No meu prato

Voici un nouveau rendez-vous photographique qui s’appelle Les Évasions. Merci Laf et Cara. Ce mois-ci “dans mon assiette”, je vais simplement vous montrer comment se prépare le plat de base de l’alimentation des brésiliens : o arroz e feijão (riz et haricots).

Mais plus particulièrement les haricots, parce que contrairement des habitudes canadiennes, les haricots ne sortent pas d’une boîte de conserve, non non, ici on les prépare fraîchement tous les jours (ou tous les 2 ou 3 jours pour ceux qui, comme moi, préfèrent manger du réchauffé ;) ).

D’abord, on les rince plusieurs fois pour enlever les petites branches, morceaux de terre, petits cailloux et haricots qui flottent:

Puis, on les fait cuire dans l’indispensable casserole à pression. 1 volume de haricots pour 3 volumes d’eau. 20 à 30 minutes dans mon cas, mais ma casserole est bas de gamme, je pense que les meilleures casseroles cuisent plus vite.

Ensuite, dans une casserole “normale” à côté on grille un peu d’aïl broyé et du bacon en petit morceaux. Et on y mélange les haricots avec un peu de sel, de l’huile d’olive, un cube de bouillon et de l’eau si nécessaire.

On sert ça avec une portion de riz et parfois des morceaux de fruits (bananes ou oranges) pour varier.

Mes fils ne sont en général pas difficiles, mais avec ce plat là c’est un franc succés à chaque fois. Ils ne s’en lassent pas et c’est tant mieux parce comme disent les brésiliens, les haricots ça rend fort et ça fait grandir ! :)

Joias

The children and I were in a supermarket we don’t usually go to. I was naturally trying to keep control of my three little frogs with my litany of “touch’pas! Decends d’là! Reviens ici!” (don’t touch this, stop climbing the shelf, come back here), when a lady in the same aisle beside me turns around and exclaims “Vous parlez français!?” (You speak French!). We both stared at each other in speechless surprise for a second. It is so strange to find anyone who speaks anything else than Portuguese over here. Even with neighboring Bolivia I have only met one Spanish speaking person in my 2 years here, so to find someone speak French was extremely unexpected. She didn’t look remotely French. In fact she looked very much Brazilian, so we proceeded to question each other of our whereabouts, the way Brazilians people do so well with strangers anywhere. Having a lengthy friendly chat with a stranger in a supermarket aisle is normal behavior in this country.

She informed me that she has been living in Geneva for a couple of years, working with precious stones and traveling to Brazil once or twice a month on business. She has associates in Minas where she is originally from (the state of Minas Gerais, literally means “General Mines”) and here.

Wait. Here? From Minas to Switzerland to here?
Of course, she asked me the same questions, “From all around the world to here?”
Yep. Tell me about it.

Once back home, I told the whole thing to my husband. A pretty remarkable encounter in a very unexciting town. He actually explained that while the region of Minas Gerais used to be the main source of precious stones in Brazil, that line of business is now growing more important in remote and relatively unexploited regions like ours. We have diamonds in Rondônia! One man we know has a stone in his wallet. A small and ugly stone which is worth a couple of thousands Reais. In his wallet, just in case.

Really!? We have to start digging in our garden, I joked.

Or was I really joking?

Les enfants et moi étions dans un supermarché où nous n’allons pas d’habitudes. Je tentais tant bien que mal de contrôler mes trois petites grenouilles avec ma litanie de “Touch’pas! Descends d’là! Reviens ici!”, quand une dame dans le même rayon à côté de moi se retourne et s’exclame “Vous parlez français!”. Nous sommes restées muettes de surprise pendant quelques secondes. C’est tellement étrange de rencontrer quelqu’un qui parle une autre langue que le portugais par ici. Même avec la Bolivie limitrophe, je n’ai rencontré qu’une seule personne hispanophone depuis deux ans que nous vivons ici, alors rencontrer quelqu’un qui parle français était extrêmement inattendu. Elle n’avait pas du tout l’air française. En fait elle avait tout a fait l’air brésilienne, alors on a procédé par s’interroger, de la même manière très brésilienne de commencer une grande discussion avec des étrangers partout. Avoir une longue discussion amicale avec un étranger dans un rayon de supermarché est une chose tout à fait normale dans ce pays.

Elle m’a informé que ça fait plus de 2 ans qu’elle habite à Genève, qu’elle travaille dans le marché des pierres précieuses et qu’elle fait des voyages d’affaires au Brésil une ou deux fois par mois. Elle a des associés à Minas d’où elle est originaire (l’état de Minas Gerais, litéralement “Mines Générales”) et puis ici.

Attends. Ici?! De Minas à la Suisse, puis ici?
Bien sûr, elle m’a posé la même question: “De partout dans le monde jusqu’ici?”
Ouaip. Faut pas chercher…

Une fois rentrée, j’ai raconté l’histoire à D. Une rencontre remarquable dans une ville, en somme, pas très intéressante. Il m’a expliqué qu’en fait bien que l’état de Minas Gerais était la source première d’exploitation minière du Brésil dans le passé, le marché devient maintenant plus important dans les régions plus isolées et donc moins exploitées comme la nôtre. Il y a des diamants à Rondônia! Un homme de notre connaissance a une pierre dans son porte-monnaie. Une petite pierre tout moche qui vaut quelques milliers de Reais. Dans son porte-monnaie, comme ça, au cas où.

Vraiment!? Mais alors il faut commencer à creuser dans le jardin, j’ai rit.

Ou étais-je sérieuse?

Sede de chuva

Oi, we are still here! We haven’t melted yet, which is surprising considering that the temperatures haven’t been under 30°C for quite a while now, for so long in fact that I can’t remember how  “cold” must feel. I’m (kinda) dreaming of wearing a little vest or long sleeves. How does it feel like not to be constantly sweating? I forgot. Just to give an idea, last night as I was getting ready for bed I was happy because the wind had picked up, it seemed it was going to rain (I like a nice storm while I’m in bed), I even thought that it has gotten cooler… but I checked and it was 30.6°C (as opposed to the usual 34°C).The rainy season hasn’t started yet. It should soon, but we’ve had only a few drizzles that have left us begging for more.

My laptop computer has been acting up. I bought it before living Canada two years ago, so it’s relatively new (for me), but I suppose that even those machines aren’t meant to be working in such temperatures. Should I consider giving it a rest in the fridge? Of course, we did think about installing A/C, but with the way the house is built (no insulation between the ceiling and the tile roof), it would be a total waste of money. Not that it keeps our less fortunate neighbors (who live in wooden, shack like houses) to enjoy their A/C, but then I haven’t asked to see their electricity bill, which for us is already about twice the amount we were paying in Canada as it is. Thank God, my kitchen oven is gas (also, we definitely don’t need to heat the house! haha).

Oh, speaking of the pleasures of a very modern commodity. We’ve also had regular power cuts everyday for the past few months. Mostly from the hours of 2 to 4 PM, and 6 to 8 PM because, I suppose, that’s when the whole town turns on its fans, TVs, computers, and AIR CONDITIONING after work. Curiously the bill hasn’t been any cheaper.

The following song (Sede de chuva // Thirst for rain) is not my favorite style of Brazilian music (I prefer MPB), but I thought the song was very à propos. I liked the lyrics and funny video.

Móveis Coloniais de Acaju – Sede de chuva

Sempre foi e assim será
Minha sina é esperar
O dia em que você irá voltar

Quando finalmente for
Da distância entre nós dois
Ser mais que ar, que fé, que pó e calor

O seu cheiro é meu suor
O seu gosto vem me despertar, me cobre de cor
Meu contorno sei de cor
O seu choro vem me confortar, lavar essa dor

Molha e percorre o meu corpo
Chora todo o seu, todo o seu amor
Volta e me deixa bem úmida
E inunda o meu ser

E segue a seca a me queimar
Abraço o azul do céu e espero o cinza desaguar
Acaba com o vazio dessa minha sede de chuva

Quando finalmente for
Da distância entre nós dois
Ser mais que ar, que fé, que pó e calor

O seu cheiro é meu suor
O seu gosto vem me despertar, me cobre de cor
Meu contorno sei de cor
O seu choro vem me confortar, lavar essa dor

Molha e percorre o meu corpo
Chora todo o seu, todo o seu amor
Volta e me deixa bem úmida
E inunda o meu ser

E segue a seca a me queimar
Abraço o azul do céu e espero o cinza desaguar
Acaba com o vazio dessa minha sede de chuva

Always been and always will be
My fate is to wait
The day when you’ll return

When it finally happens
The distance between us both
Will be more than air, than faith, than dust and heat

Your smell is my sweat
Your taste comes to wake me, covers me with color
I know my profile by heart
Her crying comforts me, washes this pain away

Wet and cover my body
Cry all your, all your love
Come back and leave me all drenched
And flood all my being

And following the drought that burns me
I embrace the blue sky and hope for the gray to drain
To end with this emptiness of mine, my thirst for rain

When it finally happens
The distance between us both
Will be more than air, than faith, than dust and heat

Your smell is my sweat
Your taste comes to wake me, covers me with color
I know my profile by heart
Her crying comforts me, washes this pain away

Wet and cover my body
Cry all your, all your love
Come back and leave me all drenched
And flood all my being

And following the drought that burns me
I embrace the blue sky and hope for the gray to drain
To end with this emptiness of mine, my thirst for rain