Wednesday, September 29, 2010

From The Movies

Last week, knowing that we were in for an 8-hour day of research proposal presentations in class, I brought oatmeal cookies, figuring the day would be more agreeable spent eating. Which is not to say I don't want to listen to presentations; it's just that, well, 6 hours in, you know, sometimes you need a little push. So around 4 in the afternoon I brought them out and passed them around. "Are these the cookies Americans are always eating in the movies?" a classmate of mine asked. I explained that the most common cookies for us are chocolate chip, but that these run a close second. People in Latin America always find it strange when I explain that baking is such a part of American culture that there are many people who know how to make cookies but that don't really cook.

These particular oatmeal cookies are adapted from a Regan Daley recipe. They have been my favorite for a couple of years, something about the honey and nutmeg just make them even more oatmeal cookie-ish in exactly the way you want oatmeal cookies to be. The last time I made them I threw in some wheat bran and it fit in quite nicely, and replacing part of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour works well too.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
     adapted from Regan Daley

3.5 oz. (100 g. or 7 Tbsp.) butter
1 c. brown sugar (I like to use muscovado sugar here)
1 egg
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
small pinch of salt
scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
2 Tbsp. wheat or oat bran (optional)
1 c. dark raisins 

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until it´s lighter in color and you can no longer feel the sugar granules between your fingers. Beat in the egg and then the honey and the vanilla. In a medium bowl stir the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until combined, then mix in the oats and the wheat bran. Mix in the raisins. Cover the bowl with plastic and chill the dough for at least an hour in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Use a tablespoon to make balls and place them on a cookie sheet, leaving 2 in. in between the cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 min., turning the cookie sheet 180º after 5 min. so the cookies bake evenly. Take them out when they are set and just beginning to look a bit golden, don´t let them burn. Use a spatula to remove them to a cooling rack, and continue with the rest of the batter.
Makes around 2 dozen cookies.
In her book, Daley gives this recipe alongside one for cinnamon ice cream in order to make ice cream sandwiches. Some day I will do this and all of my dreams will come true. 

Galletas de Avena con Pasas
     adaptada de Regan Daley

100 g. de mantequilla
1 taza de azúcar rubia (o 1 taza de azúcar blanco mezclada con 1 cucharada de melaza si no tenes azúcar rubia; a mi me gusta usar azúcar moscovado aquí)
1 huevo
1 cucharada de miel
1 cucharita de extracto de vainilla natural
3/4 de taza de harina de trigo (tipo 000)
una pizquita de sal
escaza 1/2 cucharita de bicarbonato de soda
una pizquita de canela
un poco de nuez moscada recien rallada
1 1/2 tazas de avena gruesa
2 cucharadas de salvado de trigo o de avena (opcional)
1 taza de pasas de uva negras

En un bol bate la mantequilla con el azúcar hasta que estén bien mezclados y la mezcla este más blanca (en este punto, ya no deberías sentir los granitos de azúcar). Echa el huevo y batelo bien. Echa la miel y la vainilla y mezcla bien. En otro bol revuelve la harina, la sal, el bicarbonato de soda, la canela y la nuez moscada. Echa la mezcla de harina a la mezcla de mantequilla y revuelve hasta que este incorporada. Echale la avena y el salvado de trigo a la mezcla y revuelve. Anade las pasas y mezcla bien. Tapa el bol con plástico y dejalo en la heladera durante por lo menos una hora.

Después de la hora de reposo, precalienta el horno a 180ºC. Forma bolitas con una cucharada y colocalas en una bandeja, dejando 3 cm. entre las bolitas. Hornealas durante 10 minutos, volteando la bandeja 180º después de los primeros 5 minutos para que horneen uniformemente. Sacalas cuando ya no veas la masa cruda en el centro pero solamente han empezado a broncear  (entre las galletas al lado en la foto, la galleta entera está demasiado bronceada/quemada). Con una espatula quitalas de la bandeja y dejalas enfriar, mejor en una rejilla de enfriar o sino en un plato. Repite el mismo proceso con el resto de la masa. Rinde aprox. 24 galletas.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spring Stuff

Sunday was the epitome of a perfect spring day. Perfect spring Sundays in Buenos Aires call for a walk to the park, 1/4 kilo of ice cream in hand to eat once you get there.
Then you can eat your ice cream while you watch the all-girl skate competition.
Or you can walk along and stop to see a band playing in their Sunday best.
Then you can buy an empanada chew toy at one of the flea market stands that border the park, as everyone in Argentina deserves an empanada, even the dogs.
A bit farther along you might run into a murga, a sort of drum beating/singing/costumed dancer performance that is traditional in small communites and neighborhoods in Argentina and Uruguay. The unison drum beating and non-subtle costumes act as a pretty good tip off that a murga's going on.
I'm not sure why water makes everything nicer, but it always does.
So does lying under trees.
If you aren't quite satisfied with the day, you can always get churros delivered to your door later.
Ok, maybe I'm not completely out of my winter mindset yet (though the girls that sell churros on the corners in Once during the winter have already switched over to soft-serve). Thank god you can get absolutely anything delivered in this city.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Preguntas Eviticas

So I was thinking the other day that I´ve come into contact with a lot of people doing interesting things, working on interesting projects, and who additionally are in the middle of a migratory process.  I wanted to do something to preserve some of this, some of these temporary and changing times, what many of us are living right now in some way or another, and so I decided to do interviews (as if I don't do enough interviews in my normal job) with some of these people.  The questions I put together are a combination of a variety of sources-- I had in mind many of the typical conversations long-term travelers and immigrants tend to have as well as the well-known Proust Vanity Fair interview, which I´ve always loved.  My mother has been conducting an informal survey for many years and I´ve included her questions here as well, though you´ll have to guess which are hers (though if you know her it shouldn´t be too hard...)

Karol is a friend of mine from Cali, Colombia.  She´s a singer with classical and jazz training who currently sings with one of the state choirs as well as several jazz groups.  She's also a fantastic salsa singer and dancer (and a really good cook). She´s been in Buenos Aires for a couple of years, and next year she's moving to Santa Fe, a smaller city 6 hours from Buenos Aires, with her boyfriend, a native Santa Fean, where she´ll sing in the state choir and work on other projects, which she talks about a bit below.

Where were you born?
Cali, Colombia

Where do you feel most at home?
It´s difficult, because up until very recently I never felt really at home anywhere, but I´ve realized, given my memories from childhood and growing up there, I know that Cali is my home, it´s what made me...the climate, the people, it´s who I am, it´s my home not only because I was born there but because I am, here in Argentina, an extension of Cali.

What do you miss least when you´re not there?
The frivolity of Cali, the typical culture of Cali, all the partying, the drinking...I like dancing and going out and all but I think that an excess of that makes us end up very empty-headed.

What do you try to bring with you when you´re away?
I think there are several things, I say that I don´t want to lose my accent for example...I think that in many circumstances I bring things from my background to situations, like the characteristic of patience or of being able to calm down, or other things that I learned growing up there that are characteristic of us as a community.

What does a perfect day include for you?
A river that has pools to wade in, a clean one of course. (laughs)

When you have people over for dinner, what do you like to cook for them?
I like making things that involve traditional processes...making arepas, for example...I like sharing our traditions with others.

What´s the biggest culture shock you´ve ever experienced?
You know, in Cali people are starting more and more to lead more hectic lives, but I think for me, both in Bogotá and here in Buenos Aires where people don't relate to each other, everyone is so wrapped up in their own thing and in such a rush, it was really strange for get to a time when it seems normal to you to not interact with the person next to Cali this doesn´t happen, if someone is doubled over in the street, people will stop to ask what´s wrong, if they can help...

Chocolate or vanilla?

What do you look for in a partner?
I think it´s something that changes over the years, when I was 18 I just wanted someone I could make out with, but now I look more someone who I can share my life with, who I can live my life with, though I think it´s very important that neither person stops living his/her own life. I don´t mean the feminist concept of "I need my own space, I need air", I don´t believe in that, I mean more the idea of being able to accompany each other in an honest fashion, each one continuing to explore his/her own path.

