A veces ~ Sometimes

A veces sé de los universos alternativos.
Ese futuro, o presente bifurcado, donde tomé decisiones ligeramente distintas, o enormemente distintas.
A veces lo sé apenas ocurre. A veces, a años de distancia. No importa: todos los universos alternativos contienen todos los tiempos, de todos modos.
Las más curiosas, escasas, y poderosas, son las veces en que la certeza de la bifurcación me llena antes de terminar de tomar una decisión: El mundo, mi mundo, el único que yo percibo, no será el mismo si mando esa carta, golpeo a esa puerta, doy ese beso, que si no lo hago. No será el mismo si termino ese rompecabezas en vez de dejarlo para después, camino en vez de ir en auto, leo un rato más en vez de ir a dormir. O escribo este cuento, que aún no sé si será cuento o poesía o algo más, cuyo nombre aún no existe.
A veces, me pregunto si a las demás personas les pasa algo parecido. Si sus Universos, de todos modos, tocan al mío. Miro mi biblioteca, tan ecléctica, tan mía, y pienso en como cada volumen testimonia, innegable, otras vidas tocando la mía. ¿Entonces, universo y vida son lo mismo? Me acomete, feroz, la certeza: Estas ideas ya fueron exploradas. La filosofía ha de tener respuestas. Si otra persona antes que yo, pensó en esto. Si mis palabras, mis conceptos, no son nuevos. Entonces,¿merezco escribirlos? La acometida dura mucho menos de lo que tardo en describirla. Veo la sutil trampa. Veo como las palabras me delatan. Y se bifurca ante mis ojos mi Universo: ¿Vuelvo atrás, para barrer los rastros de mi inseguridad de este relato? Podría. Que no voy a abandonarlo, ni siquiera a ocultarlo, ya es seguro: Si la acometida terminó en pregunta la respuesta rutilante me sostiene: Merezco escribir, jugar y explorar, sin duda alguna. Nadie más hay, con mi misma biblioteca. Ni con mi sombrero rojo, aunque haya miles… Solo yo escribo estas palabras. Solo yo, las vivo de este modo. Ya salieron al mundo. Al menos mi Universo ha sido cincelado. Y las dejo, de modo que puedas encontrarlas. Esta vez, no sé qué bifurcación he provocado.

Sometimes I know alternative universes.
Those futures, or bifurcated presents, where I made subtly, or hugely, different decisions.
Sometimes, I´m certain as soon as it happens. Sometimes years away. It does not matter: all those alternate Universes include all the times, anyway.
The most curious, scarce and powerful, are those times when the certainty of the bifurcation fills me before I have even finished making the decision: The world, my world, the only one I can feel, will just not be the same if I send that letter, knock on that that door, give that kiss, than if I don´t. It just won´t be the same if I finish that puzzle instead of leaving it for later, if I walk instead of driving, if I read a little more before going to sleep. Or if I write this story, which I am actually not sure will be a story at all, or a poem, or something else, yet unnamed.
Sometimes I wonder if something like this happens to other people. If their Universes, anyway, touch mine. I look at my books, so eclectic, so mine, and I think each volume is an undeniable proof of many lives touching my own. Am I saying life and Universe are the same thing? A certainty punches me, fiercely: these ideas have been explored already. Philosophy must have the answers. If someone else though this before I did. If my concepts, my ideas, are not new. Then, do I even deserve to write them? The punch takes much less time than describing it. I see the subtle trap. I see the way my words give me away. And I see before my eyes my Universe bifurcating: do I go back to erase the marks of my insecurity from this text? I could. One thing is certain: I am not abandoning it: if the punch ended in a question I stand tall on its shining answer: I deserve to write, play and explore, no doubt about it. Nobody else has my library. Nobody has my red hat either, even if it is one in thousands… Only I write these words. Only I live them in this way. They are already out in the world. At least my Universe has been carved. And I leave them here so you can find them. This time, I don´t know what bifurcation I have opened.

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Apple pie ~ Tarta de manzana

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This was a birthday request. I had never done apple pie this way before, but it was a huge success so here we go!

Esto fue un pedido de cumpleaños. Nunca había hecho la tarta de manzanas de esta manera y fue un gran éxito, así que ¡acá va la receta!

Tarta de Manzanas – 1 tarta grande

  • 11 manzanas verdes
  • 2 tazas de agua
  • 1 taza de azúcar
  • 1 pizca de canela en polvo
  • 3 yemas
  • 150gr de azúcar impalpable
  • 200gr de manteca
  • 350gr de harina 0000
  • 1/2 cucharadita de bicarbonato
  • 1/2 cucharadita de escencia de vainilla

En una cacerola, colocar 9 de las manzanas peladas, sin semillas y cortadas en 4 o 6 trozos junto con el agua, y hervir 20 minutos. Agregar el azúcar y la canela y hervir destapado a fuego mediano hasta que las manzanas se ablanden como para hacer puré. Enfriar esta preparación.

