The Buzz: Bill Gates in San Pedro, Belize & Flour Tortillas…You Foil me AGAIN!

Yesterday afternoon a HUGE boat pulled up just outside the reef off Ambergris Caye.  It’s honestly the biggest boat I have ever seen.   It is ridiculous.  Everyone on shore and on the Internet was abuzz with gossip…Jimmy Buffett?  Oprah Winfrey?  Beyonce and Jay-Z?  Pictures like this were surfacing on Facebook…from the San Pedro Harbourmaster.

Here is all I could see from the Royal Palms dock…and this was on 14x zoom.  Who knew that the Attessa IV is 330 feet long (about the length of an American football field)!  And worth a reported $250 million dollars?

Turns out Bill Gates (worth about $60 billion USD), his family and a crew of over 20 are on board and registered to stay in Belize until May 9th.  (He is merely renting it.)  They are supposedly sticking around San Pedro for a bit and then headed south to the cayes and atolls.  Since he is probably reading my blog right now (and undoubtedly stunned by my technological savvy and reporting prowess), I’d like to say “Welcome to Belize, Bill…cocktail hour starts at my condo at 4pm.  Let me know if you need a copy of my resume ready.  Or maybe let’s just meet up at Wet Willy’s for Ladies Night?  It’s your call.”

For a picture of Bill and his family, check out:  Bill Gates on Board the Attessa IV in Belize.

And what more would the Gates like to eat at my little soiree than fresh Belizean flour tortillas?  Perhaps one of the most delicious (and unhealthy) foods known to man.  I have tried to make them before.  Estel’s Restaurant in town makes them thick, fluffy and delicious.  Why, oh why, can’t I make them too?

Well…because I just can’t.  Every Belizean that I know has been making them since birth…and there doesn’t seem to be a real recipe.  A spoon of this…a palm full of that…and then just knead until it feels right.  Let’s try again…and I will list the recipe that we used so you can tell me what we did wrong.

My Okay, But Not Great, Flour Tortillas

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup Shortening or Lard
1/2 cup cold water
A bit of vegetable oil for greasing the bowl

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Cut in the shortening with a fork or with your hands until incorporated.  The flour should look like cornmeal.  Add cold water and knead…if dough is too dry, add more a spoonful at a time.  Knead dough until smooth.  Cover with damp cloth for 10 minutes to rest.

Divide into 6 smaller balls, knead a bit and let rest again in an oiled, covered bowl.  Flatten on a plate or roll out.  Cook in a hot, dry frying pan or better…on a cumal.

A call to all Belizeans…what did I do wrong?  My tortillas were tough, tough, tough…they didn’t rise properly.  Not enough salt.  I’ll never get these right.

Or maybe the tortilla gods are sending me a clear message.  It goes a little something like this:  Stop eating flour tortillas, gorda.

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