Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You might be a porteño if...

You might be a porteño if a rainy day is the equivalent of a snow day in Seattle.

It rained really hard last night and the sky was threatening more rain on my way to work this morning. Normally riding the subway is hot, uncomfortable, and your personal space is always being violated because all the people are packed like sardines. A normal person would probably be thinking, "God I hope no one pick-pockets me," but my worries usually are more like, "God I hope no one farts." BUT, not this morning. This morning, Buenos Aires is like a ghost town. Everyone looked out their windows and decided the risk of slipping on the sidewalk or possibly getting wet was just too big of a risk to take.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Takin' Care of Business!

Downtown, view of the famous Obelisk. This is the general are where
we work on a daily basis.
I guess when you actually live and work somewhere, it's not always fun and games.  Well, it's mostly work that rains on our adventure planning parades. BUT, work is a good thing and we're thankful for our jobs. In the last few weeks, we really have not done anything I would label an "adventure." Unless you count riding the subway. We've been in this funny spot where we're still trying to get used to our new schedules and get settled.  
However, we are moving next weekend, which will make everything all caddywampus again. Our new place is a quiet (almost impossible to find) apartment in San Telmo and we're living with another couple. When we went to look at the apartment, they offered us a beer, so we liked them immediately. There will be more details and pictures of the new place to come in future posts.

Our food of the week is...
Cafe con leche and medialunas!
(coffe with milk and croissants)

There is a cafe pretty much on every corner of every block. In the late afternoon, you can see porteños inside drinking cafe con leche and snacking on a few medialunas. You'll see businessmen looking over whatever it is businessmen look over, families, and friends just chatting away. Since Buenos Aires has so much European influence, the tradition of drinking afternoon tea or coffee is almost a natural instinct. We have both taken to drinking cafe con leche with medialunas in the afternoon as well. Sometimes we can meet up and discuss our classes, or other times on our own, we'll find a seat by the window and do some lesson planning. We still haven't mastered sipping one cup of coffee for an hour and a half like some of the old porteños, but it's a ritual Jesse and I have really grown to enjoy.

Also, for those of you who wanted it, here is the Pascualina recipe:
Pascualina is an Argentine dish that is basically a big empanada pie. Our friend Jenny came over and we made it together. There was nothing left, so obviously we thought it was delicious.

Pascualina Picante
Serves 3 people

2 Phyllo dough or empanada dough crusts (you can find empanada dough at latin food markets)

3/4 lb. lean ground beef

¼ red onion, diced

2 cups chopped zucchinis (or butternut sqush for more sweetness) - 1 inch pieces

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 tsp. hot sauce or chili flakes (or more if you like)

1 tbsp. paprika

½ tsp. dried parsley

½ tsp. dried oregano

a pinch of pepper and salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a pie dish, lay down the bottom layer of the phyllo/empanada dough.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef and onions until it starts to brown up.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, hot sauce, piemento, dried oregano, and salt & pepper. Stir to incorporate everything.
  4. Add the zapallitos/butternut squash/zucchini to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the bell peppers and mozzarella, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon the whole mixture into the pie dish and spread into an even layer.
  7. Lay the 2nd phyllo/empanada dough on top of the mixture.
  8. Fold the edges over neatly and crimp closed with your fingers. The edges should lay against the side of the pie dish.
  9. Poke holes in the dough with a fork and spread the top with ½ tsp. of olive oil.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. Slice like a pie to eat.
This is what it looks like:

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    You Might Be a Porteño If...

    Over the past six weeks, we've noticed some things about living here in Buenos Aires.  Perhaps you will find these things in other cities or you will tell us, "Duh, you see that everywhere."  If so, we don't care.  For the  most part, these are things we've noticed that are more or less unique to here or keys to living in BA.  We'll add these every now and again as they're noticed.  So here's the first installment:

    You might becoming a porteño if:

    You have developed a sixth sense to avoid the dog crap that is all over the sidewalks, without even looking down, as you walk.