Musings, RTWdinnerparty, Tidbits About Us, Travel Plans

RTWdinnerparty Leap Day Edition: Summer Salads in Buenos Aires

February 29, 2012

Welcome, friends, to our corner of the web! On this Leap Day, we’re hosting our second {digital} dinner party as a way to take a pause and enjoy an exchange with fellow travelers we’ve met through Twitter. For the backstory, see #RTWdinnerparty: Friends, foods, and table talk from travels around the world.

Pull a chair to the table and enjoy! When you’re done here, head on over progressive-dinner-style to our friends’ #RTWdinnerparty dishes and stories. Link roundup at the bottom of the post.

{Meet and Mingle} Bethany and Ted, here. Welcome to our dinner party. We’re just eight weeks into our journey around the globe; this hot on the heels (ha!) of eight years of dreams and schemes and plans.

As landscape architect and social worker, we’re taking time during travel to experience and share observations about the world through the lens of compassionate care for the planet and its people. At each destination, Ted puts new friends at ease, investing in conversations and teasing out details; Bethany heads up writing and photography to wrestle with tensions, catalog milestones, and share with readers an honest look at life across cultures.

Beautiful Buenos Aires, Argentina is temporarily home base.

We arrived on Valentine’s Day, via a harrowing airplane ride from southern Patagonia (see Daily Travel Journal Day #41). We’ve paused for a bit and set up house in a cozy little apartment, complete with seafoam green glass shower tiles, cement kitchen countertops, and a solitary steak knife. (Details forthcoming on the cutlery.)

{Dinner Specialty} Summer Salads

We could <insert salad photo> right here and be through, but, well, you’ve seen Portlandia, right? It’s not all a joke. You’re going to hear the story of the food before it’s served.

We bid farewell to the season’s corn and tomatoes and peaches about six months ago, in Oregon, but sweet resurrection of flavor is now upon us in the southern hemisphere!

In the Pacific Northwest, it’s grey skies and drizzle about now. In Buenos Aires, it’s harvest time!

At home in Portland, we were often up to our ears in fresh fruits and vegetables, sourced from excellent farms around the Willamette Valley. Ted’s and my celebrated pastime is cooking together and hosting friends for long-planned and last-minute meals. Almost as soon as we dropped our bags at the flat, we were off and running to find a source for local, sustainably sourced ingredients to feather our new culinary nest. (Birds. Fruit. Mixed metaphors. You get the gist.)

Our first destination: El Galpón Organic Market in Chacarita near Lacroze Station.

Sponsored by the Asociación Mutual Sentimiento, El Galpón emerged as a space for farmers and social organizations (Centro Comunal de Abasteciemiento) to provide consumers with natural products, without pesticides, in order to promote the importance of environmental responsibility, protection of worker’s rights, and fairly priced organic and sustainable food purchases.  The organic craze has yet to hit the city, but with the help of the CCA and the MAPO (Movimiento Argentino para la Producción Orgánica), slowly but surely they are working hard to encourage awareness of the benefits of organic production and consumption. -Pick Up the Fork

Feeling giddy as though we’d found a SE Portland time/space warp, we claimed armfuls of favorites and packed them home through Subte transfers and a sea of funny stares.

Golden ears of corn
Brown speckled eggs
Raw milk in recycled bottles
Blue cheese and cheddar in thick, delicious slabs
Fresh loaves of wheat bread
Sweet heads of garlic and paper-skinned onions
Perky radish bunches and shiny purple eggplants
Mushrooms and chorizo
Small batch jars of jam and dulce de leche
Potatoes and pickles and pears and plums
And, of course, an aromatic bunch of basil to truly make the kitchen feel like home…

Perfection until we returned to the apartment to prepare a feast and discovered one tiny problem:

A quick scour of our “well-appointed” center of domestic living revealed: no kitchen towels and no kitchen knives. Towels, we could live without. One scrubby sponge pinch hits for most chores. A kitchen knife, on the other hand? We’d been using our charming Opinel on the trail, but it was still buried in the backpack.

Queue the silverware drawer’s solitary steak knife, in all its serrated glory!

We made this little baby work hard for its home: slicing plums, dicing onions, chopping peppers, cubing potatoes, and teasing out crumbles of cheese…

Buenos Aires’ sweltering February heat and humidity meant boiled corn and potatoes and a quick sauté of onions went straight to the fridge and returned once cool to mix with tomatoes, mushrooms, and basil for a bright veggie salad.

