I wasn't quite sure what to write for this year's tour at first, but since last year's seemed to be popular, I thought I'd start by sharing another Portuguese Christmas recipe. So here it goes:
(Don't ask me what this means; it's not a word I've ever seen used in another context. Formigas means ants, but I'm not sure if that's an association I want to make :P)
Ingredients (For about 6 servings):
- 300 gr of sugar
- 750 ml (around 3 cups) of milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ground cinnamon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 spoonfuls of honey
- 1 spoonful of butter
- 3 eggs
- a medium-sized loaf of bread
2. Break the bread into small pieces and add them to the mix, along with the butter and the sugar.
3. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, stirring with a large wooden spoon. You have to make sure the bread is dissolving and the mixture is becoming uniform.
4. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
5. Add the three egg yolks, stir, and return to low heat for another 2 or 3 minutes.
6. Pour into a dish or bowl and decorate with ground cinnamon.
There! Another recipe with two of my favourite Christmasy flavours: lemon and cinnamon. I also like this recipe because it's one you can get creative with. Some people use orange instead of lemon zest, others add nuts, raisins, a chalice of Port, etc. Others use cake instead of bread. I've never tried it with cake, but I think it would work just fine as long as you use less honey and sugar.
One of my favourite things about the Advent Blog Tour so far has been reading about Christmas celebrations from around the world. So I thought I'd share a few facts about how Christmas is celebrated in Portugal:
- Christmas Eve is more important than Christmas Day itself. It's on Christmas Eve that families gather and have their main Christmas meal.
- The main dish is codfish, or in some parts of the country, octopus. (Eww. Not where I live, fortunately.) In any case, seafood is always involved. I think these days Turkey is being introduced, but when I was younger it was pretty much unheard of. My family has codfish in cream sauce, which is one of my favourite dishes.
- Though some families open their presents on Christmas morning, I think most do it on the 24th after midnight (sometimes even earlier, if the family has small children).
- The official end of the Holiday season is the 6th of January, Epiphany or Dia dos Reis. Though not as big a deal here as in Spain, it is still celebrated. King Cake is eaten (though not by me, because I hate the stuff :P) and in some areas you get carol singers going from door to door, singing a song or two in exchange for a monetary donation and sometimes a slice of cake. Because I live in one of those borderline not-quite-rural-but-not-yet-urban areas, I still get them from time to time, though less so in recent years.
- It is only after Dia dos Reis that people taken down their Christmas trees and remove their decorations.
And because I have to admit that one of the best things about Christmas is the gifts, I have something for you, my lovelies. I'll draw two names from the comments, and the winners will get a homemade Christmas bookmark like the ones you see in the picture, as well as some surprise Christmas treats (read: chocolate :P)
Let me know in the comments if you'd like to be entered. I'll announce the winners tomorrow and mail the packages on Monday. I'll send anywhere in the world, but depending on where you are it's unlikely that it will arrive before Christmas. But it's never too late for chocolate, right? Or bookmarks.
Thanks to Kailana and Marg for putting this together! And don't forget to visit the rest of the tour stops:
Lisa from Book Ahoy
Suey from It's All About Books
Emily from Dreaming on the Job
Cindy from Nocturnal Wonderings
Wendy from Caribou's Mom
Strumpet from Strumpet's Life
3M from 1 More Chapter
Stine from The Washingtonium
Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness
Alex from Daemonwolf Books
Leya from Wandeca Reads
Laclau from Conversacions de Cafe
Krissi from The Swim Mom
Morgan from Insert Clever Name Here
Jessica from The Bluestockings Society
Naida from The Bookworm
Rhinoa from Rhinoa's Ramblings
Melissa from Remember to Breathe
Nicole from Linus's Blanket
Jane from Janezlifeandtimes
Memory from Stella Matutina
Debbie from Friday Friends Book Blog
Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings
Sherry at Semicolon