Friday, September 19, 2008

breathe in, breathe out...

I was repeating all kinds of motivational phrases in my head today as I was running. It started out super easy and I was considering that maybe the 10 days of unscheduled rest hadn't been such a big deal after all. Then, about half way through I realized how untrue that was. Haha, it was tough and I ran a little less than scheduled but I know I pushed myself and since I'm running tomorrow I figure I can make up for lost time. Okay, so those have been my morning thoughts so far :) my pre-run snack consisted of crackers and peanut butter and my post-run snack was 4 clementines. What happened to breakfast? Well, we're all out of food! Seriously, there's two apples way beyond ripe in the fruit basket, I'm running super low on PB, we don't have bread... I suppose I could whip up some eggs... eh no, (1) I may very well eat eggs later today as I return to my vegetarian eating habits and (2) I'm not in the mood at the moment. And once again, I use the blog to think insignificant things through. I apologize you poor readers! How about I make it up to you with a recount of my family Dieciocho celebration?Early yesterday morning we left the city for el campo and the adorable ranch that my host-mom's uncle owns. There's so much gorgeous land! In the summer I'm sure it would be great for a family reunion but on this dreary day a little get together worked just fine too!
After meet and greets, we went to the kitchen to make the Pebre, (if you're interested here's the recipe.) First my "mom" washed the vegetables and peeled them as Chileans do. To be quite honest, I still haven't figured out quite why, most of the vitamins are in the skin! I'm going to need to have a talk with the fam about this :).
During this time, I sat and the table picked cilantro leaves with La Carola. She would be Carol in English but I just wanted to point out the way we call her in Spanish so you could take note of the la before the name. It's so cute, it's like saying THE and then the name, makes them sound that much more important. I like being called "La Daniela."
While we were prepping the Pebre, "ita" (an affectionate abbreviation for abuelita) was prepping the salads, potatoes at the time of the shot. She's the cutest! After a few people had breakfast (not me, I already ate) and we went to walk around outside.
This is the view from the edge of the yard. Like I said before, the weather was sucky but I still couldn't get over how beautiful it was and I'm sure it would be an even better sight in the summer. I can't wait to go back! Okay, and now for the kicker. Not only did I step outside the vegetarian realm yesterday, but I'm pretty sure I fell right smack in the middle of carnivore land... and I'm not gonna lie, I enjoyed it...
We grilled everything by hot charcoal... first we had hot dogs served on pan amasado. I passed, meat-eater or not, I've never been a fan. Then sausages. I tried them but I'm not big on sausages either. Can you see why it was easy for me to go veg, lol? Next were chicken drumsticks, which I did eat and were absolutely delicious.
Afterward we feasted on the salads... celery salad, potato salad, corn salad, lettuce salad, olives and finally our pebre (center left, before mixing). Some were dressed in mayo (yuck, I avoided those) and others in simply EVOO and vinegar or lemon juice.
Following feelings of satisfaction and digestion we moved onto the real stuff, Argentine Beef. Oh my god. It was out of this world! It was juicy and not too tough while not being too firm, and bursting with flavor, and just for good measure, probably came from South American cows that had actually led happy pasture lives. I had a small piece.
Following our feast a neighbor stopped by with decorations. She was dressed in traditional female cueca wear. Cueca is their national dance and it was fun to see someone being so festive :).

Not to mention that she brought empanadas! Yum. There was no room left in my stomach so I didn't force it down but I heard they were great. She had the Pino version (my favorite) and a mushroom & cheese kind.

Later on, once we were all danced out my host-aunt, Marisol, broke out her Arroz con Leche. Alright, let's see, how can I put this... I hate rice pudding, everything about it, the taste, the way it looks, the texture... but I L-O-V-E-D this! There was a difference in everything although I can't figure out why because the ingredients are basically the same. Hm. No need to ask, I will have that recipe coming pronto ;).
And here's the wonderful family that made it all possible! There were obviously a bunch of kids, family friends, and I but these are the Espinosas. From top left: Fernando ("uncle"), "great-uncle," "great-aunt," "grandmother," to bottom: "mom" and Marisol ("aunt.")
I had the most wonderful day. I forget how nice it is to have a family holiday centered around delicious food. Okay, they weren't my own :) but they're all wonderful people that welcomed me into their lives with open arms so I'm grateful and that much more excited to have my parents visit! And just for good measure, I thought I'd put in Thursday's lunch and dinner (it looked exactly the same) because I enjoyed it so much. It wasn't especially special from the norm but still, delish. I'm off to meet up with my friend, stop by the gym (this place should pay me for all the great things I've been advertising, ha, 3rd person I got to sign up) and then go downtown for another day of festivities. TGIF!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Penny for your thoughts...