A bitter sweet Christmas Tale- true story

Note: If you’re a vegan, I don’t think this piece of writing is suitable for you, I’m sorry.

Our very own crochet Christmas banner at the door- decoration by Betty

Our very own crochet Christmas banner at the door

I love Christmas, guess I always will. I cry out of most Christmas songs and feel deeply touched, emotionally connected with pretty much everything that has to do with this time of the year.
When I was a little girl, my dad always ‘took care’ of the meat we ate at home, at these festivities the pork was divine.
Dad loved baking it in honor of his deceased mom. He grew up in an underprivileged environment therefore having pork once a year alone meant Christmas for him and his 7 siblings.

So, after he got married, every year around April he would go down to a local farm choose a piglet, start to “feed” (at home he would spare food for the piglet, we never got to know all that for sure -I mean I guess he did say it over and over, but then again we wouldn’t listen) and pay for it. By the end of the year that would’ve been paid in full and his to take home and bake for Christmas.

My Mom was in charge of the many desserts, granny made the Christmas cake, and some Brazilian traditional treats, she did it like no one else does, or ever will -after all she was my granny-. As for the rest of the family my uncles and aunties would bring other foods along with their presence and love.

Then Daddy died in one May that was so unfair! My elder brother and I were living away and used to go home on weekends and for holidays. That year we had a series of financial setbacks, but we managed to buy a nice huge chicken, Mom was still shaken by the fact of not having him around, granny too old and busy taking care of my grandpa in bed. So I stepped up and offered to do most of the cooking, when I thought about to the poultry: a chicken… I would have to season it to perfection to make up for not having the usual turkey, not having my Dad’s seasoning, and having no idea  what Daddy used besides love to make his food taste so like Christmas. I had to make sure my little siblings wouldn’t miss him that much. And I was left with a chicken.

One day before Christmas Eve a man knocked at our door asking for Mom. He told her that earlier that year Daddy went to his farm picked a piglet and was sending it food as usual then he stopped. Because that particular year daddy had paid in full, he never did that before, the man assumed daddy would go and fetch the pork. Much to his surprise he learned the daddy had passed away early in May, so he decided to take it himself and hand it to Mom.

Mom almost fainted, feeling sorry for both her and the pig, not knowing what to do with it, and my brothers gladly carried it into the kitchen. We never knew for sure if daddy had paid for it in full or not, it was so not like him.
Anyway, now I had to be quick, still no clue, but much more material to work with. I was deeply touched, daddy looked after us. Turned on the radio, to “fill up my tank” and cooked like crazy.

Do I have to say that luckily I found in the rear back of a cupboard a large variety of seasoning labeled with his handwriting? Do I have to say that our dog who was always beside him while cooking, was now restlessly beside me? Do I have to say that there were no mourning tears for that Christmas Day? Some relatives showed up, even one wealthy uncle, he could not resist trying what he said was: “-Some delicious turkey!”?

No, I don’t, because that very Christmas taught me we have to bury our beloved dead ones, pay them respect, share our love, and keep going. Once in a while we weep, then we keep going. That is life, with all there is to it.

…           …         …          …        …

If you ask me what our plans for this coming X’mas are, I ‘ll have to say: we don’t know yet.  Because we did not quite fit in the Brazilian communities up here, and do not have close Canadian friends, to share such a family event together, we might either spend the three of us, eating my food, again; or travel somewhere interesting and have a good time.

It takes about 2 days to go back to Brazil and the tickets for this time of the year are shamefully too expensive. Of course I miss my family which is kind of large, and my in-laws too, after 16 years together they are kind of my own family extended.
I don’t regret being here especially because my daughter is so happy, I am not sorry for us, we all know that in one way or another we will end up having what is takes for a perfect Season, that is being among the ones we love and care the most.

Thank you for passing by,

take care,

Drikka.

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Brazilian Soccer, and a quick Pasta recipe for supper

Dear ones

Life has moved forward, so many things have happened since I last wrote here! I’d better just mention them as follows

– my daughter `graduated`-kindergarten, that was Big, she is now going to REAL school!
-we moved into another townhouse where there are more kids for her to play with-and fight with too- she is much happier this way, and the TV is seldom on.
-I quit that job, kept a few friends in there, still visit them, but I quit.
-we have been to Vancouver, through the Rocky Mountains, now that was big for me, I’ve always wanted to see them!- promise future pictures on them.
-We are going to stay here longer than we had originally planned, now we’ll stay until June 2013, my dear husband was granted another post-doctoral in Education now, we are both thrilled! I wish we could skip the 2014 World Cup -which will take place in my city too, and it will be so much more complicated to be living in.
-My dear soccer team won yesterday the most important championships in Latin America Copa Libertadores title without losing any match! Congratulations my dear CORINTHIANS.  – soccer in Brazil  is still taken seriously, out of 4 greater teams competing in Sao Paulo mine was the only one which had never won that title before, that caused the biggest soccer moking jokes in Brazilian history! We are even now, I feel glad and relieved.

