Sunday my mother-in-law called the whole family together (and neighbors as well) to make Pamonha, a traditional Brazilian "country" food that resembles Mexican Tamales. I unfortunately didn't take any pictures this year of the Pamonha event (mainly because I was bedridden the majority of the day due to awwwful menstrual cramps) however, here are some pictures from my first visit to Rondônia in 2009 when I first met the whole family.
|The family helping to shuck and grate the corn|
|Avô (grandpa) looking at the mess we had all made|
|Humberto's cousin Rita and Avô in the background|
Pamonha only requires four simple ingredients.
Your entire extended family and friends. Corn. Oil. Salt.
Yep, thats all we use. For the sweet ones you substitute the salt for sugar. After you grate the corn you put it into a big bowl, mix in the oil and salt then make little cups with the corn husks, fill it with the corn mixture and whatever you want inside, tie another husk around it to seal it up and toss it into boiling water. We stuffed some cheese into some (and i snuck some cheese and guava paste (goiabada) into some of the sweet ones... mmMmMmM!)
The whole family assumes their traditional positions when the shucking of the corn begins. In our family, Avô is in charge of shucking. This year, since he is 87 I think..., H's cousin helped him out. They shucked 2 bags of corn, that is 240 ears of corn!! About 4 of us took the shucked corn and picked out all the hairs so they were clean and then 4 other people grated the corn into the paste. Men, women and children work together on this first phase. Once this is done all the men open up some beers (or in our case, start serving tereré) and get the churrasco going (of course, there can't be a Sunday without churrasco on the farm!) meanwhile the women share a few beers amongst themselves while they start preparing the corn paste with salt and oil (or sugar and oil) and then making the little pamonha packets with the husks as the casing. There's a secret to the whole process as the way the strings are tied around the pamonhas tells the person who is going to eat them what is inside and if it is sweet or salty! In our family they also like to put a ton of hot peppers in one or two of the pamonhas as a joke! This year my sister-in-law made the practical joke pamonhas so obvious that everyone pointed it out as soon as it was served so of course no one ate it, but we all got a big laugh out of the entire thing.
So, as you can imagine, my Saturday and Sunday were filled with corn this corn that... corn bread, corn cake, corn on the cob, pamonha, creamed corn, chicken-and-corn soup... I'm pretty much corn-ed out for the next few weeks (and my freezer is full of leftover pamonha!)
After the whole pamonha episode was finally coming to a close I took Ice on a nice long hike on the farm to a reservoir that I absolutely love. It was his first time heading back this direction on the farm and I am always worried about taking the pups there because the water is still and I'm always on the lookout for any blue anacondas (sucuri in Portuguese), as they have been known to eat other dogs on the farm. Humberto lost a Pitbull to one a few years back. There haven't been any sightings in the last few years and the pups on the farm have gone on two or three day adventures (meaning they just disappeared for awhile) and came back with no injuries, so I am assuming that they have mostly left the premises). Anyhow, Ice had a blast. The bottom of the reservoir is a thick clay that you sink into. Ice seemed to think that it was some type of animal that was grabbing his feet and he ran into the water barking barking barking and attacking attacking attacking, then ran up the bank back to me and then dashed back down to the water's edge only to repeat the whole process over again. He didn't get eaten by a sucuri, but was more than a bit dirty...which leads me to the next part of this post....
Puppy Perfume? Well, on my last trip to the petshop I decided to pick up some flea and tick shampoo for Ice and found bottles of puppy perfume (ranging in prices from R$20 (about US$11) to a whopping R$80 (about US$44)!!!!! I, of course, picked up one of the cheap bottles and went home excited to give the pup a bath after his Sunday jumping into the muddy water in the reservoir. Not only is he flea-free now... he smells DELICIOUS! I can't stop smelling my dog, and telling other people to smell him, too. You gotta love a country that sells puppy perfume, and it seems NORMAL for people to buy it. (Note: maybe this happens in the States but I have never, ever, ever heard of any of my friends buying their dogs puppy perfume!)
Anyhow, that about sums up what I've been up to this weekend. It looks like this coming weekend we might be taking a trip to some fancy fazenda that has pools and something like a zoo (it's a vacation resort type deal) and I'm pretty pumped about it! If it all comes together you can expect some photos next week!
I've been coming up with ideas for daily postings and I'm thinking of the following.
Thoughtful Thursdays (i'll chat about some type of topic that isn't directly related to my going-ons)
Fitness Friday (where I will recap my workout progress that I've made throughout the week...)
We'll see how this goes anyhow...