2009/04/30

A festa dos indigentes

Era eu caloiro e a Associação de estudantes do Instituto Superior Técnico promoveu um debate entre antigos dirigentes associativos. Vivia-se a “guerra” de combate às propinas, no cavaquismo. Diana Andringa deixou-nos um conselho que eu nunca esqueci: “Quando estiverem numa manifestação não bebam nem joguem às cartas: dá um mau aspecto do caraças.”
Vem isto a propósito de fazer-se uma “festa de protesto” a propósito do MayDay. O MayDay tem todo o meu apoio. Não tenho nada contra uma festa como a do Ateneu Comercial de Lisboa no passado dia 17 – é bem provável que até lá tivesse ido se estivesse em Lisboa. Mas fazer uma “festa de protesto”?
Os trabalhadores precários têm todo o meu respeito. Se fizessem um protesto a sério (desde que não violento), como se fazem em França, teriam todo o meu apoio. Agora fazerem como “acção de protesto” mais uma festa onde se come comida vegetariana e fumam uns charros soa-me – como dizer? – a beber ou jogar às cartas numa manifestação. Espero ao menos que a festa tenha sido boa. Bom MayDay para todos.

2009/04/29

Ruído de fundo


Foi na apresentação do novo livro do José Mário Silva, na livraria Pó dos Livros em Lisboa. Enquanto Jorge Silva Melo perorava sobre bares supostamente "decrépitos", ouviam-se buzinas cá fora. Pessoas na assistênci abandonavam o recinto para se certificarem de que não era o seu carro que estava a causar problemas de circulação. Eu sabia que a minha bicicleta é que não era.

Adenda: a foto é do Luis Rainha, que a tirou sem ninguém dar por isso.

2009/04/28

Everything that happens will happen tonight at Coliseu

Por onde poderei eu começar? Olhem, leiam por exemplo este texto do blogue dele. Leiam-no por favor do princípio ao fim, que vale a pena. Da largura de banda da internet às populações de peixe para pescar. Leiam bem o argumento que ele dá contra a privatização das praias - até chegar à importância de um serviço nacional de saúde.
Dele escreveu Caetano Veloso:
David é tudo que há de bom. Stop Making Sense é o mais lindo filme de show de rock, possivelmente porque o show dos Talking Heads era um dos mais lindos que já houve. Ele nunca perdeu a elegância. O show quefez com Margareth Menezes foi um grande sucesso da Margareth Menezes, mas ele estava um tanto invisível. Já os outros que vi dele, foram todos simplesmente geniais. Agora ele me disse que está fazendo um show show: com dançarinos e tudo. Deve ser fenomenal, porque ele é, como eu disse no show que fizemos juntos no Carnegie Hall (e do qual há, sim, Lucre, gravação com proposta para sair em CD), o mais chique dos roqueiros. Considero o entendimento que ele teve da música no Brasil um aspecto dessa chiqueza.

Caetano Veloso era, com David Byrne, o artista que eu mais vezes tinha visto em concerto. Era um empate. Hoje esse empate será desfeito. A favor do Byrne. Pelas razões que já expliquei aqui. Pelo que escreve. Pela sua fabulosa música ao longo de toda uma carreira. Por ser para mim uma inspiração. (Tenho a pretensão de dizer: quem me quiser entender deve ouvir o David Byrne. Eu acho que só me entendo com quem gosta do David Byrne e do Seinfeld.)
Aproveitei e vim por outros motivos, mas tenho que confessar que o principal, que me trouxe de Braga a Lisboa esta semana, foi este. Tudo o que acontece acontecerá esta noite no Coliseu.

2009/04/27

God got her











God will get you for that!, dizia a Maude quando ficava derrotada e não lhe restava mais nada para dizer. Morreu um ícone da televisão da minha adolescência.


Bea Arthur, Star of Two TV Comedies, Dies at 86
By BRUCE WEBER
Bea Arthur, who used her husky voice, commanding stature and flair for the comic jab to create two of the most endearing battle-axes in television history, Maude Findlay in the groundbreaking situation comedy “Maude” and Dorothy Zbornak in “The Golden Girls,” died Saturday at her home in Los Angeles. She was coy about her age, and sources give various dates for her birth, but a family spokesman, Dan Watt, said in an e-mail message she was 86.

