Please welcome Wicked Wednesday's guest, Hanna Park. Food and romance in a wickedly beautiful setting. Enjoy!
And to research an area rich in history. How can I describe the endless landscape, the walks on the Algarve cliffs? The ocean view goes on for days! And how about a romantic sunset stroll along the boardwalk? What more could an aspiring author need? Ah! Great food! Let’s talk about the food––always to die for––always, a wicked delight!
Bacalhau, Portuguese Cod Fish, made with simple ingredients and prepared to perfection––a family recipe handed down by generations.
On our first evening in Carvoeiro, the husband and I made our way to the Restaurante Casa Algarvia, a family-style restaurant recommended by our hotelier as authentic Portuguese fare. This restaurant became our go-to place for dinner because the meals were spectacular and the staff so very welcoming.For our very first meal in Portugal, we ordered Bacalhau. Our server, Christina, promptly warned us
that Bacalhau is salted cod, soaked for twenty-four hours to remove the salt and then roasted. This fantastic meal was served on a clay platter, loaded with sautéed peppers and onion, olives and baby potatoes, doused in olive oil, with sunny side hard-boiled eggs. This meal was wicked!!! We sampled many other beautiful dishes at Casa Algarvia, and I cannot fail to mention the Fish Cataplana, a seafood stew served in a hinged copper bowl––a mouth-watering delight!
The wine poured freely, setting my imagination on fire, giving me a home base for Tiegan and Tomás to meet. Finding Tiegan became a reality within those muted orange walls.
Three months is a long time, and I can’t eat out every single day. But I’m not much of a cook—I barely function in the kitchen. Back home, I live on prepared food and takeout. My mother’s voice rings in my head—Tiegan, sweetheart, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Aaron’s pretty face flashes through my mind.
I stroll the supermarket aisles, making a mental list of what to buy. I fill my cart with the basics: granola, orange pekoe, yogurt. I buy eggs. There are so many ways to ruin eggs. I find the coffee. I can’t live without coffee. As I pour the beans through the grinder, I close my eyes, breathing in the rich aroma of dark roast.
Taking center stage in the seafood section is a mile-high stack of dried, salted, and cured cod, bacalhau. Tomás Ferreira—what a charming piece of work. I can’t believe how taken I was by the moment. Why did I lose myself so completely? Physical attraction? Jet lag? The wine? It was the wine. I drank the whole bottle.
I wait at the front end of the store while the cashier rings me through. The entrance doors swing open. His scent hits me like a ton of bricks. My body reacts, hot and cold all at once.
“Tomás. How are you? How was practice today?” The cashier turns her attention away from my groceries. Apparently, they know each other.
“Looking good, Mary. The kids are working well together: team players, everyone.”
Holy hell! Can she not focus on the task at hand?
Visit Hanna Park at www.hannapark.ca