So we fancied it up today and actually made a white cheesy sauce to have over pasta! Yeah that’s right we made macaroni and cheese from scratch in our van down by the river (well it wasn’t much of a river, more of a stream, but it was not that far away.). Before I dive into that I will start at the beginning.
As you know Lola has been having some troubles. Troubles that have kept us in El Calafata for at least 3 extra days. Today we escaped. Not smoothly, mind you, but we escaped non-the-less.
Breakfast – We had our normal breakfast, only this time I was the one to actually make it (as in heat the water and make the coffee) while Alex was being a lazy bum. I had cereal in the normal way. But Alex mixed it up a little and had some peach jam in her oatmeal!!!
We then proceed to drive around on the paved highways near El Calafata trying to get Lola to stall and throw a fault code. But she didn’t. We drove 120 beautiful miles, but she didn’t stall. So we decide that it was time to skip town, but first we had to check the interwebs (one more time), and have lunch.
Lunch – Sandwiches al la Alex. She did a fabulous job (good amount of mayo). Salami, cucumber, parsley, mayo, mustard, and gouda cheese. The gouda cheese down here is not what we are used to seeing. When we get gouda back home it is usual pretty firm and frequently smoked. This stuff was very soft and gooey. Gooey and soft is pretty typical for Argentina. Don’t get me wrong, it is very tasty stuff.
Then headed up to the mechanic that helped us out yesterday. The plan, yesterday evening, was to drive around and try to get Lola to stall again so that Pablo can check the fault with his diagnostic tool, which thankfully is similar to the tools they use in the states. But since we where planning to leave town and he hadn’t asked for any money yet, so we were going to settle up. Turns out it was still siesta time (goes from about 1pm to at least 3pm maybe 4pm). This is tough for travelers to get use to; everyone goes home and every business is closed (at least the small ones do). So we got some more diesel and pulled some money out of the bank then headed back to Pablo’s shop. Turns out Pablo wouldn’t charge us anything. That’s right he spent about 2 hours with us trying to diagnose what’s going on, but he didn’t want a dime, or a paso (1 paso = 6 cents). Really nice guy.
So we hit the road, and about 30 miles outside of El Calafata Lola finally stalled at almost exactly the same spot she did it before. Hmmmmm, there seems to be a pattern developing here. Luckily she started back up just fine after the required 6 minutes and we where on our way. We are headed for Chile. Chile does not allow any fresh fruits, veggies, meats or cheeses to come in. So, Alex had the awesome idea of making macaroni and cheese from scratch.
Yeah a little crazy, but we like a challenge. My mom always said that a good cook just needs to know a few basic recipes. I don’t remember all the items on her list of important recipes (maybe she will include them in the comments???), but I do remember that a white sauce was one of them. I think I remember this because I never really knew how to do this (despite watching her do it a number of times) and felt self-conscience about it. I still don’t have a lot of confidence in it.
To make a cheese sauce she would start by making a white sauce, by cooking flour with butter then adding milk, and then mixing in cheese. I guess I watched her enough times that we were able to pull it off. It was awesome, truly gluttonous. Just what we needed to recover after some stressful moments in our home on wheels.