A 50-year-old rolling pin demonstrates the art of tortilla making.
By R. Eguia
A collection of Hispanic “mamas” prepared tortillas Sept. 17 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center where students gathered to watch and learn in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.
Brother Joseph Liedecke, campus Catholic minster, launched the tortilla-making event 12 years ago at the Catholic Student Center to celebrate the monthlong observation.
It began with one mama, Esther Morales Liedeke, in the tiny kitchen of the Catholic Student Center.
About eight years ago, the office of student life began hosting the event in Loftin Student Center.
“I asked my mom how we could get more students involved and she thought of free Mexican food cooking classes,” said Liedecke at the start of the demonstration.
Although Mama Liedecke did not participate in the preparation of tortillas, she kept watch from a 200-year old family rocking chair.
This was the first year other women were invited to participate and Liedecke did not. It was an effort to help continue the tradition after the Liedeckes move on.
Dr. Patsy Liedecke, Brother Joseph’s sister, said tortilla making is a dying art that many mothers are not passing to the next generation. She encourages people to own their culture and its traditions.
One tradition was well represented.
Christine Garcia, a featured tortilla maker, used a 56-year-old rolling pin that her father made as a wedding present while Patsy Liedecke used a 65-year-old rolling pin, also a wedding gift.
Garcia measured ingredients with her fingers, and said she did not need measuring cups after making tortillas for more than 50 years. She warns that for all the time it takes to prepare the tortillas, guests will eat them quickly.
All of the women agreed that practice makes perfect when it comes to making tortillas and no recipe works every time.