Friday’s are awesome! There’s no rush to get to sleep because you know you can sleep in a little the next day. Yessss!
We had some fears that we would not have had such a happy Friday this week, though. You see, on Thursday we started seeing a lot of chatter about bad weather headed towards the Azores. The Azores often get heavy rain and wind in the winter, but this was different. By Thursday afternoon, it was time to start worrying. The weather forecast was calling for a full-blown hurricane to hit the Central Group of the Azores Islands during the early morning. I called my parents before they went to bed (their time is four hours ahead of ours here) for some “comfort chat”. I could tell in my mom’s voice that she was extra worried about this one. I wished them well and kept my eye on the news and social media throughout the rest of the evening. By midnight, the forecast showed that Hurricane Alex would arrive over the Azores Islands at around 6:00 a.m., with wind gusts of up to 170 km per hour, waves reaching as high as 18 meters and lots of rain. Needless to say, I went to bed pretty nervous. I woke up at around 4:00 a.m. our time (8:00 a.m. in the Azores) and checked the news. The Hurricane had reached them, but hadn’t yet caused any major damage. By the time I woke up for work, I started to relax. I saw a direct video feed of the Azores news. They confirmed that they were getting some bad weather, but not quite as aggressive as originally predicted. I called my parents and they also seemed more relaxed. Fortunately, by the end of their afternoon, no one had been hurt and there was no major damage on any of the Islands. They (we) were very lucky! Let’s hope this doesn’t happen often!
Did Hurricane Alex affect you or loved ones? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
I thought a lot about my family and friends in the Azores today. I’m very thankful that they’re all okay. What better way to celebrate their good fortune, than with one of my favourite comfort foods? My mom made this tuna, potato and chickpea salad often while I grew up. Liz’s mom too, actually. It was cheap (my parents used to can their own tuna), it’s easy to make and can be served hot or cold. I actually prefer it cold.
This recipe is extremely flexible, you can increase or decrease most of the ingredients by a bit without drastically changing the flavour. You can also add extra ingredients like roasted red peppers, broccoli or any other goody you can think of. One very important ingredient that I can’t forget to mention… the wine! It’s not used in the dish, but it’s a definite must to accompany the meal. You’ll notice the clay bowl near the serving platter. That bowl is called “Taladeira” in Portuguese. Over a century ago, it was used to drink wine from in the Azores (can’t speak for other parts of Portugal); like a clay wine glass, I guess. While my clay bowls were made by a potter more recently, my dad still has some original clay bowls and a wine jug from over 100 years ago that belonged to my great grandfather. How cool is that?
So after reading our story today, hug a loved one, feel grateful, and eat well friends!
- 1½ lbs of white potatoes (about 7 medium potatoes), peeled and chopped in large equal pieces
- 3 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- ½ cup diced red onion (about a quarter of a medium onion)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup green olives (roughly 15)
- 3 cans of quality tuna in oil (21 oz or 594 g)
- 1 can chickpeas (19 fl oz or 540 ml), drained and washed
- ⅓ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- place the potatoes in a large pot on the stove.
- Add water to the pot, about two inches above the potatoes.
- Add 2 tsp of salt.
- Add the three whole eggs.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Uncover, reduce the heat to medium high and continue to simmer uncovered until the potatoes are tender and you can easily pierce the potato with a fork. (about 20 minutes once it starts to boil). Note: remove the eggs after about 10 minutes of simmering.
- Cool the eggs off and peel them. Chop them (you can leave one out to cut for garnish).
- Gently place all the ingredients, including 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp white pepper in a large bowl (except for the one egg and some parsley for garnish).
- Gently mix all the ingredients and transfer to a large serving dish.
- Garnish with egg and parley.
- Serve this dish hot or cold. Enjoy!