Archive for September, 2009

A Precious Snooty Food Post


One would think that if you buy a reasonably high quality tea or honey, they’re all pretty much the same — tomato, tomahto. Well, I’m here to tell you that you are wrong!

During the good times, even though we felt a little silly, one of our personal extravagances was airlifting our honey from Georgia — we just couldn’t help ourselves!

Yes, that’s right, I would battle to the death over a graceful, long-necked bottle of Savannah Bee Company artisanal honey. We first received it as a gift and thought, really, how different could it be? Oh, I still remember the first time I tried the delicate orange blossom variety, which smelled and tasted of, you guessed it, orange blossoms.

This honey caused me to resurrect an old Joy of Cooking biscuit recipe so that we could conduct honey taste tests! (All of which scientifically confirmed that each flavor was unique and delicious.)

As reviewed in the nibble:

“The third [type of honey] is a rare, varietal honey, carefully tended by artisan beekeepers and delivered to you as raw honey—not heated or treated but with multiple layers of flavor. Call it “gourmet honey,” just call it over and spoon some out of the jar. As soon as you taste it, you know how different it is. Just as not all cabernet sauvignon rootstock is created equal, the nectar from some orange blossoms produces far superior orange blossom honey; and beekeepers, like winemakers, have different levels of skill in handling the bees and extracting the honey.

When Savannah Bee Company’s Ted Dennard decided to become a full-time beekeeper, the world became a sweeter place. His rare varietal (or monofloral) honeys are sought by aficionados the world over. Once you taste the distinct flavors of his black sage, tupelo, orange blossom, sourwood and raspberry honeys, you will never buzz around lesser honey again.”

When we returned from the US last month, I brought some of my favorite tea with me (which I am drinking as I write this, by the way).


The brand is Tea Forté. Funnily enough, we first stumbled upon this tea when staying at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas right after it opened. This merchant features an amazing array of choices, so I really recommend the purchase of a sampler so that you may imbibe and appreciate the breadth of their offerings. I guarantee that you’ll discover new unexpected favorites!

Aside from their delicious black teas, I adore their herbal teas (which I normally dislike), their White Ambrosia is swoon-worthy, and their green tea blends are intriguing as well. If you are looking for something different, we just tried their dessert tea blends, most of which are rich and smoothly satisfying (we drink them when we have a sugar craving).

Pictured above is one of their pyramid-shaped silk infusers with a little leaf on top about which they write:

“Our unique Silken-Tea-Infusers are individually hand crafted, and provide the world’s finest method to brew a cup of tea. The open weave of the fabric allows the water to flow freely around the teas, allowing the tea leaves to unfurl and the flavors to mingle in the large open form of the infuser.”

The Meat Lorry


In our neighborhood, we sometimes see an old, open-air truck filled to the top with meat parts driving by the local butcher shops. (The transport in question is very similar to the truck pictured here, but without the canvas top.)

Generally, there are two guys standing in the back of the truck amongst the pile of meat, hacking away with cleavers, even while the vehicle is moving. As Tom likes to say, driving at 30 or 40 miles per hour over bumpy roads shouldn’t stop you from working with a sharp, heavy knife!

We’re hoping this truck is for scraps, and not deliveries.

As my dearest husband commented today…”there goes a truck full of chorizo ingredients.” Not a pretty picture he cemented in my head. Thank you so much dear.

UPDATE: Futbol has challenged me to get an actual shot of the Meat Lorry — I have picked up the gauntlet, and come hell or high water, will get a damn photo!

Zoe, Going for the Gold!


Immediately after we returned to Buenos Aires in August, there was a track and field competition at Zoe’s school amongst 4th and 5th graders to qualify for a country-wide International School athletic competition in Mar del Plata.

Zoe was among the top performers, so off she went to the popular coastal resort this last Thursday and Friday. She wanted to go on her own, in other words, sin familia, because it was a big-girl, overnight trip. So, although we were willing to attend and be her track and field groupies, Zoe was not having any of that. *sigh* Such independence!

She returned late last night with puffy eyes, a serious case of exhaustion (late to bed, early to rise), a slight sunburn on her face, and a gold medal for the throwing competition! She was the only kid from our school, boy or girl, to bring back a medal.

When Zoe disembarked from the bus after midnight outside the school, a cheer went up for her amongst the parents. Zoe was surprised and shyly ducked her head while mumbling a few “thank you”s — that girl does love the limelight. *smile*

We’re glad she’s home. Well, Tom and I are…I believe Zelda may really have enjoyed being an only child!

