WELCOME

Welcome to my blog. Please feel free to roam around and learn a bit more about Portuguese History. To find your interests, please, have a look at the right side of the page, where you can find all the posts arrenged into labels, such as "Society", "Politics", etc. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NOUGATS FROM ALENTEJO



Nógado Alentejano. Picture taken from http://olhapim.blogspot.pt/2014/02/nogado.html


For Christmas I bring you yet another recipe of a Portuguese sweet! Prepare your lips (and hips)!
This time it is an old recipe that has Moorish origins, like so many other things in this country.  It is the "Nógado Alentejano" or Nougats from Alentejo, a recipe of a region South of Portugal that would have, until the end of the Middle Ages, a strong Arab presence.
Traditionally it was made around Carnival or a holy day (like St John's day), but it became customary to be made around Christmas.
Also, it would be done with a paste of several nuts (like almonds, hazelnut and walnut), but a poorer version has mostly wheat flour in it.
So here the recipe and you can follow it through the video. Also, feel free to substitute the regular flour with the others written before. Some recipes (like the one on the link) say one should deep fry the dough in olive oil first and then boil it in honey, but let's keep it simple.




Beat 6 eggs and mix in 5 to 6 half egg shells of olive oil.  You can flavor this mixture orange zest.
Add 500g of flour, very slowly so it won't lump. The dough should fall of the finger without being to dry (sometimes 400 g of flour are enough).
Let it rest for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough into finger thick roles and cut them into hazelnut size bits. Roll these into little balls. If you wish, you can deep fry them first.
Boil 1L of honey and add the dough balls until they are cooked. You can flavor the honey with some cinnamon and a lemon peel.
Traditionally these "nougats" would be displayed on orange or lemon leaves that would be cleaned and glazed with olive oil first.


Here's another link:

Enjoy! 


I'm going to wish you a Merry Christmas, even if the recipe has Muslim origins. Isn't life funny?  :D


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Maria da Conceição Mirandella

What a find! Browsing through Facebook, found this image on a page with Historical images of Portugal and that I follow.


This photo is of a woman that lived on Oeiras during the French Invasions and was taken in her old days, of course. Here's what it says:

«Maria da Conceição Mirandella
Was born in 1800.
Now lives in Paço de Arcos. Still does all the domestic work and sews with the help of glasses. Never was ill and in her time a very pretty girl. She saw a century pass, and is a curious live document that can be a beautiful help for the anecdotal History of the presence of D. Miguel in his court in Caxias.»

So, we can assume that at the time this picture was taken Maria da Conceição was 100 years old. Blessed be!
And here are further explanations of what you just read:

- Oeiras was Wellington's HQ at his arrival in Portugal during the 1st French Invasion in 1808 (hence this blog's name);
- This lady was 8 years old when she saw the French arrive;
- Paço de Arcos saw the body of an English sailor being washed up at its shores at the English arrival at the Tagus river (2 blog posts about it written in the past);
- D. Miguel was one of the King's sons at the time of the French occupation and that later was the opponent of his brother, D. Pedro, in the succession of the Portuguese Crown which caused a civil war in this country right after the Napoleonic Wars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel_I_of_Portugal)

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!