What qualities do you consider overrated?
Beauty, competitiveness, the idea that if you have a lot of academic titles or if you have read a lot of book you know a lot.

3 desert island foods?
Arepas, beans, mangos

How do you identify yourself?
As a believer in God

What customs have you adopted from another culture that you most like?
Getting together with friends on a more individual Cali everyone sets a meeting point, ad we all go out together, but something I've picked up here is the custom of having a couple of friends over, the idea of being able to have time with your friends in a more intimate context.
In 2000 I took a trip and got to know a lot of people involved in a movement, a lot of indigenous people who have begun to get together to try to preserve their way of doing things, and from them I began thinking a lot about the idea of processing and cooking everything I eat myself, taking a more active role in that process...

What percentage of your time do you spend in self reflection?
I wish it were more but I think around 60%

If your partner had a sex change, would you stay with them?

What was the most traumatic thing about leaving home, and how old were you?
I don't think anything because I really really wanted to leave.  At 17 I left for Bogotá.

Current projects?
A funk band with my own music...the idea is to write things to inspire people to do things other than be lazy, than be complacent.  I would like for my project to generate other types of things.

What would you like to be remembered for?
To have helped someone, be it in their thinking process or in that I could lend a hand to someone when they were going through a difficult time

Any concrete future plans?
To have my own garden and generate solar energy.

Where do you see yourself getting old?
In the country.

Last words?
Look in your heart for God

Karol making arepas

You know when you ask people how they make something that you know they make really well, and they tell you it's really simple and only involves a couple of ingredients...and then you try to make it and it never comes out?  And then you watch them do it and they have a million little tricks which is why their version comes out so much better than your sad attempt did.  These potatoes are like that.  I tried them once when Karol had some leftovers lying around and they were great and when I asked her what she said, she said, oh, you know, potatoes, guiso,'s really basic. When I tried, my version wasn't bad, but it lacked the addictive quality that is the reason I have been hounding Karol for the past year to teach me how to make them.  When we finally got around to it the other day...ha, the amount of tricks this girl has up her sleeve, all of which I tried to annotate as faithfully as possible.  Here we go:

Papas Chorreadas (Literally, "Dripping Potatoes")

1.5 kilos (about 3 lbs.) potatoes (russets or other starchy potatoes)
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (we use sunflower oil)
1 med. yellow or white onion
1/4 kilo (about 1/2 lb. or a big bunch) green onions
1/2 kilo (about 1 lb.) roma tomatoes
3/4 tsp. dried thyme
handful cilantro
squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Scrub the potatoes well and cut large ones in half.  Remove any potato eyes and green parts but leave the rest of the skin on.  Put the potatoes in a large pot and add in water just to cover.  Cut off the upper half of the dark green off the green onion and throw them in the pot with the potatoes.  Add in 2 Tbsp. salt and 4 sprigs of cilantro.  Turn the heat on and boil the potatoes until just tender when you stick a fork in them.
Finely chop the onion and the green onions. Place a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.  Throw in the oil and the onions.  Sprinkle them lightly with salt and add in the thyme. Separate the tomates into two equal piles.  Chop one of your piles of tomatoes finely. When the onions are translucent, put in the chopped tomatoes and stir. Using a large-hold grater, grate the other pile of tomatoes into the pan, leaving as much of the skin out as possible. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until the tomatoes are cooked through but the mixture is still very moist. With the heat still on, chop a handful of cilantro finely and stir it into the mixture along with a small squeeze of lemon juice.  Taste for salt-- the mixture should be well seasoned.
When the potatoes are just tender, leaving them in their pot, pour out almost all of the water but leave a good 1/2 in. at the bottom. Remove the green onion tops. Now, add in the tomato-onion mixture and put the pot back over low heat, stirring to mix, though you want to try to avoid the potatoes falling apart, which may happen if you've overcooked them a bit. After a couple of minutes of letting the potatoes get real friendly with the guiso, taste the mixture for salt.  If it tastes a bit flat add some more-- sometimes potatoes need a bit more than you would expect due to all their starch. Eat warm, although they're pretty delicious room temperature too.

