Category Archives: meme

Another round of egocentric ranting

Well, it seems that this one will add up to the recently growing voyeuristic section of my blog (I´m hoping the use of the word will increase blog traffic exponentially, because as you know, sex sells.)

My good friend Lis from La Mia Cucina tagged me for this meme about “7 random things about me” and I just couldn´t resist the temptation to go on and on about myself, it´s kind of an annoying treat I have, but I find that fortunately (or maybe unfortunately) many people share such egocentric tendencies, so I´m hoping no one minds.

So here we go, brace yourselves.

1. The nickname Pip doesn´t come from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, but from a tango called Pipistrela. The tango is basically about a working class girl who thinks she´s too beautiful and classy for her surroundings. When I was like 8 years old, a friend of Javier, my older brother, started calling me Pipistrela, i have no idea why really since I wasn´t standoffish or anything. But anyways, of course, I hated the nickname and started hating his guts, my brother thought it was a brilliant idea and started calling me Pipistrela, then when it got too long for his lazy ways, he shortened it to Pipis, even worse, and finally, many years later, when he had regained his love for me, he went for Pip, which I actually didn´t mind because it was pronounced with a degree of affection, something practically unheard of between siblings.

No one really calls me Pip but my brothers and a couple of friends, and of course, people here who think that´s my name, but remember, as long as you stick to Pip, we are ok.

2. Just as a clarification, I don´t just do baking as some people seem to believe (just don´t ask). Yes, muffins and cakes are a big part of what I´ve been publishing lately, and if we count bread as baking (which I don´t), then you are killing most of my later obsessions, but not all is lost. Just some examples from the archives: naan bread, tandoori chicken, quinoa with lime chile vinaigrette, milanesas with panko and parmesan cheese, won-ton ravioli, and home-made tagliatelle. Ok, I´m tired just from linking to all of that and now I need to find 5 more random things about me, damn it!

3 . I´ve always been a bit of a bookworm, though I don´t read as much lately. Picture a 9 year old girl asking for books on her birthday, not just a book or two, but a trip to the most gorgeous bookstore ever to explore and buy a bunch of books, I think they were 8 novels (about 200 pages each) and I read them in 6 days. Talk about fast reading! The wonderful thing about reading at that age is I was reading the classics without knowing they were classics, so I could just take them at face value. For instance, I loved Dickens, Wilde, Alcott and Jack London, yet I remember hating a Dostievski book I read. Ok, on to the next thing before my geeky nature becomes to blatant.

4. When I was a child I got along better with boys than with girls. I just couldn´t seem to grasp the endless fascination with playing house and went to play soccer or ride the bike with my brothers and some friends. My tendency didn´t go as far as my cousin´s, who cried because she wanted to imitate her brother and pee standing and couldn´t… but it´s something that still pops up once in a while when surrounded by women who are too prototypical and only think about clothes and diets.

5. I love dogs mmmm I guess you already knew that, but here are some new pics of Phoebe so you don´t realize I´m cheating.

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6. This one isn´t about me, but about Argentina, but since I´m running out of ideas, this will have to do, today is Friends´day in Argentina, yes, we do have a day for everything here. I don´t particularly hate or love the day, I think the idea is good in theory, but I hate the commercial aspect of it all, I´m not buying some stupid stuffed bear or something just because. Yet it´s a good excuse to get together with the friends you see all the time, and even those you don´t see that often anymore. So happy friends´day to all my new and not so new virtual friends.

7. I don´t believe in God as such, but as Seinfeld would say “not that there´s anything wrong with that”. This would deserve a long explanation, but this is not a religious blog, so let´s just say I used to be a Catholic, I´m not anymore, and I´m fine with people believing what they want if it makes them happier as long as it doesn´t make them feel like they have to “convert” me. I´m even nice to Jehova witnesses when they ring the bell and try to save my poor tormented soul… well, there was one time when they woke me up at 10am on a Sunday when I probably wasn´t that gracious, but that doesn´t count.

