Friday, September 28, 2012

Grocery Shopping

You know there's nothing I'd rather talk about that food. Or groceries. Or grocery shopping. We just got back from the store and I brought home two new beauties. One, I've been meaning to buy: dende oil, and one I saw (and saw the price of .89, and thought it was good enough to blow some money on) and didn't know anything about but bought anyway.

First, the dende oil. It's used in all sorts of things. Off the top of my head, I know you're supposed to use in to make farofa, but I never have. I think it's just a flavor thing. Being that I've never tried it alone, I couldn't tell you what it tastes like, or pick it out in any dishes I've had. And I haven't opened it, so I'm still not quite sure what it is. If you're interested in Brazilian Cuisine at all, I can recommend a blog that I'm always checking: Flavors of Brazil. I haven't actually made anything from the blog, but honestly, I do intend to. On that note, for Easter my parents gave me a book: The Brazilian Kitchen, by Leticia something or other (too many last names). We've decided to pick a recipe together, and cook it, on two different continents, and see how the recipe comes out. The thing with this cookbook, is that it's written by a Brazilian women, but for cooking in the US. So there's a lot of stuff that is super tough to find in the US (I mean, unless you live in one of those Brazilian/US hubs, Miami, Atlanta, New York), and there are lot of ingredients from the US maybe you can easily find here in Brazil, but I don't know the Brazilian names for! Oh shucks! Maybe it's a good incentive to learn some new words.

Okay, back to the topic at hand. Canela em po. It's powdered cinnamon, which I can proudly say, I already knew the name of. But they sell a more normal version of cinnamon. I thought this one might be somehow different. It's a little different in color, and it's got other stuff in the ingredients, mainly sugar. Okay. I just did a lazy google and it looks like it's just used like normal cinnamon. Oh well. I think I'll use it on a fried banana, one of my favorite things to eat here. 

By the way, I should have put something else in the photos so you could see the scale of the containers. They're both pretty small. I thought they were cute.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby for Sale!

Well Sarah is gone to the states for the next 40 days for work.  Make sure you check out her website g here! and her blog here!

So this is my first blog post!  Can you believe that we have been here almost 10 months and I have yet to do a blog post.  Well while Sarah is gone I am going to keep the blog going.

We are currently working on our about us page so be on the look out for that too.

So we have been here for 10 months and we are loving it.  We really do enjoy things here.  Sure there are some things that still baffle and bother the banks being on strike or the huge hassel of getting Sarah's visa fixed and taken care of.  But we are getting used to it all.

And then of course there are the things that we still find humorous. Recently we have been noticing funny packaging.  Look at these two packages and tell me what you think!

 Check out what I would call a cornish hen on the's a baby!  They sell babies in the supermarkets!  Now we know they don't really sell babies, but the use of the word is pretty funny if you ask me.
This is a different supermarket, but still funny.  Breakfast of Champions! SUPER BALLS!  Now I know I am reverting to my teenage self by thinking this is funny, but come on it's funny you have to admit it!

There are so many other things just like this, but these are the latest two that I happened to snap photos of.  Language is so funny sometimes you just have to laugh at it, what works in one place doesn't always work in another.

Post your funny packaging pics and stories in our comments section.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Farms 1