En un bols colocar la manteca, las yemas y el azúcar impalpable. Unir bien e ir agregando la harina, el bicarbonato y la vainilla. Mezclar cuidadosamente y unir la masa pero sin trabajarla demasiado. Dejarla descanasar 10 a 15 minutos.

Estirar la masa de a trozos e ir cubriendo con ella una tartera grande, apisonandola con la mano para que quede en todas partes del mismo espesor, igual en el fondo que en los lados. Cuando la masa esté bien pareja, volcar dentro el puré de manzanas ya frío, y decorar con las demás manzanas cortadas en rodajas muy finas y/o con tiras de masa. Espolvorear con azúcar mezclada con canela. Cocinar en horno a temperatura regular durante 40 minutos.

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¡Buen provecho!

Apple pie – 1 big pie

  • 11 green apples
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 200gr butter
  • 150gr powder sugar
  • 350gr flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place 9 peeled, cored apples cut into big chunks in a deep pan with the water, and boil for 20 minutes. Add the sugar and cinnamon, mix, and boil uncovered at medium heat until the apples are soft enough to puree. Let this cool.

Place the butter, yolks and powder sugar in a bowl, and blend well. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla mixing well until a soft dough is made. Do not knead. Let stand for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Roll the dough in batches and cover a big baking dish, pressing with your hands to make sure it is covered uniformly, base and sides. Pour the cold apple puree inside and decorate with the rest of the apples sliced thinly and/or with dough stripes. Sprinkle with sugar mixed with cinnamon. Bake at a moderate oven for 40 minutes.

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Enjoy!

Artichoke dip ~ Pasta de alcauciles

 

Ya conté alguna vez que los alcauciles son un super favorito en nuestra casa. Hoy traigo una receta rápida para una pasta untable ¡riquísima!

I have mentioned before that we are huge artichoke fans in this house. Today’s recipe is for a quick artichoke dip – Very yummy!

pasta de alcaucil

Pasta de alcaucil

  • 6 corazones de alcaucil, hervidos
  • 4 cucharadas aceite de oliva
  • 3 dientes de ajo asados
  • 2 cucharadas colmadas de queso crema
  • sal, pimienta y pimentón a gusto

Procesar todo junto. No hace falta que quede liso, solo unido. Y ¡disfrutar!

Artichoke dip

  • 6 artichoke hearts, boiled
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cream cheese
  • salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Process everthing together. It does not need to be smooth, just blended. And enjoy!

El embotellador de Tiempo ~ The Time bottler

Today I translated this piece: El embotellador de Tiempo, por Daniel Badagnani

I hope you enjoy it!

The Time bottler by Daniel Badagnani

As a kid, Martín lived obsessed with Time. He could feel it flowing, unbearably, in his flesh. It enraged him to live drowned by it and to be unable to touch it nor know its true face. That is why one day he decided to bottle it.

This was the kind of fixation that made Martín a hopeless loner, because the intention of bottling Time is not something one can talk about during recess. Neither is that thing that happened to him when the sun sunk behind the eucalyptus when he was sitting on a certain log in his neighborhood park, occasion he attended whenever he could convince him mom that no, he had no homework due. The sun beams reached him though the filter of the moving curtain of the eucalyptus dragging with them their powerful fragrance, and he felt the world was a cryptogram and that that moment was, in a way he could not phantom, the key that would make everything apparent. Of course as a kid he would have not been able to name that with those words, in fact he did not name it with any and the raw feeling invaded him and burnt inside (words sometimes work as handles on a brazier). I could mention many more of Martín’s quirks but I don’t want to wander off topic, because I am interested in talking about his vicissitudes as a Time bottler.

