Easy Does It

Nothing like a rainy morning to help you slow down and relax. Last night’s steady downpour turned into steady rain this morning and into intermittent mist throughout the day. Post breakfast I took a warming shower. There’s no heat here, so the warm shower provided a good start to the day and dressing in layers kept me warm enough. I had to get my down vest out! While we read and listened to podcasts on the bed, a blanket covered my feet and legs.

I’m reading a book called My Enemy’s Cradle, set during WWII in Holland. I didn’t know that Dutch women who became pregnant by German soldiers often went into a Lebensborn, a home where they were cared for by the Germans in order to give birth to healthy German babies. The babies were then either given to good German families or to the wives of the German soldier who was the father of the baby. Can you imagine?

It’s the story of a half Jewish (father), half Dutch (mother) woman who was sent to live with her mother’s sister in Holland for safety. This young woman ends up in a Lebensborn through a rather complicated turn of events. She is not having a German soldier’s baby and she has taken on her fully Dutch cousin’s identity (They look remarkably alike.) who is now dead and who was impregnated by a German. She loved him. Thought he was different; thought he loved her; that they would marry. Gave herself an abortion. Aunt signs death certificate with our heroine’s name.

Sheesh, as I write this, it all sounds highly unlikely. Especially the part where our protagonist is lucky enough to become pregnant by the man she loves on the first try so that this identity switch can happen. Also, she’s supposed to be sprung from this home before giving birth. I have no idea how that will happen. Especially as she was taken to a different place than expected and how will Isaac (baby daddy) find her?! I’m not yet halfway into this book, and incredulousnous aside, the writing is well crafted and I’m curious as to the outcome. Are you?

I also started listening to an interview of Laura Logan, renowned journalist and war correspondent, with Mike Ritland, host of the podcast Mike Drop. She was with CBS 60 Minutes for years. It’s a 3 hour interview and I’m just 1 hour into it. So far, it’s a fascinating listen as this woman talks about her life growing up in South Africa, her interest in writing from an early age, and her beliefs. In the first half hour she talks about being true to your word and doing the best you can do. These are 2 of the 4 Agreements in the book by Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. I mention this because Charlie and I were recently talking about it. Syncronicity.

Enough of my morning past times. Around 1 pm the rain had stopped and we needed to move. And to eat. On Sunday we had gone to a restaurant just down the road that advertised that it only prepared regional and local dishes and if that was not your preference, then here is a list of other restaurants you might like. The place was packed – always a good sign. Yet, as this was a holiday weekend, every place was packed. So…. still we liked that sign and decided to return. Then I stumbled across an Argentine Trip Advisor post about the restaurant. It got rave reviews all around.

I had a local favorite, humita al plato. It’s a stew, a cross between posole and menudo. I am a fan of the former, not the latter. What makes it posole is the corn kernels (choclo, in these parts). What makes it menudo is the small bits of tripe. But it has it’s own twists – the base is squash; they add fava beans; they use beef instead of pork. I liked it; but didn’t eat all the tripe parts.

Charlie had the special: polenta con tuco. The polenta was remarkably like the polenta we know. I say this because yesterday morning we ordered tortillas and received a really dry, layered bread. The polenta came topped with a savory ground beef and grated cheese. Very tasty.

Another local favorite: humita. This is a corn and cheese mixture steamed in a corn husk. Super creamy and flavorful. However, it seems totally unrelated to humita al plato. Except for the corn ingredient.

Empanadas are ubiquitous throughout the parts of Argentina we’ve been in. They can be stuffed with beef, squash, chicken, fish (pejerrey is the local in Tafí – and delish), dulce de leche, and on… The quality varies, of course, as to both insides and as to the pastry surrounding.

A walk into town followed to search for an umbrella. The one that Charlie bought in BsAs  gave it up. We plan to take the bus to Cafayate, wine county, tomorrow and rain is in the forecast again.

Here are a few pics from today’s walk:


And one from yesterday…


I’ve grown quite fond of Tafí, especially with the crowds gone. I’ve also grown fond of La Vidala. I’ve noticed how initial impressions of place can change and grow into appreciation, even recognizing the shortfalls. We’ve much enjoyed having La Vidala to ourselves these past 2 days. Internet service is much better without all the competition for one thing; having the comedor to ourselves for dinner and writing has also been helpful. I don’t know how people can live in one room. We need at least 2, not counting the bathroom. If I lived alone, I could handle one room. I think.

Yours truly, Paula

4 thoughts on “Easy Does It

  1. Terry Feuerborn February 27, 2019 / 8:59 am

    Can you please give us a bit more information about the location of the places that you are visiting? Other facts?


    • aworthwhileillusion February 27, 2019 / 11:19 am

      Thanks for the comment, Terry. We’ll follow up with some more detais when we get a more reliable internet connection. Hope you are doing well.


  2. Judy Madewell February 28, 2019 / 1:08 pm

    Thank you for your lovely posts, Paula! I love reading these. The llamas are lovely!


    • pgsteele4 February 28, 2019 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you, Judy. I so appreciate hearing that. Home in a few weeks….


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