Friday, April 15, 2016


Thanksgiving Dinner at Kansas

Turkey Dinner

Thanksgiving is not a holiday in Argentina. It is at the beginning of summer here and it was a regular work day. There is a restaurant, Kansas, where they cater to North Americans and have a lot of food we are used to, prepared the way we are used to. On Thanksgiving, they prepare a turkey dinner for us. We needed a reservation, and even with the reservation, we waited several hours to get in. There were a lot of people from the U.S. eating there that day. The dinner was delicious and pretty much like we would get at home, if we went to a restaurant. The big thing missing was cranberry sauce. I like to have a little turkey with my cranberry sauce, so that was big for me. But they even had pecan pie.

Our own Thanksgiving Dinner
We had not seen turkeys in the store until the week before Thanksgiving, but when we did, they were very expensive and small. The largest ones were around 9 Lbs. and cost $450 pesos. There was some money left by other seniors that we used to buy two turkeys and Linda Spallino and I roasted them. Everyone brought traditional Thanksgiving food and we even had cranberry sauce that Elder Nielsen had purchased on a trip to the States.

We reserved the party room at the top of our apartment building. I bought tablecloths and flowers and it looked really festive. It was a challenge roasting the turkey and making gravy and stuffing because we cannot get all the ingredients we are used to. Also, the gas range doesn't maintain a temperature very well and I really had to watch it all the time. But it all turned out delicious, and we decided we did not really need to go to Kansas with so many great cooks in our group.

Christmas, at least, they do celebrate here, of course, but they didn't have things in the stores until about a week before, and they did not decorate streets or homes. There were decorations in the malls, but rather minimal. We bought 2 pesebres (nativities) that were made locally. The one made of draped fabric was made by a lady who has a shop about 6 blocks from our apartment.

The clay pesebre was crafted by a woman in Huhuy, and we love the beautiful faces on all of them.

Another of our traditions is to make gingerbread houses. I surprised the sisters on Women's Day with their own houses to decorate. I made 5 of them and be bought candy to decorate. This was a huge challenge because we had to go all over town looking for the ingredients to make gingerbread. Dean was such a good sport and very generous and helped me find it all. We had such a fun time, and all the husbands loved eating them after Christmas.  I made wassail and we ate crispy gingerbread scraps while we "worked".  We made a big mess, but had a ton of fun.  
On Christmas Eve, we all got together on the roof of our office building and had a big Asado (BBQ). Terry Spallino, who is a Church Employee in our area office, and a great friend to all of us, is an amazing chef, and he has mastered the art of cooking an asado on a parilla (very hot wood fire). Most buildings here have a parilla and many people are adept at using them. They are in most restaurants, and that is why they have such great steaks. We had all the Senior Missionaries from the Area office and some of the missions too. There were about 5 other couples who are from the U.S. and work with us. Terry bought the meat from a local butcher shop and cooked it to perfection. We had a wonderful evening. The rest of the meal was pot luck and it was delicious.

Terry Spallino and the Parilla
We discovered a fabulous new dish! It is called Provoleta and is roasted Provolone cheese. Terry put it in this little ceramic plate with rounded holes in it and put it on the fire. When the cheese, with it's great spices, is melted, it is done. He served it with toothpicks and we couldn't get enough. We have purchased our own plate to take home. I make it now in the oven, but it is better on a BBQ.

On Christmas Day, we had 6 young missionaries spend the day with us. They were all allowed to call home, and we had 2 computers set up for them, 1 in each bedroom, so they would have privacy. They had worked out their timing and each spent about an hour with their families. We got to "meet" all of them through skype. Each time a new family was reached, all six of them would sing their mission song to the family. They also met most of our family as we talked to them during the day.  I did a traditional "Sidney buffet" (my Mother), with Mom's potato salad, frog's eye salad, roasted beef, pork and chicken and lots of yummy breads to  make sandwiches. I made a lot of my traditional cookies and they ate all day long. They also each took a big plate of goodies home with them, and we all had a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


We love the people we work with, especially the other Senior Missionaries. We work and play together. Almost every Saturday and all holidays (The Argentines have many holidays.), we find activities around Buenos Aires to do. We go by train, bus or subway and it's always an adventure.
With Wolds and Roths at Coco's
At the Catedral for a concert by some Welsh singers.

