March 31, 2011

A collection of great Easter Greetings Postcards


View more Easter Cards

Hello my friends!

Easter is still an important Christian festival for Portuguese people. In the north is taken very seriously. Nocturnal, silent, candle processions are held at specific religious towns like Braga. Braga has been a diocese since the 3rd century and religion continues to play a dominant role at the community. The procession that features the Farricocos - barefooted men dressed in purple tunics tightened at the waist, hooded and carrying torches,- is quite impressive.

Good Friday is the bank holiday and people do not eat meat. When I was a child this is what I remember: the houses would get spring cleaned for Easter Sunday. On Easter Sunday, after lunch,- roast goat/lamb is the traditional dish - the local priest would visit my parent’s house with the cross for us to kiss. The priest helper would carry a bell and I remember hearing it on the streets. Streets were decorated with a high cross draped on purple cloths. Some houses had clothes hanging from the balconies. My mother would set out a table with cakes, sugared white and pink almonds and a bottle of Port wine to offer the visitors. The traditional Easter cake is called a "folar" which is a yeasty mix with whole boiled eggs, including the shell, in the middle. My godmother in baptism gave me gifts and sent me a postcard with rabbits. I still keep it!

In this post, I gathered a few great Zazzle Easter Greeting Cards. Hope you enjoy my selection!
Happy Easter card
Happy Easter by AV_Designs
Shop for a different greeting card template online at zazzle
Rabbit Easter Card card

Easter Time Card card
Easter Time Card by elenaind
Shop for a different greeting card template online at zazzle
girl bunny with basket card
girl bunny with basket by petitpaintpaintdraw
Shop for a card with zazzle.com
Easter eggs card
Easter eggs by myhome71
Shop for greeting cards at zazzle.com
COLLAGE ART BUNNY card

Easter Tulips card
Easter Tulips by Spice
See other greeting card templates on zazzle.com
The truth about the Easter Bunny card

Chocolate and Bunnies card

March 30, 2011

How to prepare and cook a lamprey the Portuguese way


Lampreia Festival April 1-10 Montemor-o-Velho, Coimbra. 

Lamprey Festival advertising poster.

Lamprey is not a fish and has a cartilaginous skeleton. Local fishermen tie the lamprey by the head and pour it in and out of boiling water several times to kill it. Then they scrub the skin up and down with the help of hard cloth to remove dirt but to keep the skin intact. They remove a nerve in the head and they make an incision in the animal’s belly. From there they make several cuts in tail’s direction along the surface of the lamprey’s body. This will help to reach and remove intestine and bill through the first incision. This is a delicate operation. The flesh will taste bitter and the dish will be spoiled if they don’t remove it intact. They keep the blood that drains to a recipient. The blood will be used to prepare this famous dish. They pour a glass of wine or vinegar in the recipient so the blood does not coagulate. This dish is typical from Baixo Mondego region-lampreys go up this river that meets the sea at Figueira da Foz. Rice production takes place in Baixo Mondego fields. This region offers a magnificent changeable landscape along the year due to different rice cultivation stages. From February to April restaurants from Baixo Mondego offer this highly prized and expensive dish and attract people from everywhere.


White spot = Baixo Mondego's region


BAIXO MONDEGO’S LAMPREY WITH RICE


Recipe for 3 persons

Half a lamprey

A glass of fresh blood

5dl of red wine

4 garlic tooth

A small onion

Parsley

Salt

White pepper

For the rice

150 gr of rice

One medium onion

2 dl of olive oil

Nutmeg in powder to taste

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste




PREPARATION
Cut half lamprey in sections and put in the recipient. Add minced garlic, parsley, and a small onion in pieces, white pepper, and salt. Cover with red wine. Join the glass of fresh blood supplied by the fisherman. Let it rest for six hours in that “marinada”.

In a saucepan over the heat get the olive oil and the minced onion and let it fry until it looks kind of “blond”. (Cover the minced onion with oil.)Then add the lamprey sections and let it fry for 10 minutes. Keep turning the chunks in the saucepan. Add the “marinada” slowly, the juice where the lamprey has been resting. Let it boil slowly in low fire. Use a fork to assure the flesh is cooked; if it’s tender it is good. Now it’s time to check the flavoring- the “tempero”- and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Add the powder nutmeg. Nutmeg is the main spice of this dish so it must be used generously.

Now for the rice: in a new saucepan pour some of the cooked lamprey’s sauce. Get all the sauce you can but do not leave the lamprey without any. Join water that is enough to cook the rice. (1 portion of rice/ 4 portions of water) Check the flavoring again and adjust salt, pepper, and nutmeg if necessary. Let the rice cook for 15 minutes. The rice must be served very hotly and soaked. It can be served separately or you can add the lamprey chunks to it.

Enjoy! Bom apetite!

Online cooking measures converter here

March 28, 2011

Congratulations to Souto Moura's Pritzker Award 2011 … a great honor for Portugal!




Eduardo Souto Moura, the 58-year-old architect based in Oporto opened his practice in 1980. He worked on his earlier years at Alvaro Siza’s office, another Pritzker Laureate (1992). Since then he has completed over sixty buildings, most of them in Portugal, and also in Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. He has just been awarded the Pritzker Prize 2011. Read Archdaily's very comprehensive article on it!

The prize takes its name from the Pritzker family, whose international business interests are headquartered in Chicago. Their name is synonymous with Hyatt Hotels located throughout the world. The Pritzkers have long been known for their support of educational, scientific, medical, and cultural activities. Many of the procedures and rewards of the Pritzker Prize are modeled after the Nobel Prize. Laureates of the Pritzker Architecture Prize receive a $100,000 grant, a formal citation certificate, and since 1987, a bronze medallion. Prior to that year, a limited edition Henry Moore sculpture was presented to each Laureate. Read more about it at Pritzker Price site, here.

Books and DVD on the Pritzker Price


March 23, 2011

Learn a children Japanese song! 童謡アニメ「うさぎのダンス」 自作のへっぽこ変なflashアニメ



I found this song in a Zazzle Store from Japan. Can't understand a word but it's irresistable.Video comes with lyrics. Translation, anyone?

March 22, 2011

Thank you subscribers of A Portuguese Love blog!



This is a very short post. I usually do not check my Feed so I was so surprised, today when I did. I found that lots of people subscribed to A Portuguese Love already! It made me really happy. As you might have noticed I do not get a lot of comments so I don’t know if people are enjoying the blog or not. 

This is mostly a promotional blog for my little business at Zazzle but I am trying, very hard, not to be a bore. I really want this blog to have good content, to be useful, or funny at times and to please my readers. ( I accept suggestions!) As you might also imagine it’s very hard for me to write in English. As I wrote in many places I have learned it in high school and I am so very grateful to my English teacher- I had the opportunity to tell her this, years later, and she was pleased. John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, and many others helped me too! The English language opened many little worlds for me. But I suck at it. 

I am continuously searching for mistakes in my posts…and I find it! LOL! As I am very proficient in the use of Portuguese I always feel a poor English user. But these numbers are quite an incentive to keep posting. And to keep learning better English. Thank you all!

New Zealand one month after earthquake and Harold's hedgehog book!


Harold's book!

My nephew reading Harold's book!
The mail package image!
Article from Herald on Sunday-NZ

One month ago New Zealand suffered one of its worst natural disasters when a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck second-biggest city called Christchurch on 22th February. Maybe you have already forgotten about it. 17 days after Earth rocked again, in Japan. Horrendous consequences are known from all of us. News from Japan engulfed all media as much as the tsunami has made for the shaken land. I am saddened for both countries. Today I am again writing about New Zealand for different reasons. After Mardi-Gras-Fat Tuesday – I got mail, real mail in my postal box, not in my email box. That is quite a happening by itself! I got a parcel from New Zealand, another one form UK and another one from Taiwan, via Oporto. Today I will show you what the postman brought me from New Zealand: a beautiful book about Harold, one of two hedgehogs that Ross gave shelter. I met Ross through Zazzle. When he asked for my address to send me a book I never imagine such a gorgeous book. Nice paper, big photos. It’s marvelous that he had done this book to celebrate Harold’s passage through his life. The little animal returned to visit him after the first hibernation on the wild. How wonderful is that? Don’t forget that Ross’s has T-shirts to help to raise money for Christchurch Relief Fund. You can find it here. Find two examples below.

The mail package had a cute drawing in it and I scanned it to post here because it’s a Kaitiaki illustration by Ngataiharuru Taepa. That’s the word in Maori for protector or guardian. That design represents Tiaki (care) and New Zealand’s Post’s role in watching over mail as it travels from one destination to another. Very nice graphic detail.

Ross also sent me Herald on Sunday, 100 hours – A tribute to courage. I took some notes out of it: “There is a gentle groundswell for the Cathedral to be rebuilt – not just as a symbol of restoring the brick-and-mortar heart of the city, but as a symbol of restoring the human soul of the community.”

