Sunday, 30 January 2011

Portuguese/Dutch Inspiration

Jacoba, you are so generous, gentle, sweet, and quite a woman of the world!!!

Thank you so much for this beautiful and touching cadeautje (gift)!

From the Blog " Les Trois Jardins"

Portuguese/Dutch Inspiration

Rijka Bleeker (Women in Dutch decorative arts and design 1880-1940)
Girl from the island 'Walcheren', the most southwesternly island of Holland

"A few years ago we flew from Amsterdam to Lisbon. The sky was wall to wall blue, which meant we had a magnificent view on everything we left behind, as from the takeoff to the happy landings in Lisbon. It is always exciting and fun to figure out what you recognize from the patchwork scenery below you.
As I watched the Dutch coast line, the islands of Zeeland in the south, Belgium, France and in the end Portugal appearing, my head was spinning round. On the memories I had on many places passing by, on places I still wanted to go to and also looking forward to the things we had planned to see and do in Lisbon.
After having passed the Pyrenees the plane made a huge loop nearing Lisbon. The view from my seat was literally ‘out of this world’. I wàs out of the world; I was watching the universe, the planet and Portugal. It was an extraordinary moment, mystical almost.
Later that week I would experience yet another similar moment, sitting on the banks of the Rio Tejo and seeing the sun going down at the mouth of the river, sinking in the Atlantic Ocean – red and huge – huger – hugest! Moments when you hold your breath because of the beauty that you see and experience.

I love Portugal because it means a lot to me. Out at sea, seeing Cape St Vincent (and thus Europe) appearing on the horizon after having been away for many months, is forever impressive. I love Portugal because of the Atlantic Ocean touching its shores, the food, the culture, the history, the countryside, the people.
My question if a farmer I met on one of my cycle trips in the Portuguese country side was a Frenchman was answered by standing up by him, putting a hand on his heart and proudly saying ‘Non, je suis Portugais moi!’
Portuguese are seafarers, like the Dutch they have always wanted to know what is behind the sea horizon.
This has brought them far! And Sandra to Holland.

Sandra is from Portugal, lives on Dutch reclaimed land. Her experiences living in Holland mixed with her memories on Portugal and travels are fun and inspiring to read on her enthusiastic blog ‘Presepio com Vista para o Canal’ and the blog on Portugal ‘Terras de Luz e Mar’.
When Sandra posted her story ‘Celebrating Kings Day with my Typical Dutch Tea Set’ on the ‘Bolus Rei’ (Portuguese King’s Cake) it appeared to me that the dough she was describing is very similar to that of the ‘Zeeuwse Bolus’. Sandra jumped into the history of this and discovered the pastry was introduced by Sephardi Jew bakers in the 17th century in Middelburg and posted a story on this.

I am looking forward to her reports on visiting the ‘Bolusbaking Championships Zeeland’ in Middelburg on the 12th week of the year, as she announced on her blog to go and visit and taste! I hope she will see some of the colorful traditional costumes and accessories of Zeeland as well.
These days we do not wear those costumes anymore, but women of today still wear the coral jewelry in a new adapted way.

Sandra has awarded me with the Sunshine Award 2011. It was such a surprise to read this in my comments the day before yesterday. Thank you so much, Sandra! I am very flattered by this, but feel shy over it just the same!
The coral red flower of the award has inspired me to write this on our Portuguese/Dutch mutual history and interest.

It has been wonderful to meet you in Blogland, Sandra, and I hope to share a lot more of our Portuguese/Dutch travels and interests!"

You too, my dear, it was worderful, wonderful to meet you! :-)

This music is to celebrate the Portuguese/Dutch inspiration ;-) my dear friend :-)

Blof and Cristina Branco, Dansen aan Zee

Friday, 28 January 2011

A Portuguese mother in the Netherlands

Her name is Teresa. She is Portuguese, born in Lisbon and raised in the south margin of Tagus river, a beautiful area of Atlantic beaches, old villages, palaces and castles, tasty food and good wines. Now, she is living here, in the Netherlands, where she and her Portuguese husband work. She began to write her blog last March, after becoming pregnant. Teresa, her husband and their son David, born last October, and the two family's cats, are the Fabulous Five whose history you can follow in Os 5 na Holanda.
I like her blog very much. She is funny, has a very good sense of humor, subtle and provocative, her writing is light in the form and deep in the content. By reading her blog, we follow the journey of a woman in a very different country from her own, without family and old friends around, who became pregnant and has to deal with different pregnancy care traditions and habits.
Teresa takes us on a special journey. I recommend to all the women who are expats or want to be, or simply have curiosity for other cultures, to read her blog. Teresa's blog is written in Portuguese.
These are the links to some useful and interesting entries:
As Parteiras
O seguro de saude
A primeira consulta
As regalias sociais nos paises do primeiro mundo
Besides that, you'll get to know what David likes ;-)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Sunshine Award 2011

