A weekend away and rustic baguettes to go
The mini vacations are over, and we're back home again. I feel like I now need a holiday from my vacations, as I usually try to fit into three days - give or take - all that I normally love doing over the course of the Summer when I go to S. Martinho do Porto. Plus, the dogs next door bark all night and so I hardly ever sleep at all, there, until I am simply too exhausted and colapse into bed - it usually takes about two sleepless nights for this to come about. Still, it is quite worth it, just getting to spend our days there, walking aimlessly and dreaming up what to grill over the hot charcoal for lunch and dinner is worth any hassle. Filling up in fruit and salads that taste exquisite and fresh is worth any hassle. Going to the market and the fish market and the beach and our favourite local restaurant is worth the hassle. What's a couple of barking dogs when you're in paradise?
We had planned on leaving Thursday the 9th, at about five p.m., as it was our boy's last school day of the term - and the school year, how'd this happen? - but that was before we realised the end of the year party was also on that day and it would not be over before six p.m. and there was no way we weren't attending, since our boy had one of the main roles in the play! That would make it far too late, as we still had a lot of stuff to pack and sort, so we ended up leaving Friday morning, aiming for arrival at lunch time, which would make it perfectly acceptable for us to go and have lunch at our fave spot. Now, this place is a rather unassuming local restaurant - though it's always full!! - with food that's reminiscent of those old side of the road places that we used to have plenty of in Portugal. The food is homely and plentiful, seasonal as to be expected, and the place is always brimming with life, it's impossible to listen to each other talk over all the din!
We usually go for the boar - I will always be a carnivore #sorrynotsorry and will forever love game, so sue me! - but this time we decided to eat the duck, despite our son stating he wanted the kebabs. Note to selves: listen to the kid more often. Though the duck was excellent and tasty and crunchy, I saw the kebabs being taken over to a table and they looked heavenly! So I now know who to listen to next time! After filling our tummies we headed to S. Martinho bay proper, homebound. Because we had no bread or butter for the next morning's breakfast, we went shopping for basic food, and ended up leaving the market with a very unexpected bag of fresh clams, which we proceeded to cook for one of our best dinners lately, with a little olive oil, a lot of garlic and cilantro, some salt and pepper, a splash of sparkling wine and some lemon zest, crunchy bread on the side to soak up those juices. I'm drooling just thinking back - follow my instagram for real time images of these yummy dishes, there's quite a few there at @kitchenwitchmiranda!
The next morning we rose bright and early, eager to get to the Caldas fruit market and the fish market as well. If during Summer I find it an absolute pleasure going to that market and being presented with such an array of colour and freshness and good produce, well, you can hardly imagine what that is like in Spring. Everyhting looks so amazingly vibrant and fresh, we couldn't resist stocking up on fresh peas, purple cabbage, lettuces galore, small, crunchy tomatoes, tiny sweet apples, cherries, strawberries, radishes, sweet onions... you name it! I'm always eager to go there and find these delicious products that have been planted and looked after and harvested by these local hardworking people who always, always have a nice word and a gesture of tenderness towards our boy, from giving him fruit to try and see if he likes it, to offering him small apples for him to eat straight away, to adding a couple of grams more to our orders and not taking more money for it, saying it's for the kid. It fills my heart, everytime, to come across people like these, and I feel truly grateful that I get to cross their paths and shop their goods, contributing to their livelihood as much as they contribute to my pleasure and good health. I always leave that market with my heart full.
We brought home all those good things and good, fresh fish from the fish market, and our lunch was made of that, grilled fish, that was seasoned to perfection with only a flutter of salt and a salad filled with every good thing we could fit into it. Our afternoon saw us at the beach, where my dear husband managed to cut his foot (!!) and I attempted to play beach tennis with our son, only to realize I have lost so much weight and volume as to have all of my bathing suits too big for me by a couple of sizes, resulting on some very alarming boob action everytime I ran or jumped, with my breasts literally spilling out of my bikini tops! Note to self: need new stuff! For dinner we had a huge organic chicken, that was to be thrown literaly into the fire - charcoal! - so I baked some sweet potatoes, garlic and tomatoes and we called it a day. Great dinner, great company, great conversation. The night ended up with us playing board games, as per usual when we're there, and after kiddo went to bed, the adults indulged in Penny Dreadful - OBSESSED!!Sunday was pretty much as Saturday, with lots of beach and salads and fruit all day long and yogurt dips and rustic baguettes to slather with the yogurt dips, before we had to pack up on Monday morning and head back home...
And because rustic baguette is such a staple when we're out there in S. Martinho do Porto, as we love to eat our dinners with salad and yogurt dips and bread only, this time I will bring you my husband 's baguettes, crunchy and lovely and learned from Paul Hollywood himself! We loved his show about bread, really, learned so much from it! Here's the rustic french baguette we most like:
- 250 gr strong white flour
- half a coffee cup of poppy seeds
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 10 gr fresh yeast
- 30 ml olive oil plus extra for oiling
- 180 ml water.