The cause was cancer, Mr. Watt said.

Ms. Arthur received 11 Emmy Award nominations, winning twice — in 1977 for “Maude” and in 1988 for “The Golden Girls.”

She was a seasoned and accomplished theater actress and singer before she became a television star and a celebrity in midcareer, and she won a Tony Award in 1966 for playing Angela Lansbury’s best friend, the drunken actress Vera Charles, in “Mame.”

But while she was successful on stage, on television she made history. “Maude,” which was created by Norman Lear as a spinoff from “All in the Family,” was broadcast on CBS during the most turbulent years of the women’s movement, from 1972-78, and in the person of its central character, it offered feminism less as a cause than as an entertainment.

Maude Findlay was a woman in her 40s living in the suburbs with her fourth husband, Walter (played by Bill Macy), her divorced daughter, Carol (Adrienne Barbeau), and a grandson. An unabashed liberal, a bit of a loudmouth and a tough broad with a soft heart, she was, in the parlance of the time, a liberated woman, who sometimes got herself into trouble with boilerplate biases just the way her cultural opposite number, Archie Bunker, did. She was given a formidable physicality by Ms. Arthur, who was 5 feet 9 ½ inches and spoke in a distinctively brassy contralto.

The show was considered a sitcom, but like “All in the Family,” it used comedy to take on serious personal issues and thorny social ones — alcoholism, drugs, infidelity.

“We tackled everything except hemorrhoids,” Ms. Arthur said, sounding much like Maude, in a 2001 interview with the Archive of American Television, a collection of video oral histories compiled by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

In the show’s first season, Maude, at the age of 47, learned she was pregnant; her distress was evident.

“Mother, what’s wrong? You’ve got to share this with me,” Carol says. Maude’s response is typical, with barbs aimed both inward and outward, delivered by Ms. Arthur with a flash of simultaneous anger, despair and humor: “Honey, I’d give anything to share it with you.”

The two-part episode was broadcast in November 1972, two months before Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that made abortion legal nationwide, was decided. By the episode’s conclusion, Maude, who lived in Westchester County in New York, where abortion was already permitted, had chosen to end the pregnancy. Two CBS affiliates refused to broadcast the program, and Ms. Arthur received a shower of angry mail.

“The reaction really knocked me for a loop,” she recalled in a 1978 interview in The New York Times. “I really hadn’t thought about the abortion issue one way or the other. The only thing we concerned ourselves with was: Was the show good? We thought we did it brilliantly; we were so very proud of not copping out with it.”

“The Golden Girls,” an immensely popular show that was broadcast on NBC from 1985-92 and can still be seen daily in reruns, broke ground in another way. Created by Susan Harris (who wrote the “Maude” abortion episode), it focused on four previously married women sharing a house in Miami, and with its emphasis on decidedly older characters, it ran counter to the conventional wisdom that youthful sex appeal was the key to ratings success.

Which is not to say “The Golden Girls” wasn’t sexy. Like “Maude,” it was a comedy that dealt with serious issues, especially those involved with aging, but also matters like gun control, gay rights and domestic violence. And like “Maude,” it could be bawdy. The women were all active daters and, to different degrees, openly randy. As Dorothy, Ms. Arthur was coiffed and clothed in a softer, more emphatically feminine manner than she had been in “Maude,” but she was no less sharp-tongued, and she and the show’s other stars — Rue McClanahan, Betty White and Estelle Getty (who, though younger than Ms. Arthur, played Dorothy’s mother) — were frequently praised for portraying the lives of older women as lively, uncertain, dramatic and passion-filled as those of college sorority sisters.

Familiarly known as Bea, Ms. Arthur was billed in the theater and on television as Beatrice, but the name was one she made up. She was born Bernice Frankel in New York City on May 13, 1922, according to Mr. Watt. But she preferred to be called B — “I changed the Bernice almost as soon as I heard it,” she said — and later expanded it to Beatrice because, she said, she imagined it would look lovely on a theater marquee. The name Arthur is a modified version of the name of her first husband, the screenwriter and producer Robert Alan Aurthur.

