ATP – 12 Dec 17 – village high street

MICRO-PORTUGUESE

You already know that e (pronounced ee) means and. What of é?

‘é’ is an extremely important word. It comes from the verb ser (to be), and it means ‘he is’, ‘she is’, ‘it is’ or ‘you are’. Pick the appropriate translation using context. Google does not do context, so you are better than Google. ‘é’ is pronounced ‘eh’.

RECIPE OF THE DAY

As we approach Christmas, the food in shops tends to get more universal, the type of produce sold in supermarkets throughout the world. But I want to keep trying to bring you a take on Portugal and the Algarve.

On the plot next door are 3 houses, with 3 generations – grandfather, children, grandchildren. The grandfather is an affable man who strolls around his plot and the village. He nods at me and I say ‘bom dia, senhor. (good day, sir). He speaks not a single word of English.

His cat comes into our garden, and the cat has become my friend. It is black and white and only has one eye. I practise my Portuguese on the cat, but of course, it cannot talk back. So I asked the grandfather the name of the cat, using my mini-Portuguese. After a bit of thought he told me it was ‘meal-you’ (which could be French, Portuguese or English).

My effort seemed to please him, because when he had finished pottering in the garden, he came back and gave me two lettuces and two radishes (rabanetes).

You can make salad anywhere in the world, but here is Portelas tuna salad.

Go to your garden and cut a fresh lettuce. Dig up a rabanete. That’s the long carrot-shaped vegetable on the left. Yes, that’s what a radish looks like on the Algarve. Add some chopped onion, cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Season with garlic (alho), salt, pepper and olive oil. Layer the top with tuna.

It could not be easier, as long as your garden grows lettuce and Portuguese radish in mid-winter, as per the Algarve.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

The street that we live on is very narrow. Bits of its are just one car wide so you have to know your passing places. It took me a long time to work out that we live on what was the old high street. I would guess it dates back to the days of horse and cart.

The old high street had 4 main buildings. There was a café/bar (not in the photo). Then there was the post office, the large building on the extreme left of the photo.

In the middle, now being converted, was the padaria, the baker’s shop.

On the right, with the red stripe, was the lavanderia, the laundry. I have still to find out if this was what I think of as a laundry, or whether it was simply a lavadeira, a woman who lived by doing your washing in her home.

This picture was taken from the high street ‘square’. It has a little bit more width than the street, for car parking to access the facilities, plus a couple of now-decrepit benches under a shady tree, where presumably the menfolk of the village once sat and talked. The person who buys the padaria has the option of adopting these benches i.e. the local council wants someone else to refurbish them.

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