Why I wrote about an Argentine and a kitchen
Updated: Apr 14
There were three reasons why I wrote An Argentine in my Kitchen.
First, I fell for an Argentine.
Contigo, pan y cebolla.
Literally: With you, bread and onion.
Meaning: To be with you, I’d live on bread and onions.
Together we visited Buenos Aires, a fascinating city. We travelled through Argentina, and marvelled at its spectacular scenery. Though sometimes there were customs I didn't understand. Things like whom to kiss on the cheek, and when. We told our friends about our adventures, and they wanted to know more. I decided to write about interesting aspects of Argentina in a humorous way.
Second, my partner is a great amateur chef. I began recording his recipes. I wanted – and he was happy with the idea – to record them for everyone. I've continued this tradition in the blog category Pedro's Kitchen. He’s the cooking boss and whenever we have friends to dinner, I tell them to direct any food-related questions to him.
Hay que hablar con el que corta el bacalao.
Literally: You have to talk to the one who cuts the cod.
Meaning: Talk to the organ grinder and not the monkey.
Third, as I hope you've noticed, I discovered the idiosyncratic side of Spanish – both Argentine Spanish and European Spanish. I loved the sayings and expressions. I began to note them in the same book that I noted the recipes.
So, an idea began to form – a humorous story about Argentina, including sayings and recipes. The sayings would complement the narrative, as they have here. And each chapter would lead into a description of food and a recipe.
I gathered more and more sayings and recipes as the story grew, and as I discovered more about local food and local customs.
And now the novel is written.
But I'm still noting expressions and recipes in my notebook! I'll have to start a dictionary of them!
And I'm still thinking of subjects for the newsletters that are mentioned in the novel. So now I'm adding them to my blog posts.
*Amazon imposes limits on those who can write reviews, and one of these is a minimum annual spend on Amazon. They've done this to minimise fake reviews.