Note: I want to take a minute to reflect upon the serious nature of the world today. As you read this blog, our sincere hope is that you and your family are safe and healthy, and continue to remain that way. We have all been affected by this pandemic and I don’t mean to make light of the world-wide tragedy we all are dealing with today. I can only say that I hope my stupid stories are an escape, and if anything, can provide an illustration of how we can prevail in the face of unprecedented illness, seek the good in everything, and find some funny sh*t to laugh about, because sometimes we need to laugh to keep from crying. But don’t laugh too hard, you may fart and wake up the dog.
Star date: Mid-March, 2020. We had just returned from Las Vegas where our son had a fairly successful soccer tournament and we had also recently celebrated the Wifey’s 40th….Ummmm….I mean 25th birthday by renting out Locust Cider in Woodinville as well. And we did it up proper with a full-on charcuterie table that would make the most seasoned wine enthusiast blush and a variety of empanadas that not only were a hit, but in true classical literary style, became a foreshadowing of things to come. The cider flowed, video games were played on every TV in the joint, and the cake almost burned the house down. Hey, turning 25 is a big milestone. Not to mention, we were in the midst of planning our upcoming trip to Europe and had just finalized all our travel plans and booked all our lodging. First stop, Amsterdam where our son would spend a week at a soccer camp with Ajax. From there, it would be Belgium (beer and chocolate), Paris (croissants and a well planned Griswold homage), San Sebastian in Spain (foodie Mecca), and to close it out, a quick hop to over Rome (run around in Gladiator suits). It was gonna be super dope.
Yup, things were looking pretty damn good. Then, they didn’t…and you can probably guess the rest. The Rona (COVID-19) came along, whipped out 2 huge middle fingers and said “F*** You, Planet Earth!” And it all went up in smoke like Poof b*tches!! But it all kind of crept up on us. It was slow, like watching a storm come in off the coast and you are like, “Man that crap looks bad, but I bet it will clear up and be fine when it hits shore.” Except it didn’t clear up. It just got worse and worse…and worse. People got sick and were dying all over the world and we had no idea how to react as a planet. It was freaky 12 Monkeys sh*t straight out of a movie except that this wasn’t freaky 12 Monkeys movie sh*t…nah man, this was real life, and it was scary. The world was closing down with the quickness. Then it all hit home and it hurt like stubbing your toe walking around in the dark. I lost my job, the kids were out of school, our trip to Europe was cancelled, I lost my job, toilet paper became currency and a punch line (crappy joke), all sports stopped, and I lost my job. That was it for us…drop the mic, lower the curtain, end scene, take a bow, and roll credits.
“And in the streets the children screamed, the lovers cried, and the poets dreamed”…or so we thought!
As we laid there one night pondering what our next move could be, we discussed the recent birthday celebration and all the food we had made. We were talking about the empanadas and how popular they were…then it came to us like a glimmering light of hope through the darkest pit of night…let’s start making and delivering frozen empanadas to our friends and family!! Suddenly my world shifted and I came back to life with a new purpose and direction. I felt like that clown in Happy Gilmore singing out, “Hey kids its me! I bet you thought that I was dead…” See, we figured that since nobody could go anywhere, everyone was scared to go out, all restaurants were closed, and people probably didn’t want to cook or go to the grocery store that much anyway, this frozen empanada delivery was the perfect idea. Plus, I had just recently had all my permits and licensing completed since my side hustle had always been catering and the next step at that time was to start selling BBQ rubs from our website and pop-up Hawaiian BBQ at farmer’s markets. This just seemed like a natural extension of that plan given the way the world was at that moment in time and the limited career options presented to me due to the economic slowdown. They say when God closes a door, He opens a window. And if that window is closed, I say you pick up the garbage can of destiny and chuck that b*tch straight through the window…and bust your a$$ in to take the DVD player of opportunity…and run out the back with the 60″ flat screen TV of hope under your arm! I got D’s in Theology and Poetry as you can probably tell. Ok so where was I???
Oh that’s right, I had been kicking around the idea of doing empanadas for a few months since they are really delicious and present a great blank canvas where I could start letting my imagination run wild like a fat kid in a candy store with a $100 bill in one pocket and an insulin shot in the other. But, I had never formalized a business plan or a way to invoice anything, I could just cook. Thank God for the Wifey because she swooped in and saved the day with a giant S on her chest and her massive Excel skills in her utility belt. Next thing I knew she had invoicing created, our advertising and social media all spiffy, and we were ready to rock harder than an 80’s glam band in a kiddy pool of coke!
So…what happened next? How did we go from empanada home deliveries to offering an expanded menu of Midwest BBQ, Hawaiian cuisine, Larb Gai, all the way to brewery and winery pop-ups? How did I lose 30 pounds, grow more hair, gain sustained energy and 2 inches of height? You will find out all this and more in the next thrilling entry of…”Empanadas, a Ballad, Vol. 2″
Now, while you wait for Volume 2, if you would like to see our empanada menu and place an order, visit the “Empanadas” page and place your order today!