Noah surf house

Great atmosphere and great food. If you have never eaten Portuguese sea food you may never know what great things the Portuguese can do with it.

Salt of Portugal

Noah Composit

If you’re looking for the perfect place for a romantic date, we suggest you try Noah Surf House, a restaurant in the Santa Cruz beach, 40 miles north of Lisbon.

The restaurant building is minimalistic, designed to frame the gorgeous ocean views. The space is furnished with colorful tables and benches made from reclaimed wood, as if to stress that everything on the beach is a gift from the sea. The sea is also the inspiration for the menu, which includes clams Bulhão Pato, fish soup, shrimp with garlic, octopus salad, seafood rice, and fried fish with tomato rice.

If you go to Noah for lunch during Fall or Winter you might have the privilege of having this magical place to yourself. If you go for dinner during Spring or Summer, you’re likely to find the restaurant full of beautiful people who gather here to enjoy the setting of the sun.

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Beauty in the details

Beautiful Portuguese craftsmanship.

Salt of Portugal

Desenhos de Janelas Varandas, Rui Barreiros Duarte, ink on paper, 2016.

When you visit Portugal you need to sleep well to rest your eyes, because as soon as you wake up there’s so much to see!

A walk in an old neighborhood is a visual feast of architectural details. Doors, windows, roofs, and balconies tell us about the craftsmanship of their builders and the dreams of their owners. Each is a distinctive brush stroke on the beautiful canvas that is Portugal.

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Hold Tight

Even Florida has been colder this winter. Amy opened a window of sunshine to bring hope..

Petals Unfolding

This post is dedicated to my Mom and to MichelleMarie.  Mom and MichelleMarie, I Love you both so very much!!
~~~~~~~

image

Hold tight to Hope
on dreaded days
of deepest dark.
~~~~

MF Macro Photography/ “Hold Tight” 2016©AmyRose
@www.herladypinkrose.wordpress.com

Photograph of Daffodils taken 4-15-15 in my gardens.

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Ebora cerealis

A wonderful place to visit. Portugal has many and diverse customs.

Salt of Portugal

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If you’re traveling in Alentejo, follow the advice of ancient travelers and spend some time in Évora. The city is included in the Antonine itinerary and is mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History as Ebora Cerealis in reference to the surrounding fields of cereals.

Évora was occupied by Celts, Gauls, Phoenicians, and Persians. But it was Quintus Sertorius, the general who conquered the city in 80 B.C., that gave Évora its architectural jewel: a Roman temple with elegant corinthian columns. Known as the temple of Diana, it is more likely to have been dedicated to Jupiter.

There’s much to see in Evora: a beautiful basilica, elegant university buildings, and peaceful convents. And the food and wine are great everywhere.  You can choose a restaurant blindfolded and have a wonderful meal. If Pliny was writing today, he might call the city Ebora Delicia.

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The apple of paradise

Portuguese apples… mmmmm

Salt of Portugal

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The best apple we’ve ever tried is a Portuguese variety called Bravo de Esmofe. It was discovered two centuries ago in a small Beira-Alta village called Esmofe.

You can find prettier apples, but don’t be fooled by the unassuming look of Bravo de Esmofe. Its taste is a revelation, the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness. And its inside is so full of antioxidants that it makes us feel immortal.

Biting into a Bravo de Esmofe helps us understand Adam’s temptation and makes us wonder whether the village of Esmofe was once the Garden of Eden.

If you visit Portugal in Fall or Winter, don’t miss the chance to try Bravo de Esmofe, an apple that belongs in paradise.

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The glorious food of a rural past

If you have never had a Portuguese country meal, you need to find a way to get to one.

Salt of Portugal

Composit - solar dos amigosWhen you dine at Solar dos Amigos, you take a trip back to a time when people grew their own food, so cooking was informed by a deep knowledge of the ingredients.

We realized that our meal would be extraordinary with the arrival of a small plate of pataniscas (fried codfish) that were wonderfully light and full of flavor. The Portuguese never tire of codfish, so we tried two more codfish preparations. The first was Tiborna, roasted codfish combined with potatoes and olive oil. It is a traditional recipe, but this version shined because the ingredients were pristine and the execution immaculate. The second was codfish campino style, a delicious, airy combination of codfish, cabbage and white beans served inside a baked country bread.

Our first meat dish, fried lamb chops, reminded us of how extraordinary the taste of lamb can be. The grand finale was Cascos à Ribatejo—veal grilled in the huge fireplace…

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The first sunset

An ancient tradition.

Salt of Portugal

The Romans marked each new year by hammering a nail into the door post of the temple of Jupiter. We prefer to photograph the sunset on the first day of the year, hoping it holds a clue for what the year will bring.

Today, the sun slept all day behind clouds. But at the last moment, it spread its rays and lit the sky, as if to reassure us that there will be many beautiful sunsets in the New Year.  We hope you’ll come to Portugal to share some of these sunsets with us. Happy New Year!

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A Merry Little Portuguese Christmas

A Merry Portuguese Christmas

Harry and I have many happy holiday memories from our Portuguese Adventure. For me, though, our second Christmas stands out over all the others. We were members of the Igreja Evangélica de Algés at the time. Although Americans attended there, it was totally Portuguese in tradition and the congregation was amazing. Irmão Fernando Resina was one of the teaching elders. Our second Christmas in Portugal he and his wife invited us to eat supper with their family on Christmas Eve.

The adventure began when I asked Harry what time we would need to be there. He said, “Around 9:30 p.m.” I’ve always been a morning lark, and that made me blink. But, such a delightful invitation, offered in love was irresistible.

Before we left home on Christmas Eve, we had a snack around 6 p.m., and began to get ready to go. We borrowed the ministry van since it would be too late after supper to find public transportation. In addition, my tummy was feeling like I was coming down with the flu.

We arrived around 9:30, right on time, but the party had not begun. (Later I learned that it in Portugal, generally “on time” can be up to 45 minutes after the hour of the invitation. The Resina children had put their boots by the stove for Pai Natal (Father Christmas) to put presents in at midnight. The tree was beautifully decorated.  I learned that evening that, in general, Evangelical Christians had trees and Pai Natal who brought gifts;  Catholic Christians had manger scenes, and the Christ Child brought the gifts.

prespio

Bacalhau Cozido

Around 10:30 p.m., our hostess called us to the table. There was the traditional Bacalhau Cozido (boiled codfish).  That included salted cod fish, reconstituted and boiled. There was cabbage, boiled potatoes, and broccoli on the side. It was my first Bacalhau Cozido, and I really enjoyed it. As we finished the bacalhau, family members began clearing the table. I was comfortably full, and it was around 11 p.m.

Galo assado

To my surprise, there was another course; the galo assado, a roasted fowl that had once upon a time crowed at sunrise. Salad, and homemade potato chips accompanied it. I had slowed down on eating, feeling fine and was hoping the flu had given up on me.

Following the fowl, bowls of canja (chicken soup) appeared on the table. It was delicious, but I couldn’t eat much.  I was hoping that no one would be offended by my waning enthusiasm for food.

Bolo Rei

And there was more. We were directed to the dessert table. It was smothered with attractive sweets from rice pudding to Bolo Rei (King Cake). I’d never seen so many kinds of different pastries and puddings in my life. I nibbled a little here and there, and they were amazing. It was truly a feast fit to honor the King of kings. And no unhappy tummy all night.

Around midnight the children got their boots, and opened their presents. Food, fun and fellowship ran riot that night. Soon after midnight, we got into the van and drove back across town to our neighborhood.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all of you. I look forward to sharing more about Portugal and our time there in January.