forgive the nostalgia

In the mid 1970´s my parents bought expensive flaming orange crushed plush sofas for our living room. They were matched with Italian ceramic statue table lamps (the tables were glass with faux marble), and a rust and cream colored carpet. The walls of our living room were wood panelling. My parents took the plastic off their sofa, though. I was thinking of them because my father sent me a CD with photos where my sister is sitting on her really nice, plain but pretty sofa.

The flaming orange sofas were used only once a year...on Christmas Eve. We would open our presents here. The rest of the year these sofas were for decorative use only. (We used the basement for daily living where there were actually more normal sofas.)

Sometimes, I ask myself where all my corniness comes from?? I think it has little to do with the fact that although I was born and raised in a typical American suburb of a major American city, in fact, I grew up in a typical "aldeia pequena Minhota." The street where I lived until I was six years old had about 30 apartments 2/3 of which were occupied by Portuguese immigrants, all from the same geographical area of the deep northern Minho region (Arcos de Valdevez, Ponte da Barca etc.).

In the few square miles of South Norwood (a part of town) lived a small community of Portuguese people who liked to know eveything about everyone when they got together at the Portuguese American Club for the big Saturday night dinner and dance. Dances that were to the tune of Marco Paulo or Quim Barreiros or even better the "concertina".

I could easily distinguish a Portuguese immigrant´s house from among the many houses on any given street. Hanging in the windows were the lace and organza-with-cutouts-of-flowers-or-butterflies-or-both-curtains...Made in China. These were sold in shops owned by Portuguese immigrants as were the sofas and lamps and tables that my parents bought.

The house of a Portuguese immigrant usually had vinyl siding, meaning that it was not a house where you saw the wood or bricks. The siding was usually of bright colors....white, yellow, greenish blue. But the major clue that it was a casa Portuguesa was the statue in the front yard. Usually, it was the Lady of Fatima but it could be also be Stº Antonio or Jesus. Sometimes it was just a decorative garden statue like a deer or a donkey. Here is an example that Sushiesque captured in Somerville, a town near Boston with many Portuguese houses.

I forget what happened to those sofas. I remember them fondly. I remember remember and miss them fondly.



I am trying to research and perfect recipes for when I eventually open our tea house. Meanwhile, I share these easy recipes that make my life a little easier. I cook lunch everyday so I like things that are simple to make. If anyone would like to share with me a recipe you can email me at osbravosarrobahotmail.com or with any questions.

Mushrooms are a good alternative to meat and a good source of vegetable protein. They are also very good for the immune system.

Receita Fungo Fácil

o vosso funghi preferido (2 para cada pessoa )

que seja um destes

o cogumelo portobello ou de pé roxo.

muito alho fresco bem cortado- uso pelo menos uma cabeça de alho pequena para 4 fungos

tempero preferido- rosmaninho, coentros, oregões, mangericão, salsa ou todos um bocado. Secos até são preferidos porque vão ao forno.


2 colheres de sopa de mostarda diluida em 25ml de agua

queijo fresco mozzarella ou requeijão ou queijo fresco de cabra alentejano etc.

Lavam-se os mushrooms e depois secam-se com toalha. Numa travessa colocam-se os fungos (a parte lisa para baixo). Por cima rega-se com azeite. Deitar os temperos e colocar por cima dos cogumelos o queijo. Depois regar com o molho de mostarda (a da marca Calvé é boa). Forno médio-alto (pré-aquecido) 15-20 minutos. Os mushrooms estão com uma cor escura e moles.

Eu servi com bróculos e arroz integral (fácil de fazer em panela de pressão e mais saudavel) -30 minutos na panela de pressão.


na panela de pressão coloque o arroz e o dobro da agua e deitar o sal mais ou menos para temperar. quando a panela começa a largar a pressão cozer mais 30 minutos. escoar o arroz e depois coloque numa travessa e vai ao microondas 5 minutos para secar. Faço sempre "extra" para ter para outro almoço/jantar.






I´m not picky as long as it is dark chocolate.



a little late for the series done on reflective surfaces at the Self Portrait Tuesday blog back in December.

There is also a site on flickr photo sharing called coffee addicts.

