Confession: I geek out over planning these. In fact, I think I’m going to continue them (albeit probably not weekly) when COVID-19 is in the past and I can both travel and go on real dates with A again. This week, we let our minds and stomachs take us south to Argentina, a place I’ve never been. What do I know about it? Well, it has lots of beef, good wine, cowboys, Iguacu Falls, and Pope Francis. Also Lionel Messi and Evita. But the rest is sort of a mystery.
Evita isn’t streaming for free right now on any platform, so I was forced to find different things to do – and I’m glad I was. Here was our date night! I hope it inspires you to plan your own!!
Argentina-Themed Date Night
Eat: Asada with Chimichurri; Alfajores
This one came out really well. I marinated flank steak in lime, honey, and smoked paprika, then grilled it. I made some rare and some closer to medium since my family has mixed tastes. Chimichurri is a mixture of chopped parsley, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and olive oil. Traditionally it also gets hit with a splash of red wine vinegar, but I used lime zest instead for the acid and to keep it fresher. It was killer!! Pair the asada with your favorite veggie and starch (we used asparagus and rainbow quinoa), pour a glass of Malbec from Mendoza, and dinner is served!
The chimichurri was on point!
Alfajores are shortbread cookies sandwiched with dulce de leche in the middle. The cookies themselves were good, but A outdid herself with the dulce de leche. It actually only has four ingredients: milk, sugar, baking soda, and vanilla. Cooking low and slow it thickens and caramelizes and oh my heavens it is incredible. There’s a reason it’s the national dessert of Argentina (and could be for everywhere)!
It may not have been the movie, but we found the soundtrack! Evita is an Andrew Lloyd Webber show, and the movie featured Madonna and Antonio Banderas. It is the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, and one of the most beloved Argentines in history, up there with Pope Francis and Messi. While most people have heard “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina,” the rest of the score is also fantastic with some great Latin beats.
Learn: Falklands War
The war was pretty tiny, and hardly even made the news outside Argentina and the UK, but for two months in 1982, Argentina’s military junta tried to get public focus off of the failing economy by invading the Falkland Islands, a territory of the UK. After initial success, they failed. But this video about the war is pretty great! Dinner documentary for the win!!
Immerse: Argentine Tango
If you think my athletic prowess is poor, you should check me out dancing. But we found this awesome video series of classes for beginners. Each is about 5 minutes and teaches a single move. My parents joined in, and we turned the living room into a dance floor. No, there is no video, thankfully.
Yes I’m looking at my feet. No, it isn’t “wrong.”
Experience: Buenos Aires Graffiti Art
I found a narrated tour of some of Buenos Aires’ street art. That seemed like a good use of a bit of time when we were all tired out from dancing (and A getting her feet stepped on). It was good, though a few of the street views aren’t up to date as things have been painted over, sadly. Also, just a reminder, while Google may be evil in some of its goals and methods, it also has some pretty rad stuff, especially for quarantine. Ups and downs, right?
Cool street art!
This was another fun date night, even with my lack of “moves” on the dance floor. I’m excited to visit Argentina in person some day!!
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