Mid winter ramblings

Here we are in February. It is cold and changeable a few bright sunny days with that fabulous, brilliant blue, cloudless sky and then misty rain and heavy cloud.

It is almost “alpine” in the clarity of the air.

On days like these you start to think about summer coming. The fire wood pile is getting low so it can’t be long now.

In late February I will plant 50 or 60 young vines to fill the gaps in the vineyard and soon after they are planted the weather should start to warm up.

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Perfect time to be in Portugal


Now is also a good time to plant fruit trees if your thinking about it.

I love to go to the beach in early March. very often it can be T-shirt weather so you can walk along the edge of the sea without another person for miles. It’s like having your own private beach. Our dog runs itself to a standstill and after we go to our favorite fish restaurant and have grilled catch of the day with wine for 7 Euros.

The bright, clear day light mentioned above has reminded me that this year I have made a resolution to wear my sunglasses more. Apparently the whites of my eyes are getting sun burnt. Who knew that could happen !

I am looking forward to the start of outside dining in spring before the flies become a nuisance. Lunch time barbeques of sardines or my favorite Mirandela steak. Most common in the north around the Mirandela region.

These beautiful small, Caramac coloured (think chocolate bar) cattle deliver the very best steak.  Not just good definitely the best that I have ever eaten.
Soft, juicy, succulent and very tasty. I have eaten steak all over the world and cant believe that we have the best on our door step.

Incidentally the area of Mirandela is famous throughout Portugal for its smoked sausage.

I previously mentioned flies and how they can be a nuisance as the weather changes and the heat and humidity build up.

We start the year with zero tolerance to flies and kill them on sight in our home. We also use natural fly killers in areas like outside dining rooms and shaded seating areas to keep these areas fly free. The trick is to use the fly killers early as they prevent the build up of the pesky critters.

Sardines are particularly good at attracting swarms of flies. My Portuguese friends will put the un-eaten heads and guts in a location a short distance away from the dinning table which seams to keep the flies busy while you eat your lunch.