A quick combination of plums, apples, and fresh raw milk cheese in bowl number two, and voilà!

Two blissful summer salad to brighten our table and christen our kitchen.

On the road, beat-the-heat vegetarian flavors, courtesy of an Argentinian steak knife.

{Table Talk} Updates on our recent travel escapades:

The past two months of meals brimmed with adventure, conversation, listening and learning as the riches of other cultures infused our lives with fresh appreciation and deeper curiosities…

Sweet mangoes and kindness in the slums of Lima.
Fresh fried trout in backcountry tents on the Inca Trail.
Rainy season BBQ in Jupapina.
Indigenous Andean grains at the nursery in Mallasa.
Unsalted tomatoes and beef on the Salar de Uyuni.
Thirtieth-birthday wine and chocolate in Torres del Paine.
Craft beers and the future of Chile in Puerto Natales.
Sweet little salads in our own home-sweet-home-away-from-home in Buenos Aires…

Foreign flavors, new-found friends at the table, richness and zest for life, somehow all still characteristic of that very same elemental truth we experience whether home or abroad: broken bread, shared with dear ones, bringing life.

To our digital friends participating in the #RTWdinnerparty, thanks for being a part of our online community, for sharing your stories and experiences and photos and thoughts, for being honest and lovely and bringing beauty to the world.

To our friends at home reading along, thank you for the kind notes and updates, thank you for the memories of meals and conversations and the promises of future reunions to enjoy more of the same. We love you all so much, and this experience of the world is made richer for knowing home is a place of deep roots and dear people.

We’re contentedly settled in one spot until the 14th of March, when we again pull the house apart, stuff our lives into bags, and carry on toward the next series of discoveries. Come the 21st of March, we set sail across the Atlantic Ocean, spending 16 days making our way along the coast of Brazil, visiting ports at the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Casablanca, and stepping into the next chapter beginning in Barcelona, Spain.

Sail along with us here on the blog, keep in touch, and enjoy the meals between now and when we see you again!

Bethany & Ted

February 2012 Leap Day #RTWdinnerparty link-up:
(We’ll continue adding links as #RTWdinnerparty posts are published)

@twoOregonians – (Salad) Summer Salads in Buenos Aires
@BeersAndBeans – (Appetizer) Bloomin’ Onion Bread
@InspirngTrvlrs– (Drinks) New Zealand, Chilean, and Belgian Beer
@RTWsomanyplaces – (Drinks) Oregon Microbrews!
@backpackforever – (Main Dish) Guatemalan Chicken with Jalapenos & Onions
@idelishtravel – (Meat) Genghis Khan Style Grilled Mutton
@NewYorktoNomad – (Dessert) OnoPops in Honolulu

Interested in participating in the next link-up? Invitations are issued by @twoOregonians.
Head to the #RTWdinnerparty page for details and watch @RTWdinnerparty for updates.

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  • Reply Andrea February 29, 2012 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for the invite, guys! I see you found some beautiful fresh produce in Argentina – we spent a few months in South America last year and absolutely loved it. You’ve had some great adventures already! Everything looks delicious =)

    • Reply twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Great to have you! Thanks so much for the beverage choices : ) Loved seeing New Zealand beer on the list… We’re so enjoying South America. Hard to believe we have only a month left on this beautiful continent. xx

  • Reply Kim February 29, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Fabulous! Our dinner party link is up. It was fun participating. I wish I was really at your table tonight!

    • Reply twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      Wish you guys were here, too! How much fun would that be?? Still holding out hope that maybe we can have an Oregonians-Abroad meetup somewhere on the planet : ) Thanks for being at the digital table. Great to have your friendship and shared sense of adventure. So excited for your big departure day!

      • Reply @TheBigBreak February 29, 2012 at 4:28 pm

        So all over that! ;)

        • Reply Kim February 29, 2012 at 8:46 pm

          Yes! Who are the other Oregonians out there? I know Travel Junkies will be leaving at some point- they’re from PDX too!

  • Reply Claudia Looi February 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    What a fantastic idea of having RTWdinner party. Beautiful pictures of fresh produce. We will be heading there in a year for family RTW. BTW my daughter’s name is Bethany.