Martín convinced himself that if he bottled Time, its essence would be revealed to him. Any engineer could have told him he was putting the cart before the horses, but I suspect he would have not listened; when one wants to bottle Time one doesn’t really want to know anything about science and technology, even if one believes the opposite (Martín did not know what science was, he was only aware of the epic tales in outreach magazines, and that was why he called “science” to what others would have called “magic”). For months he tried to imagine artifacts and procedures, which all soon showed to be ridiculous and innocuous. He was forced to change the point of view. He finally decided to improvise a real machine, which grew as he found trinkets that seemd adequate to him (the repair shop on the corner was a usual provider). Only when the machine seemed to him complex enough for it to do something interesting did he make the decision to try it. Not that he had an expected result in mind, he was hoping that what would happen would give him the key to go on. “Turning on” the device meant putting two wires that came out of it into the wall socket, one on each hole, wearing supermarket bags as gloves because he was well aware that was dangerous. He did. That the result did not in any way involve bottled Time jumped out. A sudden blue sparkle jumped as well, the house fuse box blew, and Martín himself jumped back, by will of the blue sparkle despite the precautions and an ache in his joints accompanied him for hours. It also produced the freaked out scream from his mother and the paternal ban from any further experimenting with electricity, brought down with the sternness scares induce in parents.

Time gradually put Martín though that process of denying oneself many call “maturing”, and soon he would remember those experiences with slightly ashamed indulgence. Little by little he learned to speak the language of others, he molded himself to the expectations of others and got used to only asking himself “useful” questions. He went through the joys and sorrows one goes through in life and which I will not tell because anyone can find them around, in novels or tango lyrics. What is important to tell is that bordering his 40 he met Analía and knew he had been calling “fall in love” to processes that did not deserve such a honor. Analía was extremely beautiful, of course, and enjoyed things with the uncensored sensuality of children. For Martín, the most beautiful thing was that he did not feel any shyness to be naked with her, and I am not talking about the absence of clothes covering skin.

Analía told him on the phone she had got Drambuie, that liquor she found delicious without possible comparisons she had told him so much about, and Martín had a sudden happy inspiration: he invited her to try the delicacy sitting in the log at the park with the eucalyptus, there in his childhood neighborhood. When they got there the sun was high, and what always happens happened: chat makes the world fade around them and it startles them when they realize the sun is setting. It is Martín who notices, because suddenly there is again that feeling that seems to have cut a hole through the years and taken lodging uncorrupted in the middle of his chest, burning it. He is about to tell Analía, but just at that moment she remembers the bottle she carries in her backpack and takes it out together with two small glasses, with the naughty smile of someone up to mischief. He can’t say anything more because it is beautiful to watch her pour delicately and enjoy the subtle viscosity of Drambuie settling in the glass. The sun sets fire to Analía’s hair and reveals an unexpected amber sheerness in the loosest ones. Both take the first sip simultaneously, and the flavors explode in Martín’s mouth, like the colors between the trees do and Analía’s dashing smile, which shines on its own. All the sunsets fit inside Analía’s enamored gaze. Suddenly the sensation is not burning any more, there is a certainty hitting him almost physically; he is left in a half smile of relaxed lips and teary eyes. Analía does not need words to ask him, a subtle change in her eyebrows is enough, and Martín will answer with the little voice his emotions spare: – I’m bottling Time.

Nap ~ Siesta

A pocket in time.
Sun shines in my face.
Dozing off…

Es un bolsillo en el tiempo.
El sol brilla en mi cara.
Dormito…

Half-basketball cake ~ Torta hemi-pelota de basket

A good friend turned thirty, and I baked a carrot cake for him.

Un amigo cumplió treinta, y le hice una torta de zanahoria.

 

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Golden crunchies ~ Crocantitos doraditos

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These are a favourite treat around here.

Esta es una golosina favorita por acá.

Golden crunchies (makes 20):

  • 1 rounded spoonful sugar
  • 2 cups Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes
  • 25gr margarine (or butter…)
  • 2 rounded spoonfuls golden syrup (or honey)

20 paper cake cases

Melt the margaraine, suger and syrup in a pan, heating very gently in a pan on the stovetop. Stirr with a wooden spoon until they are meted together. Boil for one minute.

Crocantitos doraditos (20 unidades):

  • 1 cucharada colmada de azúcar
  • 2 tazas de arroz inflado o copos de maiz
  • 25gr margarina (o manteca…)
  • 2 cucharadas colmadas de miel de caña (o melaza, o miel)

20 pirotines

Derretir la margarina, el azúcar y la melaza en una sartén sobre fuego muy suave, revolviendo con cuchara de madera hasta que se unan.  Hervir un minuto.

 

Pour the melted mixture over the ceral (in a bowl). Stir very gently untily  they are all coated.

Volcar la mezcla derretida sobre los cereales en un bol. Mezclar suavemente hasta que estén completamente cubiertos.

 

Use a tablespoon and knife to put mixture into each case (it helps to spread them all out beforehand). Leave in a cool place to set.

Usando una cuchara y un cuchillo poner pequeñas porciones de la mezcla en los pirotines (ayuda haberlos desplegado previamente). Dejar enfriar en un lugar fresco.

Enjoy!

¡Buen provecho!

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