This week [17.12-23.12]

Last week started with all the preparations, covid tests, packing and tidying up before leaving for two weeks with a very excited Toddler who had been looking forward all week to catching a plane to see her grandparents, aunts, uncle and cousin. As she is now over 2 years old, she now has a plane seat to herself, which is a huge relief. We just need to keep her busy, which we do with colouring and sticker books, stories, and a few nice passengers who don’t mind playing some rounds of peekaboo.

Coming home for the holidays is all about seeing our family and friends, and making time for Toddler to hang out with them. Watching her interact with them is priceless, but it is also very costly in terms of energy for us. All the changes, the interactions, the to-do lists for Christmas celebrations, the lack of routines had us dealing with some epic toddler meltdowns and, by the end of the week, we were more exhausted than before the holidays. The summit of the toddler meltdowns was definitely when she pulled a 10-minute-shrieker in the middle of the busiest streets in the city and a lady pursued us, worried that we had kidnapped her and stating that I was definitely not her mother because, if I were, she wouldn’t run away from me screaming like that (it didn’t help that she was screaming mamãaaaa)!

Just before coming, I was excited about holiday baking and ordered some flour that arrived just in time for me to… open a bakery at home. As if we didn’t have enough on our plates. Oh well. So, what did I bake?

  • Sourdough bread: at home, I make the bread as quickly and practically as I can, which means that I skip a few steps (no autolyse, no proofing in the basked or shaping the bread). This time around, I decided to take the time to make it properly, using this recipe. It turned out very good, especially toasted with salted butter, but I wish my bread was taller and had less crusty area. Something to fine tune next year.
  • Bolo Rainha: using the same recipe I found and tweaked a few years ago and using my sourdough starter, as I have been doing for the last two years, I baked seven of these babies and gave them to family and friends.
  • Broa de milho: a Portuguese table cannot be missing the broa de milho, a bread made mostly of corn flour, with some rye and wheat mixed in for structure. I made them for Christmas for both our families, and they were used for making migas de grelos (turnip greens sautéed with bread, garlic and olive oil) as well.

The weather was quite rainy for the whole week and so there was no running (or any kind of sport for that matter) and not much time spent outdoors, which was quite hard for me. There was a lot of time spent eating and being by the fireplace. I guess this week was mostly about enjoying the good things we don’t have the rest of the year, despite all the fatigue.

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