The December Photos

2012.Jan.01 Sunday · 1 comment

in Food & Recipes, Life

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

– Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

After the last post being a wrap-up of the year, it feels like I shouldn’t just do another wrap-up, but the only other posts in the offing are this weekend’s dinners, which haven’t completed yet, and two walking tours (Dorrego and Lavalle), which take more effort at research than I’m up to this Sunday morning. So, it’s the December leftover photo post. Let’s see what we have in the hopper…

Capac Raymi

Back on the night of the solstice, Henry invited a group of friends over for the Capac Raymi ritual, the summer solstice celebration, and a bite to eat. He should have offered up the eats for after the ritual, as this happens every time he does one of these – half a dozen of his local friends came over, drank all the beer in the house, vacuumed up all the food he made, and then made excuses about why they had to leave before midnight, leaving the ritual to just him. Not even a thank you out of one of them. Why he even invites this group of folk each time there’s a traditional Peruvian/Quechua celebration, I don’t know, he just ends up upset. So, he asked me to photograph the ritual, and here are a couple of the photos from different points in it. It starts out with gathering together an offering of various foodstuffs from the earth – vegetables, fruits, spices – some water, some flower water, coca leaves, a couple of other dried herbs, and a little brazier for coals. Getting the coals going and arranging things on a blanket took a bit….

Capac Raymi

Once the coals were glowing red hot he added the dried herbs, which creates a very weird, sweet-ish smelling smoke. There was about ten minutes of smoke and some silent chanting, and then he got out the coca leaves, four apiece, and offered them to the pachamama (mother earth), and then we chewed them. I’ll tell you, chewing coca leaves is great when it relieves the headaches and difficulty breathing of altitude sickness, but they’re basically not pleasant tasting, and when that’s all you have to concentrate on, I could go without.

Capac Raymi

And then we spritzed ourselves with the flower water. Took all the offerings and buried them in a hole in the garden (I got to dig the hole), and then watered it, and left the coals by the side to gradually burn down. Something’s growing out of the mound we buried, I’m not sure what – probably one of the dried spices, or maybe the chilies… we’ll see when the plants get bigger.

Nazca Peruvian delivery

Tried out Buenos Aires Delivery for the first time. It’s a service that you enter your address and the type of food you want, and it gives you a selection of delivery options. You can then place your order on the site and, ostensibly, the delivery happens. What actually happened, at least in this case, is that the restaurant, Nazca Peruvian, that we ordered from, called us five minutes later and went item by item through the delivery, our address, and how we were going to pay (all things specified on the site), to confirm that it was real. And then we got an e-mail from them a few minutes later that confirmed all the info again. A bit more tedious than we would have liked, but it may be specific to this one restaurant – who knows, maybe they’ve had problems with some of the orders. About an hour later we got a lovely delivery of quite good takeout Peruvian food – a ceviche and a tacu-tacu for Henry, and a leche de tigre and seco de pato for me. Enough food that we had not only dinner, but lunch and a bit of a supplement to dinner the next day, for under 200 pesos.

There used to be this cool, similar service in NYC, it may still be there, but had the added plus of it wasn’t left to the individual restaurants to make their deliveries – the website folk did the deliveries, which meant that you could order dishes from multiple different restaurants, they’d run around and pick everything up and then bring it to you. So Henry could have his Peruvian and I could have sushi, for example. Just thinking out loud….

Cangrejo Reventado

There were fresh crabs in one of the chinatown markets a couple of weeks back and I couldn’t resist their allure. A big pot of cangrejo reventado, more or less – we don’t have all the right ingredients here for the real thing, but I’ve come up with a reasonably acceptable alternate version.

Shrimp Salad Sandwiches

Last weekend‘s prawn ceviche left me with eight big, juicy prawns that I hadn’t used, so a quick saute, chilled, and then made into a simple shrimp salad – the prawns coarsely chopped up with celery, mayo, salt, pepper, dill, and a hint of chili flakes. Onto a couple of bread rolls. Henry’s not a prawn fan, so two sandwiches for me.

Petit Colon - turkey and salsa golf pizza

In the midst of the aforementioned Lavalle walk, coming soon to a post near you, the sky suddenly darkened and we got a bit of a flash rainstorm, a deluge if you will. It literally happened in about 2-3 minutes. So I ducked into the nearest restaurant, Petit Colón, a venerable cafe on Plaza Lavalle. Somehow, the turkey and salsa golf pizza called out to me, something I’d probably not order normally, it just doesn’t seem pizza-ish. But, it was good – a bit like an open-faced turkey sandwich as opposed to a pizza, but I can live with that.

The nightstand bear

Don’t ask me. Henry’s insistent that he never touched my camera. Yet, all the manual settings on it were changed (that was a pain, it took me awhile to get them to the way I like working with the camera), and, there were half a dozen photos of the nightstand on his side of the bed, from various angles. Could be one of his friends did it, but, either way, here’s the best of them.

Happy 2012!

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