weekly update

Rob and Jacky Black
Mon 26 Jan 2009 16:56

Monday 26th January ‘09

Tuesday’s cookery course was good fun – we didn’t actually get much hands on  but we were right in the midst of the kitchen where the chef and his assistant prepared a 3 course typical Portuguese meal. We started with a basic soup made from olive oil, garlic, water, green and red peppers (not many) parsley and goats cheese. It was delicious and served like French onion soup with slices of bread, the broth poured over and topped with some slices of the cheese that had been marinating in the soup. The second course was a Bacahlaua Bras (salt cod with scrambled egg well sort of!). This too was delicious and had onion, garlic, olive oil, white wine, potato straws, cream and of course the flaked and pre-cooked cod (de-salted of course) and was finished by the addition of the eggs just before serving. The final course was the famous Pastel Nata which I have bought at home but these were absolutely gorgeous. Not surprising when you consider there were 9 egg yolks, nearly a litre of cream as well as the other ingredients. The end result looks a bit like a custard tart but there the similarity ends! We all enjoyed eating the meal and of course had to wash it down with some good local wine!

On Wednesday there was a walk out to the west of Lagos which we participated in although again we did not do it all. We took the car to Vila de Bispo, walked across open heath land in a circle – about 12 kilometres and then back to the car . We took a drive up to the west coast and found a great surfing beach where the waves were enormous. There was a lovely cafe/restaurant (closed this month) where we parked overlooking the bay and cliffs and ate our packed lunch – certainly another place to visit for a meal at some point before we leave!

Thursday and Friday were pretty wet here and we didn’t do much apart from the usual shopping and washing. We did go to the swimming pool but I had to forego the gym as I had pulled a muscle in my thigh. The Burns Night supper planning took some time as I had to get the music sorted out and find some additional dances to do on the night that would be easy to teach!

I also had to meet with the chef and the Maitre De from Way Point Restaurant to discuss the table layout etc. We had 28 people booked in for the event which was held on Sunday night the 250th anniversary of Rabbie’s birth. Saturday was market day and in the evening we went to the local bar on the Marina – Lazy jacks as they had a very good music night with two local musicians and Happy Hour too!

Our Burns night was a great success and the chef did us proud with the food. He had never cooked haggis, I had to give him a recipe for Cock a leekie soup and instructions about preparing the neeps. He also had my mum’s recipe for Scottish trifle but the result was not quite what we expected – more like a cake but tasty none-the- less. After the usual address to the haggis, toasts with whisky and very good meal we then progressed to some Scottish country dancing and a few ‘turns’ by various individuals including some poetry and wonderful solo singing of some really rousing Scots songs.

We had a raffle for a good bottle of Malt and raised 100Euros for the local children’s home; so all in all a successful event.

We were very late to bed last night so a leisurely start to the day was required. However we did make a trip to the pool and I went in the gym for 30 minutes too.  Hoping for a quiet rest of the week now!

That’s all for now.

Jacky and Rob