Saturday, 14 May 2011

Come what May

First of the season´s cherries in todays market, at a reasonable price

First off today my sincere apologies for O Cozinheiro´s absence these last couple of days but the guys and/or girls at Google have let everybody down big time this week.There is nothing more soul destroying than having spent hours of research and creative time writing a blog post only to find that it has disappeared into the ether.Hopefully they will find my "disappearing" posts and I will be able to share them with you later, but meanwhile come what may, here is todays post....
 
Que sera sera, "vaille que vaille"- Whatever will be will be,its May and its Eurovision weekend, and unfortunately Portugal failed to qualify, but will the boys in Blue carry the conquest back to England, just as Vicki Leandros took this blog post title back to her homeland in 1972. Strong hopes for our neighbours in Spain too, and a big stadium reverberating aria from the favourites France. Who can predict a result- " Come what may "
Lerner and Lowe had a much simpler approach to catchy tunes with La Julie Andrews bringing her own beautiful English pronunciations and pure singing to light songs like "The Lusty Month of May" and "Then You May Take Me to the Fair,"

Tra la! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes          snail hunting
Blissfully astray.                                      
Tra la! It's here!
That shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts
Merrily appear!......                          

It's mad! It's gay!                             ( the Eurovision song Contest )
A libelous display!

Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?         Apricots
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?

Whence this perfume floating ev'rywhere?               Nesperas

Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit!          Figos lampos


My euro vision is more on what is happening in May foodwise, and what is seasonally available here in Southern Europe,and in particular the Iberian peninsular.
Today saw the May monthly market in town, a spot on barometer for what´s in season.
Yesterday I bought my first locally grown avocado.The fava beans are almost over alas and tomorrow we will pick the last crop and pull the plants up in preparation for the second batch of tomato plants to go in.Strawberries will continue for a few more weeks and the sardines are starting to poke their noses off the market stalls.Basil is still in pots, but with the weather now turned and with the current heatwave it wont be long before that heady aroma fills the terrace and garden.This week I spotted the first Portuguese cherries for sale at €5.80 a kilo, a hefty bill to pay for the miracle gout cure so I suffered the wait for the monthly market to hit town today, and my dividend paid off ( see above ).
May sees the fig bear its first crop, called the breba crop, in the spring on last season's growth.They are called the "Figos Lampos" because they are the first figs of the season produced by each tree. For me,these first figs are the best ones.
It is said that these first figs are the lamps; lampo or lampeiro - which is premature, hasty, premature,and as in the popular Portuguese  saying, referring to birds:
..  O cartaxo é lampeiro
....põe os ovos em Janeiro;
....quando vem o Entrudo
....já está penudo.

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