…chef Alcir…

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Is it Wednesday?  time had lost it’s power, finally.  There were no
day-names, only days.  So much touching, after so long without.
The desert of loneliness, although accepted at the time, now
thirsted beyond bounds.

What was enough now.  The chasm was dark and deep, and knew
no bottom.  His eyes made her know, made her surrender to him,
to them, to It.

The Sade songs rang in her heart from so many years ago, and
just last night… Those words of sadness and comfort now came from
his own lips, as he sang to her, his voice like his eyes, deep and dark
and touching her very core.

“I want to stab you with my brown knife… to go in where there is
already a little hole…”  he whispered…  cuxixos means whispers.
A lovely sexy word…. Kushishooos.

The incredible and instant intimacies within these walls drowned
out all boundaries.  The natural physicality.  The messages sent
through touch and look, the dances without words… vertically
and horizontally…
They’d had enough words.  But she had to admit the ones he gave
her shimmered like gold.

Mind Images from the past, with their little spaces unfinished,
now filled in, blended, completed themselves in bits and parts.
The feelings of reaching, leaning in, waiting for him to leave and
return endlessly then, had now softened their sharp cutting edges,
now filling her heart with pounding waves of nourishment.

“I need to get my ass kicked by a polar bear.” he began one day.
“That’s what I need!  The first time he wouldn’t Eat me.  He’d say
OK stupid, I won’t eat you this time, but next time….”

He Loved to cook, was a beautiful cook, trained at the Grandmother’s
side, and I watched him slice the scored onion, to create little squares.
Often I would hear singing coming from the cooking place,

“Oh Solo Mio……. ” would drift through the walls, the melody line
correct and continuous, but the words repeated over and over…
“Oh solo mio….. oh solo mio…… oh solo mio….. la la la laaaaa”.
It was pretty darned adorable…

Sauces were a specialty, and I learned that in Brasil, most sauces
begin with Olive Oil, Onions, Garlic, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
From there it goes in whatever direction it will.
“It’s so good, you’re gonna drip,” he said, meaning  ‘drool’.

He began with creating a meal that took him all day.  I was his
assistant, which meant I not only chopped, I also cleaned shrimp
and cleaned up the mess.
The kitchen was a converted laundry room on the basement level,
just large enough to hold the machines, a makeshift shower, and
a sink with cold water.   The cold cement floor felt good to my
frequently bare feet, in the heat of summer.
All of it used to be the maid’s quarters, and now was his.
He told me later that that was where he was sent for isolation
when he was bad, which I gathered was a frequent occurance.
Now the two little rooms were his cave, and the kitchen/laundry
was shared with his Aunt Maria.
Maria lived in the front part of that same level, and would bang
on the common wall between us, when she wanted him.

It was the tropics, and I was concerned about sanitary conditions,
but he assured me if we used enough soap, the cold water
didn’t matter…. I wasn’t so sure, especially since Maria loved to do
the dishes, which was nice, but her eyesight wasn’t great, and often
I would find food on dishes, if I was the one to put them away.
I mentioned it to him, but he said I’d hurt her feelings if I said anything.

In the first couple days he made a magnificent feast for us….

**Bobo Camarao… using that sauce he’d cooked all day, that also
had reduced liquid from the boiled shrimp heads…
coconut milk, sour cream, and lots of cream cheese.   Lots.
There were chunks of Yucca, and lots of shrimp, added at
the last moment.

**Mashed Potatoes and Carrots…. called batata e cenoura.
The two are boiled together, then mashed leaving chunks, and
adding butter, salt and sour cream.  Fabulous.

**Fresh fried potatoes …. all finely shredded, and fried with olive oil.

**Salad, consisting of piles of watercress… that was brasilian salad….
drizzled with olive oil.

Turns out watercress is one amazing anti oxidant and detoxifier,
and that is good because fresh vegetables, at least in this house,
were sorely missing.
I remember Maria cooking cauliflower in a Pressure Cooker til it
was unrecognizable.  For someone used to under cooked veggies
a la West Coast Cuizine, it was really hard to get excited about.
To me that wasn’t vegetables, and I did my best to taste it…
She ate it with a spoon….

But at the Super Mercado, we could buy Huge Bouquets of
Watercress for 2 Reis, the equivient of $1 American, and slowly
I brought in more veggies, many of them Organic, and cooked
them My way.  He scoffed at the organic signs, but I tried to let
him know that we had to at least try to believe it.

I began a campaign, and introduced him and Aunt Maria to salad
everyday.  Eventually they learned to love it, although I usually
ate three quarters of the bowl myself.

Brasilians love heavy foods…. spicey meats especially, marinated
and barbequed on a grill, and rich foods more suited to the
Mediterranean clime, carried over from Portugal, in spite of the fact
of heat and humidity.

The other ingredient of every day was
Frozen-to-Slushy Brasilian Beer.
We drank it every afternoon, and into the night.  It was light,
with Lots of flavor and nuance, not like our light beers.
In the summer heat, we looked forward to this treat, and it always
jollied up our evenings.

We both were very happy, and seldom were apart, with lots of
touching and hand holding, showers together, with Sade as our muse,
and oh, so much joy.



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