Today I thought I would go to Cascais, the beach town near Lisbon. However, I slept till 9 and felt so content to read at home and clean my room (finally), so I spent the day mostly at home. I called home and Kat and journalled for a bit and did some other errands, and went about making cookies as a thank-you to Dave for spending the past Sunday with the interns. Spoiler: I stayed home basically all day except to get some groceries and read outside. And it was great. I feel weird about it though–am I wasting my dwindling and precious time in Portugal to just “feel relaxed”? Are days like this going to be regrets later on? On the other hand, this is my time and these are my choices to make. I’ll come back to Portugal, I know it. I will hopefully have no regrets. Plus, the house that I’m living in is beautiful and comfortable and feels like home. It’s so perfect–there are funny people, there’s a kitchen, it’s modern and clean, an it’s extremely well lit.

The cookies I made were a bit of a wild time. There aren’t really any bowls in the house big enough for baking, nor is there a hand mixer besides the blender. However, I made it work (and hand kneaded the dough, which may have made it much fluffier than intended–however I also replaced baking powder with baking soda, so there are several alterations going on here). This is the mess of the cookie dough. I think the recipe I used assumed I had things but that’s okay. live and learn and constantly improvise.

The fun part of baking in this house is the attention and curiosity from my housemates. Cookies are a rarity I think (since they’re not super tradition) but much loved by the people here, as long as they don’t see how much sugar or butter goes into them. Anyway, I had an audience (as I often do when I’m baking here–whether it’s crepes or pudding or dinner, maybe I am funny to watch? Laura says that I am). Here are the cookies pre-bake 😀

And here they are post-bake. I think they turned out pretty good. They’re extremely soft and delicate–one of my housemates said they would be perfect for old people without teeth. I think it was a compliment. I hope Dave and his family like them! After I had packed them up for Dave and fed my audience and packed some up for myself tomorrow, one of my housemates who loved the peanut butter cookies the most came crashing down the stairs for the cookies. I was flattered–like I said, I feel so at home here, even if there can sometimes be a pretty severe language barrier.

Then I napped! after expending so much energy baking and eating cookies and asking awkwardly in broken Portuguese if the tap water has been fixed yet, haha. It was, needless to say, a complete accident. But that’s okay. sometimes the body knows what it needs. Even if it just had an espresso, it can sleep for 1.5 hours.

For dinner, I tried to use up the rest of everything that was in my fridge, because tomorrow I’m going to Germany and I don’t want to leave too many groceries in my house. I have a tomato and some parmesan and pasta for when I come home on Monday, though, so I feel ready. I made a ginger-soy-garlic-“sweet potato”-brocoli stir fry. I’m so confused about the sweet potato I bought like 4 days ago or something. I thought it was tapioca, but I checked, and the label in the store does say batate doce, and though it doesn’t taste or look like a sweet potato I’d eat for thanksgiving or something, it does taste like a vaguely sweet potato? I used an egg too, haha. Who knows what I ate, but it tasted fine!

One of my housemates prepared Carpaccio, which is raw meat cut super thinly, served with tomatoes, arugula and parmesan and bread. it was very good–but I could just see papa in my mind’s eye, saying “raw BEEF” incredulously. yes, and I’m fine so far 🙂

Much love! Tomorrow night at this time I’ll be in Germany! woo!