WELCOME TO Val's Alentejo -I write about my region of Alentejo. My art ,painting, my cottages, Family life, my animals -Travels And my love for Roses- and rural country life.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Summer sardines

 Summer is here .    During the months of June, July, and August . August is the best month to really eat the sardines, they are very fat and simply divine.  Hugo buy's  fresh Sardines  at the market.   Yesterday was an exceptionally hot hot day.  My dear friends from the restaurant in the village , decided to have charcoal fresh grilled traditional  Sardine lunch.  Portuguese style. 
It was a perfect grill .  Fresh iced home made sangria.. the Portuguese drink it too!
Potatoes picked by Hugo's grandad from their little quinta..they are boiled with the skin on them. then its peeled off, they taste delicious with olive oil and a little vinigar.
                                          Sardines on the bread..delicious. The juices fall onto the bread.
                                             My plate.  I could eat them every day during summer    

                                                8 of us at the table.. cucumber,tomato, onion salad with fresh oreganum
                                             Caraffe's of divine iced Alentejo red
                                                  grilled green peppers in fresh olive oil
                                         curtains drawn at the back.. tomorrow 125 guests. Groups of traditional Alentejo singers.  They are competing in the village hall.  I will go and see a couple of them sing. Its an annual event.
                                            Young Barbara, pouring our drinks.
                                                Our chef  Hugo
                                                   Hugo's lunch. He isn't partial to sardines Bacalhao with fresh garlic ,potatoes with olive oil.

                                        our little waiter Kiko .. he was handing us our coffee.

Summer is a wonderful month here.   Its a month of celebrations and fiestas and bull fights , markets , pickniks and fun. The old village folk, sit outside their front doors to relish in with the evening breezes.
It doesnt go dark until 9.30pm , So after work there is lots of movement . People going out to eat , or have their coffee , children eating their ice creams.
Weddings take place too.
I have been friends with the "Camoes" family for more than 20 years.  Young Barbara was'nt born then. Hugo and my youngest son Filipe, went to the same school. They are great buddies.
When my family come down for weekends.. its usually saturday or sunday lunch at "Camoes".
The Portuguese are very family oriented people.  The children play around , there is lots of laughter and joy.  Its one of the reasons I love living here.  They know how to make the best out of life .. They are a happy people.

Wishing you all a happy weekend.    lots of lovely eats and laughter.


  1. I dare not show this post to H, he simple adores sardines, and those look so exceptional.
    What a lovely time you spent with your friends at the restaurant, such a relaxed, happy family occasion.
    Enjoy the singing at the weekend Val, and have a happy time.

  2. Hello Val:
    Fresh sardines! Perfectly heavenly. How delicious this meal looks and sounds and it is exactly the kind of thing we should absolutely love. All those fresh ingredients, potatoes cooked in their skins, so very, very summery.

    We too love the long light evenings but here, rather sadly, it always gets darker way before it does in England. But we, like you, do have the warmth.

  3. This is such a sweet post Val!
    Full of flavours and summer living.
    I feel like am almost there participating,
    enjoying the good food and company.
    Summer is just such a wonderful time in the south!

    Oh it's good to have met you my friend : )

  4. Oh those sardines look delicious - I have never tried them fresh, but am fond of them from a tin.
    Lovely family time, eating together. We are looking forward to having our son and grandson here over the weekend. I am cooking already! xx

  5. Last night the Oh and I went out with 8 family members for a meal and I didn't take my camera! I wish now that I had and could have made some memories like yours!
    Have a good weekend!

  6. Hi Valerie

    You live in a beautiful area and so precious to have good neighbours.
    One of my favourite meals is grilled sardines, prefereably eaten in Portugal. They taste nothing like the tinned variety.

    Have a glorious weekend

    Helen xx

  7. Thanks Helen,
    Yes, I am sure you remember well eating Sardines in Portugal when you visited. They are so delicious when freshly grilled.
    glad you enjoyed the post
    happy weekend to you too.. xx

  8. Dear Val, My mouth is watering just thinking about grilled sardines and grilled peppers. I remember eating the most amazing grilled tiny little sardines at a restaurant in Lisboa called "The 45th Parallel". And eating the most astounding grilled red peppers at an open air market.

  9. I now take my camera everywhere with me June. If I didnt have my camera yesterday, i wouldnt have been able to make this blog. In fact my very next "spoiling myself session," will hopefully be a new camera with a larger zoom range.
    thanks for your comments.
    happy weekend.

  10. I love sardines too. In winter sometimes I eat a sardine salad from the tin.. but the fresh ones are divine.
    you would love them Patricia..
    thanks for your comments
    happy weekend.

  11. On nearly every street corner of old Lisboa.. you will find sardines being grilled, also fresh pork and succulent ribs. fresh salads. I am sure that you enjoyed it very much Gina. Lisbon during the summer months is fantastic.
    super comments thank you..
    enjoy your weekend. val

  12. On nearly every street corner of old Lisboa.. you will find sardines being grilled, also fresh pork and succulent ribs. fresh salads. I am sure that you enjoyed it very much Gina. Lisbon during the summer months is fantastic.
    super comments thank you..
    enjoy your weekend. val

  13. Dear Demie,
    I am glad that I know you too. I love reading your blogs and your most wonderful magic stories.
    I wish that you were with me here to enjoy the meal. I will be eating more again next week.. pop over !
    I am not sure about Greece, but maybe you eat sardines the same way. ! We were so full yesterday.
    happy weekend to you and the family Demie.. see you soon.