It’s strange but I can understand this perfectly. I’m not a religious person but when I saw the damaged cathedral I was moved. It has stood for 100 years and it's a beautiful building. I really would like to see it rebuilt and I'm at least 30 hours flight from there!I'm sure they will do it.

This news supplement has stories of rescuers, survivors, photos and columns with words from prominent personalities, like the Mayor of Christchurch, Bob Parker: “It was like a freight train coming through the front door. No warning, no rumble, no chance of escape.” Zara Potts wrote: “It’s like a disaster movie set. It doesn’t feel real.” Mary Ann Jackson: “I ran for my life. I had seconds. I thought it was the end of the world. I could feel the building breaking up. It was seconds and the building was flattened.” Her colleagues died inside the building. One thing I tried while reading and looking at Herald’s photos was to put myself on the shoes of survivors with their uninhabitable homes, without a working place maybe for months and dealing with the loss of family members, co-workers or friends on top of it. “It takes a huge toll on the human spirit to see your home in ruins. You can’t complain because you’re one of the lucky ones.” – Kerry Woodham.


March 21, 2011

Roger Waters - The Wall Live

The photo was taken by Pedro Timóteo, March 22, Lisbon concert

"30 Years ago when I wrote The Wall I was a frightened young man. Well not that young, I was 36 years old. It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss with its concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame, and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns.: Nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, Whatever! All these issues and ‘isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.

This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament, and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.

In some quarters, among the chattering classes, there exists a cynical view that human beings as a collective are incapable of developing more ‘humane’ ie, kinder, more generous, more cooperative, more empathetic relationships with one another."


I disagree. In my view it is too early in our story to leap to such a conclusion, we are after all a very young species. I believe we have at least a chance to aspire to something better than the dog eats dog ritual slaughter that is our current response to our institutionalized fear of each other."


Roger Waters

Roger Waters is performing tonight and tomorrow night at Lisbon! Yeahhh!!

March 20, 2011

Should my nephew be an illustrator when he grows up?



When my nephew comes to stay with me he keeps asking for drawings to fill with color. Gormitis, he asks. This time I said yes, but with a special request: he should create an original Gormiti. And he did! Gabriel is 8 years old and I don't have a clue on what he wants to be when he grows up. I think it's too soon to guess and too soon to ask...! In the meantime, Gormitis rule, yeah!

Portuguese Music Research and Information Centre: rebranded site!


From the MIC site:" With a brand new design, direct links to the most popular sections as well as easier and more attractive navigation the Portuguese Music Research & Information Centre hopes to contribute even more to the international visibility of Portuguese music. The renovated mic.pt website has new areas: the monthly "in focus" section as well as a direct connection with the "New Music Review Lounge", among others. Explore all the innovations."

March 19, 2011

Olhares sobre o Porto - Guarda sul Porto - Regards sur Porto - Views on Oporto


My Oporto  Facebook photo album


Just a few things I like at Oporto - River Douro - Gustave Eiffel's Dona Maria Bridge - Rem Koolhaas' Casa da Música - Port wine and wine cellars at Gaia - Lello’s bookshop - Riverfront at either side of the Douro river - São Bento Train Station's tiled walls - Charismatic old quarters - Soares dos Reis’s Art Museum - The gigantic shovel by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen at Serralves - Shopping on the street stores and not at shopping centres – Festival of Saint John's Day - The bronze cube surrounded by coffee tables at Ribeira - Bolhão market - Café Majestic - Sweets from Arcádia - Siza Vieira's Serralves Museum and its exhibitions that have included "Andy Warhol: A Factory," "Francis Bacon: Caged - Uncaged," and "Paula Rego." - The way people talk...my Oporto friends.

March 18, 2011

Songlines Music Awards Nominees 2011: ANA MOURA for Best Artist!



Ana Moura is the celebrated Portuguese Fado singer that sang No expectations with Mick Jagger at Alavalade XXI Stadium, in Lisbon. She also performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall and that will go down in history as the first Portuguese act held there. Now she has been nominated Best Artist by Songlines, the magazine that looks at the world through its music. The winners, to be selected by the Songlines editorial team, will be published in the June issue (#76), on sale April 29. Songlines Music Awards aim to recognize and celebrate the wealth of outstanding musical talent from across the world that has been reviewed in Songlines. Deolinda's, a Portuguese band, were 2010's Newcomer artist nominee. Explore 50th sold out issue of Songlines here. Watch and listen to Ana Moura's here.

