Glimpses of December Past

2013.Jan.06 Sunday · 1 comment

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes, Life

Very few photos for the monthly round-up, I was good about using them this last month. That, or maybe I just didn’t take as many. We were a lot busier at Casa S than usual, so I wasn’t out and about quite as much as normal.

Cavalry parade

Early on in the month I found my passageway impeded by the passing of a long cavalry parade of some sort. They trotted their way down Av. Alem and then Av. Libertador. I finally gave up on the bus I was on as it crawled along beside and behind them, got off, and walked – far faster.

Vanshelato

A relatively new entry to the local ice cream scene and a new entry to my listing of heladerias, Vanshelato. A more Italian gelato style than the usual in town and quite good, though their service leaves a little something to be desired.

Henry’s 36th

A good number of Henry’s friends and a few of mine popped in for his 36th at the beginning of the month. Lots and lots of food followed by three cakes of various sorts. Sugar shock!

Henry at the Texans

At one of our dinners, a couple of ex-cheerleaders from the Houston Texans. A posed photo was clearly needed for Henry’s portfolio, no?

Seafood class

A couple of years ago an expat friend who has now moved back to the States put me in touch with a family that she’d been helping teach English to the kids. One of the kids, a 10 year old, wanted to learn to cook. I had some trepidation about someone that young in my kitchen – not that I don’t think kids of that age should learn to cook, but more having the responsibility of that, knives, hot pans, etc. His mom had some concerns too and showed up to check things out along with his older brother, who had little interest, but was there ostensibly to keep his young brother company, and presumably keep an eye on me. All fine, and we ended up with another class a few weeks later, though his brother didn’t return, instead he came back with a cousin of his, a young woman, who also wanted to learn to cook. I hadn’t heard from him since and then just before New Year’s he called to ask if we could do a class for just he and another cousin, of things they might be able to prepare for the holiday dinner – something at least vaguely southern Italian, and seafood, and it had to include a shrimp cocktail. So, one dish planned (we made our own ketchup and from that our own cocktail sauce), plus our spicy lemon calamari and breaded palometa. A delicious lunch!

Watermelon rind pickles
Kiwi relish

Summer months always bring out my desire for some zesty sweet fruit pickles and I whipped up batches of watermelon rind pickles and kiwi relish. Both are detailed in a recent article I wrote for the BA Herald.

BLT

And, finally, I was contacted by one of the guys behind the new local venture Mil Mantecas (“a thousand butters”) who set out to produce a readily available norteamericano style peanut butter for those starving for the stuff down here. They’ve produced a very tasty peanut butter, and there are more nut butters in the offing. Their hope is to introduce locals to the real stuff as opposed to the Middle Eastern peanut pastes that are available in dieteticas that make lousy sandwiches. Personally I think their target market is more the vast expat population, but more power to them for both. Right now their production is limited and the pricing is slightly steep, though not outrageous, and they deliver here in town – I’m told that as their production ramps up they’ll be able to bring the prices down. I found the flavor to be great, maybe a touch more salty than I personally prefer, though it depends on what you’re using it for. On this PB-BLT (if you’ve never tried a BLT with peanut butter on one side and mayo on the other, you’re missing a true Midwest treat) it was perfect (I had lots of “L” and was feeling in the need for greens). With jelly I thought it was too salty. On its own, great snack. For cooking, it means having to be careful about other added salt to the dish, and for that I’d be more likely to use one of the peanut pastes that are unsalted. Great packaging on the peanut butter. If you’re missing the stuff, try them out!

Next up, the New Year.

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