When she was a child, her family moved to Cambridge, Md., on the Eastern Shore, where her parents ran a small women’s clothing store, and she dreamed of being a chanteuse and an actress, and entertained her friends with imitations of Mae West. She attended Blackstone College, a two-year school in Virginia, and later studied to be a medical technician, then eventually moved to New York to study acting with Erwin Piscator at the Dramatic Workshop of the New School for Social Research. Among her classmates were Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau and the actor and director Gene Saks, whom she married in 1950. (He directed her in “Mame.”) They divorced in 1978; their two sons, Matthew and Daniel, survive her. She had two granddaughters.

Ms. Arthur worked regularly Off Broadway and in summer stock, appearing as Lucy Brown in Marc Blitzstein’s adaptation of “The Threepenny Opera” at the Theater de Lys in 1954. And in 1955, in a well-received musical tidbit, “Shoestring Revue,” she was seen for the first time by the man who would become a lifelong friend and professional benefactor, Norman Lear.

She also sang in nightclubs and worked occasionally on television, appearing on “Kraft Television Theater” and other shows featuring live drama. On Broadway, in 1964, she played Yente, the matchmaker in “Fiddler on the Roof.” In the movies, she appeared in the comedy “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1970), and in a reprise of her stage performance as Vera Charles, she appeared in “Mame” (1974), again directed by her husband, this time alongside Lucille Ball.

In 1971, she was living in New York but visiting her husband, who was directing a movie, “The Last of the Red Hot Lovers,” in Los Angeles, when Mr. Lear persuaded her to do a guest spot on “All in the Family.” The role he created for her, Maude Findlay, was a cousin of Edith Bunker, Archie’s wife (Jean Stapleton), who arrives to care for the family when everyone gets sick. Her tart sparring with Archie (Carroll O’Connor, with whom she had worked on stage, in a play called “Ulysses in Nighttown”) was a hit with viewers. Almost immediately CBS ordered up a new series from Mr. Lear, with Ms. Arthur’s Maude at the center of it. It changed her life.

“I think we made television a little more adult,” Ms. Arthur said. “I really do.”

2009/04/24

Quem quer casa paga

Nos EUA, quando comprei um carro, passei um cheque visado. Era um impresso especial (eles não têm carimbos) que me custou uma ninharia.
Em Portugal, para comprar uma casa, também passei um cheque visado. Era um cheque normal, com um carimbo, selo branco e duas assinaturas. Custou-me 31 euros. Agora que sou um homem do norte apetece dizer-me: "Fooooda-se, cabrões de banqueiros, vão roubar para o caralho!"
É claro que muito mais do que isso tive que pagar em impostos e comissões pela escritura e registo (mesmo com o "Casa Pronta"). Mas dos impostos não me queixo. Do que pago aos bancos (e aos mediadores), sim.

2009/04/23

Já tenho casa

Oficialmente, desde hoje: escritura assinada. Depois conto em mais pormenor o processo que me levou a decidir a casa (recordo a indecisão aqui). Fica um conselho: não comprem uma casa enquanto não se apaixonarem por ela. E eu apaixonei-me pela minha casa. Apaixonei-me por esta vista e por este pôr do sol, que a partir de hoje posso ter todos os dias.

2009/04/22

Feira do Livro de Braga

Já está a decorrer. Amanhã às 21:30 Licínio Chainho Pereira (físico molecular e antigo reitor da Universidade do Minho) e o Rui Tavares falam às 21:30 sobre "Memória do Universo, Universos de Memória". A não perder.

2009/04/20

Homenagem a José Sousa Ramos


Foi inaugurada no Sobral da Adiça, concelho de Moura, uma escultura em homenagem ao meu saudoso professor José Sousa Ramos. Não tendo podido comparecer, não deixo de me associar aqui a esta merecida homenagem.

2009/04/17

Freeport está para Apito Dourado...

como Sócrates está para Pinto da Costa, Charles Smith está para Carolina Salgado, o PS está para o FCP, o PSD está para o Benfica e Manuela Moura Guedes está para Leonor Pinhão. Aceito mais contribuições.

