We had a great time celebrating Dia del Amigo yesterday! Numerous e-mails, texts and phone calls were received wishing us "Feliz Dia!" -- Argentines take their Day of the Friend seriously! And last night we were invited to a fiesta. Good food, music (one of the other guests is an accomplished musician) and everyone took a small gift to the party and then chose a different one to take home -- I have a nice little salt and pepper shaker set now :-)
I made the Dark Chocolate Orange Layer Cake for the party. And brought 3/4 of it home! Apparently everyone was so full by the time they ate the empanadas, salads, vegetable pies, sushi, and assorted other goodies PLUS the crepes stuffed with either chocolate and dulce de leche or apples and raisins...they had no room for torta. But I'm not too sad. Today I'll be sharing it with my tutor and her family, our co-workers and their family, and Graciela when she comes over tomorrow :-)
I didn't make it exactly to specifications because I ran out of time, plus didn't have three 8" cake pans so had to use two 9" pans plus a small square pan... A little hard to create a nice tall layer cake with those. Anyway, I used the chocolate ganache-like "filling" to put between the two 9" layers and all over the top and sides. There was so much of it, I have enough to completely cover the little square of cake, too. So I never even made the chocolate buttercream frosting. Which may be just as well. I didn't realize until I started making this cake that it USES A LOT OF BUTTER. Seriously, look at all that butter...THREE CUPS altogether!
Yeah, I saved us from consuming 1/2 cup of butter. LOL
Also took a small vegetable tray and Ranch dip. Someone asked me for the recipe for the dip but, of course, I had to tell them there is none, because we can't get the dry Ranch packets here. My sister sent them in a recent package from the U.S.
Speaking of packages, the next one from our daughter will contain a new battery for our Vonage phone because the old one hasn't been holding a charge very well...so we have to keep it plugged in almost all the time. This would be the Vonage phone that quit working altogether -- well, it won't connect to our AP anyway. Sad days in our house. Our son spent a couple hours on skype with Ivan this morning, and he also had a service tech from Vonage on the phone, but their combined efforts came to naught [why did we stop using that word? It's such a great word!]. A last ditch effort is underway: keeping the battery out of the phone for several days to see if it re-sets itself.
Meanwhile skype is our only means of voice communication. Not that that's a bad thing. I'm happy we at least have skype! BUT it means we can't call anyone who doesn't have skype. Well, technically I guess we could but that would cost money we don't want to spend.
So for a while we'll be depending a lot more on e-mails, facebook and skype.
And my blog :-)
I do love the interactive communication on the blog! Receiving comments, leaving comments...
I'm warming up to facebook, too. It is a nice way to keep in touch as if you were in a room full of people. Nice for carrying on a conversation with more than one person simultaneously.
So our daughter uploaded to youtube the video project she's been working on for the local United Way, and then facebooked the link. Which I'm now embedding on my blog to share with all my bloggy friends. Because a mom likes to brag on her kids to her friends, you know :-)
She's also doing some shorter clips for a running loop to be shown prior to meetings or events.
I didn't realize until I saw this clip on cnn.com that swine flu has hit Argentina harder than any country other than the U.S. Now I understand a little better why some provinces are taking such extreme precautions to stop the spread. Which I would have understood sooner had I been more fluent in the language so I could have understood the news here. Oh well.
I think I enjoyed the news too much over the weekend, that we had the same temperature here (in winter) that our friends had in the Midwest (in summer). Because the rain arrived yesterday and settled in, bringing bone-chilling damp cold with it. Not winter bone-chilling damp cold, more like what we would get in April in Michigan. So still not as bad as what we endured in the U.S. but without the central heat, felt a little more here.
I'm wearing my jeans, turtleneck, sweater, and two pair of socks right now and am considering the use of a fleece blanket. That'll teach me to to take so much glee from others' misery. Or at least from expressing the glee publicly :-)
So ends another profound post from your shivering correspondent in Argentina.