El otro día me quede pensando que he tenido la suerte de haberme encontrado con mucha gente haciendo muchas cosas interesantes, y, debido al hecho de que muchos de nosotros aquí estamos viviendo procesos migratorios, estamos en etapas muy fluyentes.  Quería preservar algo de eso, lo que estamos viviendo todos ahora en una manera u otra, entonces decidí realizar entrevistas con algunas de estas personas.  Las preguntas vienen de una combinación de fuentes-- tenía en cuenta tanto las conversaciones típicas que viajeros de mucha experiencia e inmigrantes suelen tener como tambien la encuesta conocida de Vanity Fair (una revista gringa) que es originalmente de Marcel Proust, y siempre me ha encantado. Mi madre ha realizado una encuesta informal desde siempre de un par de preguntas y he incluido aquellas preguntas aquí tambien, tendrás que adivinar cuales son de ella (aunque si la conoces no debería ser tan difícil...)

Karol es una amiga mia de Cali, Colombia.  Es cantante con formación en musica clasica y jazz y actualmente canta con un coro del estado y con varios grupos de jazz. Tambien es cantante y bailarina increible de salsa (y cocina riquísimo). Hace un par de años esta en Buenos Aires, y al fin del año se va para Santa Fe, una ciudad mas chiquita a 6 horas de Buenos Aires, con el novio, un Santafesino, donde cantará en otro coro del estado y trabajará en otros proyectos, de los cuales habla un poco  seguidamente abajo.

Donde naciste?
Cali, Colombia

Donde te sentis realmente en casa? 
Es difícil, porque hasta hace un tiempo, cuando llegue a Argentina senti que en ningun lugar me sentia en casa, pero segun los recuerdos de mi niñez, se que Cali es mi casa, es de lo que estoy hecha...el clima, la gente, esa soy yo; esa es mi casa, no solamente porque naci alli sino porque siento que soy, estando aquí, una parte de cali extendida.

Que cosa te hace menos falta cuando no estas allí?
La frivolidad de Cali, todo ese proceso de Cali, de rumba, de tomar.  Me gusta bailar etc., pero me parece que el exceso de eso hace que nuestros cerebros se vuelven muy huecos.

Que tratas de llevar contigo cuando no estas allí?
Creo que son varias cosas, como te dije lo del arraigo, no me gustaría perder mi acento.  Digamos que en cada circunstancia saco algo, sea calmarme, sacar el aguante, u otras cosas que aprendi alla y que nos identifica como pueblo.

Que incluye un día perfecto para ti? 
Un rio que tenga charcos, limpio por supuesto.

Si viene gente a casa a comer, que te gusta cocinar para ellos? 
Me gusta todo lo que tiene procesos tradicionales...por ejemplo las arepas.

Cual es el choque cultural mas grave que te ha pasado? 
Mira, en Cali se ve que la gente esta empezando a tener una rutina mas agitada....pero creo que tanto aquí en Buenos Aires como en Bogotá la gente no se relaciona con el otro, todo el mundo esta en lo suyo, para mi fue muy raro ver eso...tambien que llega un momento en que te parece normal no relacionarte con el otro...en Cali no te pasa eso, si ves a alguien tirado en la calle la gente para y pregunta: que pasa, estas bien?

Chocolate o vainilla? 

Que buscas en una pareja? 
Creo que esta cambia con los años, cuando tenía 18 años simplemente quería alguien que me diera besitos, pero ahora busco alguien con quien compartir mi vida. Me parece muy importante que ninguno de los dos deje de hacer su proceso individual, no es esta cosa de: "necesito aire", no creo en eso, si no de acompañarse honestamente.

Que cualidades consideras que son sobrevaloradas? 
La belleza, la competencia, el entrenamiento academico, conocimiento de libros.

Si estuvieras en una isla desierta, cuales 3 comidas preferirias? 
Arepas, frijoles, mango

Como te identificas? 
Creyente en Dios

Que costumbres has adoptado de otras culturas que te gustan? 
Lo de juntarse con amigos distintos...en Cali uno se junta, sale con todos los amigos...Aqui se da esa cosa de dar espacios especiales a amigos especificos...tambien lo de cocinar yo misma los alimentos para compartir, es algo que aprendi observando a algunas comunidades indigenas...hice un viaje en el 2000 y conoci originarios que están haciendo jornadas con gente de toda America para preservar nuestras costumbres tradicionales, empece a pensar mucho en el proceso de alimentarse uno y a tomar un rol mas activo en este proceso...