Since I´ve seen this meme everywhere and I don´t want to burden people, I´m just going to tag 7 people in case they want to share some dirty little secrets and if anyone else wants to do it, just join in: Ilva, Madeleine, Diva, Frank, Nathan, Alan and Kristen.

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Filed under Maia, meme, Phoebe, rambling

Egotastic… an interview

I´m not one to shy away from a chance to talk about myself, so when I saw an interview meme from the lovely Ilva of Lucullian delights in which she asked who wanted to play along, I volunteered. She sent me some questions about myself a week or so ago, but I´m just now sitting down to answer them… I seem to be getting some sort of diva complex hahaha

While I try to be discreet in the blog since we live in a very crazy world, I´m not too sure I succeed. And since my blog is quite small, it still feels like a cozy environment to share food and moments with friends, so, while there is some degree of censorship going on, I try to be as open as possible because, as a blog reader, I like to get a glimpse of the person behind the blog, so I imagine most people feel the same way. Just let me know when it feels like too much information!

So this is me (with Yoko, Phoebe´s sister):

behind the apron

And now, on to the questions:

1. What do you prefer to do in the kitchen: cooking or baking?

Mmmm tough one. Baking has always been my thing, but that was mainly because when I lived with my parents, either my mom or my dad did the cooking most of the time, so after school I´d sometimes bake something to eat for the “merienda” (afternoon snack, which would be like the English 5 o’clock tea, which is a meal in itself, making 4 daily meals instead of 3.) But since I´ve been living on my own, I´ve gotten more into savory dishes as well, since I can experiment more freely and I´m the only one stuck with the disaster if I mess up, or my poor friends who act as guinea pigs. So I´d say it´s a tie right now.

2. I know that there are a lot of Italian immigrants in Argentina and I just wonder if this is reflected in the national cuisine?

Definitely! Argentine cuisine is mainly a mix of Italian and Spanish cuisine. There are some traditional dishes that date back to the time before the two big waves of immigration late in the 19th century and in the middle of the 20th century, but even then, there was a clear Spanish influence dating from the days of Spanish rule in the area. Anyways, back to Italian cuisine, there seem to be some changes in traditional Italian cuisine as it was adapted to Argentina, but it´s still quite authentic in that when I went to Italy, it certainly felt like home in terms of cooking. In the culinary battle, I think Italy defeated Spain here, since Spanish cuisine is seen mainly in tortillas and some dishes with seafood, but Italian cuisine is more widespread.

Just to give a few examples of very popular Italian imports: farinatta (called fainá here and eaten with pizza), polenta (either with cheese and tomato sauce or grilled), milanesas (what Americans call chicken parmessan or veal parmessan), rissotto, pastas of all shapes and sizes usually eaten with traditional sauces such as bolognese or carbonara… well, you get the point.

3. How do the younger generations ‘live’ Argentina’s political past? How present is it in your life?

Well, I´m sad to say many people of my generation don´t know much about the military governments. It´s something that´s covered on tv quite often, but some people just don´t deem it important enough I guess. I think it has to do with the lack of conscience in older generations, which didn´t teach their children about it and the general lack of intellectual interest and the poor state of our education system.

It´s quite scary to see a lack of analytical thought both in terms of our undemocratic past and in regards to the 2001 crisis and the craziness that was the 90s.

Personally, it´s something I´ve heard about growing up from my parents and studied at school, though I can´t fully grasp living under military rule since I was born in 1982 just a month before the Malvinas War (Falklands to the English) and the military “government” was gone by the 1983 elections. I read a bit of “Nunca Más” (a very important book detailing the last de facto government and its tortures), but couldn´t really finish it because it´s just so full of facts, and just too harsh for my young teenage mind at the time. But, summing up, I try to remember it as much as possible and not to take democracy for granted, or forget what some people did, and how a very small minority still supports what happened.

4. What is your favourite pastime? (Cooking or baking is not a valid answer here!)

Mmm I like to read novels of all sorts, though lately I´ve been on a female-themed period so I´ve been reading mostly women writers like Marcela Serrano and Gioconda Belli (and some food-related books as well, by Anthony Bourdain for instance… don´t shoot me, I´m a food blogger!). I´ve read all sort of books, from classic English and American literature to well-known Argentine writers like Borges and Cortázar and best-sellers.

