Our housekeeper, Eva, has been exceedingly sweet to us over the course of our stay in the house in San Telmo – she took us on a tour of La Boca on our first day, she was really patient with us when the power went out and Mom accidentally blew out the pilot light on one of the heaters in the house, she tolerates our feeble attempts at Spanish. She stopped by to change our sheets and towels yesterday and brought all the makings for what turned out to be the most wonderful empanadas, like, ever.
We just had them for dinner for the second night in a row. And we still have all these in the freezer…
We emailed her for the recipe, but she seems to have conveniently ignored the question. She does, however, want to go to dinner with us on Saturday, so perhaps the recipe is so top-secret that passing it on through email leaves too much of a trail and she needs to pass it on via word of mouth. Yes, I am convinced she is Argentina’s sole keeper of the Best Empanada Recipe Ever.
They have green olives in them. Olives! And I saw some raisins, too. I’ll post the recipe if we can squeeze it out of her. I think it’s something like this one.
She also made us some spicy chimichurri sauce (much spicier than the parrilla we all went to served). Eva can cook, that’s for sure.
Today, we went on a walking tour with an American expat named Jessica who also lives in San Telmo. Among many other things, she explained the various roles of women in this country. The men are… well, macho, which we’ve noticed. They’re not averse to staring (and I do mean staring) at women and generally being obvious when they think a woman is attractive. However, that also means that chivalry isn’t dead here, which is a relief – they open doors, they’ll get up on the bus or the subway to let a woman sit down – things men don’t do in America, for the most part. A woman can still do very well in business, can even get ahead faster if she’s attractive, whereas women in America can’t really do that as overtly. But the traditional roles still apply. The president of Argentina is a woman, but, Jessica explained, she wouldn’t be surprised if the president was still cooking and cleaning for her husband while in office.
In Seattle, I know more men that cook than women. In fact, the only women I know who actually cook are not in my generation. I didn’t even like to cook until I started getting into eating healthy and realized I had very little idea what I was getting when I was ordering food from restaurants.
Interesting how different the two cultures are when it comes to gender roles and expectations, isn’t it? And for an otherwise progressive city, it’s funny how those traditional roles are still in place here.