BEST ARTIST

•Ana Moura (for the album Leva-me Aos Fados on World Village)
•Cheikh Lô (for the album Jamm on World Circuit)
•Femi Kuti (for the album Africa for Africa on Wrasse)
•Youssou N'Dour (for the album Dakar-Kingston on Universal)
BEST GROUP
•Bellowhead (for the album Hedonism on Navigator)

•Hanggai (for the album He Who Travels Far on World Connection)
•Lepistö & Lehti (for the album Helsinki on Aito Records)
•Terrakota (for the album World Massala on Ojo Musica)
CROSS-CULTURAL COLLABORATION
•AfroCubism (for the album AfroCubism on World Circuit)
•Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal (for the album Chamber Music on No Format)
•Kronos Quartet with Alim & Fargana Qasimov and Homayun Sakhi
(for the album Rainbow - Music of Central Asia Vol 8 on Smithsonian Folkways)
•Vishwa Mohan Bhatt & Matt Malley (for the album Sleepless Nights on World Village)
NEWCOMER
•The Creole Choir of Cuba (for the album Tande-la on Real World)
•Raghu Dixit (for the album Raghu Dixit on Vishal & Shekhar Music)
•Syriana (for the album Road to Damascus on Real World)
•Tamikrest (for the album Adagh on Glitterhouse Records)

March 16, 2011

Japan: my Facebook profile with PicBadge

I have created a PicBadge for Facebook Profile. Let's turn Facebook red and white for Japan. Go to PicBadge and adopt my badge, pick another one or create a new one. If you like my badge, you can use the widget on your right to get one. My badge has the word HOPE written in several languages, the date of the disaster and an origami swallow. I picked a swallow because it's a bird that announces Spring. Japan will be reborn and from misfortune will come a new Spring. That our thoughts be with Japanese in this grim hour of their History.

March 13, 2011

Portuguese youth last Saturday demonstrations




Photos were taken by Isabel Camarinha, a friend, at Oporto,
where at least 80.000 people gathered to protest.


Called onto the streets by a social media Facebook campaign a total of 300.000 thousand people marched in a dozen Portuguese cities last Saturday to vent its frustration at grim career prospects. This was one of the biggest demonstrations ever held in Portugal. After a decade of feeble economic growth Portuguese are now facing hard austerity measures with reflections on every life sectors from education to health. Demonstrators were mostly on their 20s -30s but their middle-aged parents were present too and even older people in their 60s already. On Facebook´s Manifesto, young organizers stated that this demonstration would be from unemployed and other poorly paid slaves disguised as workers and its aim was to trigger a qualitative change in Portugal. The organizers aspire to a decent future with stability and security. The generation with the highest level of training the country's history, they have stated, has no means to use their potential but believes to have the resources and tools to create a better future for Portugal. Right now the jobless rate stands at a record 11.2 percent. Half the unemployed are under 35. With no jobs prospects or very badly paid jobs they can’t afford to leave parents home and postpone starting a family even if they have a college education. A song called "Que parva que eu sou/ What a fool I am" by Portuguese band Deolinda has become kind of a hymn for this generation that has entitled herself “ Geração à rasca” meaning desperate generation. Deolinda’s recorded performance in Oporto’s Coliseu was uploaded on Youtube and become viral:

"I'm from the generation without pay

and this condition does not bother me.

What a fool I am!

Because it’s bad and will go on,

I’m already lucky if I could get an internship.

What a fool I am!

And I'm thinking,

what a silly world this is

where to be a slave one must study."

It gave origin to a large debate by Portuguese society, common citizens, opinion makers, politician analysts and politicians about young people condition. This debate will go on now as Facebook's Manifesto results were better than organizers expected. Demonstration numbers also made clear that internet and social networks are a powerful tool. In my opinion, the causes of this grim situation are complex. The economic crisis does not explain it all. It was bad already before the economic crisis, now it is worse. Lack of Government vision and Education planning led many youngsters to invest their time in superior education courses that can’t match the society needs. My course is a good example. I went to Law School back in the 80s. Back then Coimbra’s University admitted 400 new Law students every year. I don’t know how many Law Schools we have in Portugal, too many, I’m afraid. A high percentage of those qualified boys and girls can’t find a job in their expertise area. I also believe that Portuguese is not trained in entrepreneurship and still rely very much on getting a job instead of searching for opportunities to create a job. My parents’ generation was obsessed with the idea of getting higher education for their kids as they saw that an automatic passport to a better life. Not anymore. Things have changed. I also feel that this is a sign of the death of capitalism. The system is dead. What will come next?