Friday, November 28, 2008

Still. Stuffed.

Oh, for Pete's sake! Why didn't anyone warn the crazy pregnant one about the dangers of Thanksgiving? I usually space out my feedings and eat small meals every few hours on a normal day. So why I thought it would be a good idea to eat very light all day yesterday so I would have room for the Thanksgiving feast I would go on to later stuff myself with is beyond me!

I discovered my stomach doesn't quite have the same expansion space it once had - and I'm pretty certain that last bite of whipped cream covered pumpkin pie stopped it's downward travel at the bottom of my neck (where I'm pretty sure my stomach had crept up to in it's quest to expand.) I'm not sure I've ever been quite so miserable from eating too much! But oh, it was good. It was really, really good.

And as concerned as I was about how our Brasilian friends would take to the very American meal I was offering, I would dare say that by the looks of their plates everyone enjoyed the meal. I think all but two people had a healthy plate-full of seconds and there were only small bits of crust left behind on the dessert plates from the pumpkin pie I served everyone.

So, for the menu (and the sad Portuguese translations/descriptions I gave them):

Turkey/Peru A 9 pound whole bird, skinned, and cooked in my largest crock pot stuffed with onions and cooked in white wine - it was really, really flavorful, tender, and moist!

Cornbread Dressing/Acompanhamento (feito com pão de milho, ovos, cebola, aipo, etc.) This one was the hardest to translate, so I ended up just giving it a general name and an ingredient summary. I was surprise that this turned out to be one of the most-loved dishes of the evening.

Turkey Gravy/Molho de Peru I made this with drippings from the turkey which also had plenty of white wine in it. It made for a yummy gravy. (And no, I didn't use gizzards or anything else from inside the cavity of the bird - that stuff goes straight into the trash quickly before it has time to scare me.)

Mashed Potatoes/Purê de Batatas

Homemade Egg Noodles/Massa Caseira com Ovos (o melhor acima da purê de batatas) Noodles are really a midwestern thing, so naturally Eric grew up with them. But given that my Grandma is from Indiana originally (her family moved to Georgia when she was 16), the tradition was also brought south and is a must-have for holidays with my family too. Besides my Hubby, this is one of the yummiest things to ever come from Yankee territory! ;)

Sweet Potato Soufflé/Caçarola de Batata Doce Don't let the name fool you, it's not actually a soufflé. What it is though is a yummy, southern side dish that's sweet enough to be dessert! Mashed sweet potatoes are mixed with eggs, sugar, cinnamon, milk, etc. and topped with brown sugar, crushed pecans, flour, and butter and baked. Given that the sweet potatoes here aren't quite as sweet as the ones back home and they are white on the inside, not a deep orange, I mixed in just a bit of my pumpkin pureé to make it the right color. And yes, I actually did end up finding pecans at Mercado Central! It exceeded my expectations and tasted dead-on like what I've always made back home!

Green Bean Casserole/Caçarola de Vagens Turned out as good as ever despite using fresh green beans (those are hard to come by in November in the US!) and homemade cream of mushroom soup. Luckily a friend recently returned from the US and was kind enough to bring me a can of french fried onions, so at least I didn't have to fry those up on my own!

Cranberry Sauce/Molho de Oxicoco (um tipo de fruta ácida) My same friend shared a can of whole berry cranberry sauce with me for last night too. Which is fabulous since, as far as I can tell, cranberries do not exist here in any form. (Which is why I described the fruit in my translation - no one had any idea what an oxicoco was. I totally depended on the dictionary to get that one right.)

Sweet Tea/Chá - Doce e Frio I'm from Georgia. This is completely necessary with a meal like this. (Did you know that in at least one municipality in Georgia it is illegal for a restaurant not to offer sweet tea? Yes sir, we're just that serious about it.)

Lemonade/Limonada Americana Limonada is popular here. But it's made with limes. I happened upon some actual lemons, so I bought a half dozen and made the real stuff. One of our friends was saying how great it was and asked what my secret was. I answered him in English, "Lemons, not limes."

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream/Torta de Abóbora com Chantilly Brasilians here eat a lot of pumpkin. But normally it is prepared as a salty dish. I wasn't sure how they'd take to sweet pumpkin. But between the response we received from pumpkin bars I sent to the office yesterday with Eric in honor of Thanksgiving and the pumpkin pie last night, I'd have to say they like the American take on abóbora! I am supposed to translate my recipe for pumpkin bars and send it in to the office for some of the ladies there now.