I´m definitely one.


a break from routine

Good jazz music in Lisbon, live and to buy at Trem Azul. I almost was to not go into Lisbon last night for a jazz session at Trem Azul and then a workout at the gym with a friend. I have become such a homebody (caseira) lately and stuck to a routine. It is even worst when you work at home and live in the country. You sort of isolate yourself a bit. I heard some good music and caught up with a friend on all the current news....good news. I have to do this more often.


esta noite

Hoje, quando o sol estava a ir-se embora, estava a coser, sem televisão, sem radio sem pensar na merda dos cartoons, urânio enrequicido, e cobardes. Esqueci-me de Fátima Letícias, Vanessas, e o vazio. Não passou por a cabeça a hipoteca, as vendas, o relógio biológico ou as saudades.

Depois toca o Luís no telefone interno a perguntar-me se queria andar agora á noite em Sintra, nós os dois e os trés cães. Desta vez, disse que sim. A ideia de andar no frio em Sintra esta noite apelava aos sentidos. Escolhemos os caminhos mais escuros: por detrás do Parque da Liberdade, junta à Quinta das Murtas, pelas escadas que vão ter à igreja da Sta Maria, em frente ao Convento da Trindade, descer para S. Pedro até à Quinta da Vigia, até à Estefânia e depois para casa. Quanto mais escuro melhor. Muitos cães, mais corujas, palácios, castelos, ventos, lareiras, e luzes ascesas das janelas das casas com gente a jantar.


looking for saloia

She walked by me as I was about to sit and enjoy my favorite view in Sintra (o miradouro da Condessa de Seisal (D.Maria) ) em S. Pedro, and I smiled. Uma saloia vestida de roupa em padrões todos differentes e boné em cima do lenço de flores. I wanted to ask her if I could take a picture with her but at the last moment, I hesitated and the it passed. She talked with her friend very matter-of-factly and I felt she had the personality that matched her speak-ever-so-loudly clothes.

That was two weeks ago. Being a kind of strange person that I am, this Sunday I am going to the same place at the same time (to visit the "feira" too) to see if I see her again. With my camera in hand I will ask this time for the privilege to capture the smile in a permanent memory.


Farm Friends out for a Ride

A Miss Senhora do seu Nariz e a Miss Pernas da Galinha aproveitam o sol para dar uma volta na serra.

(Making dolls is serious business :) ...I love it!

For Sandra

As pernas da Miss Pernas de Galinha :)



Lucas Miguel Soares de Sousa

3.95 kg



** ao telefone, ouvimo-lo a soluçar


What we do for the (love) of the game

We like a good game of soccer . My sympathies to my dad and brother-n-law. Luis, Porto will win it all.


addenda, notes, updates...mail


Portuguese cotton chita is my favorite printed fabric. Last year, I made a a bag. My last three dolls are dressed in chita. The mixing of fabric is definitely inspired by Rosa. I hope that the current fashion of chita is here to stay.

My thanks (a late one) to a favorite flickr photo sharer, Hippyxic for all her beautiful handmade gifts.


Around this time a year ago, I was in Boston, more specifically, Norwood for a six week stay with my family. Two highlights from the trip are the blizzard in which I flew in and actually had to spend the night and the next day in Montreal, Canada. The other was a car/train day trip with my mother to New York City to see The Gates. It was a cold, blistery Sunday and the city was filled with people all of them, it seemed, walking towards Central Park. Everyone it seemed, drinking one of these in a paper cup. New Yorkers walking their dogs all dressed in little knit sweaters, (the dogs, that is). The park was covered in snow and the saffron Gates were blowing around. (Miss you, mãe.)


So my last four dolls actually have homes. She is living in Lisbon. They are going to America to live with Sara and Lucy, my sisters. Sara is 39 weeks and expecting my third nephew any moment now. He has alot of presents so this is especially for her. How time passes. Because I was doing my maternity rotation for school, I was in the delivery room with her when Diogo was born almost eight years ago. Since I had to see a number of deliveries, my instructor allowed me to be with her. One of the best experiences of my life. The blue doll is for Lucy, the young sister, elegant and wild eyed, rebel of the family ;). Anyway, if you read my goofy descriptions of these dolls you know that they will be happy in the states!

And finally,my favorite of my last four dolls goes to one of my favorite persons.