On with the recipe:

Baked Pasta:

500 ml tomato sauce

500 ml white sauce

250 grs ground beef

500 grs pasta -(the small type  just like those used for macaroni cheese

200 grs Parmesan grated cheese

50 grs Parmesan grated cheese

1 small  thinly sliced onion

2 cloves of garlic chopped into

4 spoons of olive oil

Optionals:

celery salt, and black pepper to your taste

1 bay leaf

chives and parsley  and basil.

Directions:

1. Boil the pasta with a little salt and 1 spoon of the olive oil,

2. While your pasta is boiling, stir fry the onion in the olive oil use medium heat, as the onion gets transparent toss the garlic stir and add the ground beef, in case you are using bay leave add it now, together with salt and pepper.

3. Add the tomato sauce stir, turn off the heat, let it rest.

4. Meanwhile watch your pasta  it must be `al dente` -not too soft,  resistant to your touch. Drain it and reserve.

5. In a bowl mix the 200 grs Parmesan cheese to the white sauce, Slowly pour thebolognese  sauce -you just made it tomato+ground beef, take the bay leaf off, add the rest of the optional seasonings.

6. Mix it really well, take your drained pasta and lay it in a baking pan, I like the glass ones just for the visual effect.

7. Cover with the 50 grs Parmesan cheese . Oven pre-heated at 180 C or 350 F. For 20 minutes or until the top is brownish.

Help yourself!

Drikka.

Super Fast Tuna Fish Pie

Hello everyone,

My family and I went to a real nice birthday party last weekend and we were supposed to take a food contribution. What I took along was this super easy Brazilian “blender pie” you can virtually use any left over you have in your fridge.

Since everyone liked and it is a real simple recipe -besides being super fast. I figured you would like to give it a try. Don’t worry you can’t go wrong when using the blender…

Super fast -Tuna Fish Pie:

2 cups of milk
1 cup of corn oil -or any vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese -optional
1 teaspoon of salt

Put everything in the blender, following the sequence it was written – first the liquid, then the eggs.
Mix it for about 2 minutes. Pour your mixture in a rectangular non-stick baking pan.

Filling:

1 small onion -diced
1 clove of garlic -mashed
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of your filling option(*) or 2 cans of tuna fish
green onion and parsley
salt and (black) pepper
2 tomatoes -diced
oregano(optional)

(*) filling ideas you can use left overs such as: chicken,vegetables, sausage, diced ham, ground meat, roast beef, spinach etc…

Heat the oil in a large frying pan add the onions, fry them until they get transparent, add the garlic and fry a little more.
Gently add the filling of your preference, or your tuna canned fish and the tomatoes. Fry a little more, turn off the stove and add the green onion.
Lay the filling over the mixture in the baking pan, spread the green onion, parsley and oregano evenly.
Bake it until it is brownish for about 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 F, or 180C.
Enjoy!

I hope you like it,

Take care!

Drikka.

Comfy Food-Scrambled Egg

Hi there,

I simply love cooking! To me it is sort of a science, as you take ingredients lay them on your kitchen counter the mind goes wonder and it doesn’t matter whether you have or not the recipe, you will only see its result when it is done.

I love it because it is a devotional moment, it is some of your time, total attention and why not say LOVE you are spending while doing your dish. Out of all the secrets my granny taught me, making bread was the most delicious and wonderful moments I ever had with someone.

I still recall all the ritual she explained to me, she was not the lovely kind of granny, but to me she was a great one !

Well then, even so I can not bake bread as often now a days… what remains to me as a perfect comfy food is my Mom’s scrambled eggs, not because of its taste, but her urge to fix us something to eat at a quick-lunch time, just before she had to rush to work for the rest of the afternoon, I mean the simple fact of knowing she wanted to make sure we had something in all our 4 little tummies, brings me comfort up until today!

She has always been there for all of us!

That is good, and it feels just right!

You can make yourself this scrambled eggs too! Take a look at this recipe I loved at: http://www.foodnetworkasia.com/recipes/scrambled-eggs-with-cheddar-cheese-and-onions.html

take care,

Drikka.