Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Carurú!

27. 09. 09

My mom had been waiting for this day all year! And she had started preparing for it for months. And I've seen them actually working on things for a week, food, decorations etc. From what she tells me, she is following in the tradition of her mom to make the traditional Carurú, the kind of paste made of okra, onions, dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, oléo de dendê (palm tree oil) , ginger, bell pepper, and a little rapadura (condensed sugar cane candy, i think). But it's not just the caruru they make like 12 other dishes, but you call this party a carurú because that is the main offering in this case to Saints Cosme e Damião. these are catholic saints that are linked the the Candomblé orixás "gemeos ibeji" who represent youth and vitality. So these things are offered to them. Several people were helping with the cooking.

they had bought a rooster and a few chickens a few days before to cook for the carurú.
the sugar cane
My aunt roasting peanuts for the carurú and vatapá

From the day before my sister and her school mates were cutting the okra for the caruru
the ingredients for the vatapa and other dishes. the top one is the ground dried shrimp, and under them the beans

this is the pre-vatapa- the paste before cooking (white beans)

Ed's carurú! the yellow stain on the wooden spoon is from the oléo de dendê. He was cooking over this hard core industrial burner, and one definitely needs lots of muscle for this job. but it really is the BEST carurú I've had! it's amazingly delicious.

The black beans with linguiça

the cut sugar cane (cana)
this is the altar for Cosme e Damião

MMM plantain (banana da terra) fried in oléo de dendê
The tables so neatly organized and presented. there's some abobora (pumpkin) the fried plantains that yellow flour is the farofa

some more beans and rice

this one was one of my favorites, it was the BEST farofa I'd ever had. Farofa is a kind of (I love wikipedia) toasted flour (usually manioc flour but can be corn flour etc) that people usually sprinkle on top of beans. That's what my family does anyway, but this farofa was toasted with honey, sooooooooo goooooood!

These plates were the ones offered to the saints/orixas and were to stay at the altar for 3 days I think.
traditionally 7 children are the ones who eat first, (but there weren't enough children at the party so they just used the young kids from my group and) they can only eat with their hands and once they're done they have to wash their hands in a specially prepared bowl full of water and rose petals.
And then everyone else can eat.

Later on they did a raffle to 7 "children" and the winners got some presents. It was a pretty big thing.

then my friends all went home but the party continued, and I hung out with my sister's friends. One of my sister's college friends especially I found really cool and we talk whenever we see each other, he's really cool and he speaks english well but I want to practice my portguese so we compromise. He apparently went to live in the states for 2 years to really learn english but he was in Florida so really he ended up learning Spanish.
Then i went with my other sister's friends who were all in my room. And they were playing the guitar and I got excited and asked if he knew how to play garota de ipanema, and he's like well if you look up the notes i bet i can. so he did play it and he asked me to sing, so i did and we had a little concert in my room with like 10 people. He also played Ambar from Plastiko, for me while i sang as well, that was the first time anyone had ever played that for me, it almost made me want to cry because I love that song so much.

it was really nice. all of my sister's friends are really nice to me and I see that most of them try to speak slowly to me to make it easier. And I'm glad I was corrected on something, I was talkign about cooking with one of the friends and I was trying to say chayote which is chu-chu, but instead I said "chichi", which I hadn't learn yet. I totally told her I like to put urine in that dish! ooops. she's like no, no it mustn't be chichi!
so good to know words for pee and poop people.
it was really fun, and I really like it when i have opportunities to just be friends with Bahians and be treated like a friend. Although of course it's always known that I am not from there and my mexican/united statian accent is always there, but it feels like they can look over that and just focus more on what we're talking about and be able to talk about normal things, once the whole "what's different from here and the States," and all those curiosities, that I'm sure I ask people who are new to the States and from somewhere else, so it doesn't bother me.

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