After quite an emotional post here, time to share the photos from Christmas day.
Ok, maybe I need to explain what Christmas means for me at home. It means being all together, in peace (and although this might be taken as granted, it’s not always the case), and following the traditions of a lifetime and making a few on the way.
We start by celebrating Christmas on the 24th Dec Eve (Consoada), which is when the family gathers around the table. Before that normally means buying “bolo rei” (our traditional cake) and wrapping last minute presents. For me it means recheck all the stuff I’ve brought with me from London.
This year we had a Cod-war. This was one of the traditions we’ve decided to break a few years ago. Rather than having the traditional boiled and boring cod (see more about Portuguese christmas tradition here) we’ve decided to try different ones. Last year we had baked cod with clams which is absolutely delicious. My dad wanted to ensure we would have a good dinner with no surprises therefore he wanted to prepare the same. Not my sister though. She loves surprises and trying different food. She wanted a special cod baked in corn-bread. It seemed like a complicated recipe, and it really was. While my dad had finished dinner we were still half way there with ours. But it was good fun to try to prepare something together. (If you can read Portuguese this is the recipe)
Cod Nr 1 – declared the winner of the night – Cod with clams
Cod nr 2 – It was really good and an interesting mix, but we should have baked the sweet potatoes at the bottom a bit better. I’m sure we’ll improve next time.
My sister also did a lemon tart.
We also have port wine after the meal (there’s always a good reason to have Port). Rather than sharing gifts on the eve, we all go to bed and leave it for next morning. When we were kids we used to wake up really early and jump in our parents bed with all the excitement of the presents. Nowadays it’s my dad that wakes us up. We had breakfast together than we pick my grandparents and group in the living room to open the presents. But there’s another twist here. We don’t open all at the same time. No. Tradition at home says that it’s the oldest that starts first and we all wait for each other. We all like it that way 🙂
After lunch as a family (yap even more food), we normally go out for a walk on the beach. The perks of being a south Portuguese. The weather, much like in London, was really mild and luckily quite sunny too.
And I couldn’t resist photographing my sister and the new hat
Next day it was time to get back into the UK. Once I was back in London, we’ve ended up preparing Cod for the 2 of us as well. So Cod nr 3 is a kind of a tortilla and a well know traditional dish (bacalhau a bras).
How do you celebrate your Christmas? Any special moment or memory you would like to share?