Friday 17 January 2014

an oven....

Happy New Year! May this one be the best from the ones past and the worst from the -many- ones to follow!

I had amazing holidays! You will know all about it as I gathered quite a number of "better than shoes" experiences! The first one was the oven... No, not any oven, a wood oven! That I helped light up and cook the most amazing baby lamb with potatoes!

I had the great pleasure to be invited to spend Christmas in the Portuguese county side, "beyond the mountains", in the mainland east of Porto. The weather conditions were against us but the holiday spirit was very much in our favour! Warm, loving people who embraced me in the most kind way I can ever describe, a village with 197 permanent inhabitants, no internet, no mobile phone (except from at the far corner in the veranda where, if not raining, the signal was enough to get sms), a TV that nobody bothered turning on, cards games, puzzles, conversations around the fireplace where the home made sausages were being grilled (followed by chestnuts of course...) and... the oven!

Now, I grew up in an apartment and have lived the same way ever since, I don't do nature and had never seen how you can actually cook food with warmth that does not come from electricity!... oh, except grilling on coal I suppose, I knew that... I helped carry wood for the fire, stayed there to see when the oven was ready (the inside has to turn white first... you have to see this, no description is adequate...) took pictures of the food and in the end, when it was ready, I claimed a double portion because of my efforts! And I got it! And it was better than shoes! Not because it was so good, which it was, but because the process of making it was so special! Heck, I did not mind even the 13 times I had to get out of the house to go to the oven (sure it is NOT in the house) sometimes in the rain! Me!

No, I'm not saying that I from now on I will be living "The Good Life" but I do tell you that getting out of the comfort zone and doing things one has not done before is good. Often, better than shoes ;)

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