19 November - a very special day (story #3)

 

 

Estou a escrever esta memória a muitos metros de altitude, mais perto de onde o nosso pai com certeza estará.

 

Havia um prato, primorosamente cozinhado pela nossa mãe e que normalmente só era feito com toda a família presente, já que ninguém dispensava tamanha iguaria. Só de pensar, estou com água na boca, a sentir o estaladiço da massa, a ausência de gordura e o magnífico sabor do recheio.

 

Havia sempre o receio, por parte da mãe, que a quantidade que iria chegar à mesa não fosse suficiente. O receio era tal que o pai, o Avô Mendes, na salvaguarda que chegassem os suficientes à mesa, era nomeado o “polícia” da cozinha.

 

Montávamos esquemas de distracção, mas muitas das vezes, a maioria na verdade, roubávamos com a conivência do “polícia” pois era ele o primeiro a não resistir à ânsia de degustar os exemplares que acabavam de sair, a ferver, do óleo onde eram fritos, queimando-nos a língua e as pontas do polegar e do indicador.

 

Eram, entre nós, famosos os pastéis de massa tenra.

 

Felizmente ainda temos o prazer de os poder saborear, agora sem a presença física, mas com a boa memória, sempre presente, do “polícia” dos pastéis, que até hoje nos obriga a sermos parcos no assalto à cozinha durante a sua confecção.

 

De salvaguardar que nunca faltaram pastéis, mas que também raramente sobraram, quando terminávamos essa magnifica refeição em família.

 

Confesso, que para além de ter água na boca, também a tenho nos olhos.

 

João Pedro Mendes

I am writing this memory on an airplane, up in the clouds, closer to where our father probably is.

 

There was this dish, exquisitely cooked by our mother and which she would only prepare when the whole family was around, since no one would miss such a delicacy. Just of thinking about it I can immediately feel water in my mouth, the dough’ crunchiness, the absence of grease and the magnificent flavor of the filling.

 

My mother always had the fear that the quantity that would reach the table wasn’t enough. The fear was such that my father, Grandfather Mendes, in safeguarding enough quantity at the table, was appointed the “kitchen’s police”.

 

We set up schemes of distraction, but most of the time we would stole with the permission of the "police", since he was the first to not resist the urge to taste the first samples that would come out of the pan, burning our tongues and our fingers’ tips.

 

These sweet dough pastries, filled with stewed meat (in Portuguese “pastéis de massa tenra”), were very famous among our family.

 

Fortunately, we still have the pleasure to taste them, now without the presence but with the good memory of the "pastries’ police”, which until today makes us restrain ourselves when attacking the kitchen.

 

I would like to add that pastries were never scarce and not even one would be left when we finished this magnificent meal in family.

 

I confess that writing this story brought water to my mouth but also to my eyes.

 

João Pedro Mendes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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