Argentina 2, Day 37

Just blogging along. Two exciting things on the weekend: we had a marvelous lunch on Saturday with some new friends Daniela, Jorge, and their 3 daughters. Daniela’s a medical doctor who’d evaluated Emily for some physical therapy and Jorge is an editor at La Nacíon, the big national newspaper. Daniela and I had hit if off immediately when we first met and figured out, within a few minutes, that we had in common the city of Bethesda, Maryland. She and family had lived there recently for 3 years (when Jorge was in Wash DC as the foreign correspondent for La Nacíon), and Bethesda is the city where I grew up. Go figure.

For lunch we enjoyed a traditional asado: a particular sequence of meats grilled on a parilla. Usually first entraña (might be translated incorrectly as entrails; it’s some cut of meat from near the diaphragm but sometimes I find it translated also as skirt steak? My cow map doesn’t help since I don’t know where different beef cuts come from anyway; does one wear a skirt steak above or below the knees?), then chorizo (pork sausage), then asado (both a cut of meat – short ribs – and the name for the whole meal), then vacio (flank steak). Yum. Sometimes at the beginning one also eats other innards and those things with an innard type of provenance. Blood sausages, sweetbreads. Julia finds the vat of sesos (brains) at the butchers rather off-putting.

The other exciting event from the weekend? Defrosting the freezer. Chris estimates the fridge is older than we are (which would place it from the mid-1960s or before). It has a tiny (12″ by 24″) space that fills with ice, known as a poor excuse for a freezer, and since we’d moved in it had done what old-fashioned freezers do: fill with ice all around. Once there was only space for a small box of Barfy burgers, we figured it was time to pull the plug. The kids found the endeavor quite curious (having never seen one defrost one’s freezer in their short lifetimes). Thanks for executing that necessary chore, Chris.

Now that Chris is done with the bulk of his teaching we’re thinking about what kind of brief out-of-town trips we might take with the kids. I have one coming up, a few days in Mendoza with my brother who will be visiting soon. Otherwise we’re still debating. Eric and Julia consider their weekends sacred, not being big fans of school right now. They’re quite content to hang out, read books, play GameBoy, watch Spanish TV, walk around town and do errands, swing in the back yard. Recently Julia heard us discussing the option of a short trip across the river to Uruguay. Julia (who hasn’t got the foggiest notion of life across the river) retorts: “Uruguay?! I don’t want to waste a precious weekend in Uruguay!”

Hmmm. Perhaps there’s a freezer that she can stay home and defrost instead?

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