Presepio has been awarded with the Sunshine Award by the Portuguese Blogs (In)Cultura and Memorias e Imagens.
I must say a very welcomed award considering the cloudy days we've been having lately ;-) Muito Obrigada! :-)

From Selos Web Atribuídos

Presepio will offer this award to the following 12 blogs for the bright side they always bring to my life:

Have a week full of joy! Stay warm and well!

Why I like so much to live in Almere...

Why I like so much to live in Almere...

Almere Pampus 16.01.2011

From Almere (III)

Almere Centrum 20.01.2011

From Almere (III)

From Almere (III)

Almere, Tussen de Vaarten 20.01.2011

From Almere (III)

Stay well!!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Amersfoort in the mist

Hello! :-) Welcome to Amersfoort!

Please, have a sit! :-)

From Amersfoort

What a nice view of Monnikendam, don't you think?

Two towers linked by a gateway arc on the East side of the downtown.

From Amersfoort

Monnikendam was built between 1380 and 1480 as part of Amersfoort second citywalls.

From Amersfoort

This beautiful place is generally a common hotspot for marriage photos.

From Amersfoort

Monnikendam gets its name from the Saint Augustin monks.

From Amersfoort

Amersfoort is a Medieval town which has celebrated its 750th birthday in 2009.

From Amersfoort

As you see by the photos, Amersfoort medieval centre is well-preserved and protected...

From Amersfoort

From Amersfoort

From Amersfoort

From Amersfoort

Remember the first time I visited Amersfoort? Almost a year ago...

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Boodschappen doen

Here it is my Dutch shopping list...

Saturday morning is time to go to the local market...

From Coisas Minhas

["Boodschap" means message but "boodshappen doen" means to buy groceries.]

Fine weekend!

Sitiados, Os Noivos

Friday, 21 January 2011

Rosa's agenda and necklace

You know already how I like Dutch Agendas. However, this year, my personal agenda is Portuguese. It's a Rosa do Adro agenda.

I like its colours, the cats, the size...:-)

What do you think about my new agenda?

Agenda "Rosa do Adro" (Portugal)

From Coisas Minhas

If you want to see more, please click here.

I also bought this necklace, quite similar with the agenda...;-)

Necklace "Rosa do Adro" (Portugal)

From Coisas Minhas

If you want to see more, please click here.

Are you familiar with Rosa's work?

I like it very much! ;-) Each agenda and each necklace are unique!!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Family Agenda 2011

Have you already bought your Family Agenda 2011?

I have ;-) Two, by the way ;-)) I like Dutch agendas very much! ;-))

From Coisas Minhas

This one has stickers which we can use in a gezellig (funny and nice) way:

vakantie - vacation/ferias
vrij- free/livre
verjaardag- birthday/aniversario
niet vergeten- not forget/nao esquecer

To have a proper use of this kind of agenda, we must write down the name (naam) of each family member in the first vertical column.

From Coisas Minhas

The other ones are for each day of the week. In a glance, you know where is everybody. ;-)

The Family Agenda is also useful to write down...

notes (notities),

family and friends birthdays (verjaardagen)

and our beloved ones addresses (adressen).

From Coisas Minhas

I think this one is very pretty :-) Don't you think?

From Coisas Minhas

But I also like this one...

From Coisas Minhas

In this page, we write down the family data/ dados da familia (familie gegevens).

From Coisas Minhas

"In geval van nood" means " In case of need"/ "Em caso de necessidade".

Each one of the family members has got a personal page/pagina pessoal (persoonlijke pagina). We can put our photo there. Isn't it nice?

From Coisas Minhas

In this agenda, which could be for a six members family, the names should be written in the first column (horizontal).
On the right side, we can write down some notes about important things to do (te doen), the question of the week ( vraag van de week) and the word of the week (woord van de week).

From Coisas Minhas

The addresses pages:

From Coisas Minhas

I prefer these adressen pagina's because we can also write down the email, the site and the phone number of each friend and relative.

I also like more this verjaardagen pagina's display.

From Coisas Minhas

Both the agendas have calendar (kalender) and holidays (feestdagen) pages.

