Wednesday, January 2, 2008

If You Give Irene An Empanada......

There is a kids story called, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" short the story is about a mouse that gets a cookie and then he'll need some milk, and then he'll ask for a straw and yada yada yada (if you are that intrigued, go to this elementary schools powerpoint presentation and get your jollies).

This story is called "If You Give Irene An Empanada". Before we get started, let me introduce you to Irene----->

I have known Irene for about 5 years or so now. I work with her, I play with her, she is a great person and truly cares about the kids at our school..but most importantly, Irene likes to have a good time.....sound familiar? Remember the simulated pole dancing I did? I was not alone, folks......Yup, you guessed it, my friend Irene was part of those festivities as well.

Well, this is not about pole dancing, or drinking, -ok maybe a bit about drinking-but no dancing!!! Its about Irene's year long request to come to her house, see her new interior decor and of course---make empanadas. As much as I wanted to do all these things, life got in the way and the great opportunity came up during this 2 week winter break from school. Today was the day--hooray, I say, empanadas are on the way...shit, that sounds like Dr. Seuss...

To make the day extra special, Irene had a good friend of hers over- Gabi- from Israel. She is a lovely woman and I hope to spend more time with her in the future. And last but not least, Marian, my team teacher, friend and Irenes good friend as well, was in the house. All the makings for a day of trouble....... Gabi-->

Now for some background knowledge ( its the teacher in me): What the heck are empanadas and why does Irene love em?

Empanadas are kind of like turnovers filled with whatever you like. In our case, what we like is seasoned meat lovingly folded into a flaky circle of dough and then sealed and baked in an oven til they look
like this--> If the description does not sell you on these babies, then one bite and then another and then another until you wonder, "How many have I eaten?

This is exactly what happens...Irene starts reminiscing about the Empanadas her Argentinean friend Irene's mom used to make and then I get the idea to make some for her and then we get the idea to make them at school and then it becomes, lets have the students make them and sell them to support our program and they are a success, but then Irene says I want some for home and there is never enough for her.......sooooo......Annette, lets make empanadas at MY house!!!! See how it starts?

So I came over, got the grand tour, loved what she had done with her place (it really reflects Irene-but then you GOTTA know her to know what Im talking about) and on to the important stuff---wine and uh, uh...oh yeah empanadas!!!

We cut chopped, stirred,sauced, tasted, threw in the all important "monkey dust" and presto change-o we were ready for the all important assembly part. Veeerrry important.... Necessitates MORE wine and conversation to make it taste good. The more gossip, dirt and girly advice the better....Irene and Marian drank and talked to us and Gabi and I stuffed and pressed the edges of the empanadas...oh...and we drank and talked as well, just probably not as much... :)

Then they go in the oven....vvveeerrryyy important...25 more minutes of talking and one wants to watch the oven...the empanadas wont taste as good if you hover over them. Finally, the bell rings...empanadas are done!!!! Dont rush, pull them outta the oven and let them sit and cool---or-you guessed it...they wont taste as good. Hey, have you done this before?!?!?

Time to eat.....everyone takes one or first...the are so easy to eat...warm and one is pointing fingers, but now...there is not talking or drinking...cuz if you do----They wont taste as good!!!!!!!!!

Empanada recipe is offered to those that would like to experience this delicious and severely addicting comfort food. The dough can be bought premade, very inexpensively and the wine is not a requirement, but the friends are......Enjoy.....

1 comment:

Cowgirl Betty said...

Yummy yummy yummy!!

You realize, of course, I live in the northern, gray tundra of New York State--void of the colorful and succulent empanadas, enchiladas, and rellenos.

I see you are all wearing short sleeves--another point of contention.

Don't mind me. Blargh!

Sounds like lots of fun ; ) Happy break!