Last night we went with Belen to the home of the Moltenos: Eduardo and Stella and Andres, their youngest of 5 children, to celebrate la Navidad. Eduardo owns and operates the La Cava de Vittorio vinoteca (wine store) around the corner from our apartment, and we have become good friends.
Buenos Aires winds down on Christmas Eve; stores close early, traffic decreases substantially, and quiet pervades. We left our apartment shortly after 9 pm, and spent the next 15-20 minutes trying to catch a cab, a process that normally takes 30 seconds in our neighborhood. We still arrived at the Moltenos in plenty of time for a glass of wine before dinner.
Stella had prepared a sumptious spread of cold foods (perfect for the warm humid night): stuffed beef and chicken rolls, deviled eggs on tomatoes, beef with a tuna and caper paste, salads, all complemented with one perfect wine after another. Our contributions were shrimp ceviche, tabouli, and (in the small world department) a fruitcake from Texas' own Collins Street Bakery, sent to us for Christmas by Linda's sister Judy in Sweden.
At midnight the quiet was banished with fireworks large and small. Lacri, the Molteno's dog, hid in the bathroom while we toasted the season with a sparkling blend from Eduardo's collection. Stella drove us home at 2 am.