Que porcentaje de tu tiempo pasas en auto-reflexión? 
Quisiera que fuera mas, pero creo que un 60%

En que crees?
En Dios

Si tu pareja se hiciera un cambio de sexo, te quedarias con esa persona? 

Que fue la cosa mas traumatica para ti en salir de tu casa, y cuantos años tenias? 
No creo que haya ninguna cosa porque me quise ir, a los 17 años, a Bogotá.

Proyectos actuales? 
Una banda de funk con música propia. La idea es escribir música que propicie en la gente cosas que no sean la laxitud, la inconciencia. 

Por que te gusta que te recuerden? 
Por que pude ayudar a alguien, sea ayudandole a poder pensar o reflexionar en algo, o que le di una mano en un momento difícil.

Planes concretas para el futuro? 
Sembrar...tener una huerta propia y generar energia solar.             

Donde te imaginas envejeciendo? 
En el campo

Palabras finales? 
Buscar a Dios en el corazon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Los Clásicos

Continuing the classics of Argentinean cuisine kick that I've been on lately, a couple of weeks ago I said to Felipe that I wanted to buy some quince to make pasta frola, one of the classic Argentinean desserts. He made a skeptical face. I don't really like pasta frola. Oh, I know, I replied, I don't either, but I want to see if I can make a version that I do like. 

Pasta frola is another one of those Argentinean descendents of Italian cuisine. It´s like a jam crostata, most commonly filled with membrillo (quince paste), though you also see it filled with dulce de batata (a sweet potato-like jam) and other various incarnations. Argentineans adore it and it can be found in every bakery and many kiosks even sell squares of it. Like many Argentinean desserts, I normally find the filling way too sweet and the crust pretty tasteless. I generally like membrillo though, and I mean, I do love butter crusts. So I reduced the sugar in the membrillo, and I made a butter crust with lemon, vanilla and semolina, to tweak the taste and texture a bit more to my liking while still staying in the Italian vein. Semolina is one of my favorite ingredients ever, and I try to stick it into everything I can.

The result was really lovely, and Felipe promptly ate more than 1/2 of the tart in less than a day, so ha. We should've made a bet, though I'm not sure why exactly I'm looking to turn my relationship with the person who washed all the dishes into a competition. So I suppose the moral of the story today is to not always trust my first instincts, unless they involve conservative homophobic clergy and closeted homosexual behaviour, often illegal but almost always at least creepy.

Pasta Frola

3.5 oz. (100 g. or 7 Tbsp.) butter, room temperature
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. semolina
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Membrillo filling, about 2 cups
Sugar for sprinkling

Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl and then stir them into the butter mixture just until combined. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and put it in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut off a third of the dough to use for the lattice top, wrap it back up in the plastic, and put it back in the fridge. Press the two-thirds of dough that you have left into a 10-in. springform pan (you could use a tart pan as well), pressing it up the sides so you have walls of about an inch.  Spread the membrillo in the tart in an even layer, leaving 1/2 cm. of rim showing. Take out the remaining 1/3 of dough from the fridge, lightly flour the counter, and roll out the dough to 1/8 in. thick, laying the plastic you wrapped the dough with in between the dough and a rolling pin (or wine bottle) to help the dough from sticking to the rolling pin.  Cut the dough into 1 cm.-wide strips. Lay the strips crosswise on top of the membrillo, pressing the dough strips at the edges into the dough of the tart rim. Sprinkle sugar over the top of the tart. 


5 quince
2 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half
2 strips lemon zest
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Peel, core, and chop the quince and stick it in a large heavy-bottomed pot along with the lemon zest and the vanilla bean. Add water just to cover and simmer until the quince is very soft, about 30 min. Take out the vanilla bean and set aside. Using a hand blender, blender, or food processor, blend the quince and lemon zest until smooth. Return to the pot (if you didn't use a hand blender), scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and put them in the pot with the puree, and add the lemon juice. Add in the sugar and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the bottom doesn't burn, for 1-2 hours until the quince thickens and darkens in color (here is a good explanation of the process with clear pictures).

