No, your Spanish is not failing you. Beer empanadas. That's the title.
Tuesday after school, I rode the bus to the English office and met up with Maribel. There was actually a meeting going on with Cecy and her teachers, but they told me to have a seat and chill until Maribel could leave at 2. I gave Maribel and Ana Luisa the leftover piece of carrot cake and Maribel told me there was a story about the cake. I actually got nervous. But it turns out she and Ana Luisa had called all over town trying to find out where the cake had come from to order one for themselves since it had looked so good.
They were ecstatic when they saw there was some for them!
At 2, Maribel and I left to pick up her girls, Maribel (the older, responsible, perfect one) and Rebeca (the younger, chatty, always into things and forgetting things one) from school. We went from there to Tai Pak, the first Chinese chain in Culiacán.
The food was good. Rebeca begged to sit by me and sit by me she did. She was practically in my lap. She helps explain the difference between US space and Mexican space.
We had a delicious lunch that Maribel paid for.
We made our way back to their house (that I had been two twice before, near Mabel's house) and the girls were ordered to get showers and get their homework done. Maribel typically sits with them to help them with their homework, so Rebeca was up and down the stairs a thousand times. Each time attempting to stay after her question had been answered.
Maribel got to explaining the ingredients (mostly flour, salt, lard, beer) for the pastry part. I started writing down what I could to remind myself of the process.
First she mixed the flour and salt. Then she added the lard. This got messy. She was mixing with her hands, like any good chef ("Have you ever had my mom's empanadas?" asked Rebeca. "You're going to looove them. They're amazing!"). Then I dumped in the beer and she got to kneading it on the counter.
While she worked, I took notes and watched. Rebeca by this point had won and stayed downstairs:
Maribel had finished her homework (I'm telling you, perfect. I love this kid.) and gotten her shower, so she wanted to help. Once the mixture was the right consistency, we made little balls of dough and Maribel (the daughter) or I would flatten them in the tortilla press (I want to buy one before I leave) wrapped in plastic. Maribel (mom) would them put a dollop of guayaba compote that her mom had made in the middle and then seal it.
"They cook until they're ready." Rrrright. Again, true chef. I asked her for a ballpark and she said 20 minutes, but it seemed closer to 40 to me, especially by the time she flipped them and put them back in the oven:
While the empanadas were cooking (we had several rounds), Maribel showed me the "Lechera" that you can put in the middle. But in case we don't have it at home, she said you can boil condensed milk for an hour or so and it will caramelize about the same. That can go in the middle, or jelly, or any fruit mix, or cinnamon.
When they came out of the oven, we rolled them in sugar and let them cool.
We tested them, of course.
Then Maribel needed some help. Little Maribel's birthday is July 4 and she's getting a Nintendo DS, but they cost $600 here. In the US they're much cheaper. So we checked into Walmart.com to hook her up. She thinks I'm some technology queen, so I whipped out my laptop and compared prices and packages, etc. We went to check out and the only accept credit cards with US billing addresses. Okay, that's not true. They actually accept several other countries, but Mexico is not one of them.
We tried to think of people coming to Culiacán who would be willing to go shopping for it. But in the end, I just offered my credit card. I paid online and before I was gone for the day, Maribel had given me the cash in dollars.
After we had tested the empanadas and bought the DS, Maribel gave me several other recipes. Shortly after her husband came home, we left for my house. I took about 10 empanadas with me. This will be a really fun (although really time consuming) thing to make once I'm home.
Below is a video of part of the process. First is the two Maribels and then Rebeca.