Saturday, February 28, 2009
Growing up I knew of Jose Luis Borges and read parts of folk classic Martin Fierro and don't even know who wrote that.
So I started surfing the web to see what I could find and came across a blog that spoke about Foundation TyPA who distributed a brochure at the Franfurt book festival on 30 Argentine writers who were not yet translated. Hopefully some of these will be translated to English, because the stories look interesting. To see the brochure follow this link:
This gives a good idea of the type of current writers in Argentina. I'd love to find a few writers that already translated. If I tried to read them in Spanish it would probably take me all year to read one book. If anyone out there wants to recommend a few books, please do. Or even better, American-Argentine authors.
Until next time,
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Had an awesome weekend with my friends from Florida. I went to watch their twelve year old daughter compete in a gymnastics meet in Del Mar. This is the first competition of this type that I've attended and enjoyed it.
Anytime I'm around people that are doing something they love, I get re-inspired to do what I love, which is of course, to write. These young girls are SO good. My friend tells me they practice for hours. At this level her daughter spends 4 to 5 hours a day practicing. And of course, the closer they get to the Elite level, the more hours they have to dedicate to their chosen sport.
Do those of us that write or would like to write "put in" the numbers of hours it takes to be great? Do we test our skills in writing competitions or by submitting out work to agents and editors? I think greatness really does take a lot of work. It takes time on the computer, putting words on a page. It takes a willingness to attend workshops to continually improve our skills.
The girls at the meet today were focused on each event. My friend warned me not to expect her daughter to acknowledge that we were in the audience because she would not. And I could completely understand that. She wouldn't allow herself to get distracted. I do this when I write. I tune everyone and everything out. I try not to judge what I'm writing until I go back and edit, otherwise I would probably sensor what I wrote. So focus is important.
Also, in writing it's important to do what I was lucky enough to do this weekend, and that is to get away from your work and do something that inspires you. Great people inspire me. For others it might be a weekend in the mountains. Whatever it is, getting away from the work gives you perspective. Practicing is important, but so are breaks every once in a while.
So I'm feeling refreshed and ready to start a busy week. By the way, my friend's daughter came in second all around. She was awesome!!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I'm starting to think I need to vary my Wednesday or I'm going to have nothing but reciepes on my blog. But not to change in mid-week, he is another favorite of mine. Beef Barley Soup. On cold days, this is soooo good.
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
7 cups water
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablesppons instant beef bouillon granules
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 cups sliced carrot
1 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
In a large kettle or Dutch oven brown meat in hot oil over low heat; drain well. Still in water, undrained tomatoes, onion bouillon granules, salt, basil, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in carrot, celery, barley, and green pepper. Cover, simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (though I find I don't need to add anything at this point)
This is great to make when you have time, because though it doesn't take a lot of prep time, it takes a long time simmering. But it's well worth the wait.
We've been having lots of rainy days, and it's great on those days.
Hope you enjoy!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
And this one is one that was helpful to me in how to "taste" wine: http://www.welcomeargentina.com/vino/catar_i.html
So if you're stressing over the California taxes or buried under snow or rain today, go get yourself a bottle of wine and maybe some cheese and crackers and try it out. Let me know what you think.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Then when I was newly married, I took my husband to visit Argentina, and on our last day in Buenos Aires we found this little cafe to have lunch. I ordered Arroz con Pollo, and it was amazingly good. If I could have, I would have stayed another day, just to eat there again.
But, I never learned to make it myself. Until one day I bought a cookbook that had a pretty good recipe for chicken and rice. I made it and thought it wasn't my mothers everyone liked it.
So this is what I'm making for my family tonight:
Chicken (3 pounds), cut up, salt and freshly ground peper
2 tablesppons olive oil
1 large onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 medium-size green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 cup rice
1/2 pound Italian sausage (about 2)
1/4 teaspoon ground saffron
1 can cut tomatoes, Italian style
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I go lighter)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (again, I go lighter)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup pitted black olives, sliced
1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and sausage and cook, turning, until brown all over, about 10 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Transfer with tongs to a large flameproof casserole.
2. Add onion, garlic, and bell peppers to skillet and cook until onions and peppers are soft. Transfer to casserole; and rice.
3. To skillet add saffron, tomatoes wine, oregano, cayenne, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Pour into casserole. Stir to distribute rice evenly. bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minute, until chicken is tender.
4. Stir in peas and olives and heat through. Serve immediately with penty of ice cold beer!