Bedtime for Children and Divorce, Is There a Correlation?

Zelda’s birthday is coming up, which leads to a serious social obligation here in Argentina! In grade school, you pretty much are required to invite all of your classmates to an elaborate party with hired entertainment…something we had hoped to avoid. (Birthdays are big business here.)

Luckily, with the help of Florencia, we are going to be able to cheat! Zoe’s classmate, Sofia, has a birthday on the same day as Zelda, so we are going to throw a co-birthday party, which saves me from having to figure out all of the ins and outs of these complicated celebrations on my own.

We met with Flor yesterday, filled out invitations, and split up all remaining work. (Since she already has completed nearly everything, we are getting off light). Thus, we have been put in charge of herding together a second gift bag (separated for boys and girls) and picking up the food for adults.

I think we can handle that.

Anyhow, as were were sitting around her kitchen working on our plans during merienda (tea time), we got on the subject of children’s bedtimes. We told her that in the US, the Zs used to have to be in their room by 7:30 pm, perhaps 8:00 pm at the latest, on weeknights. Upon reflection, we added that their bedtime was really almost more for us than for them, since we can’t comprehend how Argentinian parents manage to maintain a relationship without some time alone!

She said she feels as if she is always swimming upstream because Sofia comes home and complains that all of her friends go to bed at 10:00 or 10:30 pm (this is second grade, mind you).

In order to have alone-time in this country, parents have to stay up quite late, leading me to believe that Argentina is really a giant study in sleep deprivation — and it starts from a very young age. It will be interesting to see if there are long-term detriments to maintaining late night hours while eliminating the 3 hour siesta in the middle of the day that makes it all possible!

We’ve Stopped Saying Cocksucker, Feel Me?

Tom and I have this horrible habit of mirroring the speech of whatever characters are featured in our current book and/or iTunes TV obsession.

When we were reading the series of maritime novels by Patrick O’Brian that take place during the Napoleanic Wars, we ran around the house speaking a wretched approximation of the Queen’s English, utilizing more formal than necessary sentence structures.

During our watching of The Wire, we would attempt to work the theme of an episode into our everyday lives, such as “You come at the king, you best not miss.” (By the way, can you believe that this amazing show never won an Emmy or Golden Globe? My personal opinion: best TV series, ever.)

We have Deadwood to thank for introducing the word “cocksucker” into our everyday lexicon, which, as foulmouthed as I can be, had never been a word I used, either as a noun or an adjective. A few episodes in, and alas, I could no longer make that claim. Sadly, it was in heavy rotation for both of us for a few weeks (only with the older set, of course).

Our vulgar period has passed now that we’ve moved on to our current TV addiction — Mad Men, the series about 1960s Madison Avenue. One of our favorite characters is Roger Sterling, a partner in the advertising firm featured in the series. He has some gems, such as:

“You don’t know how to drink. Your whole generation…you drink for the wrong reasons. My generation, we drink because it’s good, because it feels better than unbuttoning your collar, because we deserve it. We drink because it’s what men do.”

“You know what my father used to say? Being with a client is like being in a marriage. Sometimes you get into it for the wrong reasons, and eventually, they hit you in the face.”

“I bet there were people walking around in the Bible complaining about kids today.”

Unfortunately, Tom and I have nothing to say that would be as cool as the writing on Mad Men, so Tom has suggested that we start drinking and smoking in the same copious amounts as the characters, really taking our emulation to a whole new level! (He’s willing to go the extra mile, my husband…)

The High Security Skeleton Key


I’ve been meaning to post about this for ages!

While we are snug in our beds at night, we are supposed to rest easy knowing that the locks protecting our doors are the type pictured here that open with an old fashioned skeleton key (representing the latest in security technology)!

This gem of a lock features a keyhole though which you can see. If you are lucky, you have a little flap that can be moved to cover the hole, as we have in this apartment, shown above. Our last house, with a front door that opened directly onto the street, had no cover for the keyhole — you could bend down while on the sidewalk and peer into our kitchen and entry way without visual obstruction.


One last thought on locks. Everything in Buenos Aires is keyed from within and from without, which means you are locked into your apartment, and your building, unless you have a key to depart. (And if one spouse leaves the home with another spouse’s keys, then the keyless spouse will be unable to leave said home…)

We are presently utilizing the coping mechanism of denial to deal with our fear of being trapped in a BA building during a fire!