  14. Dear Rosemary, You will just have to make a summer trip to Portugal and enjoy all the wonderful cooking smells from the corner cafe's and restaurants.. It was a great lunch and I was i must confess a little tipsy from the excellent sangria Hugo made.
    So glad you liked the post. Its nice to share these things with my dear blogging friends.
    happy weekend

  15. Dearest Jane and Lance,
    How wonderful it would have been to be able to share a sardine lunch together and have a thoroughly excellent time. Fresh salads and sardines.. and the rest. wonderful.. we would have laughed and made jolly.
    Happy weekend to you both ..thank you for your lovely comments. val

  16. Oh Val! What a beautiful time you have described. It sounds wonderful. You make me want to be there. You make me feel as if I was!

  17. HI Lisa,
    wish you were here. Its a pretty normal event here to have grilled sardines at this time of the year.
    It was extra special yesterday, because we were all together and had such a good lunch..
    happy weekend.. to you all. val

  18. Hello Val
    It all looks wonderful, The sardines are huge, I love sharing with family and friends, and I also love to laugh! pour me a glass please
    Thea x

  19. With pleasure Thea,
    just pop over and join us.
    Always a happy feeling to be in good company.
    happy weekend

  20. It sounds like a wonderful place to live, Val. I love how they are family oriented people because family is very important to me. My husband loves sardines and crackers and all seafood. Oh, I wanted to tell you that I didn't write the quote about inner spirit on our post. I heard it a few months ago, and I loved it. I am still trying to figure out who it is by. Have a lovely weekend in that special town of yours.
    ~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

  21. Yes its a wonderful place I live in. My village is small . Like all villages , it has its ups and downs.
    I still like the Inner spirit post.. would be nice to know who wrote it. Maybe you girls can have a bash at your own.!
    Wishing you a lovely happy weekend.
    ps. love your new header Sheri.. ever so romantic.

  22. I love your photos and info - just not sardines. Love, sandie

  23. Thanks Sandie,
    yes, Sardines are not for everyone.. there is steak and chicken on the charcoal too.
    It was just a special day.
    happy weekend.

  24. Hello Val,
    Thank you for your visit and your nice comment. I am not a big fish lover however I do like sardines. My son visited Portugal two years ago and he loved it there. Wishing you a lovely weekend.


  25. Thank you Sandi,
    How great that your son visited Portugal.
    thank you for your comments and passing by.
    happy weekend val.

  26. I so enjoy reading your posts about family, food and entertaining Val.
    Everything looks delicious..except for the sardines. My daughter likes tinned sardines but I run from the kitchen when she partakes and she finds this hilarious!!
    Thank you for your lovely comment Val, I notice you have changed your layout, I like this one very much and I love how you surprise us with different photos on the header.
    Have a beautiful weekend, it is a gorgeous sunny winters day here.

  27. Thanks for your comments Annie,
    some people like sardines others dont. It took me a long time before i really started to like eating the fresh ones. Once you try them you are hooked.
    Its very portuguese.
    I like to change my header now and again , glad you like this one.
    Its summer here.. you are in your winter.
    happy weekend.

  28. Dear Val
    Everything you described show a quiet life filled with joy, love and family happiness. I am very glad that you live a life in nature and not in the urban city.
    My love

  29. DEar Val,

    This post is so beautiful! Thank you so much! You have made me really homesick (for Italy, my home!) I so understand why you love living in a sunny country... it's because of the colours, the sky, the sounds, the hot Summers and the beautiful people!
    I can smell your sardines... I know the smell. They look very fresh and beautiful, though, I would probably have some baccala` (salt cod) with your chef, instead, as I would prefer it to sardines! Or maybe the chef might grill a little sea bass for me? I would really enjoy all the lovely side dishes, and the bread, and, of course, the sangria!
    As for the singing festival, well... I would take part, if I could, as I love singing and have a good voice (four years ago I sang on a stage, in Italy... I'm so shy!)

    Anyway... enjoy the weekend with all the good things it will bring. Here, as usual, it's windy, rainy and just... well, depressing, really!



  30. Hello Anna,
    I knew that you possibly would feel how my day was here. Its so very much like Italy. The Italians a little more open i believe. Its sunny days, salads, outside, and its beautiful.
    Hugo officialy starts his grills this next wed. I will order a nice big fat "sargo" or pargo" for you.. bass.
    trimmings and all.
    I see the weather is awful in uk.
    sending you lots of big hugs and sunshine.Thank you for always supporting my posts with your kind comments.
    val xxxx

  31. Thank you dear Olympia,
    I could never live in the city.. I never have.. I love the country and the simplicity of it all.
    wishing you a good day.. thinking of you. Thank you
    val xx

  32. Good food, happy families, it is what is important and lasting in life. Sounds wonderful! Have a wonderful day!


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