From Coisas Minhas

So...which one do you like the most? :-)

Have you Family Agendas in your home country? I never find it in Portugal...

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

I will be away for a while...

Dear friends, readers and followers,

I will be away for a while...

I leave you with my dear Pedro Abrunhosa, a great composer and musician from Oporto, North of Portugal. If you speak Portuguese, listen his last interview given to Manuel Luis Goucha. A great one, in my opinion!

Pedro Abrunhosa, Se eu fosse um dia o teu olhar

Pedro Abrunhosa, Tudo o que te dou

Pedro Abrunhosa, Momento

I will come back soon, just need a time for myself and to rest a bit :-) Like Pedro, sometimes, I need some silence ;-) ...
Enjoy the music! :-)

Monday, 10 January 2011

"Zeeuwse bolus": a Dutch pastry with Portuguese origins

In the last entry, I shared with you the recipe of "Bolo Rei", our traditional Portuguese Christmas, New Year's Day and Kings Day cake.

Yesterday, I received a very nice email from Jacoba, with the most amazing tip:
" Something that strikes me is that in Zeeland we have a specialty of dough, rolled up, sugared with cinnamon and it is called a 'bolus'. I wonder whether the name is derived from your pastry?"

Zeeland is the lovely and beautiful Dutch province located in the south-west of the country and consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg.

I became so curious, I went to Wikipedia searching for information...and look what I found!!:

"The bolus was first created in Zeeland in the first half of the 17th century by Sephardi Jew bakers. There are signs of the Portuguese Jewish community that inhabited Zeeland at the Jewish cemetery in Middelburg. These Jewish bakers created the predecessor of the Zeeuwse bolus. Later bakers from Zeeland perfected the art of the bolus, sometimes using steam ovens to keep the cinnamon pastry tender."

When I looked at this photo, I thought " I've already eaten this in Lisbon!!".

I was so glad with this discovery! Thank you, dear Jacoba, :-)

According to Wikipedia, there is a competition on the Tuesday of the 12th week of the year called the "Bolusbaking Championships Zeeland"! I need to see this, definitively! It's organised by the Dutch Bakery Centre. The winner receives the Bolus Trophy and becomes the "Best Bolus Baker" for a year.
The jury - two bakers and two Zeelandia employees-chooses the best ten products and the winner is chosen from these by the audience.
I will go there to help to choose the winner!! :-)) I don't mind it at all ;-))

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Celebrating Kings Day with My Typical Dutch Tea Set

If I were in Portugal, I would be celebrating Dia de Reis  (Kings Day) and I would have gone to the tea room Confeitaria Nacional to buy  Bolo Rei (King's Cake).

[Photo Credit]

The owners of Confeitaria Nacional have brought the French recipe of the“ Gateau des Rois” to Portugal in the second half of the 19th century. Until today, this recipe is a very well kept secret. This tea room is already in the same family for five generations.


My coffee table is ready for the tea :-) Well, almost... :-)
There is no King Cake's slice yet :-))

From Natal 2010

You are seeing on the photo one person tea set and two dessert plates typically Dutch.

I will go now, but I leave you with the traditional recipe of Bolo Rei. Enjoy it!

Bolo Rei recipe:


3 eggs
milk: 2dl
port wine : 2 table spoons
brandy: 2 table spoons
candied fruit: enough
almonds: enough
walnuts: enough
pine nuts: enough


Dissolve the yeast with a bit of cold milk and mix it in the flower.
Mix all ingredients except for the candied fruit, the nuts and the almonds, and beat the dough very well.
When the dough starts to make bubbles, meaning it is well beaten, add the fruit and nuts.
Mold the dough in the form of a large donut, with a large hole in the middle.
Cover it well with the butter and let the dough rest for some hours.
"Paint" the cake with the beaten yolks and place some more candied fruit on top of the torus for decoration.
Take it to the oven with average heat and let it cook until it assumes a golden colour.



Manteiga: 130 gr
Açúcar: 130 gr
Farinha: 500 gr
Fermento: 15 gr
Ovo: 3
Leite: 2 dl
Vinho do Porto: 2 colheres de sopa
Aguardente velha: 2 colheres de sopa
Fruta cristalizada variada: q.b.
Amêndoa: q.b.
Noz: q.b.
Pinhão: q.b.