    • Reply twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Claudia, thanks so much for stopping by! You will so enjoy Buenos Aires; have you been before? If you end up looking for fresh, organic produce while you’re in the city, be sure to visit the El Galpón Organic Market and check out the Sabe La Tierra at Estación San Fernando del Tren de la Costa. xx Bethany

  • Reply Neil Robbins February 29, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I loved feeding you!!!

    • Reply twoOregonians February 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      And you’re a mean grillmaster, sir! Thanks so much to you and Beth for being so hospitable to us. Can’t wait for the day we can have a reunion meal with your two and Heather and Micah and the girls… : )

  • Reply Shirlene & Jeremy from Idelish February 29, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Thank you for inviting us to the {digital} dinner party tonight! We enjoyed the various dishes served up by our travel friends. Your salad looks delicious – I say the serated steak knife has earned its stay :)

    We also enjoyed making new travel friends in the travel community. We are once again drooling and jealous at the RTW travelers out there. We wished we can do it ourselves but our plans for life just prevents us from taking the courageous step many of you have taken at the moment. We really enjoyed reading everyone’s past travel adventures and look forward to reading more of your adventures!

    Thanks again for including us! What a fun idea and we look forward to one day actually catching up with fellow travelers over a real dinner party :)

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks to both of you for sharing such beautiful photos of the Sagrada Familia for your RTWdinnerparty post! We can’t wait to visit in April. We really enjoyed having you guys at the table this time; it’s a treat to connect from all corners of the earth. I’m so encouraged to see your story of travels mixed with day-job living; it’s not always possible to up and leave town for months on end, but even now and then trips can be amazing, as your tales and photos show : )

  • Reply Kirsten February 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    It is in complete, admitted selfishness that I say this post made me dearly hope we get to have a real dinner party that is face-to-face in Italy and share travel stories punctuated with smiles that can only be truly experienced in all their glory offline.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece on food, travel and friendship. I love that you are so experiencing the richness of life’s pleasures in Argentina.

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      How delicious and fun would that be?! : ) I sincerely hope that wish comes true! xx

  • Reply Archana March 1, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    As someone who eats mostly vegetarian, can I just say that the picture of produce made me drool? I love how you chose to bring a salad from meat-loving BsAs. And I love this dinner party idea. Genius!

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:37 pm

      I’m glad you caught the irony! ; ) We are such geeks for good produce; finding the market and loading up on delicious veggies was a real treat. So much fun to have you guys at the dinner party! Good luck as you settle into life in Hawaii xx

  • Reply Tran March 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Always happy to consume a meal from BsAs. Can’t believe you guys have been on the road for 2 months already. The last time we dined together, you were still in Portland! Happy travels and hope to meet at more dinner tables on the road!

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Hey Tran! Yes, crazy how time has flown. I remember typing up that first post from our little apartment office in Portland…and now that former life is packed up/sold/put away for now, and we’re miles and hemispheres and seasons away from home. Using the internet to keep in touch with so many friends as we travel is truly grand : ) See you at the next meal!

  • Reply Kae Lani | A Travel Broad March 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Wow! Surely a Leap Day Feast! It’s a great perspective to think about how food brings people together no matter what culture they’re coming from. People gotta eat in every language!

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:48 pm

      Exactly right! One of our favorite things to do as we travel is share meals with people we meet along the way… Such an age-old way of passing time and enjoying each other’s presence. Thanks for stopping by, and please come visit again : )

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 3, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I love fresh salads! It is so expensive to order them in restaurants in BA, so I always made them at home. I will have to check out this market when I get back to BA.

    • Reply twoOregonians March 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      The best salad I’ve eaten in Argentina was from Baguales Micro-Cerveceria in Puerto Natales (did you go there on your recent trip?). I keep hoping to find a similar salad here in BsA, but no luck… I think you’re right – it’s best to make them at home and pile them high with choice veggies. Also, we found another great market today closer to home: Saturdays at the cross streets of Mexico y Balcarce in San Telmo. P.S. What’s with all the shredded carrot salads down here?? ; )

  • Reply Kieu ~ GQ trippin March 4, 2012 at 8:37 am

    mMMmmm… what a feast! We’re soooo sad we missed out this time. Barely had internet in Penang to send a decent email. :( But looks like some amazing dishes all around. I’m hungry just reading everyone’s post. Another successful and delicious dinner party. We hope to join the next one. ;) All the best!

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