Posts Tagged With: portuguese


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Donna, Bob, Jim and I arrived at  New Bedford’s 99th annual Feast Of The Blessed Sacrament, more commonly called by many, the Portuguese Festa. We arrived early, bought our drink tickets without having to wait in line and then headed directly to the charcoal pits to have a look.  The draw for me is cooking our skewer of carne espeto, pronounced cog-na-schpitz, and the fado. The meat in front appeared to have powdered sugar on it which we learned later was rock salt.DSC07870 (Copy)

We rented our seven to seven and a half-foot skewers for $10. They give you your money back when you return them.

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We loaded our skewers with a pound of beef that you can buy at the festa,  and the veggies, zucchini, peppers, onion, that Donna and I bought and cut to size on Friday. Rock salt is available on the counter and this year, Donna thought we should try it. Reputed to keep the juices in and the outside crisp, we used a minimal amount of the salt.

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While my skewer was cooking, I took a minute to watch the unloading process. The metal scraper holds the skewer and you pull the hot meat off the rod into a dish or onto a paper plate.DSC07879 (Copy)

Next to me was a guy carefully basting his meat with beer without spilling a drop.

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Another guy was squirting his meat with wine. Hey, good idea, methinks.

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Moving through a crowd of people with a heavy, seven-foot skewer is an exercise in balance and Bob helped me remove our dinner, filling the two paper containers in two strokes. DSC07887 (Copy)

Jim kept our place under this beautiful grape covered picnic grounds and watched our purses, then went for beer when we got back with the food.

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We discovered that the meat and veggies were overcooked. The salt kind of obscured the process and we couldn’t detect when the meat was done, but it was still tasty stuff.  Later, we watched people cook sword fish, shrimp, sausages, potatoes and all kinds of delectables and realized we were not required to buy the beef at the festa. Donna said, I learn something new every year. And, I drank a regular beer and it actually tasted good with the food. I discovered later they had imported beers with micros among I could have had.

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We spotted a lot of people wearing these traditional Portuguese hats. DSC07893 (Copy)

They differ a good bit and supposedly denote the area of Portugal from which you or your family members come from. Donna didn’t mention where her family originated and her parents didn’t teach she and her sister Portuguese.

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As the day got later, the crowds thickened. Donna would run into friends she knew. We headed for the kiosk selling malasadas, a hot, Portuguese doughnut the size of a dinner plated (without the hole) and dipped in powdered sugar. Everyone calls them mollies. The line was sooooo long, we gave up. The news says they sell 2000 of them a day during the four day event.

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The stand was near one of the bands, but it was a rock band, not our type of music. The headliner band was Everclear from Portland, but they were on another stage. The festa must cover about five acres with a carnival grounds with a ferris wheel, tilt-a-whirl and the usual line-up of thrills and arcade of games. Donna won a 7 inch stuffed fish at one of the games. (We only played one.)

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Instead of playing games we headed early for the fado tent and got front row seats and enjoyed a glass of wine and delicious pastries while waiting for the band and singers. They sell special coffees and deserts.

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The fado is sung with a three-piece band, the mandolin, guitar and bass fiddle.

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The first fado singer was male. He sang and spoke only Portuguese so it was difficult to get the gist of the song. He had a great voice and alluded to singing with his favorite singer/partner of 41 years. We think they are married.

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They did a couple of duets before he turned the stage over to her. His name is Jordan Paiva. She is Ana Vinagre, the singer we like best.

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The face of fado is expressed by Ana.

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The fado originated as a sad and emotional lament, an ancient tradition in Portugal where the women sang out their anguish as their husbands, fathers, sons and brothers went to sea in their whaling boats.  No one knew when they would return or if they would return. Some voyages lasted two years and the boats usually returned with someone missing. It was their livelihood, accepted, but with heart-rending consequences for some,  and thus the fado was born.

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Her voice will always stay with me. The fado is every night from 8:30 to 11:30 during the festa.

During a break, the folorico band, the local Grupo Troup played; the dancers came from Sacramento, California.DSC07930 (Copy)

The Grupo Troup from the youngest…DSC07940 (Copy)

…to the oldest. The woman on the left, we heard from chatter in the audience, is said to be over 100 years old. She sits to play her little noisemaker instrument.

