Our old cooker wasn´t the highest quality piece of equipment. Even new, bits started falling off it at an early stage. We were told this was because the black coating cracks when heated; er, like, it´s a cooker. OK, whatever. Consumers have lots of rights in law, but in practise it takes seven years to get a civil case to tribunal, so manufacturers can still be sure n0-one´s going to see it through. Twelve years later, all the black coating had long since dropped off, only two of the gas rings worked properly, and the oven was a white knuckle ride. To keep the gas flowing, the oven knob had to be wedged with a broom handle, and the flame sometimes went out, but the handy broom handle would keep the gas pumping out even without a flame, so if someone lit a match the whole thing would explode. It gave a new meaning to the concept of “living by faith”, and after the second time of nearly losing my eyelashes, and conscious of a news story where two teachers in a school in Buenos Aires were blown up by a dodgy cooker, we figured it might be time for a new one.
With perfect timing, we received a generous donation for the specific purpose of replacing our cooker, from a lovely lady who we are looking forward to being able to thank in person one day. With less perfect timing, the whole country closed for coronavirus about two minutes after the money arrived in our account. So for the last umpty weeks of lockdown we have been coaxing life out of the death-trap and looking forward to buying a new one. Finally our shops have been allowed to open under restricted conditions, and one of our first expeditions into town was to check out cookers.
That´s it from both angles. We chose something mid-range that appears to be better made than its predecessor. Time will tell, but so far it´s going great and no-one has lost any eyelashes.
Celebratory pizzas under construction. Pizza making is an art form in Argentina, they imported the concept from Italy and made it their own. Want pizza bases? Open a bag of flour. Want pizza sauce? Take an onion and three tomatoes and start chopping. If your Argentinian friend comes to visit in England or the USA you almost definitely shouldn´t try and serve pizza unless you´re sure you know what you´re doing.
Finished products about to be put to the test. Apologies for the bottle of wine to any friends in countries whose lockdown rules means they can´t buy alcohol. Good wine and permission to drink it are two of the many simple blessings of life in Argentina.