2009/04/16

"Café com blogues"

Finalmente foi actualizado o arquivo do programa da Rádio Universitária do Minho onde participo. Um dos últimos programas teve a participação especial do Paulo Querido. Vale a pena ouvirem.

2009/04/15

Pequenas vantagens de ser académico

O empregado da embaixada da Rússia a quem entregava a documentação para pedir visto viu a minha proveniência. Ao dizer-me a data de entrega do passaporte com visto, disse-lhe que nesse dia não poderia: só mais tarde. Ele disse: "se quiser, tratamos já aqui". Tive um visto na hora. Pelo mesmo preço. Há quem pague o dobro por um visto em 48 horas.
O ser académico e ter um convite de uma universidade deve ter ajudado. Mas o trabalhar longe de Lisboa também.

2009/04/14

"Vai andar...Vai andar..."



Gaitinhas avistou Gineto logo à entrada da feira. A lua, bondosa, iluminava as barracas. E, se acaso se escondia entre as nuvens, lá estavam as mil lâmpadas de cores para a substituir.
Gineto e Gaitinhas pararam junto dos carróceis que eram dois. O maior, iluminado por lâmpadas multicores, tentava os olhos. Tinha cavalinhos com as patas no ar, galos de crista alta, bichos variados sobre um tapete rolante que oscilava como os barcos do rio. O outro, perro e mal iluminado, só tinha cavalinhos.
- Qual queres? – perguntou Gineto.
Gaitinhas demorou a resposta. Olhou o carrocel velho, sem ninguém, e os cavalinhos tristes, parados. A voz rouca do dono parecia chamá-lo.
- Vai andar...Vai andar...
- Vamos neste – disse Gaitinhas.
O cavalo galopava no espaço, através das estrelas e ele levava um sorriso nos lábios. O carrocel parou. Mas a alegria da viagem ficou ainda a bailar nos olhos de Gineto e nos lábios de Gaitinhas.
Este texto, do meu livro de leitura da 4ª classe, marcou a minha infância. Esteiros, o romance de onde foi tirado, e que li no meu oitavo ano, marcou-me de forma indelével. Inesquecíveis as aventuras do Gineto, do Gaitinhas, do Maquineta, do Malesso, do Sagui... O autor, Soeiro Pereira Gomes, nasceu há cem anos.

2009/04/13

Apelo à convergência de esquerda nas eleições de Lisboa

"Para que Lisboa cumpra a sua vocação e seja um exemplo para o resto do país. Deixemo-nos de sectarismos que só beneficiam a direita", apelei eu na minha assinatura (fui o primeiro a assinar!). A petição dos lisboetas dirigida aos partidos de esquerda foi apresentada hoje no Palácio Galveias em Lisboa e pode ser assinada aqui.

2009/04/11

250 anos de elevação a cidade



Menina da Ria - Caetano Veloso

Uma moça
De lá do outro lado da poça
Numa aparição transatlântica
Me encheu de elegante alegria
(Ai, Portugal, ovos moles, Aveiro)
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria

E uma preta
(Parece que eu estou na Bahia)
Tão Linda quanto ela, dizia
No seu português lusitano:
“Pode o Caetano tirar uma foto?”
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria

Arte Nova, um prédio art-nouveau numa margem
Em frente à marina-miragem:
Os barcos na Ria. E depois

Uma taça sobre o pubis glabro, um estudo
Nenhum descalabro se tudo
É sexo sem sexo em nós dois
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria
Menina da Ria


Parabéns a Aveiro! (Via Amigos d'Avenida)

2009/04/10

Páscoa em Newark


O The New York Times de anteontem descreve um cenário que me era bem familiar há uns anos. Leiam também as receitas para verem uma perspectiva americana da comida portuguesa. Boa Páscoa para todos.

April 8, 2009
Newark’s Portuguese Community Keeps Fires of Tradition Burning
By DAVID LEITE
NEWARK

FRANK ALEXANDRE was so excited to make his point that he hip-checked a table out of the way as he lurched toward the photograph on the wall. “Olhe! Olhe!” he said in his native Portuguese. (“Look! Look!”)

