BY SUSANA LOURENÇO . PORTUGAL . EUROPE
Not meant for little kids. But for farmers. From when my mother was a kid herself and rode seven miles on a donkey’s back just to bring lunch to my grandpa who was ploughing the land.
Back then, in the very dawn of the Portuguese 50s, there were no shoes other than to go to church, no running tap water and no juicy piece of meat to feed the 9 people surrounding the hearth of the house.
But there was no food scarcity too. For the land provided all the raw ingredients and the ingenious cooking skills of my grandma bestowed the rest. Cooking only with the elementary is a hard gourmet lesson. Savoury honesty is something hard to come by. Nowadays, even more. But that was what she managed to do boiling inside her worn-out iron pot some potatoes, onions, carrots, tomatoes and runner beans. And a dash of pasta. And to enhance flavour, some chorizos and pork fat. That very hot food would then be spooned into a rustic bowl and topped with fresh-diced cucumber.
This was what my mother ate several times in her teens and what she made me grew up with. Chunky, genuine and surprising food from the earthy offerings of a farmers land.