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NATIONAL EMPANADA DAY / NATIONAL ALL IS OURS DAY
A bit of an unusual daily double today - one is food for the body and the other is food for the soul.
NATIONAL EMPANADA DAY
Each year on April 8th, National Empanada Day recognizes a delicious pastry that comes in several different forms. The name empanada comes from the Galician, Portuguese and Spanish verb em pandar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread.
Empanadas are made by folding the dough or bread around a seasoned stuffing. The stuffed dough is then baked or fried. Very much like hand pies, these delicious pastries offer a variety of choices. You can make your empanadas with meat, cheese, vegetables or fruit fillings. However, they may be made with other ingredients, too.
A cookbook published in 1520 in Catalan, the Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola, mentions empanadas filled with seafood.
If you’ve never had an empanada, you might be surprised just how versatile they are. Different parts of the United States make them with their own style and flavors. Starting in the Southern and Southwestern United States where an empanada is called a Creole empanada, the dish becomes a savory meal. There, they fill the half-circle flaky crust with seasoned pork, beef or chicken, and cheese.
Head to the Southeastern part of the country and empanadas transform. A little more on the sweeter side, they fill these pastries with fresh or reconstituted dry fruit. Some choices include apples, apricots, peaches or sweet potatoes. Once fried, the pies have a crispy outer shell with piping hot fruit inside.
Further west in New Mexico, making empanadas for Christmas is a winter tradition. They make sweetmeats, similar to mincemeat, using ground pork, sugar, pinon nuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Everything is then sealed in a tortilla-like dough and deep-fried in lard.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalEmpanadaDay
- Make your favorite version of empanadas. You can choose from a variety of fillings and make one for everyone in the family. Have everyone try their hand at making the dough and filling them.
- Share your favorite empanada recipes.
- If you’re doubting your dough-making skills, try frozen or canned dough. While you’re cooking, be sure to share your recipes, too!
NATIONAL ALL IS OURS DAY
Observed each year on April 8th, National All Is Ours Day takes us along three views of appreciation. Celebrate each of the approaches to the day or pick the one that best suits you.
The first approach to the day can be looked at as a time to reflect on all of the beauty of nature and all the wonderful things in life. Rarely do we have the time to explore all that nature offers us. Something as simple as the variety of birds that inhabit a local park or backyard can surprise us. Venturing further out, we can discover our National Parks or trail system. Whether we look up to the skies or closer at the new spring blooms, taking in our surroundings is a spectacular gift to enjoy.
The second way to celebrate the day is by appreciating everything we have. Even when we don’t have much, what we do have is a blessing. This approach encourages counting those blessings and avoiding thinking about the things we do not have.
A third way to view the day is by sharing all that we have. Regardless of what we have, sharing it seems to make tough times easier when we all work together. The greatest times and the greatest things in life are those that are shared.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalAllIsOursDay
- Explore the world around you and find something to appreciate in the world beyond your front door.
- Express thankfulness for what you have. It may be the people in your life, your health, or another blessing you cherish.
- Share your bounty with others.
- Focus on positive thoughts and actions.
I do have positive thoughts about empanadas.