The Ladies Made Empanadas

Back in January, my husband and some of our friends were in Mexico for a business trip for the company they work for.  A group of us flew in a day early to visit the same Children’s Home & Community Center that Kristin, Devon, Todd and I had visited in October.  We began our visit by gathering to hear the story of how the jungle was cut back and the foundation was laid both literally and relationally with area Mexican churches who support and partner in this Center.  And, now how a squatter village community has sprung up around it.  While we listened, a group of ladies that support this work in this community made empanadas.

The Community Center does not yet have a kitchen.  So, they made lunch in a cinder-block unfinished future community room.

They made an assembly line of chopping and preparing vegetables, meat and dough.

Then, they pressed out each ball of dough into a flat tortilla shape.

The empanadas were filled with the prepared meat.

Then, they were layed out ready to be fried over a single hot plate.

Then, the ladies put two empanadas on each plate.  I was impressed to see each plate was garnished with lettuce, a sprinkling of fresh sweet onions and a spoon of red sauce.

We all got in line to distribute the plates to the community we had invited to have lunch.

There were lots of happy children who enjoyed the hot lunch with their friends.

We enjoyed the chance to peek over the shoulders of the ladies and see how they were doing it all.  They made 500 empanadas that served probably a couple hundred.  It was truly one of the most delicious lunches I have had.  Of course there were some jokes and some dares that ended in some really hot, hot peppers being consumed.  It was a gift to be present.  We served.  And, we were served.  We gave books and a meal.  We were given a meal and memories.  One of the ladies who made the empandas gave Karen, one of our friends, the tortilla maker from the day…

when the ladies made us all empanadas.

Around the food blogs, here are a few recipes I found for empanadas:  Food For My Family ~ Traditional Chicken Empanadas, Nook & Pantry ~ Pork Picadillo Empanadas, Big, Bold, Beautiful Food ~ Filipino Beef Empanadas

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  1. Wonderful! I really want a tortilla press…



  2. What a great post. That’s the way to make empanadas — communally. Thanks for including my blog and introducing me to yours!

  3. So cool! I want a tortilla press for making GF tortillas – this post inspired me to go ahead and grab one!!

  4. I love the community aspect of this. I think this is very prevalent Latin kitchens. I’ve seen it in my husband’s family (which is a combination of Costa Rican, Mexican, Spanish and Colombian)and those times are always the best.

  5. Thanks for posting this. Those ladies make the best empanadas and it is great to hear them laughing and talking as they sit for hours doing the work…then they watch us eat to see if we like them….then…then dont let us stop eating if there are extras.

  6. This is a crazy connection. I just found your blog in Maryland Family magazine. When I saw your name, Chris Ann, I couldn’t help but wonder if you were married to my 7th grade English teacher. Lo and behold, you are and if memory serves, I was in his class the year you were engaged! To make things even more connected, I am writing a reflection of my life as a reader for a class and just wrote about that class today.

    Love your blog and love how it just reminds me how truly small our world is, thanks to technology. Be well.

    Mr. B’s 7th grade English class, Severn, 1991


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