We had a kind of sad little 4th of July. GM and Henry left for their respective destinations in the Northern Hemisphere last night so its me and three kids for the next few weeks. The plan had been to go to the center to a Fourth of July party that the Argentine-American Cultural Institute does every year. We have never been, we usually aren’t here for winter, but we thought we would check it out. While it was not promising fireworks, it was advertising American food, music and games for the kids. Well, it was canceled. Because of the swine flu. Yes, the swine flu is hitting pretty hard right now. It is flu season here and there are 15 million people living in this metropolitan sprawl called Buenos Aires. So there have been about 2400 reported cases in the country and about 50 deaths.
Enter the Kirchner government, who only last Sunday choked big time in their congressional elections. They were not gracious losers. But never to turn down an opportunity to look good, the government has roared into action on the swine flu. Feeding into an already amplified latin paranoia about health related issues and germs (per my latina friend), the government has order pretty much everything and anything shut down, closed, keep out. That means school (which only has a 2 week winter break) has been closed down 3 weeks early, most cultural/civic events (like the big 4th of July in town), and some musical concerts have been postponed until further notice. There is discussion about non essential businesses closing for several weeks. I heard my gym might be closed next week and the hairdresser was closed for the weekend. So there is a bit of panic going on. Since the weather has been BEAUTIFUL here and the Kirchners finally got theirs, I guess there needs to be something to talk and worry about. God bless the swine flu. And God bless America.
The kids wanted barbecue ribs but I wasn’t able to find any pork ribs so I had to modify the meal (which is the challenge of cooking here, a key ingredient will be in the market one day, not the next) and instead we had pork chops, applesauce, macaroni and cheese and a green salad with tomatoes. Kind of American. For dessert, we made these yummy red velvet cup cakes with cream cheese icing. They might not look like Martha but they tasted like Martha.