ATP – 17 Dec 17 – Christmas turkey?

Is our Portuguese Christmas cancelled?

The day started UK-style, up at 8 AM so the children could open their presents early. The Portuguese are smarter. Children get their presents on Véspero (Christmas Eve), so after a hearty festive dinner and a midnight Mass, there is some chance of a lie-in on Christmas Day.

The UK approach worked OK in the early hours of Christmas Day, then the wheels started coming off the bus. To get the kids out of the cook’s feet, there was supposed to be a grand opening of our boule pitch, and a vegetable patch for the children, while she was cooking. The trouble was the weather. It was supposed to be cloudy, but 50 minutes before the ‘grand opening’, it rained in bucketloads, Algarve-style. So the kids fun events got rained off.

The cook is hard at work on a Christmas dinner of turkey, roast beef, pork, plus all the trimmings. The power is going off, on, off, on, frequently. My guess is it is what is being used for the ovens.

In the afternoon it turned sunny, so I went out into our garden in order to assess the state of our boule pitch and vegetable patch. Both were doing fine, just far too late in the day for the opening. And in the middle of our garden, in his/her favourite spot in the sun was Milho.

This is our neighbours’ black and white cat. It only has one eye. I don’t know what happened to the other. Milho is quite nervous because one of our dogs barks very aggressively at the cat whenever it is in view.

But Milho is my amigo. I approach to within a certain distance of the cat then I stop. It is then up to Milho if it feels comfortable enough to come across and play with me. And this Christmas afternoon, the cat chose to come and say Feliz Natal.


My word of the day is neto, for grandson, or neta, for granddaughter.


Cabrito assado. Roasted young goat. Unless you like goat AND you can get your hands on some, there is no point in giving you a recipe for cabrito assado.

I work on a seefood diet. If I see it, I cook it and I eat it. Our neighbour has said one of the kids (cabritos) is getting the chop in the Ano Novo. Hopefully we will get a small piece in the New Year. I will cook cabrito assado.


It’s Christmas.


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