I got myself a little Argentina merchandise for this afternoon… Probably won’t use the hat since it is quite warm, but I will paint a flag on my cheek and braid my hair with the ribbon!
For my Norwegian readers: Jeg skriver om fotball, politikk og populisme i Argentina: Fotball for alle (Minerva)
I don’t really have a way of adequately describing the feeling of euphoria that exploded when Argentina won yesterday. I was with a group of friends in a huge bar in Plaza Serrano and the atmosphere had been fun yet nervous throughout the match. People were constantly singing, especially “Brasil, decime que se siente” but “Estamos sufriendo!” (“We are suffering!”) seemed to be the general sentiment as the game went on and on with no clear winner. Argentina had some good chances and some good shots but nothing came of it. The second half of the overtime I could hardly watch the screen, I was so nervous. Each half felt hours long! When it was time for penalties everyone was standing up and screaming and upon Argentina’s fourth successful penalty, the whole bar exploded in joyful celebration. Shortly after, as people were leaving the different bars and cafes, the streets filled and the cars were stuck in masses of people singing, clapping, dancing and hugging. The honking and the celebrations lasted for hours and around the Obelisco downtown, thousands of people were jumping and singing and dancing. What a day, what a night!
Argentina is in the semi-finals!! Hooray!
It is rather an understatement to say that contemporary Argentinean history is complicated. Even living here, reading newspapers, talking to friends, and having had general knowledge of and exposure to the region for years, it can be really difficult to grasp. So here is a book recommendation that can help you understand at least up until 2010. Luis Alberto Romero is a professor and researcher with an impressive bibliography, and his “Breve historia contemporánea de la Argentina – 1916-2010” is a fantastic resource. I have the original version, in Spanish, but a friend has it in English, and I think I would have preferred that. Although I have no problem reading Spanish, I still prefer reading in English or Norwegian. I bought mine in a bookstore here in Buenos Aires last year, and I believe the English version is available here as well, if not, Amazon has it. (The English version actually goes up to 2013.)
Cristian Gamboa of Costa Rica/Rosenborg
Norwegians and especially Norwegian media will do anything to make connections between famous people and Norway. We have an expression, “Norgesvenn”, which literally means Friend of Norway, which we bestow upon people who speak highly of our country or otherwise have some kind of relation. The World Cup is no exception – while Norway has not been in a World Cup since 1998, the press is doing anything it can to relate the current games to our fair country. The big news this time is that Costa Rica, who today beat Greece and will meet Holland in the quarter finals, has many players who have played in the Norwegian top league, Tippeligaen. Norwegian football blog Fotballdirektoratet has done us the favor of listing all of the World Cup players who have spent time in the Norwegian league. Here are the ticos (Costa Ricans) among them:
Christian Gamboa – currently plays in Rosenborg
Giancarlo González – Vålerenga 2012 season
Roy Miller – first Bodø/Glimt, then Rosenborg, until 2008
Diego Calvo – Vålerenga currently
Michael Barrantes – currently plays for Aalesund
Christian Bolaños – previously of IK Start
Celso Borges Mora – previously of Fredrikstad
Randall Brenes – Bodø/Glimt, then Kongsvinger, 2005-2009
This is for my friend, la argentina en Noruega, Aymará! She asked for my recipe for guiso de lentejas, or lentil stew. It is really quite simple to make, and delicious to eat in the winter. Here in Argentina, lentil stew is usually made with some pancetta and some chorizo, but mine is vegetarian (vegan, actually) and I try to add some extra flavor through spices. This version has more vegetables than most, but I like the taste of all the vegetables mixed together. Some people add zucchini too, so that is an option.
- 200 grams lentils (I usually precook them for 20 minutes but it is probably not necessary)
- 1/2 a red or green pepper
- 1 onion
- Some celery
- 3 carrots, one finely chopped, two chopped in cubes
- 3 potatoes in small cubes
- Some butternut squash in cubes
- A vegetable bouillon cube
- Salt, pepper, garlic if you like, whatever spice you use for heat – I like crushed red pepper (aji triturado in Argentina) and Tabasco sauce with Chipotle flavor
- 1 can of tomatoes, chopped (I use my kitchen scissors to cut them up)
- Quite a lot of water
Finely chop the onion, the celery, the pepper and one of the carrots. Sauté these for 5 to 10 minute in some olive oil. Add the lentils, either already cooked or still dry. Add crushed red pepper. Give them a little fry and add some water. Then, add the other vegetables, the can of tomatoes, more water, and the bouillon cube. Make sure there is plenty of water covering all the vegetables.
Let the stew cook until all the vegetables are soft. I let mine cook for at least an hour, often more. The butternut squash disintegrates more than the potatoes and carrots and creates a nice flavor and thickness to the dish. And it is definitely a stew and not a soup – I make it very thick and hearty. Add salt, pepper, other spices if you like, and make sure it tastes to your lighting. Enjoy with fresh bread!