Archive for November, 2004

Dining: Wherein we use the entire cow.

In : General, Travel, Posted by on Nov.11, 2004

Dining in Buenos Aires is a profound struggle of the will.

At a certain point, liver poisoned by wine, it seems impossible to force down one more glistening hunk of beef. It doesn’t help that, having consumed enough iron to become slightly magnetic, you’ve begun to sweat raw protein.

Cabaña de las Lilas is right among the very best restaurants I have ever regretted. The bife de chorizo (sirloin, I believe) was simply foolish. The rind of fat that ran along the edge of the steak was better cooked and more flavorful than many full meals.

Jeff Smith, on the other hand, struck the mother lode. Roughly the shape and size of Brazil, his tenderloin filet made my dinner look like a microwaved Big Mac. The perfectly charred exterior gave way to a soppingly uniform red all the way through the center of the steak. Better yet, the whole thing was tender enough to cut with the handle of a butter knife.

Not that cutting became necessary. I remember seeing the steak come out, and, after trying a bite of my broccoli alioli, looking up to see Jeff leaning back from his empty plate with a wistful tear of bliss trickling out of his eye.

It’s a long flight for a steak, but I recommend it.



¡Argentina!

In : General, Picture Pages, Travel, Posted by on Nov.11, 2004

BA!Entirely too early on Monday morning, Kirsten and I returned from our encore appearance in Buenos Aires.

Kirsten had work to do, honing her understanding of MYP AoI’s at the IBLA (CYFBI?). By night, however, we showed how a pregnant woman and a man who had begun “sampling” local wine at 9:30 in the morning could turn a town inside-out.

So check back often for hair-raising tales of high adventure: find out who has the worst sense of direction at FDR! See Jeff Smith eat a 16oz. filet mignon in one bite! Learn of the most dangerous bidet in the world! Discover the definition of irony!

And photos!



Nemo found, eaten.

In : El Peru, General, Picture Pages, Posted by on Nov.11, 2004

This weekend, fellow English teacher Tom Wilkinson and I determined to produce a blowout bouillabaisse in honor of the year’s first English department dinner.

However, we knew that no mere supermarket could provide the quality of recently deceased marine life necessary for such a hallowed stew. There was only one place that could offer the floppingly fresh fish and crustacean that we required–well, actually there are two, but we only had directions to–Terminal Pescadores in Villa Maria.

Now, one of the first things we noticed when we drove up to the roughly soccer-stadium-sized fish market was the total absence of a fish smell. A good sign. Inside, Tom and I really never had a chance. So much fish, so fresh and so cheap. I did learn a few things while we were there:

  • A “manojo” is a quantity equal to 8 dozen (96) individual units.
  • A “manojo” is typically the smallest amount of clams, scallops, or other mollusk that you can buy.
  • A “manojo” of such bivalves generally costs around US$1.
  • Staring in dumb amazement at the saleswoman does not cause her to raise the price.

In all, an excellent outing which we plan to repeat within the month. If you’re in the area and need a lot of fish, do give it a look.



Babies, Babies, and more Babies

In : General, Kiddo, Posted by on Nov.11, 2004

Many people believe that pregnancy is contagious. Those who believe this can use Colegio Roosevelt in Lima, Peru as evidence. Gregg’s son, Lucian, is 2 years; the Hendershoots have a 18 month old, Ulie; Rocio’s little boy, Jose Alonso, is just about to celebrate his first birthday; Mateo Munro is 10 months; Zoe (the Chapman’s baby – not our cat) is 6 months old; Alison (of Sam and Troy) just arrived on the 6th of November, while being shortly followed by Josh and Rocio’s baby, Orion, on the 9th. Of the pregnant people – I am the farthest along at 7 months with Ximena following closely behind at 4 months. I am sure there is more, but these are ones that I can think of off the top of my head. In order to commemorate this impressive list, I have added some photos.

Following tradition, Riley Elizabeth’s imminent arrival was celebrated this past Friday with a baby shower. Erika Chapman and Celia Schatzky threw a fabulous party with a beautiful cake, scrumptious snacks, and plentiful gifts. Much of the Roosevelt community came out to celebrate in the beautiful Lima summer (even if it only lasted for a day). Todd and I both had a wonderful afternoon, and I have been playing with all of the gifts ever since we got them home.



Retire the Cake!

In : El Peru, General, Picture Pages, Posted by on Nov.11, 2004

Yesterday the United States Marine Corps turned 229 years young, and Kirsten and I had the opportunity sit in on the festivities at the Embassy here in Lima. Our friend Sheridan ended up with two tickets to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, which she generously bestowed on us.

The Marine Corps received birthday greetings from various dignitaries, a video message from the Commandant of the Corps, and 12 square feet of cake. Kirsten and I got the Marine Corps an Amazon.com gift certificate for $25. I think it might already have gotten one though, because it didn’t seem very impressed.

We ended up sharing a table with Phil and Anne Bradley–FDR’s newest High School Principal/2nd Grade Teacher combination. As British citizens, they had a number of questions about the proceedings, which we tried, as ambassadors of our Great NationTM, to answer as fully as possible. I have to admit, though, that once the Marines started slicing the cake with a cavalry sabre, passing pieces around on tea-saucers, and attempting to take bites while standing at rigid attention, I was fairly well at a loss. I just fell back on my standby, “It’s in the Consititution.” I’m not sure Anne bought it, but if she asks, back me up.

All in all, this was a much calmer experience than my first Marine Birthday Party, at the Defense Language Institute in 1995. Based on that event, I had assumed the Birthday party would involve more volatile drunkenness and indecent, multilingual propositions toward attractive female airmen. Sadly, this was not the case.

Anyway, click for more pictures, and a special edition of spot the pregnant woman.