The picture, hanging in the Casa de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, a social club (named after the desolate region in northeast Portugal) in the Ironbound section of this city, shows a clutch of sun-pummeled stone buildings, the roofs crenulated with scrub, the road thick with dust.

“This building here is the cookhouse,” said Mr. Alexandre, owner of a local auto repair and towing company, pointing to an imposing windowless stone structure pictured atop a hill. “There are four or five stone ovens inside.” He explained that in times gone by, the residents of the village in the photograph would forage for scraps of wood, build a fire in the ovens and cook communally: hotter fires roasted meats and baked breads while cooler embers burbled stews and braises and coddled eggy desserts. Families then divided the food and trekked home to dine.

“That,” he said, tapping the picture, “is how we survived.”

Nearly six decades after that photograph was taken and half a world away in Ironbound, where 25 percent of the population is of Portuguese descent, the tradition of communal cooking and eating remains — especially during Páscoa, or Easter.

“Last Easter I sold about 120 whole lambs, 60 kid goats and almost as many suckling pigs,” said Herminio Lopes, who owns the Lopes Sausage Company in Newark, one of the area’s most popular meat suppliers (he has also shipped sausages to the White House).

He explained that because home ovens can’t always accommodate a whole animal, the Portuguese-preferred way of roasting, many animals are brought to restaurant kitchens, where they are marinated or massaged with a customer’s own rub, then roasted and either enjoyed in the dining room or taken home. Other people dress the roasts themselves and cook them outdoors in hand-built brick ovens.

On a ride through the city and nearby Elizabeth, Mr. Alexandre pointed out small backyards co-opted by hulking ovens — the Portuguese equivalent of the American charcoal grill — in which, he said, it wasn’t unusual for one cook to roast not only his own family’s Easter dinner but those of several neighbors.

In the early 20th century, waves of immigrants from Portugal and the Azores settled in the Ironbound district, and by the 1920s the community had its first social club along with churches and retail stores lining Ferry Street, the neighborhood’s noisy thoroughfare.

Midcentury saw another boom, which was eclipsed in the ’70s and ’80s by immigration from former Portuguese colonies, including Brazil and Cape Verde. Although the Luso population has decreased because of relocation to the wealthier suburbs and restrictions on immigration, most Portuguese families in the area still cleave to the Catholic church, religious festivals and feasts.

Despite the economy, preparing whole animals remains a booming enterprise for rogue roasters, who turn a tidy profit. “We have several people in the area who cook for a fee,” said John Panneta, a tour guide who introduces groups to the Ironbound’s social, gastronomic and cultural pleasures. “Most of them cook from their backyards and deliver it to your house.”

A different business model of roaster-for-hire is Valença, a restaurant in Elizabeth run with precision by its owner, Martinho Pereira. His crew cranks out several hundred roast suckling pigs during the holiday season for in-house customers, catered events and families who prefer to dig into their pig in the privacy of their own dining room.

When asked what secret ingredients make his pork so popular, Mr. Pereira laughed and shrugged as if to say, “What secret?” Like most Portuguese roasts, his suckling pigs are coated with nothing more than lard, garlic, salt and black and white pepper.

Recently, at the Newark home of António and Magda Araujo, Mr. Alexandre and his wife, Maria, cooked up a lamb feast. But instead of cooking it whole, they had Mr. Lopes butcher it to show off two Easter favorites — borrego assado (roasted legs of spring lamb) and guisado de borrego (lamb stew). The scene, as Mrs. Araujo described it, was typically Portuguese: “loud and fast.”

“Everything is better with olive oil!” Mrs. Alexandre shouted as she rubbed some into the lamb legs. Mr. Alexandre countered with voluminous and rapid-fire requests for bowls, pans and cutting boards. Their frantic pas de deux continued, and they dipped and spun to avoid elbows and sharp knives as they whirred garlicky pastes in the food processor, peeled potatoes and dressed the meat. In under 45 minutes, four pans along with a flan were ready for the stove. Ervilhas com ovos, a staple of peas and bacon topped with poached eggs, would be made right before dinner.