Nielsens, Roths, Hunters and us heading to San Isidro on the train.

Andersens, Wallaces and us at Capilla Abierta

Reading B of M

Family Home Evening - Licursis w/Dean


Dean's Birthday at Rio Alba
Anderson's Farewell Dinner - Maria Felix

Hulings & Williams

Licursis & Iris

Estancia Susana w/Brian & Wendy & Missionaries

Colonia, Uruguay
Buenos Aires Temple



The first thing we learned about dining out in Buenos Aires is that people eat dinner between 9 and 11 p.m.! Most good restaurants don't even open until 8 or 8:30, and they are not full until after 9. These two photos are of one of our favorite restaurants, Rio Alba, just down the street from our apartment. The first photo I took when we arrived at 8:30 p.m. The second photo was taken at 9 p.m., when most people came to eat.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
The most popular dish in Argentina is steak. They are well known for their excellent beef. This particular restaurant advertises that their steaks are so tender, they cut them with a spoon. When they bring steaks to your table, they look like a small roast and then they CUT THEM WITH A SPOON, and put them on your plate. They are delicious.

Another favorite dish in Argentina is pizza, but it is very different than the pizza we are used to in the U.S. They usually have a very good crust, and then they have 1/2 to 1 inch of Mozzarella cheese with some toppings on the cheese. You very seldom see any tomato sauce or any other kind of sauce. The toppings are not chopped up. It might be a whole tomato slice or whole pieces of ham and one whole olive on each of 6 slices. The toppings are added after they are cooked, as in these raw onions.

Empanadas and milanesa are staples of most families here. That is what the young missionaries are fed most days at the homes of the members, who so faithfully feed them every day. I have learned to make empanadas with left overs. I buy the wrappers in a package like tortillas and fill them with meat and vegetables. We always have some in the freezer for a quick meal or for lunch.

Desserts are to die for! I ordered a four part dulce de leche (caramel, which is my favorite flavor) and this is what I got. Dean ordered a fruit parfait. They were both delicious. It's good we just stopped for dessert and had not eaten dinner.

Ice cream (helado), can be found on every block, usually two or three shops. Everyone has their favorite. Ice cream is quite expensive, but it is something most people sacrifice to have often. The Senior Missionaries took a day trip on the train to San Isidro. We spent the day in museums, cathedrals and a feria, but it was capped off in the evening at this wonderful ice cream shop famous for their very "tall" chocolate dipped ice cream cones. They had a huge selection of flavors and then they would dip it. Everyone had a drippy mess before they could finish the whole thing, but it was worth it. They were wonderful!

We go to food fairs of one kind or another almost every Saturday. Most of them are at the Hipodrome, which is within walking distance of our apartments. The Wolds are in this photo
 and we are all at an International Fair, celebrating the diverse heritage of the people of Buenos Aires. There was food from all over the world. Dean and I actually got sick afterward because we tried too many different things. We did not have food poisoning, just too much. We will be more careful in the future to make up our minds and just try one thing.

If we are missing food from home, there is always KFC, McDonald's, Subway and Burger King. KFC and Burger King taste exactly like at home, but Subway and McDonald's are quite different. The menus are the same, but they use different ingredients. McDonald's uses an oil for frying that I don't care for, and Subway does not use sauces. So every once in awhile, we visit either KFC or Burger King. We found a Burger King that is known as the most "elegant" Burger King in the world! It is an old mansion that has been refurbished and has the original amazing ceilings and moldings from the old house. It has a beautiful split staircase and each room upstairs has an awesome ceiling.

See the tiny Burger King sign on the top left of the building.

We love the food here. We love to eat at all the different restaurants, and I love to cook with all the fresh ingredients they have here. We buy fruit, vegetables, breads and meat at different shops in our neighborhood every day. They do not use preservatives, so we buy fresh often.

Asado at Estancia Susana
Typical Parilla (BBQ)