And the remaining puree? You can make quince gelees. Oil a baking pan and spread the remaining puree into a layer 1/2 cm. thick. Bake in the oven on low heat, around 150ºF, until set (it may take at least 2 hours). The top will be set before the bottom. Cut into squares and toss in sugar.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Perú

Going out to eat is not something I do very often, partially because I lack the money to do so and partially because I´m generally not that impressed with the food in restaurants in Buenos Aires. The two exceptions to this are parrillas (grills) and the Peruvian restaurants. Argentina is of course known for its meat, the grilled chorizo and provoleta (a hard provolone cheese grilled with olive oil and spices) are delicious, and hole in the wall parrillas with grizzly old parrilleros (grill dudes) complaining about last Sunday´s loss of their favorite soccer team are always entertaining and satisfying in a completely greasy way.
Walk-up parrilla in San Telmo
More often, though, we´ll be lazing around the house on the weekend, or come home exhausted from a long day, and someone will say, "Uy vamos a Perú..." (Let's go to Peru!) which generally means one of several restaurants within walking distance, half a roasted chicken, salad and fries for 28 pesos (about 7 dollars), which results in two very full and very happy people in the course of under an hour. But, for the forementioned cashflow problem, we try to ration our visits, so the conversations actually go more like this: Tengo hambre...vamos a Perú? O lo resolvemos aquí y vamos el fin de semana con mas calma? Bueno, esta bien...(I´m starving...should we go to Peru? Or we´ll figure out something here and go this weekend when we have more time? Fine, okay...) Last Friday night, after having had this conversation the night before, we finally got to Peru and I invited a friend who had just got in from Colombia to come along. (Certain people had to finish a grant translation because although they had already done it, they had very very stupidly forgotten to save. This is a state of mind that is scientifically known as zero desire to finish said work and lots of desire to do anything but.)

Argentines at this moment in time do not generally have warm and fuzzy feelings about the very large Peruvian community here.  Many will tell you, unasked, that Peruvians are thieves and that they come to Argentina to steal and live as squatters.  Last year a Peruvian colleague came for a conference here. He was taken to visit la Villa 31, one of the tougher slums in the city that doesn´t have running water, and when I asked him what he thought he said "I couldn´t believe that there were Peruvians living like that.  Why would they come here to live like that?  I´ve never seen anyone living in those conditions in Peru."  The reasons are complicated I´m sure, and the feelings on both the Argentine and Peruvian sides are complex. Like most conflicts with immigrant I imagine it´s going to take time and intermarriage and a degree of assimilation on the Peruvian´s part.  And lots more ceviche and banging roast chicken.

At El Carlitos there almost always seems to be at least one transvestite in the room. (There does seem to be a large amount of transvestites of Peruvian descent in Buenos Aires, but I never hear any complaints about this particular presence. More on this later.)   And then, as we were sitting around, stupidly full and content and lazily gossipy, someone put El Gran Varon on the jukebox.  The waiters started singing along, casually, quietly, as did the tables on either side of us.  You could hear the table (dark-skinned guy on date with bored-looking transvestite) behind us singing along.  Our (Colombian-American) table was singing. El Gran Varon is a salsa tune about a transvestite who is rejected by her father and ends up dying alone in the hospital from AIDS.  The title, El Gran Varon, refers to what her father referred to her as a child, Simon my son, the great male.  It´s a great song and it´s incredibly progressive given that it was recorded in the late 80´s in Latin America (or in the states for that matter). 

No se puede corregir a la naturaleza, a lo que nace doblado, jamas su tronco endereza,
no te quejes Andres, no te quejes por nada, 
si del cielo te caen limones aprende a hacer limonada.  

You can´t change nature, he that is born gay is never going to be straight, 
don´t complain Andres (the father), you don´t have anything to complain about, if the sky rains lemons learn to make lemonade.   

You can find Carlitos, and very likely me, at Corrientes 3070, two blocks from the Abasto shopping center.