments, and feedback.

I know there are more than a few readers who would like to adorn your wall with this fine specimen. Please remember that Sparkle Farm and it’s neighbors are only big enough for the viewing of wildlife only. If you would like more information on how to hunt a trophy of your very own, please contact the Texas Parks and Wildlife department for information on hunting on public lands.


Who else grew up with one of these?

We would pack one of these boards where ever we went hunting. The new ones are all reproductions, but the one we learned on was made with actual preserved jaw bones. My brother and I would spend hours putting each other’s finger on a set of teeth with our eyes closed. Reading each group like Braille and trying to guess the corresponding age. Clearly, this was pre-internet but we found it to be quite entertaining while holed up at deer camp. and more importantly, it kept us out of the hair of the all too serious domino players.