Good afternoon everybody.
It’s a bit cold and cloudy here in Santiago today. It seems Fall has arrived whether I like it or not. Mostly not a fan, but cold here is like June in Seattle soo…its all good.
Last Monday I went with my housemate Amanda to my first ever Seder meal. I’ve been to a few bat and bar mitzvahs in my day, but never a Seder. Going to Catholic high school probably didn’t help my chances of getting invited to one either.
It was quite the adventure to say the least. We had to go way out to Lo Barnecheo which meant going to the end of the red line on the metro and taking a 15 minute cab ride. When we got there, we had to go through security just to get in the building, and once we got through, I understood why. The building was beautiful!
The synagogue itself has beautiful stained glass windows:
After the service, we went downstairs for the Seder meal. We had a little bit of a mix up with the dinner because Amanda has tried to call and reserve a spot, but they hadn’t answered, but we eventually got a spot at a table with a nice family of Chileans. I may or may not have just pretended to be Jewish because I didn’t feel like explaining I was just there for the experience. Spanish makes me awkward. I just followed along with Amanda and prayed I wouldn’t have to read Hebrew. When everybody was singing, I just sort of mumbled some Hebrew sounding things.
The whole service and meal were quite lovely I really enjoyed learning about the symbolism of each part of the meal.
Since we were unable to score a ride home, it was a bit of cold, late night bus adventure to get back, but worth it in the end.
Mid-week, Amanda both got the cooking bug and went out for some supplies. My trip brought back all the ingredients to recreate my favorite Chilean side—Pebre!
When Katie and I went to Valpo, we spent all of our meals scarfing bread and pebre. First, because we were starved and it comes out before the food, but also because pebre rocks!
I’m not gonna sit here and lie to you. Pebre is essentially glorified pico de gallo. There is nothing particularly different about it except it has a bit more olive oil and garlic. But, what is new for me is putting salsa on bread instead of chips. At first, I was a little turned off. Bread? Really? But over time I’ve gone from luke warm to addicted to the stuff. Nothing is better than the vinegar tomato juice soaking the fresh fluffy bread and the bite of ají and garlic with cilantro to finish.
Pebre is traditionally served before the meal, just like chips and salsa, or is served as a topping for grilled meat.
I knew I had to make this for myself. And make a lot. the recipe below is for a reasonable sized portion. Double it if you want leftovers.
3 or 4 ripe tomatoes, minced
1 green onion, minced
1 aji pepper, or jalapeño minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4-5 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
A squeeze of lemon juice
This recipe doesn’t really involve directions. Just mix the ingredients together. This recipe ain’t exactly rocket science either. Don’t like cilantro? skip it! No vinegar, your choice!
I was not the only one cooking up a storm. My housemate Amanda is the desert queen. She does the sweet, I do the savory. It’s a cooking match made in heaven. We don’t even compete for the same utensils! You want the mixer? Great! Give me the fry pan.
Amanda made a killer desert the other day. She also has been leaving it out just to torture me.
I’d never seen this before, but it’s a matzoh desert (Happy Passover!) called Matzoh Buttercrunch. It’s amazing. She also made some charoset (apples, nuts, cinnamon, honey/sugar).
Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!