Monday, July 26, 2010

A Day At The Museum, and Folding Empanadas is Harder Than It Looks!

This is the story of my weekend. On Friday I went to meet two girlfriends for a quick beer at a tiny hole-in-the-wall parrilla, which turned into a three hour gossipfest accompanied by a very delicious choripan. Later that night I went to watch a Rolling Stones cover band at some Irish bar with a friend, who is the English teacher of the guitarist. The band was shockingly good, despite the fact that the lead singer aka Mick spoke very little English. We got to meet the whole band (groupies!) and they even shouted out my friend, calling “Teacher” over the mike and pointing in our direction. It was cute. Eventually we were approached by two American guys who had us pinned as foreigners (Could it be the hair? The height? The lack of plastic surgery?) Anyway, they turned out to be quite nice, and as it happened, the assistant coaches of the Men’s U-18 US National Soccer Team.

Now, as any girl would have done, I called bullshit. I mean, U-18 National Team? That’s kind of a big deal. However, they produced business cards and had the schedule and everything, so I was reluctantly impressed. We chatted for about an hour, then they had to go because they had a game in the morning against the Argentina Juniors youth team. I headed home and fell into bed around 3.

Saturday was painful because I twisted my ankle yet again playing soccer. I really need to find some kind of ankle support system, because this is getting ridiculous. Anyway, it hurt like hell. I proceeded to then freeze my ass off watching the boyfriend play his challenge match against some other team, during which he injured his back via getting slammed into a pole along the fence by some idiot. After that we limped home, freezing and broken in body and spirit. Fortunately, a hot shower and homemade pizza in bed mended the damage somewhat…we are simple people.

Sunday dawned (and I mean that not in the literal sense, considering SOMEONE woke up around 1:30pm) gray and gloomy, but we had planned to go to the Museo de Ciencias Naturales and I would be damned if I let a twisted ankle and rainy day prevent me from “doing stuff!” (see previous post)

So we went. The museum is located on the other side of Parque Centenario (the round park for those who know Buenos Aires…it’s very distinctive on a map) and was actually very interesting. It costs 3 pesos to get in, which isn’t too bad for a few hours entertainment. The museum isn’t huge, but it had sections on rocks, shells, birds, mammals, fish, insects, and dinosaurs.

Outside the museum. In the rain.

Apparently Argentina had some crazy dinosaur activity back in the prehistoric days…some of the bones and skeletons that they’ve found here were incredible! And yes, there is actually an Argentinosaurus…it was giant and a plant-eater (think Littlefoot). There were still some displays in progress, and there was an excess of small children due to the crappy day (“Let’s go to the Museum!” was the collective idea of the day), but on the whole I enjoyed it. Here are some pictures!

PG translation =  see my little golden bum. Tee-hee.

Big Dinosaur!
Minke Whale skull

On the way home the BF and I stopped at a café for a hot drink and something to eat, then headed home via Subte. Somewhere along the way we decided to try and learn how to make empanadas, so we bought the “tapas” or crusts and some ham and cheese. Neither of us had ever made empanadas before, so it ended up being an interesting experiment.

The folding of the empanada is known as the “repulgue,” and I will admit it’s actually kind of hard to do at first. I mean, you’d think that molding soft dough into a pretty pattern wouldn’t be so complicated. You’d be wrong. Fortunately we had a good Youtube video to watch, and eventually I got the technique down (the BF not so much)…see exhibit A.

My first semi-successful repulgue!
Versus the BF's lovely fork-sealed empanada...

Final verdict: Más o menos. They poofed up in the oven and ended up being mostly hollow inside, but they tasted pretty good once you smooshed them down again.I’ll have to find out what kind of cheese people use for empanadas, because we were using a weird mix of tasteless mozzarella and really salty white cheddar-ish cheese. And the poofing has got to stop. But I will not give up! I have mastered the repulgue, and I will master the relleno. Failure is not an option! Here are the pics of our first foray into empanada-land. If anyone has any tips on making empanadas, they would be much appreciated!

Executed with varying skill
Hot and poofy out of the oven!
Success! I should frame it, right?


  1. I remember reading that you were determined to move to Buenos Aires upon finishing college. Why Buenos Aires versus some other big city in a foreign country?

  2. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires in 2007 when I was a junior in college, for our winter semester which was just a month long. I felt like I didn't have enough time to really experience the city, and it just kept calling to me. I planned to come back after graduation, but at that point it was only for a few months. I had a feeling that BA was the place I needed to be, but I never imagined I would love it here as much as I do. :)