Continuing this “Cooking at home A to Z” journey was challenging for me in December. I am not very religious, but there is a long Christmas lent that I wanted to do. It stretches over six winter weeks and ends on the Orthodox Christmas eve on January 6th. It is an opportunity to eat simply, be more reflective and not indulge in over-eating, over-consumerism, and other over-“doing” habits. To simplify, the lent is mostly like being vegan, so no animal derived food. I like vegetables, soups, stews… – there was no problem with finding those in Portuguese dishes. As probably evident from these postings, I like making desserts whenever there is a chance for them, so instead of looking for vegan options, I looked for something I like and then learned about alternatives. I find culinary explorations quite exciting. It is not only that people are inventing new dishes, but also that there have always been alternatives that were used in the past (and usually healthier), but were replaced by well-marketed, more profitable product. Food industry is scary when you start reading about the ingredients on the back of the packages, the additives and all the chemistry.
This is how I ended up with discovering aquafaba, which was perfect for the Portuguese soft doughnuts! I loved it so much that I made them a few times after, even when I didn’t have to use aquafaba.
from Past Poetic Production
The bus winds up the narrow road,
cranking and screeching like a chased beast.
Walking from the entrance of the palace
through the labyrinths of gardens.
Up, up the cobbled roads and pathways.
I touch tiled walls and lacy concrete
decorations on turrets and columns,
warm from October sun.
The colours of Pena Palace make it look like a giant wedding cake.
A beautiful place to be with someone you love,
I think walking next to you in silence.
Your eyes rest on other spots but never on me.
I long for your hand to take mine,
for a smile to radiate on our faces.
Instead, I ask you to take a photo of me, reluctantly,
to put myself in this site for eternity,
Neither of us dares to ask for a memory of us together.
We will remember Lisbon as a city
where we became strangers
more than a boy dancing on the street,
or a lady selling “Pastéis de Belém”, their favourite pastries.
At the end of the day
I hate you more than at the beginning,
as it is one more without love,
further and further away from each other.
We both try to bring back, to resurrect smithereens
of the past feeling that used to make us “us”.
It hurts so much that it prevents us from knowing “how”.
Because of you, Lisbon would be a city of silhouettes,
a pain in beauty, a well with a broken rope to the bucket,
leaving my heart and my mouth dry.