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An accordion is a major instrument in the Grupo Troup.

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They played and sang several numbers before the dancers took to the floor.

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An unusual instrument native to Portugal is the stick with figures that the player moves up and down to sound the castanets. He also uses the gourd hanging at his side. (Click to enlarge the photo.)

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The little boy plays a miniature instrument of the same kind.DSC07938 (Copy)

The folklorico dancers performed in the center of the tent and were warmly applauded and appreciated. I have to say, I love the Festa and would attend every year if I could.

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Antonio’s Portuguese Restaurant

Jim says:

Yesterday was moderately warmer humid. Mostly sunny and low 80’s with no breeze. It was also laundry day which has to be done once in a while.

In the late afternoon, as a way to say thank you to my cousin Bob and his wife Donna for allowing us to park our motorhome in their backyard for about a total of two weeks, we took them to their favorite Portuguese restaurant where everything is served in the traditional style.


I had the broiled seafood meal consisting of scrod (baby cod), scallops, shrimp, boiled potatoes, rice and broccoli. Super delicious!

Since we’ve been on the go so much lately, the plan for today is to just lay back, relax and do not much of anything.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Portuguese Feast – New Bedford, Massachusetts – Day 3

Jim says…

Yesterday weather-wise was decent. Partly cloudy skies, 81 degrees and moderate humidity. It was also another long and fun-filled day.

First event of the day took us down to the state pier in New Bedford to see the once-upon-a-time Portuguese Cod-Fishing vessel…The Gazela. Gazela is living history…originally built in 1883…she is believed to be the oldest square-rigger in the United States still sailing. She is home-ported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This photo of Gazela was taken from a photo on the Gazela…


The cook in his galley (navy-speak for kitchen)…


And Mary at the helm (navy-speak for steering wheel)…


Here’s the Gazela’s official website link…

Here are two other links about Gazela…

Next stop (not associated with the Portuguese Feast) was at Gene’s Famous Seafoods across the river in Fairhaven to indulge, one final time, in a meal of the world’s best Fish & Chips! Mary had the clam chowder.


Then to the final event of the Portuguese Feast (for us)…the parade.

Here Mary anxiously awaits the parade…


Here are four other photos from the parade…


The final stop of the day was at my cousin Mike’s home in East Freetown…

He’s an avid kayaker…


Mary took her first solo drive(?) of a kayak…


Cousin Mike with family and friends…


And finally, a portrait shot of Mike’s Boston Terrier Vinnie who is a boundless ball of energy and kept us amused during our visit.


To see the other 57 photos I took yesterday, click this link…

It was a full and fun day. We arrived back to the motorhome at 9:00 PM.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Portuguese Feast – New Bedford, Massachusetts – Day 2

Jim says:

Weather-wise, yesterday was the nicest day we’ve experienced in quite a while…maybe since we arrived in New England just before Memorial Day. Partly cloudy, 77 degrees, relatively low humidity and a gentle breeze…a most pleasant day!

We arrived at 4:30 PM. First activity of the day was the carne de espeto…meat on a spit…a community BBQ…kinda sorta.

Here’s cousin Bob, a Portuguese Feast veteran of 50 years with his skewer ready to go…


Here’s Mary turning our skewer…


When the meat and veggies are done, you scrape them off the skewer with a stainless steel hook device…


Then you get a large roll and create a sandwich and wash it down with some beer. Mary and I seldom eat red meat anymore…but when in Rome (New Bedford Portuguese Feast), do as the Romans do!

Next activity was the Museum of Madeiran Heritage. The Island of Madeira in Portugal is where many Portuguese originally came from.
A tapestry shows a scene from Madeira…


The Isle of Madeira is famous for its grapes and wine…


The final activity of the day was in the Museum Courtyard Cafe. We arrived early to get a front row table. Ana Vinagre (vinegar in Portuguese) sang many delightful Portuguese songs.


