Lunch 2022

Can’t say I like ya, 2021. So good riddance!!!

There were 12 floating petri dishes in Funchal harbour yesterday. Actually, 1 decided not to come, or couldn’t make it. Another thing on a long list of attractions Funchal (“foon-shaal”) is know for: its new year fireworks. It’s enough of a spectacle that many tourists come especially to see it. (I went to bed before midnight.) The fireworks here are not in one location but all over the island so you need to get on a boat to watch from a distance.

The weather god smiled on us! I did the so-called “challenging” hike, finally. Not “challenging” at all, but not exactly a walk in the park. Although, it is a walk in the park for the partner. There are some very narrow sections without rope to hang on to. This would be a bit challenging if one is obese. There is this one part of the hike where the ascend is sharp. But… they have installed iron staircases with rails on both sides. Go slow and it’s fine. They have modernised the path, it’s wide enough in most parts, with cable rope on one side (not all the way but more than half of the route), quite safe, too. The tourists have it so easy now. In the old days all these walking paths were used by islanders to walk from one village to another. They used to be very narrow and treacherous.

Above the clouds, and me not being in a plane this time.

If this elderly couple could make it you could, too! Looks like they are in their 70’s, have tremor or some kind of neurological disorder. Unfit people, smokers, young children, people who are dressed as if going to the mall and overestimate themselves when in nature could make it. I sat in this spot at the top eating my lunch and taking a rest, so did all the smoking bastards. I discriminate against smokers. The place where there’s least pollution they just have to ruin it for everyone.

There’s a cat that hangs around the top. Children and smokers give him food that’s why he’s there.

Now the food part:
Sea snails, simply boiled.

The most popular starter on Madeira. Limpets. They are first arranged on a shallow pan, heated up and hot butter is poured over them (I saw they burst into flame when that happened). The fat spits for a couple of minutes. When you squeeze lemon juice on them they sizzle and spatter again so best to wait until the whole pan cools down a little.

Lots of tuna and other deep sea fish in the waters around here. Not possible in Portugal to eat tuna or swordfish the way you prefer. It’s always cooked “well done” here.

Another plate of limpets for me

Photo taken in Korea but the sentiment is the same.
Happy and healthy new year, all!

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:neutral_face:
This excited husband.

Drank it at around 9pm and went to bed a couple of hours later. Only to wake up to fireworks and drunk partiers and loud party music. Unfortunately it lasted a long time. My lodging is in a good location and the noise can’t be avoided. It comes with the territory.

Didn’t have time to go look for wine shops. I notice they don’t seem to have plenty of small wine shops or traditional family run Portuguese shops like in Portugal. This sparkling wine came from the biggest Portuguese supermarket chain. It’s not terrible at all for 10 bucks.

Some photos from my last walk yesterday.
Madeirans are like mountain goats, they have no fear of height. The terraced farms are on steep cliffs without any fence.

Winter vineyard with other terraces and road down below

Yam plants on a small terrace. Madeirans love yams, sweet potatoes, squashes. Well, they love all the foods that the fertile soil and good climate provide.

He’ll love eating well done tuna and swordfish in Portugal for sure.

This was in Tavira (Algarve). Same well done piece of tuna.

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Leftover potato blini with dill and chive crème fraîche , smoked salmon, and caviar, potato chips with the same crème fraîche and more caviar. And champagne.

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Brunch today:

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New year, new egg fried rice.

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BLAT and chips

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Zhajiangmian

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Leftover pozole verde con pollo, with fixins

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^^^ Hmm… Chicharrones. I saw in a Mexican recipe they use them in meat balls (crushed into small pieces first).

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Had to make a photo before I ate them all. Some of the things I brought home from Madeira. My carry-on only had food and fruits. The partner put the honey in the hold.

Always bring back garlic from Portugal.

I was on my last banana. Hate bananas but no problem eating Madeiran ones. No gag-inducing texture and overpowering banana smell. Also, the texture of Madeiran bananas remains al dente no matter how ripe they are.

I guared the bolos with great care so they would not be crushed.

Bolo de caco with spicy octopus

Even the olives in the photo came with me on the plane.

A meal sometime last week on Madeira:

Forgot to say “sim cebola, por favor.” then I got it (the raw onions).

Limpets every day

Had to do this at least once. The most popular dish to serve to tourists. The people who think dairy with seafood is a no-no, this would make them cringe and wish they would rather have dairy with the seafood instead. Black scabbard fish with passion fruit custard and flambed banana. O.M.G. It’s painful to eat, the partner ate most of it. I ate some of the fish without the batter. Btw, Madeirans don’t this this meal with bananas. As mentioned above, it’s only for the tourists.

Portuguese name for Madeira is “flower of the ocean”, in some languages it’s “island of flowers”. Indeed. Flowers at every turn all year round. This is one of their famous gardens: the botanical garden.

At the airport now

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Tell me more!

Also, I didn’t understand what you were saying about the tourist seafood and dairy dish; why is it painful to eat?

Portuguese are huge, huge garlic eaters. They produce their own, whereas China is the top exporter (80%!) who has cornered the world’s garlic market. At home I buy (fresh) domestically produced or from Spain only so I usually bring back garlic from where I visit.

Re the passion fruit custard and banana with black scabbard fish. It’s too sweet, to the point of repulsive. Custard has no business being anywhere near fish. At least cheese with other seafood dishes are not sweet but savoury.

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Comfort food.

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Yum! Love dumplings, also the sweet kinds. What are these filled with? potatoes (and soured cream/cheese)? Do you use a mould? I see a seal pattern, but maybe they are store-bought.

There are some dumpling eating countries I plan to visit in a near future.

In Moldova. I tried all the fillings they had on the menu (in the course of a week).

In Krakaw

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What’s inside?

Yukons, white onion, thyme and nutmeg.

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Lordy! Glorious selection you have.
My sister made these for breakfast today. She uses a commercial dumpling mold that opens and closes in half moons. One is plain edge, one is crimped. Plastic.

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I also have plastic moulds in several sizes but have to work fast or dough gets sticky.

Has your sister tried beetroot filling before? One of my favourites. With sweet potatoes here but I have also mixed in some Stilton at other times.

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I will mention your suggestions to her. Typically she makes potato, potato cheese, cabbage and potato onion. I like the dough she mixes. Nice and pillowy.

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Today is onion rings day.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr