Café Colonial

The church here is small and needs the help of the church district to pay for the pastor’s salary. Unfortunately even with that help they are in deficit every month, so to help raise funds they organized their first Café Colonial, some sort of tea party, Southern Brazilian style (most Lutherans in Brazil have some German origins via the South of Brazil).

In the week preceding the event many women (and some men) spent many days at a friend’s house preparing the dough for pão de queijo (cheese bread), and baking and decorating bolachas (cookies). D took upon himself to repaint the outside of the church. The building had been in need of a fresh coat of pain for a while now, but nobody took care of it. So now, with this public event coming up, it was an extra reason to just do it. The day before, the women were all in their own kitchen cooking and baking some more, while the men were coming and going here at the church, setting up the kitchen, the fridges, coolers, tables, chairs and two big tents. The café was planed to start on Sunday afternoon, but in the morning of the same day we were all up early doing some last minute preparations; decorating the tables, blowing up balloons, printing some bathroom signs (me).

The event was a success. The turn out was good, with a couple of visitors from outside of town (mostly extended family of church members) and many locals who had never come to our church before, notably the mayor and hopeful candidates (there are municipal elections coming up), and of course the Catholic priest (we showed up at one of their party in June, so I suppose he considered it politeness to show  up at ours — or maybe there is simply so little to do in a small town that everybody shows up at everybody’s party, who knows). There was way too much food (but at least there was no lack thereof), and most importantly for the church finances, the profits exceeded the expenses. They will be able to pay their part of the pastor’s salary until… the end of the year.

 

Amidst all this, something else happened.

Something BIG.

D received a Call to be pastor in his hometown!!! Aaah! Yes, we were certainly not expecting that anymore! First, of course , we couldn’t announce it to the congregation right away, right when they were in the midst of all the preparations for the Café Colonial.

When we first learned the news, we were shocked. It didn’t compute very well. I mean, we had dreamed, hoped and prayed for it since before coming to Brazil. We thought it was finally going to happen last year when the pastor had retired, but then how sad and disillusioned we had been when they called someone else.

Well, apparently their new pastor didn’t stay very long, less than one year, before accepting another Call himself.

Now that it has started to sink in a little bit, we are very happy and excited about it.

D has accepted the Call.

We will be moving soon to SJC, state of São Paulo… How soon we don’t know yet as we have to see about housing arrangements (the church there does not own a house for the pastor). We hope to buy our own eventually but we will probably need to rent in the meantime. Then there is the matter of the moving truck and the packing… Oh, the joys of (re)packing!

The irony is that not so many days ago I was laughing with hubby saying that now that we had received the last piece of furniture (a sofa) and I was finally hanging pictures on the walls, it was probably time to move again!

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 ! 🙂

Salpicão

Feliz Natal ! Joyeux Noël ! Merry Christmas !

No, I’m not one day late. For me, and according to the liturgical calendar, the Christmas season is from December 25 to January 6 (Epiphany). I’ve always been a bit of a rebel and dislike wishing a “Merry Christmas” to anyone during Advent. So I have a whole 2 weeks to wish anyone I know a very Merry Christmas. 😉 Another thing I like about living in a tropical country is that there isn’t much of the confusion about Christmas and celebrating the winter season. Sure, we do see a bit of the papai Noel, and the businesses still wish the generic “Boas Festas” (Happy Holidays), but Christmas is relatively small compared to the New Year’s big party with firework al gusto.

Today I came here to share my newest Brazilian recipe. I’ve made it quite a few times since I found it over at A Taste of Brazil (en), which is by the way an excellent blog about all the delicious Brazilian food. Hubby and I love it, and to my surprise the kids too! (The youngest still hasn’t got all his teeth).

I had tasted Salpicão many times at parties but, like so many new things, I had forgotten the name by the time I got home. Trying to find a recipe online without its name is like trying to find the name of a fruit or a plant: waste of time. So how happy was I the other day when I found the name with picture AND the recipe over at one of my favorite blogs! Hurray!

Salpicão is some sort of a fusion between coleslaw and chicken salad. I guess in North America we would call it a Chicken Coleslaw and replace the raisins with cranberries (hee hee). The best part for you who reads from some land far, far away, is that you will probably find all ingredients with no trouble, year round. It’s an exotic Brazilian recipe with normal ingredients! How fantastic is that!!? :mrgreen:

Here is the recipe with some of my alterations. I should also mention that there are many different versions all over Brazil and the internet depending on the region, seasonal availability and personal preferences. Some add celery, olives, red pepper or whatever seems tasty.

Ingredients

600g cooked and shredded chicken breast
2 large carrots, shredded
2 apples, diced
1 cup raisins
2 cups cabbage (or 1 small), thinly sliced
1 or 2 green onions, thinly sliced
mayonnaise
salt

Boil the chicken using a pressure cooker (we all have a pressure cooker here) or normal pan. Once the chicken is cooked and tender remove from the broth and shred. Set aside to cool. Prepare and mix well all ingredients in large bowl. Be generous with the mayonnaise. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Voilà!