Then we enjoyed a group of about 25 people doing traditional Portuguese song and dance…


To see the other 24 photos I took, click this link…

Here’s the official website link for the Portuguese feast…

We arrived home at 10:00 PM…another most enjoyable day. Today we will enjoy the final day of the Portuguese Feast.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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I Have A Face-To-Face Meeting With A Fish That Looks Like An Angel!

Jim says:

For me info about me …see below!

Gloucester & Rockport, Massachusetts

Yesterday was…yup…another hot and humid day! But we headed out anyways to visit Gloucester and Rockport.

First stop was at the Fisherman’s Memorial which commemorates Gloucester Fishermen from 1623 to present. According to the info there nearly 1,000 ships and 5,368 fishermen have been lost at sea during that time.

The Gloucester, Massachusetts Fisherman’s Memorial.

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about the Fisherman’s Memorial…

These lost fishermen were portrayed in the movie The Perfect Storm.

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Gloucester…,_Massachusetts

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about The Perfect Storm movie…

Next stop was at the Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center which presents information about the history of Gloucester fishing and related items. It was a very informative place.

Believe it or not…this is the bottom side of a baby Ray fish looking at me from inside the tank!

Here’s the official Gloucester Maritime Heritage Center website link…

Then a stop at the Crow’s Nest for a couple of beers to cool off from the heat and humidity. The barmaid showed us a photo album of pictures taken during the three weeks the film crew hung out there while filming the move…The Perfect Storm.

The Crow’s Nest is the bar where the fishermen portrayed in the movie The Perfect Storm hung out. It is also the place the cast of the movie The Perfect Storm hung out during the three weeks they were in Gloucester.

Here’s the official Crow’s Nest website link…

Next to the Rocky Neck Art Colony in East Gloucester.There are 37 art galleries here. Mary was in her glory here because she just loves art galleries!

Rocky Neck in East Gloucester is America’s oldest working art colony.

Here’s the official Rocky Neck Art Colony website link…

Last stop was in the scenic town/harbor of Rockport. Home of Motif#1. While there we enjoyed a nice meal in an air-conditioned restaurant overlooking the harbor. Mary also bought a freshly cooked lobster that she brought back to the motorhome. Then she ate the whole thing!

Motif #1 is a world-famous art and photography image.

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Rockport…,_Massachusetts

Here’s a Wikipedia informational link about Motif #1…

To see the other 44 photos I took, clock this link…

By time we returned to the motorhome at American Legion Post #113 in Manchester there was a wonderful brisk breeze and the humidity started to come down which made for a delightful evening.

Today we will transit around Boston on Massachusetts Route 128 and arrive in New Bedford once again for the largest Portuguese Feast in the world which runs through the weekend. It’s a lousy job…but somebody’s got to do it! 🙂

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2009
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Meat Pies!

Jim says:

Two days ago I shared with you the story of a New England Food Feast. In that post I told how my cousin Bob and his wife Donna surprised me with a gift of a French Meat Pie. In the photo below, it’s the larger of the two pies.

What I didn’t tell you that day was that we also stopped at a friend of theirs by the name of Dave who makes Portuguese Meat Pies. That’s the smaller of the pies in the below photo. We bought four of these pies from Dave.

Meat Pies

On Monday we decided to enjoy a meal of these pies with Bob and Donna. The French Meat Pie was delicious, but we all agreed that the Portuguese Meat Pie had an even better taste because of the spices used by Dave. As a matter of fact, the Portuguese Meat Pie tasted much like the French Meat Pie my mother used to make when I was a child.

The French Meat Pie is a Christmas traditional meal. When I was young, all of the related families would gather at one location on Christmas Eve to see Santa Claus bring all the gifts. All the women made a meat pie…each had their own recipe…so each pie would taste slightly different from the others. My cousin Jeanette told me two days ago that my mother’s pie was the best of them all.

Mary LOVED the meat pies!

Yesterday we departed Bob and Donna’s home after a great visit of several days. We are planning to return to visit with them again for several days in late July to enjoy the annual Portuguese Festival held in New Bedford every year.

Bob & Donna Parker

Thanks Bob and Donna for a great visit. See you again soon!In other news…
Today we will take the motorhome and Bronco on the 40 minute ferry ride to the island of Martha’s Vineyard for a one week stay.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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