Friday, 9 November 2012

Cooking with Lisa

So one of the things that I was really excited about with our new apartment is our fancy electric oven.  In our other apartments we had typical Argentian ovens which are gas ovens that you light with a match.  Lighting the oven involves holding down one knob to turn on the gas while you try to poke the lit match into a tiny hole in the bottom of the oven where the burner is located.  Since I can't light a match while I'm holding the knob in, I have to light the match first, turn the knob, try to reach far enough into the hole in the oven to light the burner, all the while hoping that the kitchen doesn't explode from the build up of gas.  Usually I would end up going through half a dozen matches and burning my fingers before finally lighting the oven.  It would be really handy to have one of those butane lighters that they sell everywhere back home but I have not seen anything like that here. 

Shiny New Oven

On Wednesday I went to the market and bought some fresh salmon and lemons with the idea that we could make baked salmon for dinner. I also picked up some fresh arugala for pizza later in the week. That night, I got our salmon ready and turned on the oven to preheat.  Within a few minutes - pow - all of our power went out.  No worries, we quickly reset the master switch and started the oven again. This time the power went out immediately.  After a few more attempts and more power outages, we resigned ourselves to salmon poached in lemon sauce in a frying pan.

Today the repair man came to fix our oven.  He spoke no English so with a mixture of Spanish, English and a lot of pointing and some dramatic reenactments, I tried to explain what happened.  He asked me if I had cleaned it?  Good grief, I hate cleaning my oven at home, why would I clean one in a rental!  Then, as always happens, he turned it on high and we waited and waited and waited.  No power outage at all.  Still we waited as the apartment got hotter and hotter.  It's frustrating enough when it happens at home, but when you can't explain to the now skeptical repairman that it really did go out several times, it's even more frustrating. He kept shrugging his shoulders and looking at me and I kept pointing to the lights and telling him they really did go out several times.  POOF!  POOF! POOF!

As luck would have it, there was a knock at the door.  I certainly wasn't expecting anyone else, but after a bit of Spanglish it turned out that my cleaning lady and a man called Rodolfo were here.  I think Rodolfo might be my landlord.  He spoke a bit of English so we muddled through and started over again with the whole story. After 45 minutes, when the apartment was good and sweltering, the repairman packed up his tools and everyone left. I am so used to the apartment being quiet and empty, it was very odd to have it full of people and noise!

The cleaning lady will be back on Monday.  I am not sure what her name is - I thought I asked her but she just replied "lunes" which means Monday.  I forgot to ask her what time she is coming but Monday will be a good chance for me to practice my Spanish and confuse the heck out of another poor unsuspecting soul.  And I'm going to try baking something again this weekend.  Wish me luck!

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