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Day 6 and 7 in Chile - Jan 3, 2011 - Talegante for Lunch and making Bolognese Sauce

Day 6 was the drive back to Talegante, and in the evening we went to church; a quiet day. 

The morning of Day 7 a usual, was beautiful.  Probably about 75 and sunny with no humidity (no thermometers to speak of either).  Veronica and I went for a walk together and even though I speak almost no Spanish and she (really) speaks decent English, we communicated wonderfully.  A lot was through gestures and pointing.  What we could not figure out we said that we'd ask Juane to translate when we got home.  We walked near the school where all of their children went.  We walked past a lot of small restaurants and shops that were in like long pole barns divided up.  All were serving empanadas and other local food. We also walked to a garden supply store and looked at some flowers.

I was pretty embarrassed by my lack of Spanish.  I definitely had ample time to learn some before our trip.  When I did speak it was a mix of Italian and French and minimal Spanish.  By day 7, I almost had given up.  Bless them all for being so patient with us and our lack of knowing their language.  And thank you to Juan for translating the whole time.  On the bright side, their English improved a lot over the ten days.

Ok, now a few words on the names.  I like what they do in South America.  A woman does not take the name of her husband. Everyone takes the surnames of their Father and Mother.  So for example, if my mother's father's last name was Parker and my father's father's last name was Lander.  My name would be Michele Marie Lander Parker.  And that would be my name for life.  I like that. 

After our morning swim (how lucky are we?) Veronica had appetizers for us near the pool.  Cola de mono, meat, bread, cheese with olive oil. Then Ron suggested that we go out for lunch to a restaurant.  We got ready and drove to a place in Talegante that was very nice.  They had a bakery in it and served basic Chilean food.  Most restaurants have a limited lunch menu where you select from about 2-3 first courses and 2-3 main courses and a dessert.  Most of us had the seafood pasta.  Will have some beef and some fries.  A very nice lunch.  No wine, but tea with fresh herbs.  I think that is so great.  Veronica does the same at home with herbs from her yard.  Mint, Oregano and many more.  All have certain medicinal properties.  Herbal medicine is something that I'm actually pretty interested in learning more about.  Here is a link I found that seems to have some good information without a lot of ads etc--->>>  /

After lunch, siesta again.  This is really the way to live, for sure.  I did not think of work much at all during our vacation.  It was so relaxing and I felt so at home there.

Juan had asked me to make lasagna for him and his family when were were there.  That was his favorite food that I made when he lived with us.  We went to the supermarket and bought all the ingredients.  They didn't have everything exactly that I use here at home to make it but very similar.  There wasn't concentrated tomato paste but I used some tomato sauce which worked fine.  Also I couldn't find all of the same cheeses I use but I made due.  The sauce is the main thing.  That is what makes it mine. (see recipe below) It takes 2 hours to make so I did it the night before we were going to have lasagna to make sure I had enough time.  We all hung out in the kitchen while it was prepared, drinking some wine of course.  Same as at home.  Only a few days left in Chile.  I didn't want to leave!

Appetizers by the piscina

Restaurant in Talegante

Bolognese Sauce:

Everything done in the oven, uncovered, in a large pot.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Grind up 1 carrot, 4 celery stalks, and one onion in meat grinder or food processor.  Put in pot and cover with 1 C vegetable oil.  Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in 3 Lb ground beef.   Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in 3 t salt, 2 t black pepper, 2 t garlic salt, 2 t ground cinnamon.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in 3 large cans tomato paste and the same amount of water.  Cook for 1 hour.

Chilean Empanadas (makes 12):
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground pork
3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped black olives
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup shortening, melted
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, beaten


  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook the onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper in the melted butter until the onion is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ground pork and cook until completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes more; drain the fat from the skillet. Stir the eggs, raisins, and olives into the mixture. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl; pour into the skillet and stir until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Whisk the milk and melted shortening together in a bowl until evenly blended. Stir the flour and salt together in a separate large bowl. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until well mixed into a dough. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the dough onto a lightly-floured board and roll to about 1/8-inch thick; cut into circles with a round cookie cutter or glass. Drop equal portions of the pork mixture into the center of each circle. Fold each circle in half and press edges with a fork to seal. Brush the tops of the empanadas with beaten egg.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes.  (recipe found on