Be Careful What You Ask For

When I first arrived, it seemed to me that those crazy Brazilians sure liked to chop things down a lot. “That’s a gorgeous, living being!” I gasped. “Hah. It will grow back,” they said. Nowhere was the debate strongest than around the base of the huge tree in our back yard. Towering and shady, it…

Time is Everything

Hey y’all—I just wanted to share something with you. I’m wicked excited. I started this great course (Happy Birthday to me! Thanks Dad!). Why? You might have noticed that there’s been a lull in the writing over here at Minhas Crônicas do Brasil. Part of that is life with a toddler and a full-time job. Part…

Daring-Do

“Heard of rainbow hair?” I said, “You wanted me to go more platinum blonde. Ok. Deal. And when I do, I want that.” I showed her a photo. She said, “You’re feeling radical?” I said, “I’ve always been radical, you just never asked.” But clearly this was beyond my hair stylist’s comfort zone so I…

Fotocrônica: Cattle Country

It was a Friday night and we were driving down Main Street. There was a COW ambling down the opposite lane. No one was behind her, no one trying to get her back into a corral, she was just on her way up the block. This gives you an idea of how rurally imbedded we…

The Oxymoron of American Pizza in Brazil

Brazilians have a funny idea of what is American. It’s a cross between what they see on TV and what they think is cool (which may or may not have anything to do with actual American customs. To point, behold the “American Pizza” we enjoyed last night: sausage (check), cheese (check), sauce (check), ham (check),…

Zika Madness

I get a lot of questions from people in the States about how people here in Brazil are dealing with all the Zika craziness. Americans are absolutely freaking out about the problem. And Brazilians? My answer always is: “They shrug.” It’s true. Ask any average Brazilian their opinion about Zika, and they’ll lift their shoulders…

Crazy Kitchen Chickens

Our outdoor kitchen is infested with crazy chickens. Crazy or just incredibly dumb, but then dumb just comes with chicken territory. These two ladies take the cake, though. It all started normally enough, with them selecting roosting spots within the kitchen. Ever seen it happen? It’s cute. Like newlyweds apartment hunting, the rooster leads the hens…

100 Brazilian Dishes: Blender Cake

I had no idea what they were talking about when I first read the list of 100 Brazilian Dishes. Blender cake? I learned later that most homemakers here make cake by throwing all the ingredients in the blender then pouring it into a cake pan. One more use for that trusty kitchen tool–juices, seasonings, and…

Bucket Brigade

We have endless water at the farm. Most of the time. It’s a true luxury. It runs day and night, and we do our best to route it to the most useful places so that its abundance isn’t wasted. It’s easy to be casual about it, because if it isn’t used it just means that…

Tinderbox

It was my first day in Brazil after the long nighttime bus ride back to our interior town. It had been a month since I had stepped on Brazilian soil. I opened the living room door and peer out into the yard. The light burned my eyes. Was the Brazilian sun always this bright? My eyes itched….

Fotocrônica: Drink Milk

Our region is famous for its milk production. It’s ranching country around here. Lots of local little producers, who deliver their milk daily to larger distributors who then either re-sell it to customers in-town or to larger, national buyers. Every morning the milk farmers drive their milk into town by pickup truck or by strapping their 50-liter…