Friday, 24 April 2009

A Privilege

In the last post I was maybe a wee bit dismissive when I said "Someone commented on 29 Jan ..."

Actually it was Joe who said "ello! I am so jealous...i was born in Santa Cruz,Flores and lived in Caveira until i was 3. My parents brought us to the USA in 1980. When i was younger we would often visit every other year for a month or so. I have not been back to the island since 1997 but plan on returning soon. I can't even begin to tell you how much i miss it."

It's nice to be reminded that someone out there envies your situation and I must say this has happened a lot since we've been on this island. It is a privilege to be here and I will think about you Joe next time I get a bit irritated about some aspect of life here (like that very bumpy bit on the road to Santa Cruz - that minor sort of thing).

... I'm sitting here trying to think another minorly irritating thing about this island and I can't think of one. They do exist, obviously, but nothing big enough to get under my skin that I can remember it now.

It's a privilege to live here.


Kathie said...

Happy 25 de Abril! Today's the 35th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, which overthrew Portugal's Salazarista dictatorship under his successor Caetano.

Do you ever go foraging for wild watercress in the riffles above the waterfalls on the west coast of Flores (or at least buy the stuff in the mercado)? I thought you might like to try the following authentic recipe for Watercress Soup [Sopa de Agrião], which was handed down to me on my Flores side of the family in California. Spring is definitely the time to make this!
* * * * * * * * * *


1 bunch watercress, washed very thoroughly
4 cups water
1 - 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
½ cup onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
½ pound potatoes, washed and peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
Crusty bread, torn in chunks

1. In a medium-large non-corrosive saucepan (I use a 4-quart pan), sauté the chopped onion and garlic in oil or butter over low heat till translucent.

2. Add the 4 cups of water to the onions and garlic, then heat to boiling.

3. While the liquid is heating, finely chop the stems of the watercress and thin-slice the potatoes ⅛" thick, then add them to the boiling liquid and cook till done, about 15-20 minutes (test by gingerly forking a slice of potato -- when pierced, it should not fall apart).

4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Serve the soup in individual bowls, poured over chunks of crusty bread.
* * * * * * * * * *


1 molho de agrião, muito bem lavado
4 chávenas (quase 1 litro) de água
1 - 2 c. de sopa de azeite ou manteiga
½ chávena de cebola, decascada e picada
1 dente de alho, decascado e picado
225 g. de batatas, lavadas e decascadas
Sal e pimenta q.b.
Pão francês, rasgado em pedaços

1. Numa panela não-corrosiva de 4 litros, aqueça o azeite (ou a manteiga) em fogo brando. Coloque a cebola e o alho nela e cozinhe até ficarem transluzentes.

2. Misture na cebola e no alho as 4 chávenas de água; em seguida ferva.

3. Enquanto o líquido estiver a aquecer, pique de miúdos os caules de agrião e corte as batatas em fatias a uma grossura de 3 mm; depois de ferver o líquido, mexa-os até cozinhar, cerca de 15-20 minutos. Com garfo, vá verificando a cozedura da batata – não deverá se desintegrar.

4. Mexa e tempere com sal e pimenta q.b.

5. Sirva a sopa em tigela individual, sobre pedaços de pão.

Neil King said...

Well what a coincidence because guess what we had for lunch yesterday?

Made from watercress bought in the shops but we did gather quite a lot from the mill lade at Fajazinha and the Ribeira Grande below the waterfalls earlier in the year. Your recipe looks pretty similar to ours except we use leeks instead of onion. It would not be an exaggeration to say that WC soup is my all time fave.