So we've been looking at some farms lately. Just for fun, seeing some local real estate. They're super beautiful, and the countryside is so different than the beach. Also it sort of gives us a view into a different lifestyle. Sort of the farmer/gardener, 'interior' (that's what they call the area of the country inland) life. We both enjoy gardening (okay, I like to garden, Toby likes to watch), and working with our hands, so maybe someday this will be something we do. The first farm we looked at was a pousada in it's previous life, a little hotel. Now it houses a family who maintain the land and make a small profit on the produce they grow. After touring the property, which was expansive and full of fun plants, cows and little surprises, the owners sent us away with more produce than we knew what to do with. Pretty fun.
 These were the family's little gardens, this one has lettuce, chives and cilantro. In the background there are some of the hotel rooms. What a fun straight little garden. Not exactly how I grow mine.
 Another part of the garden, cilantro and lettuce, and the back of the main house. The bigger part, which you can't see was two stories. Super cute. I can't remember what that tree is in the foreground, but the back right is a mango. This property had 12 or so.
 Another view. On second thought, that tree in the foreground right is some sort of citrus. I think the foreground left was a lime. Maybe. Lime trees here look different than the ones I'm used to.
 We found a whole stack of these old hotel check in pages on the ground. I wish I would have taken a ton of them, since they were just sort of in a trash pile. I did pick up one, and the check in date was 1980. Neat!
 Hahaha, I have no idea what was going on with their chickens, but they were looking pretty rough. Someone give those chickens a sweater!
 Oooh, peeling paint. Pretty right? I would have taken this building in any of those colors!
 Toby and some type of hundred year/agave plant. The picture doesn't quite do it justice, it was around 10 feet tall.
 Another one.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Farms 2

Okay, I just realized that I wrote these drafts out of order. Farms 2 is going before farms 1. Whoops.

Either way, we've been looking at farm properties. Mostly because we like to look at real estate, secondly because we like farms. From the point that the photo below was taken you can see the ocean, although you're pretty far (45 minute drive inland) from it. It was a really beautiful property. We loved it.

Pineapples!!! Apparently pineapples take 18 months to grow (from planting to harvest) and like to grow on hillsides. We can't figure out why they're so cheap. 18 months? That's such a long time! But maybe they're cheap because they take up that farming real estate (hillside) that would otherwise be unused? Who knows. Delicious either way.

 This property had over 150 palm trees that delivered most of the income for the farm (along with the pineapples) but on the side they also grew pretty much every other tree fruit you could think of, and lots of crops on the ground. In the background of this picture you can see macaxeira, a root vegetable, in the foreground corn. The farmer who works the land made a joke with us that this was Brazilian corn, not US corn, so it was only going to grow this tall, not 10 feet tall like in the US. I laughed a little at that. Fertilizers. Hah. On the left and right in the photo are mango trees.
 Baby palm trees. These types of coconut-bearers have a fruit bearing expectancy of about 20 years, so they were just replanting the land.
 Brazilian corn. So short you could take a picture over it. Just kidding. I think it was just young. I'm sure it'll grow to the height that it's supposed to grow to. Which I have no idea what that is.
This is the macaxeira, with the house in the background.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Farms Three

Okay, you'll read my apologies in the further posts. This post is called Farm 3. But there are two posts that were supposed to come before it, but they're really coming after it. Same thing. You get the idea.

So this farm used to be a nursery, and also had a field of cajus and maracuja. Okay, so I don't really remember. But two fields of fruit trees. Very neat. I really loved the nursery. It was sort of dilapidated, and out of use, but still had lots of plants, and a lot that looked like they were very happy that people stopped caring for them (read: plants gone wild!). 

Also, as you'll notice, there was a friendly cow at this farm. Almost all the farms we'd looked at were huge properties, many acres (or hectacres here), so the majority of them rent their land out to cows. All three farms we looked at rented out their land. Most of the cows here are Brahmas. Sort of the same kind that are in India? I have no idea. Not the black and white milk cows you see in the US.
 Mmm, pretty right? The stems and leaves were sort of beigey grey. Nature, you're such a designer!
 Nursery gone wild! Orchids galore!!! I wanted so badly to steal so many plants, since they looked like most of them were left to the earth anyway.
 Don't worry plants, I'll rescue you!!! Come live at my house!
 What in the world kind of plant is this? Little white bubbles on their stems?
 Hidden behind the relatively small mango tree was one of the houses on the property. Pretty tiny.
Hi friendly cow. It was licking my bag like crazy! I didn't have any snacks or anything either, I have no idea why he was licking. Anyway, he distracted us all (me, Toby and the guy showing us the land) and BAM the cow behind him (see him in the picture sneaking up?) jumped up and started....errr....seducing the other one! Just like that! Oh nature.

