15 May 2007

Introducing Chili to my Argentine Family

This past Sunday we invited my husband's family over for the second half of Cristian's "USA Vacation Presentation". Pobrecitos, the first half involved a selected (yes, an actual selection) of 750 photos from our time up north. I love my husband, but he loves to explain and with every photo there was a story. Hence, "USA Vacation Presentation" part one took about 5 hours at my brother-in-law's house.

Part two of "USA Vacation Presentation" involved just the videos Cristian took in USA. He made 84 short films that he planned to show his family with full explanations during, after and replays. Admittedly, some of the videos are actually pretty cute, like us walking down Navy Pier in Chicago freezing our butts off......but some of the videos are terribly boring, like circling around a mini subdivision in Grafton, Wisconsin.

I decided to make chili to accompany the long video session. It sounded like a good idea- I don't know how you all eat chili, but I serve myself a few times and make each bowl a bit different. First round- spicy hot, second round- sour creamy and the third round or grand finale- cheese explosion. That way, our guests don't get bored. They can at least eat while they watch.

Knowing Argentines and knowing the cooking style of my mother-in-law, I decided to chill out on my chili recipe... they'd never heard of nor tried chili in their lives. I had to edit the recipe because contrary to popular belief, Argentine food does not consist of "ay caramba picante burritos". The food in Argentina is salty if anything, but never spicy or with lots of condiments. I held off on adding the second onion to my steamy cauldron, passed on the hot sauce, and added extra meat and tomatoes.

Well, apparently my chili was the hottest thing to hit Argentina since Che Guevara as I watched my family-in-law turn from happy to horrified. My mother-in-law's face turned bright red and she started to sweat! My nephew ditched his bowl in less than 1 minute's time and the others took small bites and tried to look pleased.

We ran out of beverages. We exchanged uncomfortable smiles. My chili was not received well by my Argentine in laws. To make matters worse, chili is the type of food that just keeps on giving- as they're all suffering from that beany American gas I failed to mention.

No comments: