Daniel Boone, Google searches and the Great American Tortilla

Like any good American – the old-fashioned type of American who could kill a bear with a pocketknife – I don’t like to rely on anyone for anything. That’s why I didn’t panic when I opened the refrigerator door.
“Honey,” I said to my wife, not realizing I was relying on her for something. “Do we have any flour tortillas?”
Now I know some people are able to look into their refrigerators and see what is or is not inside, but I’ve never possessed the ability to see what is right in front of my face. The jar of mayonnaise on the second shelf, my wife’s new haircut, Cindy Crawford’s mole – anything.
“No,” was all she said.
And I had the hankerin’ for a chicken burrito.
That’s when I thought back to a childhood story about my great frontier ancestor, Wild Buffalo Doc Dan’l Offutt, who was camped on the banks of the Colorado River in 18 aught-something when he had the hankerin’ for a chicken burrito. As the story goes, he hunted, killed and roasted the biggest and most endangered bird he could find with his pocketknife, made his own flour tortillas right by the campfire, and showed adventurers you don’t have to have education, manners or good hygiene to eat well.
That did it. I was not going to the grocery store that day. So I did what any hard, cold, bloodthirsty and hungry frontiersman would do. I sat in front of the computer in my plaid pajamas and typed, “easy flour tortilla recipe” into an Internet search engine.
It’s amazing what you can find on the Internet. I say “amazing” because what I find is usually not what I’m looking for. I’ve typed in words like (removed by my editor) and (removed by his lawyer) popped up. I didn’t know that was even possible.
But past the listings for “hot naked Canadian” this and “cold naked Russian” that, I found it – “easy flour tortilla recipe.” I was almost afraid to click on the link. But I did, and a recipe came up calling for white flour, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil and water. Heck, unlike tortillas or naked people from other countries, we had all those things in our house.
A half hour later I had steamy-hot homemade tortillas (not a Web site). Then I noticed we were out of chicken.
Beef burritos? We were out of hamburger, although we had ground turkey. But we had no seasoning.
No big deal, I thought. I’ll have a quesadilla.
We were out of cheese.
You know, the tortillas tasted fine plain.
In the course of my life I’ve made my own beer, bread, salsa from homegrown tomatoes, butter and now flour tortillas. I think I’ll try to make cheese next.
Now all I need is a well, a wind-powered generator, a gristmill and I’m livin’ the self-sufficient dream.
And I need to keep my pocketknife sharp. You know, in case I have to kill a bear.
Jason’s latest book, “What Lurks Beyond: The Paranormal in Your Backyard,” is available at

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