Monday, July 26, 2010

A Day At The Museum, and Folding Empanadas is Harder Than It Looks!

This is the story of my weekend. On Friday I went to meet two girlfriends for a quick beer at a tiny hole-in-the-wall parrilla, which turned into a three hour gossipfest accompanied by a very delicious choripan. Later that night I went to watch a Rolling Stones cover band at some Irish bar with a friend, who is the English teacher of the guitarist. The band was shockingly good, despite the fact that the lead singer aka Mick spoke very little English. We got to meet the whole band (groupies!) and they even shouted out my friend, calling “Teacher” over the mike and pointing in our direction. It was cute. Eventually we were approached by two American guys who had us pinned as foreigners (Could it be the hair? The height? The lack of plastic surgery?) Anyway, they turned out to be quite nice, and as it happened, the assistant coaches of the Men’s U-18 US National Soccer Team.

Now, as any girl would have done, I called bullshit. I mean, U-18 National Team? That’s kind of a big deal. However, they produced business cards and had the schedule and everything, so I was reluctantly impressed. We chatted for about an hour, then they had to go because they had a game in the morning against the Argentina Juniors youth team. I headed home and fell into bed around 3.

Saturday was painful because I twisted my ankle yet again playing soccer. I really need to find some kind of ankle support system, because this is getting ridiculous. Anyway, it hurt like hell. I proceeded to then freeze my ass off watching the boyfriend play his challenge match against some other team, during which he injured his back via getting slammed into a pole along the fence by some idiot. After that we limped home, freezing and broken in body and spirit. Fortunately, a hot shower and homemade pizza in bed mended the damage somewhat…we are simple people.

Sunday dawned (and I mean that not in the literal sense, considering SOMEONE woke up around 1:30pm) gray and gloomy, but we had planned to go to the Museo de Ciencias Naturales and I would be damned if I let a twisted ankle and rainy day prevent me from “doing stuff!” (see previous post)

So we went. The museum is located on the other side of Parque Centenario (the round park for those who know Buenos Aires…it’s very distinctive on a map) and was actually very interesting. It costs 3 pesos to get in, which isn’t too bad for a few hours entertainment. The museum isn’t huge, but it had sections on rocks, shells, birds, mammals, fish, insects, and dinosaurs.

Outside the museum. In the rain.

Apparently Argentina had some crazy dinosaur activity back in the prehistoric days…some of the bones and skeletons that they’ve found here were incredible! And yes, there is actually an Argentinosaurus…it was giant and a plant-eater (think Littlefoot). There were still some displays in progress, and there was an excess of small children due to the crappy day (“Let’s go to the Museum!” was the collective idea of the day), but on the whole I enjoyed it. Here are some pictures!

PG translation =  see my little golden bum. Tee-hee.

Big Dinosaur!
Minke Whale skull

On the way home the BF and I stopped at a café for a hot drink and something to eat, then headed home via Subte. Somewhere along the way we decided to try and learn how to make empanadas, so we bought the “tapas” or crusts and some ham and cheese. Neither of us had ever made empanadas before, so it ended up being an interesting experiment.

The folding of the empanada is known as the “repulgue,” and I will admit it’s actually kind of hard to do at first. I mean, you’d think that molding soft dough into a pretty pattern wouldn’t be so complicated. You’d be wrong. Fortunately we had a good Youtube video to watch, and eventually I got the technique down (the BF not so much)…see exhibit A.

My first semi-successful repulgue!
Versus the BF's lovely fork-sealed empanada...

Final verdict: Más o menos. They poofed up in the oven and ended up being mostly hollow inside, but they tasted pretty good once you smooshed them down again.I’ll have to find out what kind of cheese people use for empanadas, because we were using a weird mix of tasteless mozzarella and really salty white cheddar-ish cheese. And the poofing has got to stop. But I will not give up! I have mastered the repulgue, and I will master the relleno. Failure is not an option! Here are the pics of our first foray into empanada-land. If anyone has any tips on making empanadas, they would be much appreciated!

Executed with varying skill
Hot and poofy out of the oven!
Success! I should frame it, right?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh Hi, Remember Me?

Well, after a month-long hiatus, I’m back. I think. I’m currently still in the process of deciding whether or not to keep this blog going. Sometimes I feel like it’s become more of a responsibility than a pleasure, and I feel almost guilty when I forget to write something or don’t post that often. It’s kind of like having homework, and I outgrew that around 8th grade.

But then again, I still like sharing things that happen to me in this new BA life, however sporadically they may occur. I didn’t start this blog to earn money or win any popularity contests…it was just a way for me to write down things that I saw or did and maybe encourage or help out some other people along the way. Plus, in this day and age, who doesn’t have a blog?

The thing is, I haven’t been doing as many things as I did when I first got here. Not because there isn’t anything to do or that I’ve done it all already, but because I just haven’t gotten off my ass to go do them. Money and time have been a factor, but that’s really no excuse. I’ve been here in BA for almost one year now (August 1st), and my BA life has pretty much fallen into a routine. I have my (amazing) boyfriend, I have my circle of friends, I have my activities and my daily responsibilities, and that’s become my BA life. And while I greatly enjoy my life, I do want to do some different and exciting things every once in a while.

Ok, lament over. I just got back from a two-week visit home to the US of A, where I got to see all of my friends and family, get a bit of a tan, and stuff my face with all kinds of delicious foods (seriously, I ate for 14 days straight: chik-fil-A, Chipotle, Wendy’s, Panera!) It was a great trip, and I miss all of my loved ones so much (this is where the shout-outs would go if I were anything but a tall, blonde, white chick from the suburbs). But for now, my place is here in Buenos Aires and until that changes, thank god for Skype and let’s pray that plane tickets will come down from the astronomical prices they seem to have reached lately.

I brought back the usual arsenal of American products: Tabasco, Aunt Jemima, peanut butter, Ranch dressing mix, Reese’s peanut butter cups (which the BF apparently loves and from whom said candy must now be hidden), Worcestershire sauce, Stovetop stuffing mix, and various spices. Also in the suitcases: 1 electric hand mixer, 4 (yes 4) muffin tins, 7 pounds worth of bath products from Bath and Body Works, recipe binder, lots of new clothes (bought with money I don’t have, naturally), and various kitchen supplies including an oven mitt, measuring spoons and cups, and two graters. Let’s not judge, shall we?

Now that I’m back I can’t wait to get into the cancha and play some soccer, and I’m looking forward to getting some good parrilla meals in the near future. I’m also anxiously awaiting spring and summer, which are just around the corner. Kind of. Last spring I was recently arrived and didn’t really know too many people, so I was limited in my asado, fiesta, reuniones en el parque invitations. I plan to fully take advantage of the season this time around.

Anyway, in terms of this blog, we’ll see what the future brings. There is change in the air…I can feel it (coming in the air tonight).