Glazed blueberry empanadas and the language of supportive friends

Alexander Hardy
Published in
4 min readDec 1, 2021


a test batch of blueberry empanadas with a citrus glaze.

Welcome to installment #54 of GetSomeJoy’s Daily Breakfast Situation, your weekday check-in with recipes, joy-flavored stories, and wellness tools.

Chile, I made another batch of empanadas the other day. Batch number two.

They taste better than they look and go great with a cup of Café Bustelo.

For this batch, I used the frozen cinnamony dough mound from my Thanksgiving experimentation. Since I stayed in Brooklyn this year instead of heading home to Hampton, Virginia, I felt safe getting creative while cooking for myself, and so:

I made a delicious test batch of roasted acorn squash and turkey kielbasa empanadas and glazed blueberry empanadas. After tossing my berries with sugar and cornstarch, I stirred in vanilla extract with lime and orange zest. I gave them an egg wash and sprinkled them with cane sugar.

I woke up the next morning, found a photo of my grandma’s famous patties, and realized where I was fucked up in the game while pimping and crimping my edges. Pressing down too hard. Tripping. But still, I rise.

I wrote about her patties for Food & Wine, here:

I was humbled, but I also had to remember her decades of practice, and that she, too, learned by watching, trying, refining, and trying again.

Some of the empanadas reopened and deflated while baking, but once that citrus glaze cooled and became a tangy frosting?

I released any remaining shame.

Not bad for first attempts. I’ll feel confident by batch 47.

I exchanged most of the first ugly-delicious test batch for a few packed containers of Thanksgiving leftovers. (They didn’t survive the weekend.)

I assembled the second batch while preheating the oven in my hotbox kitchen, while cackling on the phone and didn’t re-chill my dough as it softened and became harder to handle like I would’ve if I had been focused. Next time.

Also, next time: finely diced candied ginger in the citrus glaze.

In upcoming Baking Chronicles posts, I’ll be diving into lessons learned from revisiting these joy-filled patties and working on dough braids and improving my lattice work skills atop a series of berry tarts.

I freestyled my situation but here’s a simple shortcrust recipe to jazz up for your patties. Add a few teaspoons of cinnamon and sugar for sweet ones. Garlic powder, black pepper, turmeric, fresh herbs, or whatever would make your soul glow in a savory situation.

Grandma uses cold shortening, but I’ve been going with cubed or grated frozen butter.

testing: roasted acorn squash and turkey kielbasa empanadas, by me.

Let that dough be a starting point for pies, galettes, tarts, quiches, and other love-infused baked goods. Taddow.

A few things to moisturize your spirit:

  • Ashiness happens to the best of us. How did you strike back when it caught you off-guard? (Check the replies and quote tweets for greater joy.)
  • Via her newsletter, I Have Notes, Nicole Chung offers advice to someone whose friends and others who don’t view their creative projects and ventures as “work.”

Especially when the remarks come from our friends and neighbors, people we genuinely like and want to think well of, it can be uncomfortable to acknowledge that they’ve actually hurt us. But you have a right to feel upset or frustrated when your work is devalued, even if the slight is unintentional.

  • During her appearance on Tamron Hall, supermodel Iman discussed how she is navigating life during the pandemic and managing grief after the death of her husband, David Bowie, in 2016.

There I was, on my own, and then grief came knocking at the door and stayed for a while.

In today’s episode Ty explores some wonderful words to use often and generously with the people you love. These terms usually make others feel great and will go a long way towards mending any broken relationships that require a little fixing.

Ty also offers a blog on improving communication with your friends.

Dassit. See you tomorrow.



Alexander Hardy

Grits-powered writer, home chef, & mental health warrior. Founder: GetSomeJoy + The War on Spiritual Ashiness. +