Num pouco de leite frio dissolva o fermento e adicione a farinha. Junte todos os ingredientes, excepto as frutas cristalizadas e os frutos secos, e amasse bem. Quando a massa começar a fazer bolhas, sinal de estar bem batida, juntam-se as frutas cristalizadas e os frutos secos. Tende-se a massa em forma de rosca, colocando em recipiente com buraco no meio, depois de bem untado com manteiga. Deixa-se descansar durante umas horas. Pincela-se com gema de ovo e colocam-se mais algumas frutas cristalizadas por cima. Coze-se em forno médio até ficar dourado.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Oostvaardersplassen: the first travel of the year

Oostvaardersplassen is a nature reserve in the Netherlands, covering about 5,600 hectares (56 km2), located between the youngest city of the country, Almere [the first house was finished in 1976] and Lelystad, the capital of Flevoland, the central province of the Netherlands, established on the 1st January 1986, at the location of the former Zuiderzee, a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the country.

From Oostvaarders Plassen

We went there last Sunday and I took some photos along the Markermeer, a lake in the central Netherlands in between North Holland, Flevoland and the IJsselmeer, its larger sibling.
The lake is named after the small former island, now peninsula, of Marken that lies within it.

From Oostvaardersplassen

Oostvaardersplassen has been awarded with the European Nature Conservation Diploma.

From Oostvaardersplassen

The Council of Europe awarded, in this way, the international significance of this nature reserve.

From Oostvaardersplassen

Oostvaardersplassen was the third Dutch nature reserve to receive this Diploma.

From Oostvaardersplassen

As a consequence of the growing numbers of rare and unusual birds for which it provides a habitat, Oostvaardersplassen is compared with the Camarge in France and the Coto Donana in Spain.

From Oostvaarders Plassen

We went to a little cottage to watch some of the birds of this nature reserve...

From Oostvaarders Plassen

Here we can find the Great Cormorant, the Common Spoonbill, the Great Egret, the White-tailed Eagle and the Eurasian Bittern, among many others.

From Oostvaarders Plassen

Walking on the paths which surrounded the cottage, I remembered of some photos Patricia had taken in Patagonia...

From Oostvaarders Plassen

After the stroll in the wet area, we went to the dry area, De Praambult.

From Oostvaarders Plassen

Here we can watch Konik horses, the red deer and Heck cattle. These large grazing animals are kept out in the open all year round without supplemental feeding, and are allowed to behave as wild animals (without, for example, castrating males).

From Oostvaarders Plassen

We finished our stroll where we had begun, along the Markermeer...:-)

From Oostvaarders Plassen

Oostvaardersplassen, now isolated in the polder of Flevoland, will be connected to other nature reserves by a corridor to be created nearby, in Horsterwold. In 2015, the new network of "Oostvaardersland" will be part of the European-wide habitat network Natura 2000.

From Oostvaarders Plassen

I hope you have enjoyed our first travel of the year, so close to our home...

From Oostvaarders Plassen

What are the main beauties of your surroundings? What do you advise to visit?

Saturday, 1 January 2011




From Coisas Minhas

Yesterday, after watching a Riverdance Show on TV and having our dinner [crab, prawns and flan pudding], we went to the lake with a bottle of champagne, two glasses and 12 raisins, one for each month of the year.
When we arrived there, we sat down in a bench to watch the fireworks. Nobody was there. It was a show only for us :-)
I guess the people were by the canal firing up their fireworks. We could not see them because of the buildings between the canal and the lake.
The City Hall didn't organize the show we saw. In the Netherlands, people buy a lot of fireworks to use in the New Year's Eve. And someone had bought beautiful fireworks for last night... :-)
After the show, we went home to eat Caldo Verde, a traditional Portuguese soup which we usually eat on this day.
We also ate oliebollen. This is a Dutch tradition of New Year's Eve. :-)
We had an invitation to spend this night with some friends, but we decided to stay home in a more quiet way :-)
We have been very lazy... :-))
Meanwhile, I received a mail from my friend Aida who asked me if I know the Dutch painter Unamore from Amsterdam. She is having an exhibition in Portugal.
I didn't know Unamore, so I went to her website to see her work. I liked it very much. :-)
It's refreshing to learn something new in the first day of the year! :-)
I have also received another pleasant mail today. Aledys has nominated Presepio for the 2011 Weblogs Awards [ European Weblog and Best Travel Weblog categories]. If you want to nominate Presepio, please click here. You can also nominate Presepio for Best Photography Blog. :-) Thank you!
Have a Great Year!

Let's sing As Janeiras... a Portuguese tradition between the 1st and the 6th January. Several groups go door to door singing this song [or others], wishing a Happy New Year to their neighbours and friends, who offer them the leftovers from the Christmas holidays.