As I promised in my last blog entry, I have recently had an adventure and am here to share it with you.
Yesterday afternoon, I canceled my prior plans to visit a weekly artisan’s fair with my classmates and instead traveled with my family to a vacation home in Carlos Paz. The car ride lasted about an hour; as we traveled, I was able to see for the first time the country outlining Córdoba and not simply the large, highly-populated city that houses my university. As we drew nearer to our stop, I discovered that the town lay along a river and that it was a popular locale for camping. My classmates already want to revisit this area with me.
It wasn’t until I arrived that I discovered that all of the extended family was there to celebrate my host mom’s birthday! I spent the afternoon getting to know both brothers, their wives, and my two “sobrinos” (nephews). We took mate, which is a kind of hot tea, with a peach and cream pie; passed by the river; walked into town to buy coal for the parilla (grill); and then I basically baby-sat the two boys and a neighbor girl until the sun set. Everything was easy and relaxed, and I relished the opportunity to be part of a big family like the one I have back home.
Then came the part of the evening that I can’t believe I didn’t have the presence of mind to photograph: el asado.
Someone should have warned me exactly what this barbecue meal entailed prior to filling my plate. We began with a delicious collection of potato salad, fresh tomatoes, and grilled chorizo (sausage). In fact, it was so good that I went back for seconds on the vegetables.
That’s when the asado part of the meal came into play. Next thing I knew, my host dad had placed two small portions of costilla (cow ribs) on my plate, along with my additional servings of potatoes and tomatoes. The flavor was incredible, and I love steak, but I was already stuffed and couldn’t even think of eating more. As soon as I finished, it was time to partake of vacio (cow abdomen?), which appeared in three layers of equally delicious meat.
I finally asked the obvious question: asado refers to a meal consisting of multiple kinds of barbecued meat.
Next time, I think I’ll wait to take seconds.
Truly, though, I had an amazing time yesterday. I loved getting to participate in a distinctly Argentine tradition with my extended family and hope that we have similar family reunions in the future. Enjoy the pictures that I did take, which are posted below!
Nos vemos, Evelyn