cakes, prose, woes -- the photos, food & thoughts of a french-speaking seattle-native in brazil

In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it. -AB
In the end, you're just happy you were there—with your eyes open—and lived to see it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

A Brazilian in Seattle

Where Have I Been?
right here.

I don't know if other "internet writers" take vacations, as not only have i AWOLed the Salty office, but i haven't looked at any other blog in over a month either. Yeah i'm backed up. Did i even turn my computer on? Well you were busy with your families and what-not anyways, so i rest assured that i was not too sorely missed. But holiday vacations are now over, and it's back to work (real work and Salty work). So, happy late Christmas, and happy new years! May your new year bring you 365 great days of thrills, chills, and peppermint pills. 2010 brings quite a few changes here at Salty as well, we're quite an organic column here, and change quite frequently. In this mode I am announcing that the atmosphere here is morphing back toward that of when we lived in France a few years ago, that is stories based on travel, culture AND food stories rather than singular recipe focus. What brings the shift? I (first person, no journalism here, this is personal) am moving to Brazil at the end of January. I am moving into my (very own) house in a small city in São Paulo State with my fiancé H, who is usually referred to as "editor"around here for his non-colloquial perfect English. I am stepping into a different life, but it's what Salty (and a few other staff members) have been needing. We're deathly excited for the new blog (ehem, life) direction, and hope to take you along as we first did when we opened shop in France nearly three years ago. Announcement done. So let's write a story.

H spent the past month with me in my family's home in Seattle, and remember this was his first time here in the US of A. So what have i learned about Brazilians in America? That not even the most expensive and fancy-pants fish and oyster house restaurant on the Seattle waterfront can keep a Brazilian from dreaming about rice and beans. Good grief. Did i end up making rice and beans at least one night? Absolutely not. When in like you're in Mexico. As far as Washington State tours go, I hit this one on the nail (drum roll); we made it to every corner north, south, east, and west. Well, every corner but Walla-Walla as there is nothing in said town but onions and a state pen anyways. Lucky for us Seattle Christmas was quite warm this year; low to mid 40's nearly every day. So, below freezing for a Brazilian. But for a Swedish Fish out of his wrapper, he adapted quite nicely. Right on Red? Not a problem if i yell GO! And unfortunately yes, we do have to leave a tip for the waiter. Phrases learned: Litter and it Will Hurt, Click it or Ticket, and Can i see your ID? American radios play the same song over and over? Yes. Yes they do. And when i say left, i mean right. For once the tables were turned: i - the mute pantomime not afraid to make animal noises in the thick of public overhear in foreign countries around the world collecting nickles for giggles produced, was all knowing for once. Though, i do enjoy the "huh?"of it all. Being on the unknowing end. I'm meant, i feel, to be a foreigner. Smiling for the same awe as when listening to music in a language you don't understand.

There is a bit more to Seattle than Pike Place Market, though we did make it a (first) stop. Actually, we spent very little time in Seattle. North we went to Ferndale, a town practically on the border with Canada where my aunt and uncle have a farm. For the American tour: oh look a farm. And that's a goat. At the farm my professional cooking aunt was the only one to manage to erase rice and beans from the mind with her eggs Benedict, seafood risotto, and an ever-coming supply of the Northwest specialty, smoked salmon. Then we went south to Vancouver, a city just on the border of Oregon. East to Spokane, Washington's second largest city and the home of my alma mater, and then north-west by boat to the pristine San Juan Islands for a "nature"tour, and overly-cutesy bed & breakfast (which i highly recommend with 10 stars). But even with all the fancy tours that i could squeeze into a month, really what we liked most was lying on the couch, not working, being lazy, and making macarons and tarts in the kitchen. Of course, all of this while wearing the new leopard print snuggie.

Impressions: American food would be better if it had rice and beans tucked in the side. Our cars are a bit big. Ferry boats are cute, but oh how quickly you learn to loath them. Christmas is a big ritualistic deal. Americans and Brazilians really are the same, just a little different. Pineapples cost a lot of money and computers and ipods do not. But most importantly; that we are ready to go back to Brazil and start a new life. The Brazilian has already left the building, but i follow in 25. And i'm taking you with me. Nervous? Me too. So until then, let's bake something, because yes i missed daring bakers.....but it won't happen again.

a bientot


M.Lane said...

Congratulations! It sounds like a very nice time with H. What an exciting time for you. I wish you all the very best things and all your dedicated readers cannot wait for the next installment!


PS. My wife loves her leopard snuggi too!

Nani said...

Hi Mallory!!!! You have absolutely no idea HOW HAPPY I am for you! Specially knowing about how this all happened. I am thrilled with the news! I so hope I will be able to see you when I go down to visitmy parents in Brazil again. Don't know when yet... hehe I am still traumatized from the surgeries I had down there.

I was wondering how you were doing... I was thinking about writing you an email but I saw you had updated your blog this morning and boy, am I happy ???

I wish you all the love, happiness, health and luck in this new adventure. You go girl! I can't wait to read your new blog posts.

Your Brazilian Friend

Elaine :)


Nani said...

Oh, I almost forgot:

I had never seen a picture of you before (besides de black and white one on the right) YOU LOOK BEAUTIFUL! H is the heack of Lucky man!!!

Let him read this:

H. Espero que voce faca essa moca muito feliz. Eu tive uma historia bem parecida e hoje sou muito feliz com meu marido. Voce eh um homem de sorte! Amor e respeito eh tudo o que voce precisa dar a ela e com certeza voce tb sera um homem muito feliz!

Felicidades e Parabens!

Nani said...

I meant, "HECK"

shanna said...

Oh, I have missed you! This recap post was such a treat, and I am honestly excited with you for the big change at the end of the month. I cannot wait to hear how things go and what you're eating and so on. Best wishes (or Bon Voyage?)!

Christy said...


Okay, maybe that was a bit much, but hey I thought you died. How exciting!!!!! Omigod, you're moving into a new house, just you and him!! And to a totally different country. But I do hope that you wouldn't stop baking and posting recipes though, because where's the fun when you can't create your own American take on Brazilian food? Maybe bacon and beans with a side of potatoes and rice cake? So everybody wins ;)

PS you still owe me an email.

Moira said...

Ano Novo, vida nova.
New year, new life,
I wish you both all the hapiness in the world.
I'll wait for the news on your arrival and i'm sure 2010 will be a year of beautiful saltycodposts made in Brazil.
I almost forget to say that you are a very beautiful girl :)
Beijinhos e Muitas felicidades.

Mallory Elise said...

CALM DOWN CHRISTY! hey you knew i was moving so shhh. and i'm writing you an email right now :)

Moira, Shannalee, Nani, M. Lane, thank you all so much! The best part is that no matter where i go i take all of you with me.

El said...

What exciting adventures await. Looking forward to the next update!