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Kriol Jazz Festival

I love jazz so much, because its the only music style where you find qualities such as “swinging” , emotion, and “improvising” all at same time. For me singers such as Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles,  Billie Holliday,Nat Cole, Nina Simone, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Harry Connick jr., Diana Krall, Cassandra Wilson, are the main reasons why Jazz still alive.

And it’s a shame that every year, I don’t have the opportunity to see jazz festival in cape verde for some reason. This year, the Kriol jazz festival will be in praia city and pay tribute to Horace Silver. Horace Silver is an american jazz pianist. He is also known for humorous playing style and his contributions for the hard bop (a style of jazz). “Cape verdean Blues” and “Song to my father” are two songs that demonstrates his commitment with Cape verde (where his father was born).

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Cape Verdean Woman is Mother…
Cape Verdean Woman is sister…

Cape Verdean Woman is Grandma…
Cape Verdean Woman is Friend…
Cape Verdean Woman is Family…
Cape Verdean Woman is Nation…

Cape Verdean Woman is Power….

Cape Verdean Woman is Goddess!

I was looking, for an image to represent cape verdean woman, in this special day to all of us, but none of them seems to me the ideal. Nowadays, cape verdean woman is more than just a woman carrying basket on head. Today,Cape verdean women, it’s someone who represents the country, the woman who fights for her aims, and the woman, who reaches what she really wants.

Today, once in the bus to my way home after my classes, I had to endure this horrible traffic jam near to wood green station. And because I’ve read in one of this health magazine that when you are stress you should keep yourself calm to not make the situation worst, I started thinking…and then asking to myself:” Is it any kind of traffic jams similar to this, in  cape verde?” well…the answer came automatically to my head. For example in Praia city (the capital of cape verde islands) traffic jams are extremely rare, and it is pretty easy to drive around the city.

In Cape verde is very common to see Car-cleaners standing near the parking zone. Car-cleaners, usually are young boys, who doesn’t work or study and most of them live in the streets. And being car- cleaners it’s the way they found to get a little money to survive. But what is car-clearners for? well it is indeed to wipe your vehicle from dust, but also to protect while parked.

Any car- cleaners in London?

A good start!

One of the good things about blogging, it’s that you got the opportunity to know new people. In my case, writing about my living experience as cape verdean in London, gave me the chance to know Tatiana, who is also a  Cape verdean student living in London. When Tatiana told me her experience living in London, somehow I had this good feeling that  I was hearing myself talking.Because most of the things that she told me, I already have experienced.  And this all situation, of meeting someone from my country, relates a lot with a feature that I’ve just written for one of my module assignment, which is about foreign students in London( the title: ” Does London welcome foreign student?”). In this piece, I’ve put a lot of  my own view points around this topic. I tried to describe as much as I can, the all scenario of a foreign student coming half away from home to start a new life in  a different country.

I don’t know, if I’ll meet more cape verdeans in London, but have met Tatiana was a good start for me.

  • The volcano, in Fogo island.
  • Santa Monica beach, in Boavista island.
  • Cidadi Velha, in Santiago island.
  • Mindelo’s Carnival, in Sao Vicente island.
  • Salt marsh, in Sal island.
  • Furna port, in Brava island
  • Fontainhas village, in Santo Antao island.
  • Baia de Santana beach, in Maio island.
  • Praia Branca beach, in Sao Nicolau island.

 

 

 

The “Cidadi Velha” (” The Old City” in English), is  a city situated on the island of Santiago. It is the oldest village in Cape Verde and also used to serve as the capital of Cape Verde.

Cidade Velha was the first Portuguese colonial settlement in Cape Verde. When the island of Santiago was discovered, the was named Ribeira Grande by Antonio da Noli in 1462, and that was the moment when Cape Verde history began.

On June of last year, “Cidadi Velha” has been included on UNESCO World Heritage list. For that reason, Capeverdean population was very pleased and proud of themselves and also for what we got from the past. Moreover, “Cidadi Velha” with such title, it’s a entry for Cape verde to the international recognition.

I’m so pleased that I eat “Cachupa” today! For that reason, I decide to talk a bit more about this d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s cape verdean dish.

Since I started to live in London, one of the things that I miss the most about Cape verde, apart from the “Quebra- canela” beach, it’s “Cachupa”. “Cachupa” is a boiled stew of corn, beans,vegetables, sausages, chiken or tuna. The “cachupa” recipes vary from island to island in Cape verde islands. For me and most of cape verdeans, it’s always a speacial occasion, when you have cachupa as a meal. And usually, these speacial occasions are called “cachupada”.

But if it’s only boiled corn,beans, and vegetables, what’s the big deal about making “cachupa rica”?

Well… in many rural places in Cape Verde, women still spend many hours gathering firewood (known as lenha) to cook cachupa. It might sounds funny, or antiquated, but the food tastes much better when is cooked in firewood rather than when is cooked in an ordinary stove. However you can still making a delicious “cachupa” without spending hours gathering firewood.

“Cachupa Rica” recipe:

  • 2 cups of corn
  • 1 cup large dry lima Beans
  • 1/2 cup dry stone Beans
  • 1/4 cup dry red kidney beans
  • 1 lb. lean salt Pork meat
  • 1 pig’s foot (split) if desired
  • 1/2 lb garlic Sausage
  • 1 whole, uncut blood pudding Sausage
  • 1 small cabbage  cut in quarters
  • 1 – 2 cups big pieces of hard winter Squash
  • 6 garlic buds
  • 2 seeded ripe tomatoes
  • 2 laurel bay leaves
  • 1 Chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • dried and hulled cracked corn( known as midju cutxido)

Wash all corn and dry Beans. In a heavy large kettle (10 quart) boil corn for 10 minutes and carefully discard froth which collects on the top. Add dry Beans, 1 bay leaf and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bring to a boil. Lower heat enough to maintain a steady but slow boil.

Add salt Pork. If you are using pig’s feet add at this time. Leave cover slightly ajar. Throughout cooking make certain liquid covers the corn and Beans. Use at least 4 quarts of water or stock. After the mixture has boiled for the first hour add any Pork meat and Sausage. Cook partially covered at a very gentle boil over low heat for an additional one and one half (1 1/2) hours.

Saute onions, garlic, chopped seeded tomato or tomato paste in oil until very soft. Add the second bay leaf. Add the mixture to the kettle when the cachupa has about one hour of cooking time left. Correct seasoning by carefully adding salt and pepper to taste. If adding Squash do so when there is about 1/2 hour cooking time remaining. Remember that Squash will continue to cook even after the kettle has been removed from the heat.

A few Cape Verdean cooks will even add a cup of canned or fresh Tuna to the sauteed Onion, garlic and tomatoes to enhance the flavor of the stew.

For best results let cachupa sit covered and off the flame for at least twenty minutes before serving. The spices and salt will be absorbed into the corn, bean and the “gravy” will take on its special texture. Arrange the meats and vegetables on a large platter and serve the corn and Beans from a bowl. Some folks may want to individually drizzle a little tabasco or piri-piri sauce on top.