This past weekend, Juan headed to the small town of Lincoln, in the province of Buenos Aires, where some of his relatives live.
While I usually accompany him on trips to Lincoln, I declined this time, for very simple reasons.
I wanted to be here, in the Argentine capital, spending time with my girlfriends and making the most of the time in this city, which after five years, is starting to feel like home.
We’re in the midst of some personal life changes, and I know deep down inside that this is going to be a new phase of life.
One that will involve packing, settling in a different place, re-adjusting and making a home in a space that will be unfamiliar for at least a while. The last time I made a move like this was slightly more than five years ago. Some of you know our story already, while some of you may not.
Summarizing it quick and short, I’d packed my bags and left my country, Singapore, to move to Argentina because Juan was living here, and we wanted to try being in the same place at the same time. (If you’d like a more in-depth read about how I ended up being here, you can read my interview with GoBeyond.sg).
Half a decade in any country is certainly worthy of being considered long enough to know the place, and the person I am today is quite different from the person I was when I’d first landed at the international airport in Ezeiza those five years ago.
Fast forward to the present: today.
We made some important decisions these past few weeks, as I told you in my previous note. Yet while there are still moments where uncertainty about the future grips my heart, I also know that the only way to grow is to take risks and to move purposefully out of our comfort zone.
So many of you wrote to me after my last post, out of concern and the kindness and goodness of your hearts – thank you for every single note, email, comment or text message. Even though you didn’t know what decisions I had to make, or what crossroads I was standing at, I feel extremely accompanied and loved. Thank you for all of your advice, your words of encouragement and for taking the time to reach out to me.
After conversations with friends, I am increasingly certain and trust that there are only good things to come, even if I do not know what God has in store for us.
‘For I know the thoughts that I think towards you’, says the Lord. ‘Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ – Jeremiah 29:11
Beeta, a new friend who blogs over at Mon Petit Four, encouraged me to practice being in the present moment, not to look back nor forward, but to just be in the here and now. It’s not advice that I’ve never heard of before, but it was incredibly timely, extremely sincere and very much needed at the time that she wrote it.
And so here I am, soaking in the present that is these precious days in Buenos Aires, the Paris of South America, my home away from home.
Now that we’re in August, we’ve officially eased into the second half of winter in Argentina.
The days are getting longer and the sun is setting a minute later each evening, but it’s still cold and the weather is just right for something warm that fills your hungry stomach as much as it comforts your anxious heart.
It is time for soup.
Thick, creamy soup that is a blend of potatoes, herbs and onions – one whose formula doesn’t require precision.
You can use the herbs you have on hand and even throw in whatever vegetables you find digging around your fridge. I really like these kind of soups – they’re highly forgiving, ridiculously simple to make, and most importantly, deeply satisfying.
Alright, that’s all for now. But before I sign off though, I want to ask you to do me a favor.
Practice being in the present, just as I am trying to, won’t you?
- 6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
- ¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- ½ cup cubed onions
- 4 cups of vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cream, for garnishing (use cashew cream for a vegan option)
- Set a large pot of water to boil
- As the water boils, peel and cube the potatoes, then add them to the boiling water, and let the potatoes cook for 30 minutes on high heat
- When the potatoes are cooking, chop the onions, parsley and fresh chives before sauteeing them in a large pan, until onions are soft and translucent
- Once potatoes are cooked and soft, drain the potatoes, then combine the potatoes with the sauteed herbs and onions, vegetable stock, and mix well
- Process the mixture in batches in a blender, adding more water as needed until you get the desired texture of soup. I like mine slightly thick and creamy, but if you'd prefer a more liquid consistency, add more water or stock as you wish.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Serve with a drizzle of cream and fresh chives