first, i had a hell of a time finding ingredients such as baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, etc. it makes me wonder if everyone just makes their baked goods from a mix. but eventually i was able to locate some (not all!) of these essential items.
but then we have the problem with the ovens ... you see, when i bake things, usually i like to set the oven at a specific temperature. usually 350 degrees. sometimes 375 degrees. but this is an impossibility here. please see the oven at left.
you may notice that there are NO NUMBERS anywhere to be found. now, for the stove i guess numbers aren't really necessary. but i ask you, how are you supposed to figure out what temperature to cook things when all you are given to work with is a picture of a big flame and a little flame? at first i thought maybe we just had a shitty oven, but then i learned that everyone has ovens like these in their homes.
so i asked an argentine how you are supposed to bake under these conditions, and he was quite shocked that i had a problem with this system. "why do you need to know the temperature?" he asked, "certainly you can tell if the oven is hot, no?"
yes, i can in fact tell when an oven is hot. i have that power. but i explained that i wanted to know the exact temperature.
"why," he asked, "are you a professional baker or something?"
well, this stunned me a little. am i asking for too much? am i being a baking prima donna? so i decided to quit my whining, and i set off to bake some cookies.
now, let me tell you that cookies are hard to find here in argentina. sure, they sell oreos and chips ahoy in the supermarket, and i have become quite fond of the dulce de leche sandwich cookie goodness which is an alfajor, but try to find a good old fashioned homemade chocolate chip cookie and you're shit out of luck.
this baking disaster took place in our old apartment, and during the baking the window of the oven actually FELL OUT of the oven door. i'm sure that didn't help matters. anyway, i have yet to attempt to bake again in our new apartment. probably because i am not a professional, and am therefore unqualified.