Monday, February 20, 2012

Dinner with Lena

I go to my Portuguese tutor about three times a week. The first week I swear I heard her say "always eat with Lena". At the time I knew the words for always (sempre), eat (comer) and Lena, of course. So I'm almost positive that's what she said. Maybe I was wrong, but either way, she still feeds me every night, whether or not I tell her I am hungry (or not).

The first night was dinner with her and her daughter, we learned words around the kitchen table, and it was one of my first conversations that was slow and deliberate. The point of it was to get me in a conversations. I very much appreciated that, and I thought it made good sense as a lesson plan.

Since then I think the focus turned more towards showing me a little bit of Brazilian cuisine. Lena, my tutor, loooves to cook (she tells me every night). I did manage to tell her once that she should open a restaurant. I think she liked that. Or she liked that I could form a full sentence by myself. One or the other. The meals in the middle of my span of lessons were more 'traditional'. Local fruits and veggies, combinations that I do not think people use in the states. But by the end of my lessons (we're on a Carnaval hiatus right now) the meals turned into what I imagine would be good eats when you come home from a bar late at night. Or early in the morning. Not as much of a lesson in Brazilian culture. Or maybe it was?

An example of a meal that I thought was more Brazilian: macaxeira (a starchy vegetable, similar to potatoes) with a scrambled egg, shrimp and cheese on top. It was tasty.

A normal dinner meal, to me at least, since dinner is usually a little lighter: bread with cream cheese and like 10 other kinds of cheese, fried bologna, and maybe some crackers or biscuits (sweet crackers). A banana cooked some way.

One of those 'came home drunk and raided the fridge meals': See below:
What is that? It's a slice of pizza with two slices of additional cheese on top. Two bomboms on top of that, ice-cream on both sides and then honey, chocolate and some fruit syrup on the whole thing. 
This is lena. See her bread, the cheese in the cup (it's spreadable cheese) at the bottom of the picture. A plate of cheese is to the left of the frame, and chocolates at the bottom. I think that is cake too.
Lena's daughter, Larissa, and husband, Antonio (I think). And Cindy, the world's oldest dog.
So that being said, I really love my lessons. Lena is sweet, her husband seems like a normal guy, always walking around in his boxers or shorts (it's hot here, no AC), and Larissa is a normal daughter. It's fun to learn how to speak with this family. And I'm not losing any weight.

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