Wait…coming from the USA isn’t driving to Portugal pretty much impossible? Not if you do it as we do. Some quick background about The Rooster and I. We admit we are not very good at long distance driving. There are not many road trips that last more than 4 hours at a time for us. However, now that we have a little more time in our reinvented retirement schedule, we have come up with all sorts of ways to keep ourselves entertained. Today, as we make the journey for our 5th grandchild’s “coming out party”, we are making a stop in Portugal.
Although I seldom actually “follow” any recipe, I’ve discovered I can instantly become transported into the cultures contained between the pages of a cookbook that also tells the story of an area and the people who enjoy this fare. So when we have a road trip coming up, the first stop is by our library to pick up the cookbook I’ve requested to be on hold. Of late, The Rooster has been getting itchy to travel and Portugal keeps coming up on both our lists of maybe. Better check out the food because we don’t go as tourists. For the last 10 years, we have been practicing our reinvented retirement and take several weeks, or more, to drop, plot and live as much like a local as possible. Back to the food pic. This is a spatchcock style of roasting a chicken. Cooks in half the time and more of the “soak up the juice” meat is having a bath while cooking. Brilliant. (if you already know about this you get a point)
Now back to the wonderful cookbook from one of my fav chefs, Nuno Mendes. Nuno shares his award winning recipes with the same passion as a kid cooking for the people who first inspired his zest for food. (at least that is how I interpreter this book) Tucked within the glossy pics of food, are smaller, almost like typewriter written, pages with Lisbon history. It’s almost like I can smell the cinnamon coming off the ships in the 1400’s. Then we have the photos that truly transport me. I have to know what is being prepared in this sunlit lime green bowl and who is winning the card game. I’m thinking everyone of these guys is content.
While I’m busy “traveling” to whatever city I have in my lap, I share all the highpoints with The Rooster. He always asked if I am reading a cookbook as he looks across at pics. In the best ones it’s not always easy to tell its a cookbook.
SIDENOTE: I am a quick stop snob. Places have to be clean. The Rooster is excellent at finding acceptable places. Today, as a matter of fact, his first drive by didnt make the cut and we ended up here. See why I love this guy.
Lastly, we always have tunes blaring when we go on a roadie. For decades we have compiled a vast playlist using Pandora. We simply plug in the phone and by magic it syncs up for us to get the same features we have at home. We can listen to all our favorites, and Miss Pan throws in new songs too so we stay as cool as we are to our grands. Truth his, many ask The Rooster for his playlist…he’s just that good at spinning the “wifi”. (isn’t this ironic….one of out favorite songs is called “drive”-ha!)
A rainbow just popped up! Good day to have grand baby five arrive. Kinda glad we were not really in Portugal! Welcome to the world…LL.

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