I also like to watch tv, mainly American series (Gilmore Girls, Everwood, Heroes, House, Men in Trees, Seinfeld…), some animal or historical documentaries, good or crappy movies (the crappy movies are apt to be watched on lazy Sunday afternoons and usually have some sort of high school element.) Now we´ve created movie night with some friends so I´m bound to watch better movies soon haha

I like to do many other things, but I don´t want to go on and on about myself, it gets old haha

5. When you listen to music, what/who do you listen to?

In terms of genres, I´m pretty open, so I´ll give you a list of bands/singers to give you a general idea: The Beatles, Alanis Morissette, The Cranberries, Dido, KT Tunstall, Jaime Cullum, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Blur, Elastica, Norah Jones, Robbie Williams. Some national singers or bands that I like are Charly García and Divididos.

DIRECTIONS FOR THE INTERVIEW MEME
1. Leave a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. Beware, I’m not shy of asking personal questions! Please make sure I have your email address.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

So just post a comment here asking to be interviewed or send me an email to pipinthecity at gmail dot com and I´ll play journalist for a while.

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Filed under meme, rambling

tagging and weirdness

Kate tagged me for this meme of 6 weird food things about myself. It was quite hard to come up with 6 things, maybe because I don´t see any of my weirdness because they seem perfectly normal to me. I mean, I´ve got weirdness to boot in general, but I don´t know if food is included. Still, I did manage to come up with some things. Hope you enjoy it.

Marce´s list of 6 weird food things about herself

1. I like to eat raw doughs or cake mixes, be it a brownie mix, a raw gnocci (my grandma can attest to that fact), chocolate-chip dough or whatever. Of course, this is purely for scientific reasons, I need to make sure it tastes good before cooking it (you do believe me, don´t you?). In fact, one of the things I miss the most of being in the US is not having cookie-dough ice cream to buy (I think the one I had was Breyers ice-cream, but I keep hearing about Ben & Jerry´s ice cream now, so I´m gonna try that new time I´m in the US, ohh the sacrifices one has to make in the pursuit of culinary enlightment!

2. I don´t like any sort of blue cheese. I mean, it´s rotten, people, and it tastes rotten! I know, I know, that automatically deprives me of being a proper gourmand, but oh well, that´s something I´ll have to live with, as long as you keep that stinking cheese away from me! haha

3. I´ve never been to Paris and have never been particularly enamoured of all things French. Maybe it has to do with the fact that my grandparents are Italian, my great grandma was Spanish and another great grandma I never got to meet was Dutch, so I´ve always been more on the Italian-Spanish side. All I kept hearing growing up was that French food was pretentious and came in tiny plates. I do know better know, though I still love Italian-Argentine food above everything else… it´s inevitable, it´s like my palate and my nose are particularly attached to my childhood.

4. Something I´m very ashamed of: I lost weight when I visited Italy!!! What the #*!, I know, but my relatives kept insisting I should be eating more and gave me their relentless “mangia, mangia” (eat, eat), that I just didn´t feel like eating so much. Plus, I walked like crazy touring the different cities and the food was pretty healthy, so I´m sure that helped. Still, I feel like I let my inheritance down… well, maybe next time I´ll eat like a true champion.

5. All this talk of inheritance and family made me realize one thing. Even though I have some Dutch descent, I´ve never had a Dutch meal before. If any of you have recommendations of Dutch dishes to try, bring them on!

6. I don´t generally like sweet-sour combinations, which closes my food spectrum quite a bit. I´m trying to slowly train my palate, but I don´t think I´m making any progress.

Now, on to the tagging part of the deal. Of course, there´s no obligation to play along, but I think this is a fun topic. I just chose 6 bloggers to keep the 6 theme going, but feel free to join in and then post the link to your entry in the comments sections.

So I tag:

Lori at Dessert comes first
Deb at Smitten kitchen
The gourmet peasant
Luisa at The Wednesday chef
Jenjen at Milk and cookies
Brylin at Jumbo empanadas

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Filed under food, meme, rambling