Tag Archives: A Portuguese Christmas

An Excerpt from “A Portuguese Christmas”

One of the last chapters in my sweet romance novella, A Portuguese Christmas, explores Christmas Eve traditions in Portugal.
Krystal, the heroine, is a professional surfer. Adolfo, the hero, is a Portuguese olive farmer. Veronica, Krystal’s cousin, married a Portuguese man and resides in Portugal. Aunt Edite is their elderly aunt and a professional artist.

Enjoy!

Krystal layered boiled, sliced potatoes onto the boiled and shredded salted cod. In another baking dish, she added sautéed onions, black olives and hard-boiled eggs. “My first Christmas Eve supper in Portugal,” she declared.

Veronica smiled. “Your first of many Consoadas.” She wiped her hands on her frilly green apron adorned with mistletoe and then tended to flash-boiling an array of shellfish, including crab, clams, and pink shrimp. She arranged the seafood on a white ceramic serving platter to serve warm in their shells. “How’s this?”

“Looks delicious,” Krystal said. “Truly, I’ve never seen so much food.”

The women paraded into Veronica’s expansive dining room. The shiny mahogany table fairly groaned beneath an assortment of hazelnuts, olives and garden-fresh collard greens drizzled in olive oil.

Krystal peeked at her reflection in the hallway mirror as she passed. She’d fussed with her appearance, wearing her hair in a side-swept chignon and donning a candy-apple-red crepe shift she’d purchased in Peniche, along with black kitten heels.

Aunt Edite placed a silver candelabrum, lit with a half dozen red and green candles, in the center of the table. “Consoada literally translated means ‘to comfort.’ Traditionally, we abstain from meat dishes on Christmas Eve because Advent is our ‘little lent’ and we fast and repent the days before Christmas.”

“Until Christmas Day,” Adolfo added, “when pork and roasted lamb are served.”

Enjoy the video here.

A Portuguese Christmas is available on Amazon. Snag your copy today!

Away in A Manger

In researching A Portuguese Christmas, I learned that on Christmas Eve, many Portuguese families gather around the Christmas tree and Crèche to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Catholicism is the main religion practiced in Portugal, and the Crèche is an extremely important part of Christmas festivities.

A fun activity for Portuguese children is collecting materials, such as moss and clay, for the Crèche,

Some families display Infant Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. However, other displays will feature shepherds, sheep, and the three wise men.

Although the American tradition focuses on children writing letters to Santa Claus for gifts, Portuguese children write letters to the Infant Jesus.

Here’s the blurb for A Portuguese Christmas:

Love can come softly, like holiday snow. Or sweep you away like a riptide.

World-class surfer Krystal Walters would have appreciated the beauty of her surroundings—a quaint cottage in a fragrant Portuguese olive grove—if a wipeout hadn’t changed all her holiday plans.

Now, suffering the dizzying aftereffects of multiple concussions, she’s determined to make it home to Rhode Island for Christmas, even if she has to defy doctor’s orders. Except those orders are being enforced by Adolfo Silva. A man as arrogant as he is ruggedly handsome.

Spending every waking moment working to make the family olive farm a success, Adolfo barely has time to savor a traditional Feliz Natal. But the moment Krystal disappears under a mountain of sea water, his focus shifts to a sun-kissed spitfire with golden hair, sky-blue eyes, and a will as immovable as his own.

Keeping her safe is his first priority, but this bold, courageous woman’s wings won’t be clipped. Before they can plant the seeds of a future together, he’ll have to convince her that spending Christmas—and maybe every holiday to come—with him isn’t the end of the world. Because she’s become the center of his.

Check out the youtube video here.

A Portuguese Christmas is also available on audible.com and paperback.

A delicious and easy Portuguese Cranberry Sauce Recipe.

Did you know that Thanksgiving doesn’t exist in Portugal? In fact, many Portuguese have never heard of Thanksgiving.
And, if you were in Portugal in November and wanted to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, you would soon find that many of the ingredients are non-existent.

