Far From Home, the Dulce de Leche Cake I Didn’t Know I Was Looking For

My host mom Nora picked me up at the Buenos Aires airport and drove me to what would be my home for the next four months, her two-bedroom flat on the edge of Recoleta, one of the city?s nicer neighborhoods. You could tell my room used to be pink?a relic of her eldest daughter who had moved out over a decade ago?but all the frilliest details had been covered up or put away, except for a few pressed flowers in the frame above my new bed.

Our first hours together, she left me mostly alone, closing the door to my room after pointing to my suitcase and then to a chest of drawers, suggesting I unpack, make myself at home. After dark, she knocked on my door and beckoned me to the kitchen, where on the table she had arranged a small Nokia phone, a map of the city, and a plate of something that looked like shepherd?s pie. I smiled. She talked so fast that she had no time to sit as she pulled out my chair, filled my glass with water, motioned to the phone on the table, and started pressing buttons with her skinny fingers. She wore chunky four-inch platforms but only came up to my armpit. A curtain of choppy, dyed black bangs covered her eyebrows and most of her eyes, which expanded like moons when she talked. Read More >>