We decided to stay in San Martin del los Andes for Christmas. The weather had been bad earlier in the week, keeping us inside a lot, but the storm was finally passing through. Perfect for hanging out at the lake in town.
We found out that our friend Baptiste – aka French Guy on a Bike – was also in town. We had met him on our boat crossing from Panama to Colombia. We stopped by his hostel on Christmas Eve to say hi. So, it’s official, we travel as fast a bike. Actually, slower. Baptiste has already been to Brazil.
We had invited him to Christmas Dinner. In true Argentinean style, Christmas dinner was at 9:30 pm.
The dinner itself was a testament to patience. We had no oven, only a 2 burner stove (1 burner only went on low) and a microwave (we haven’t seen one of these in a long time). I started the day before on a stove top stuffing recipe I found online. I had to substitute a few things we couldn’t find here, including replacing celery with a celery looking vegetable we haven’t identified.
We also baked a mystery squash that ended up being quite delicious. It’s green on the outside, orange in the middle, but about the size of a pumpkin.
All the stores were closed on Christmas Day, so when I found out the others were coming, I looked around and made due with what we had. Tomato and onion salad with a bit of white vinegar. The mashed potatoes were easy enough, just a matter of battling for the good burner. Our pavito was about the size of a large chicken. Jason cut it and put it in a brine on Christmas eve. The next day he basically covered it in honey and steamed the thing all day. Since it didn’t really fit in our biggest pot, he crammed it in with a rock on top. He was quite pleased with himself.
In the end, dinner was incredible. The moistest turkey I’ve ever eaten. Overall, I think we knocked it out of the park on the meal and enjoyed Christmas with friends.