Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week 2: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Only the second week in, and I already missed taking photos a couple of days. Es lo que hay.

Tuesday, January 6

Only one vegetable store in all of Carlos Paz carries cilantro. How sad is that?! And it's in the old part of downtown where we rarely go, and he doesn't always have it, so when we do manage to snag a bunch, I'm one happy camper. And when, on the very rare occasion, we actually manage to have cilantro AND tortilla chips at the same time? Bliss! Because that means I can make some homemade salsa to go with the chips. YUM!

Finding tortilla chips is even more of a challenge than snagging cilantro. None of the stores in our town carry them, and we hadn't seen any at the Walmart in Cordoba for almost a year. Then suddenly they were there again, and I did the happy dance right in the chips aisle.

However, once we got home and I opened a bag -- Hmmmmm. The bags carry considerably less weight than they formerly did. In fact, I'd say the bag was mostly full of air. What do you think?
Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed our meager portion of chips and salsa. Especially knowing it might be another year before we manage to have both at the same time again. The vagaries of what the stores carry means we can never count on finding anything specific from one trip to the next.

Friday/Saturday, January 9-10

Went to Sta. Rosa to mow the lawn and take care of some other business. Because of all the rain we've been getting, the grass was really high. Poor Ivan had to take the carburetor on the mower apart four times, clean it out, and put it back together before he'd finished the whole lawn. It took most of Friday and a bit on Saturday. He would have finished on Friday but another thunderstorm rolled in when he was almost done. I don't think I've ever seen the lawn so thick and green. Normally by this time in January things have gone from green to slightly yellow because we lack rain. Not so this year! The grass wasn't the only thing that was overgrown. You can see we need to cut back the bushes and other plants, too. But not this trip.
First thing Saturday morning we took a walk and I snapped a bunch of photos of the crepe myrtle tree in front of my favorite house in the neighborhood. In the past I've shared photos of their gorgeous hydrangeas. This time the crepe myrtle caught our eye. Every branch is loaded with blossoms.
We headed home early afternoon, stopping for a bit in Belgrano on the way. The town was packed as it always is in January (their busiest month since this is when most Argentines take their vacation) and we had to park on a side street. As we walked into town, we passed this beauty:
It's hard to tell from my less-than-stellar photo, but this Ford Falcon is in great condition. Just gorgeous!

Sunday, January 11

In the evening we went to visit our friends, Julio and Magdalena, who are staying with other friends out in the country over the summer. Julio has designed and built a number of planes over the years (he's in his 80s) and his host, Cachi, is another aviation buff. In fact, he and his son own a number of aircraft and have an airstrip and several hangers on their farm.
It's a perfect place for Julio to rest and recuperate after being in the hospital. Everyone was sitting outside having merienda when we arrived, enjoying the cool evening breezes and watching the trikes take off and land. Of course the guys were at one end of the table, and the women at the other. 

Monday, January 12

Ivan was up all night with a stomach virus (which meant I was, too) so I didn't get much done beyond a little housekeeping and catching up on laundry. I managed to get three loads washed and dried on the line before yet another storm hit.

Late afternoon I did get started on some plum jam. My friend, Silvia, gave me a big bag of plums from her tree and also told me how to make jam the Argentine way (without pectin). Should be interesting to see how it turns out. It's a multi-day process which is kind of nice, since I don't have to spend a whole day on it, but rather spread it out over four days. First up: cutting the fruit into small wedges and taking out the pits (no need to peel):
Then I weighed the fruit (3.3 kilos) and used my calculator to figure out how much sugar to add. Silvia said the ratio for plums is 600 grams of sugar per kilo of fruit so that meant just under 2 kilos of sugar. I just dumped the sugar on top of the fruit, put a towel over it, and left it to sit overnight. For the next three days I'll cook the mixture for 2-3 hours each day. I'm a little nervous about just leaving it sit out between, but Silvia said that's what to do. We'll see how it goes!


sara said...

ugh....can not believe how few chips were in the bag...well, I can. seems it happens here too! But I love chips too so I can sympathize!!

Can't wait to hear how the jam turns out!

Terra said...

Interesting to make jam the Argentine way; you are learning many new things. Cilantro grows easily from seed. We love cilantro too and grow it almost year round. It is perfect sprinkled on chicken soup. Love the crepe myrtle.

Mari said...

I agree that there was more air, than chips in that bag, but glad you enjoyed what you got. The crepe myrtle is so pretty! I'll be interested in how the jam turns out.

rita said...

Get homesick seeing Santa Rosa... and can it be we won't even see the casita if you sell and move and we have not yet made it down there...
Mirtha wrote on FB about terrible storms in Rio Tercero. You okay?

The Bug said...

I've grown cilantro a few times, but I don't cook so it mostly got tossed into salads & eggs :)

I'm interested to hear about the jam!