Being that I am abstaining from most things fermented these days, I left Eric in charge of the wine. He picked up some Chilean Carmenère that several of our guests thoroughly enjoyed with their meal. (It was actually from the vineyard/winery that we toured while on vacation in Chile - Santa Carolina. As I recall, it is really excellent stuff! So good, in fact, that we have a bottle of their special reserve that we brought back with us that Eric is forbid from uncorking until after April!)

And since we're in Brasil, we had beer on hand as well. And that was the beverage of choice for several friends with their meal - very, very Brasilian (Mineiro?)! We at least did have the more flavorful, gourmet of Brasilian beers though, Bohemia. :)

It was a fabulous evening of food and fellowship with some wonderful people. As we laid in bed last night with our bellies stuffed, we talked about how blessed we are and how, despite there being no football, no parades, no day off work, and no family around (and being short one place setting/chair for our party of nine and speaking only Portuguese), it wasn't too shabby of a Thanksgiving Day!

Now, if only I can remember (or rather, have the self-control) to not eat so much on Sunday when we do it all over again at my friend's house - in English!


Justin said...

The turkey sounds delicious. So does everything else, of course, but the way you cooked your turkey would be the most dramatic departure from grandma's normal repertoire ;)

AcesHigh said...

Isnt it quite interesting that turkey (bird) has the name of the country TURKEY in english, while it has the name of the country PERU in portuguese? :)

do you do lemonades the same way limenades are done? The problem is that the limes/lemons are all related to one another... there is like one billion different fruits named lime and lemons. In Brazil we have yellow and green limes (limões). I am really not sure if the yellow limões are actually limes or lemons!

and what the hell do they put inside soft drinks like Sprite Lima Limão? Is Sprite made from lime or lemon in US? In Brazil, its marketed as being made from LIME! Its just a big mess.

Bruno said...

"But it's made with limes. I happened upon some actual lemons"

Mmmmm... What´s was the name of that "lemons" in portuguese? I want to know what fruit to look for in the market to make a better limonada!

AcesHigh said...

Bruno, as far as I know...

Lemon = Lima
Lime = Limão

but maybe Lemons are those big yellow limes. Or are those big yellow limes actually limas?

Ray Adkins said...


For your information in Brazil you have to look for "Limao Siciliano" which is the equivalent of the "Lemon" Emily used in her Lemonade.
Lima is something completely different, Lima in Brazil is a very mild orange, people usually give it to babies and small children because of it's low acidity.

Ray Adkins said...

Just to recap,

Lemon ( Yellow )-Limao Siciliano
Lime ( Green )-Limao

Emily said...

Thanks Ray! You beat me to it. Yes, "limão siciliano" is what we in North America call a lemon. It is bright yellow and comes to a bit of a point on either end sort of like an American football. While I also enjoy limeade (our name for the Brasilian limonada), lemonade is the superior warm weather drink, in my opinion.

I must agree with AcesHigh though, it is quite a mess when you start trying to translate! Although I'm not exactly sure why - it seems so simple to those of us in North America! ;)

It you want to shell out the cash for the limão siciliano, here is my recipe for lemonade:

Juice enough lemons (just like you do oranges) to make 300 ml (1 1/2 copos) of juice.

Combine 200 ml (1 copo) of sugar with 200 ml (1 copo) of water and boil it until the sugar dissolves.

Mix the juice with the sugar water and then add 1400 ml (7 copos) of cold water. Refrigerate until cold. Makes ~2 litros. Serve with ice.

This is plenty sweet for me, but if you prefer a sweeter lemonade, increase the sugar to 300 ml (1 1/2 copos).

Emily said...

Oh, and AcesHigh: In the US, Sprite is called a lemon-lime soft drink. :)

Marcio Pareto said...

"and boil it"???

Emily said...

to boil = ferver
and "it" refers to the water/sugar mixture

My early 2009 project is to start converting my recipes to Brasil-friendly ingredients and measurements and also translating and posting them on a new blog that I want to create. I'll have more time then, so look for my lemonade recipe in Portuguese coming soon! :)

Marcio Pareto said...

hehehe, I know. But I couldn't even imagine have to boil somethig in the preparation of a juice. This is new to me! Fancy : )