Tag Archives: portugal

Reagan Christmas Trees

I’ve just returned from a visit with my sister. One of the highlights of the trip was touring the Reagan Library in southern California. From Nov. 18th to Jan. 10th the Library displays 26 Christmas trees representing the countries President Reagan visited while in office.

My sis was right. I have forgotten which trees are from which countries, but one thing is for certain. They are all gorgeous! I hope you enjoy this tremendous photo blog.

Coffee beans on the Columbian tree.

Snake on Indonesian tree.

My favorite tree.

• What tops your tree?
• Do you have any unusual ornaments?


Filed under California

RECIPE: Traditional Portuguese Soupa

traditional portuguese soupa

My paternal grandparents immigrated to the United States from Portugal. They brought with them the clothes on their backs and this recipe, handed down by their forefathers. Foremothers, actually. I only saw grandma cooking this meal, not grandpa.

In America, this dish would be called pot roast. Simple ingredients, beef, carrots, and potatoes, transformed into cultural cuisine via spices and red wine. To me, this meal represents family. When I cook it, I feel their presence. It is a meal of celebration and good times.

Do you have a recipe that represents your family?

• 1 rump roast (tied w/butcher’s string)
• 1 onion, peeled
• 8 whole carrots, peeled
• 8 russet potatoes, peeled
• 1 loaf French Bread
• water
• two 8-oz cans tomato sauce
• Burgundy wine
• Worcestershire sauce
• 1 bay leaf
• salt & pepper
• Allspice
• Ground cloves
• Garlic salt
• Ground cumin
• Thyme
• Marjoram
• Celery Flakes

1. Place the roast in a large roasting pan.
2. Fill the pan half full of water.
3. Add 1 peeled onion (whole), and tomato sauce.
4. Fill the empty tomato sauce cans with burgundy wine, and add to the pan.
5. Add the bay leaf, and dashes (perhaps 1/4 tsp. if measured) of all of the spices except the celery flakes.
6. Top with a few splashes of Worcestershire Sauce, stir, and cover with lid.
7. Place in 325 degree oven for 3 hours. (No peeking.)

After 3 hours, add peeled carrots, potatoes, and dash of celery flakes to the pot. Cover and cook for 1 additional hour.

To Serve:
Transfer roast to cutting board and remove the butcher string with a sharp knife or scissors. Slice roast into individual servings.

Spoon the potatoes and carrots into serving dishes. (Note: The onion is for flavoring, not to be eaten.)

Slice the french bread about 1″ thick, and place in a long casserole dish. Using a strainer, pour the jus (cooking broth) over the bread.


Filed under Recipes