It turned out that my fears were for naught. I’m not going to say that making the backbone of Mexican cuisine turns out to be as easy as flipping morning pancakes, but it is a forgiving process. To make a tortilla, heat a dry, cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, and scoop up some of the Play-Doh-textured masa, rolling it into a sphere the size of a ping pong ball (or bigger if you desire a larger tortilla—too big and it will be unwieldy, though). To keep it from sticking to the press, place the ball between two plastic bags; I use two medium-sized Ziploc bags and learned the hard way that neither parchment nor wax paper will do. Place the masa in the center of the tortilla press. A gentle press down should yield a tortilla that’s the desired ⅛-inch thickness, but you can experiment a bit. To remove the tortilla from the bag, hold it flat on the palm of your hand and gingerly peel off the plastic, flipping it over to your other palm to do the other side.