Living in an island can offer you unusual little treats like seagulls all around and some interesting events I couldn’t see back home in São Paulo, BR, for example.
This July The Tall Ship Races 2015 made here one of its stops. It is a sailboats’ race, and this year they came from Belfast in Ireland, stopped here by Ålesund for a 4 days festival in the city, went to Kristiansand still in Norway, and finished the race in Aalborg, Denmark. In every port, food stalls, music stages, activities for children, people in general and the crews carried everybody to the streets.
It was the first time I saw traffic jam in Ålesund! The streets were crowded and the event covered almost all downtown, very well organized (they had high balloons indicating the important locations in the event, from public restrooms to music stages – on the picture)
The Tall Ship Races takes place every year since 1996 and in different European port cities, but once it even stopped by the USA and Canada, on a transatlantic edition in 2009. Last time it had stopped by here was in 2001, and we were luck to see it this time!
The 36 vessels that took part this year had, among many nationalities, Russians (the biggest), Norwegians, a spirited Equatorian and the Cisne Branco – the Brazilian ship that did make an impression! I mean no bragging, but they were the tidiest and one of the most beautiful we got to know!
For a while we were officially back on Brazilian soil! The Cisne Branco is a Brazilian Navy’s sailboat and the laws on board are the Brazilians’. We could make a guided tour on the inside of the ship together with one of the super sympathetic crew members, who knew and told a lot about it. Here, the entrance hall and a gathering area called Praça das Armas
Traditionally, some sailboats carry a coin under its main mast.
A little mythology: in case of tragedy, the coin would be payment to Charon, the ferryman who carries the souls in the river that separates the living from the dead’s world. In case there would be no payment, the souls would roam around its margins for a hundred years.
The ropes we so beautifully arranged they seemed to be there just for showing – but not. Actually, each mast has a name, and although they may look funny for our untrained eyes, they are traditional and originated in some remote point of the Portuguese/Brazilian navigation history.
The vessels traveled for about 20 days for the North Sea, and the maximum velocity of the Cisne Branco, for example, is 11 knots (about 23 mph), sailing only with the wind. But can you imagine how incredible it might have been?
And speaking of incredible things, if someone who knows me also knew how easy it is to make your own ice cream but has not told me, then keep shut for the rest of times, because it is criminal not to share such an information!
After this golden recipe, we don’t spend any other day without a delicious ice cream at home. And it’s not a “meh” ice cream. It’s a frozen piece of heaven. And you don’t need ice cream makers or magic wands!, just simple ingredients you can count in one hand! Now picture an Oreo ice cream! see? heaven!
– 2 cups cold heavy cream
– 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 tbsp rum*
– 12 Oreo cookies plus 2-3 to decorate
1. Crush the 12 Oreo cookies – you can make it using a food processor or a rolling pin over a resistant plastic bag with the cookies inside. You can leave some pieces bigger than others.
2. In a big bowl, mix well the condensed milk, vanilla and rum* (you can use any other highly alcoholic drink – this is important because it lowers the ice cream freezing temperature and makes it creamy instead of icy), then mix in the crushed cookies.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the cream until stiff peaks
4. Add a big spoonful of the cream to the condensed milk mixture and mix to break it. Then carefully fold in all the rest of the cream at once, until it’s uniform and very light in texture.
5. Transfer to a freezing proof dish and decorate with pieces or crumbs of the cookies left. Freeze for about 6 hours.
Makes 1,7l, but the recipe can be easily halved or doubled.
To avoid 6-hour-waiting stress, make it the night before and let it freeze overnight. The next day you have ice cream for dessert 😉