Monday, January 17, 2011


Several days ago while Melaney and I were travelling, we decided to stop at a
Soda (a small, local, probably unregulated eatery) and have something to eat.  She came back to the truck with empanadas for us. They were so tasty.  I thought they were deep fried.  I had no idea how they were made.  We were describing them to Rita, and she said “I know how to make them,  I will make some for you one day…”  
            Today, is the day.
 We were so late coming home from getting the chair yesterday, she didn’t wait for us.  Today, the chair was delivered, and I have no idea how the delivery men found us, but they did.  They were to come in the afternoon, but they arrived around 11.  I was very pleased and surprised.
Rita arrived just after the delivery truck.  She saw us take the wicker chesterfield out onto the correador, but wasn’t too surprised.  She brought a bag with some ingredients for the empanadas.  We had thawed the plastic bag of minced chicken this morning.  Rita liked my big plastic mixing bowl.  She started shaking corn flour into the bowl.  I said “don’t you measure?” She said “no” I replied “How can I learn, then?” She scooped the flour into my measuring cup, and filled to overflowing one more, then about a half. She may as well not have measured at all.  She went to sprinkle salt from the shaker, but I gave her the bag of salt.  Then she held the bowl under the tap and poured water over the mix, and mixed it up. Then she poured some more water, then some more.  About four or five times she poured water into the mass of dough.  It’s just something that one has to feel…..I don’t know how, but she saved part of the dough for tortillas and in the rest of the dough she squeezed some sour cream and a few handfuls of shredded cheese, then a slight sprinkle of sugar.  Meanwhile she is mixing the dough.  When it had a particular feel, she portioned it into small balls.  She cut two ovals from a plastic bag and placed a round of dough between them.  She flattened them with a plate, then patted them a little flatter.  When she lifted the top plastic, there was a nice little circle of dough and she put a couple of spoonfuls of chicken paste in it, folded it over and crimped the edges.  These were cooked in the frying pan, using a little oil to keep them from sticking.
I was forced to sit in my chair.  My back gave in even while I was using the high stool.  I watched from across the room.  She made up 11 empanadas, and when they were cooked, we ate lunch together.  The empanadas were delishioso!!!  Melaney even liked the corn flour.  I thought it was great.  She had a mindset to not like corn flour, but I am sure the experience today has changed her mind.  I used to make johnnycake with corn meal, and she liked that.  It was a vehicle to put syrup on, and she liked that.  I asked what her negative experience with corn was and it was from Mexico. She had tried a tortilla there, something wrapped in a banana leaf, and she didn’t like the taste.  It probably wasn’t the corn at all. (Was too!!--Mel)
We couldn’t eat empanadas too often. They must be calorie rich, but once in a while, like pancakes, one must have a treat.

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