Another cool thing about this place was that we drove pretty much straight up (at an angle I'm sure would be illegal anywhere else) for a really long time, and there was still this little lake/pond way up there. I have no idea how water stays up so high.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Local Art

Heee heheeee haaa. I love this guy. I laugh every time I see him. He sits near some sort of science center. He's huge. Like 20 feet tall.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Favorite Building.

This is one of my favorite buildings. It's big and curved, and the whole curve faces the ocean, so I assume all the rooms come with a view. Unfortunately, we've heard the renting situation is pretty bad and the building is scheduled to be torn down. Sad.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sugar Cane-ing!

Hey hoo! I thought I already posted about this, but honestly, cannot find it, so maybe I didn't? We go to sugar cane farms every now and then for the husband's work. It's pretty fun. They're beautiful pieces of land, in the NorthEast of the country they're on rolling hills with sky for miles. Or kilometers. 

Either way, beautiful. Recently we went to a family friend's farm. It was great. We got some super cool free hats, saw the know, things you do on a sugar farm. Saw a giant toad.
 I have no idea what fruit this is. I'm normally a pretty great fruit/tree sleuth, but tonight, google fails me. I've come up with a handful of answers, but I'm pretty sure none of them are right. So I'm not putting a name on this right now. But I've seen it growing in some places. What a great description.
 Errr... This was supposed to be a picture of the tree, but as the tree above, can't remember what it was. Whoops! Good thing this is just a blog for funsies, not for education.
 MANGO TREE! Yes! Finally I can tell you why I took a picture, and what it was of. Okay, I get it, I post tons of mango trees, but I do think they're mighty pretty, and mangos are mighty delicious. See all the pinkish on top of the back tree? Those are blooms. Yay for mango season!
 Rolling hills of the Northeast. So pretty. Because of these beautiful rolling hills they have to farm sugarcane completely different than the rest of the country. Actually, that's a good idea for a post. Maybe next week.
 Free hats! Heyooooo!
 Foot in picture for size reference. And, note that I have a pretty large foot. American 9.5. Rest of the world, about a 41. So that's a really big toad. Speaking of shoe sizes I was in the mall the other day, just browsing the shoe section, and in this section I found absolutely none in my size. My feet aren't huge, but I guess in Brazil, much larger than the majority.
 He's puffed up and standing tall. He was maaaad!
 Hills of sugarcane.
All the men were talking so I sneaked off. I thought I could try and take a bite of the cane without anyone noticing, but apparently someone was watching me with the camera.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Random Pictures from the past

Just some randoms.
 Are the big beers in the US as big as the big beers here? Look at that height! Huge beer! And a random 473 ml. What sort of amount is that? Hopefully it's a round number in some other measuring system.
 Baobab Tree!
 This particular baobab is sort of famous. I've read about it once or twice in different places. For today you get to read this article HERE. Hope it's a good one!
 So far I've found three amazing graffiti walls in town. There's one on the way to the airport, and I swear it's got to be over a mile long. This one is in downtown Recife. There's another one in downtown Recife too. Super great graffiti. My Mom actually told me she is mailing me an article about Brazilian graffiti. I'm sure it's an artist from Rio though. They're so fancy down there.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Moving Sand

Our little reef in front of our house is great. I love watching it grow, move, change. Well, I guess it's mostly the ocean. How crazy is the ocean? The sand is constantly moving around in front of us. Sometimes the first part of the reef is almost completely covered in sand, and sometimes from the point where the reef meets the ocean, to the point where it reaches the large rock barrier, it's completely barren of sand. I try to take pictures when I think it's moved a bunch. I hope these don't just look like a whole bunch of the sam pictures to you.

early August
mid August

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Big Cloud

We're on the 13th floor (that's right, US residents, they have 13th floors here) and we look over the ocean and sometimes the clouds cover so much of the ocean. The other day I took three pictures of this one cloud that look gigantic. I put the pictures together and it doesn't look like much. But it was a big cloud. The view here sure is grand.
You can click on the image to make it bigger. Get really close to the screen and imagine this is your view too.