Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Berenjenas Al escaveche
Cut up 2 kilos of eggplant and cut them length wise
Put down a layer of eggplant in a deep baking dish and cover the eggplant in kosher salt
Put down another layer of eggplant and cover it in salt and continue until you have layered all of the eggplant with salt.
Let this sit overnight in the kitchen and marvel as you come home late at night at how much water has been sucked out of the eggplant.
In the morning, while drinking mate, wash off the eggplant and then cook it in two liters of water and 250 ml of white vinegar in batches. Don’t overcook the eggplant.
Make a spice mixture of oregano, red pepper flakes, and aji which from what I can tell is ground up dried red pepper. Also add a dash or two of garlic sauce and then add enough oil to fry up a pound of potatoes. Mix this all up.
Get yourself a big ass jar.
Layer the bottom of the jar with cooked eggplant and cover this with the spice mixture.
Keep layering eggplant with spice mixture until you get bored and then dump in all of the eggplant and then all of the spice mixture. If there isn’t enough to fully cover the eggplant dump in more oil and then screw the lid onto the jar and roll it around so that the mixture fully coats all of the eggplant.
Let it sit in the fridge for one or two days, and then enjoy with your favorite asado!
Josh and I spent the afternoon taking a long walk from Alto Palermo shopping mall back to Uli’s apartment, and played cards and hung out with Uli and Gus while Uli made muffins and we drank mate.
For dinner we drove to La Canitas where we met up with Steph for a fancy dinner to thank Uli and Gus for being such good hosts. They chose to eat at a restaurant called Sushi Club. I was reminded when I looked at the menu that somewhere along the line somebody got confused and decided to put Philadelphia cream cheese in almost all of the sushi rolls that exist here in BA. After we scouted out the menu we found enough options without cream cheese to make us all happy and full and we celebrated everything there is to celebrate with a bottle of Champagne at the end.
The space is wonderful. It’s almost like a big barn filled with posters of Che and Carlos Gardel and there is a statue of a giant heart hanging from the ceiling over the bar. No two glasses are alike and the wine is a good price.
When we arrived the tango stopped and a band stood in the center of the dance floor and waited for silence. When they felt they had commanded enough respect they played a few songs for us and I enjoyed them immensely. After that we managed to find a table and sat back to enjoy the tango. Tango here is not like when you see a show. There it is all Brava, flashing costumes and all for show. In a Milonga you see the real tango, and the real passion. Here tango is a slow, purposeful and swirling dance, and in this space the music is almost an afterthought. It is a far away rhythm that pulses in the wrist of a man as he controls the woman leaning on him with a touch of pressure on her arm, or back. Here the man still holds all of the power in the room and the woman all of the beauty. At times it is almost embarrassing to watch a couple for two long because you almost feel like you are invading something very private, like a peeping Tom.
At around 3:30 am Uli suggested more wine and I suggested bed so we dropped Fani off at home and then slept as if I had been dancing the tango all night myself.
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
And while all of our flights departed and arrived on time, we had the misfortune of ending up in a taxi with a driver who did not believe the address he had been given could possibly be right. After driving around Buenos Aires for an hour, some conferencing with a co-worker and our instance that this address does exist we ended up at Ulises' apartment just in time to wake him. Manzi, of course, greeted us with some barking and some pee and I didn't know who to say hi to first!! Manzi has a haircut now and looks adorable. She sort of has this mullet thing going. Its amazing.
She's still one sassy bitch
Josh in the taxi on the way into Buenos Aires in the first light of the day
Taking the bus to Costanera with Nick, his girlfriend Flor and a visiting friend and walking to El Rey for a Bondiola felt as natural as breathing. Sitting in the sun on a bench overlooking Puerto Madero with Josh afterwards felt just like the many times we had done that same thing when we lived in San Telmo. But Uli reminded me many times today that I am a tourist and that I can't forget to watch my bag! We had an amazing dinner at La Brigada with a large group of old friends and again it felt as if we had never left. Then there were two great differences. One: we took a taxi home (instead of a bus) and two: I remembered that in eleven days I wouldn’t be able to see these people again until maybe our wedding. I had a sad moment where I thought about how much I love these people and wish I could see them every day and then I decided that there is no point in being sad. I obviously just need to enjoy this trip to the maximo. Josh also made me make a speech announcing our engagement to everyone. We made a big cheers and I warned everyone that they better start saving their plata because I really want them all to be there.