The first day of Christmas I baked empanadas
I wrote this postabout it. I also mentioned that I tried them with a simple ham and cheese filling to see how they would turn out. My boyfriend isn't that keen on cheese fillings, so therefore we made another filling with minced meat. There was just a little bit of dough left from the first batch of empanadas, so I only used that for a few empanadas with meat filling and decided to save the rest for tomorrow.
I told my boyfriend it would be nice to just bake a bunch and go hand them out to the homeless on the second day of Christmas. He thought that was a nice idea, so the next morning I started to make the new dough.
The dough looked good
It had been rising a bit longer this time, as I was busy doing some other things as well (and yes, I kind of forgot that it was rising to be honest). I made the exact same amount as yesterday and stuck to the original recipe of the dough that I learned to make for sausage rolls, which you can find here.
I made these balls but in the end, I think I divided them into 2 or 3 smaller parts to start making the mini empanadas. I had to test this out again because the day before I had used the bigger empanada tool while for these empanadas I used the mini tool.
The filling was quite simple, we had 500 grams of minced meat with small parts of onion (not too much) and spiced it up with masala, cinnamon (yes really, it was my boyfriend's input), salt & pepper and I covered them with a little bit of fresh parsley as well. Like I mentioned in the previous post, you can actually use any kind of filling that you like, go nuts, and try out some things.
Keep a close eye on them while they are in the oven
While I put the normal-sized empanadas in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius, these little fellas were ready in about 12 minutes. I think it depends a lot on how thick your dough is and what filling you have used for them, for the mini-sized ones I would recommend to check after 10 minutes, just in case.
We took them outside while they were still warm
We thought that homeless people could appreciate a little warm snack. We chose to not make big ones on purpose btw, to hopefully make a few more people happy compared to when we'd give them bigger ones. Normally, our area is filled with people on the streets that are searching through the bins for food. On the second day around dinner time, this was different. We had to walk pretty far in our district to hand them all out. I would almost hope they were having a huge Christmas dinner somewhere that night, but probably that wasn't the case for many.
People seemed touched by the small gesture
We bumped into a few people that were super surprised that someone offered them food coming from a plate, and freshly baked. Some we offered a second empanada when we walked back if they were still standing there, as they were visibly pleased and touched. So were we by the way, it seems like such a small gesture to do, but we noticed that a few people were happy that we offered this and also that we were friendly to them, offering them a smile.
I felt a bit awkward wishing them a Merry Christmas
After all, they are homeless, and it feels a bit wrong or out of place to wish them a Merry Christmas. I hoped nobody would take that the wrong way and that we would bump into those people that could see the message we tried to spread. Even though we don't have huge Christmas dinners ourselves during these days, I do think about those people on the streets that have nowhere to go or no one to spend the days with.
My goal was to make one or a few people smile, mission accomplished... Let's hope for them that 2020 will bring some light into their lives.
p.s. New Year's Eve is another holiday where people most likely have too much food prepared for all the guests that are joining them that evening. If you have many homeless people in your area, maybe you can consider handing them out to them on new years day. I bet you will make at least a few people happy with that little gesture.
#raok (Random Act Of Kindness)