Looking for pecans to bake a pecan pie? Nope!
Canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie? Hah!
Cranberries for cranberry sauce? Nope, again. And certainly you won’t find canned cranberry sauce (my fave!) in any of the supermarkets.

However, you might find dried cranberries, although it’s interesting to note that the Portuguese do not have a name for cranberries, although the word “oxicoco” is sometimes used.

The good news is that you will be able to purchase a fresh turkey and roasted chestnuts from the many street vendors. Add a loaf of crusty Portuguese bread, a bottle of Port, and enjoy your Thanksgiving feast!

Here’s a recipe for “Portuguese” cranberry sauce. Note that dried cranberries and port wine are listed in the ingredients.

You will need:
Water to moisten
6 apples
Approximately 7 cups of dried cranberries
Port wine (I use most of the bottle!)
¾ cup brown sugar
Cinnamon and cloves to taste

Mix all ingredients and simmer on stove.

Do you have a favorite cranberry sauce recipe? Please share below.

Love to learn about other countries and holiday traditions? Snag a copy of A Portuguese Christmas, my sweet romance novella. Available on Amazon and all e-book stores, as well as paperback and audible.

Check out the youtube video here.

Does it snow in Portugal during the holiday season?

Feliz Natal means Merry Christmas in Portuguese!

I had such fun writing A Portuguese Christmas, my sweet romance contemporary novella. And, in turn, I learned a great deal about Portugal, and the country’s lack of snow during the holiday season.

The story is set in December. Krystal Walters, the heroine, is an American professional surfer, and is competing in Portugal during the holidays in a world-class surfing event. She misses the snow, and envisions returning to her home in wintry Rhode Island to celebrate Christmas with her father.

However, the average temperature in Portugal in December/January boasts a high of 59 degrees, with temperatures dipping to a low 46 degrees. So, snow is very rare, especially in the cities, such as Lisbon.

Through my research, I also learned that Portugal’s climate is diverse. The river Tejo runs through Lisbon, and any regions south are warm and dry, and reportedly it’s only snowed there once in twenty years.

Any regions north of the river are rainy and cold in winter.

Here’s the first cover of A Portuguese Christmas.

The hero, Adolfo, is an olive farmer, and, to me, this hero didn’t look like a man who farms. Those of you who’ve heard me praise my wonderful cover artist, know I trust her judgement. However, in addition to a hero who didn’t fit my vision, she forgot one important thing. There’s no snow in Portugal!

However, I LOVE the hero on my current cover, which was unanimously approved by my reader’s group!

The moment world-class surfer Krystal disappears under a mountain of sea water, Adolfo’s single-minded focus shifts from running his Portuguese olive farm to keeping the sun-kissed American spitfire safe. But first he’ll have to convince her that spending Feliz Natal with him isn’t the end of the world. Because she’s become the center of his.

Do you like snow during the holiday season, or do you prefer warm, sunny weather?

Feliz Natal!

A Portuguese Christmas is on pre-order and will be available November 7th for all ebook retailers, audible, and paperback.

Amazon

Reserve your copy today!

And check out the youtube video here.

Is Halloween observed in Portugal?

In my research for A Portuguese Christmas, I learned that Halloween is not observed in Portugal, although the observance of the American Halloween exists in the more rural areas.

On October 31st and November 1st, children go from door to door and ask for sweets, such as honey, walnuts, and small cakes.

However, November 1st is All Saints Day, a Holy day that dates back 1000 years. Because Portugal is predominantly a Catholic country, people visit cemeteries and honor their dead friends and family.

How will you be celebrating Halloween this year? I’ve learned not to buy Halloween candy too far ahead, or it will be eaten by the time Halloween arrives!

A Portuguese Christmas, my sweet romance holiday novella, is on pre-order, and available on Amazon, as well as all ebook retailers.
Also available on paperback and audio.

Snag your copy today!