Mr. Alexandre is no stranger to the kitchen, as he’s proud to announce, having won several contests at the social club for his folar, a traditional Easter bread that in Trás-os-Montes is stuffed with cured meat.

“I made the mistake of teaching one of the young men from the Azores how to make it,” he said, “and that year he won.” Mr. Alexandre is determined to win back his title this year.

A short time later, half a roast suckling pig from Valença and both lamb dishes were nestled in the center of the table. Potatoes, rice, bread and the egg-topped peas filled the gaps. Around the table sat 10 hungry guests.

Dinner was suddenly interrupted by the bleating of Mr. Alexandre’s cellphone. A Portuguese woman was stranded on the highway and called for a tow. He stood up, popped another chunk of lamb into his mouth, and shrugged on his jacket.

“Got to take care of our own,” he said, heading for the door. “It’s how we survive.”

Lamb Stew
Time: 2 hours, plus at least 2 hours’ marinating


1 6-pound bone-in lamb shoulder; bones removed and cut into 3-inch pieces, rinsed well and reserved, or 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder (see note)

3 ounces chicken livers

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

1 1/2 cups dry white wine

4 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

Coarse salt

Ground white pepper

1 yellow onion, cut crosswise into thin half-moons

2 cups beef stock

3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, chopped, more for serving (optional)

Boiled red potatoes, cooked white rice for serving (optional).


1. Cut lamb and chicken livers into 1 1/2-inch chunks, and place in a glass, stainless steel or other nonreactive bowl. Add garlic, bay leaves, paprika, 1/4 cup wine, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon white pepper. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

2. When ready to cook, heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add bones and sear until well-browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. If pan is dry, add a bit more oil. Working in batches, add lamb mixture and sear, turning occasionally, until edged with brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Lower heat to medium, add onion and sauté until limp, about 10 minutes. Add lamb and any juices, the bones, remaining 1 1/4 cups wine, beef stock and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours; if liquid level becomes low, add water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Remove and discard bones and bay leaves. If a smooth sauce is desired, transfer lamb to a bowl, cover and keep warm. Strain and discard solids from liquid. To serve, spoon stew into shallow bowls. If desired, accompany with boiled peeled red potatoes or long grain white rice drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled generously with minced parsley.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Note: Ask butcher to bone shoulder, cut bones into pieces and remove excess fat. Three pounds of lamb is needed; if necessary, add boneless shoulder.

Peas With Poached Eggs
Time: 20 minutes


6 ounces thick-cut slab bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon white vinegar

4 to 6 large eggs

3 cups (about 1 pound) frozen baby peas, thawed

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced

Coarse salt

Ground white pepper

1 tablespoon minced parsley, for garnish.


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until crispy-chewy, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Reduce heat to low and add onion to skillet. Sauté in bacon fat until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, fill a deep skillet with 3 inches water and add vinegar. Place over medium heat and bring to a bare simmer. Break an egg into a 1/3-cup measuring cup and gently tip into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach to taste, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and trim neatly. Cover and keep warm.

3. Add peas to skillet with onions and toss until warmed. Add tomato and bacon bits, and season with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, transfer pea mixture to a warmed serving bowl. Make an indentation in peas for each egg, nestle in eggs and sprinkle with parsley. Instruct guests to scoop peas onto their plates and crown with an egg.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Note: For a smokier flavor, reduce the amount of bacon to 3 ounces and add 3 ounces diced chouriço.

Flan With Tea
Time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours, plus 3 hours’ chilling


2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons strong-flavored tea leaves, like Lapsang souchong

2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature.


1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fill a kettle of water to bring to a boil. In a small saucepan, combine milk and tea leaves. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a bare simmer; remove from heat and allow to steep until deeply infused, about 10 minutes. Strain into a bowl, discard solids, and allow to cool until just warm.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Place over medium heat without stirring until sugar melts and begins to take on a bit of color. Do not stir; instead, swirl pan occasionally. Continue to cook until mixture is dark maple-syrup brown and has an aroma of caramel, 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully pour into a 1 1/2-quart flan mold or metal baking dish (such as an 8-inch square baking pan), tilting pan to coat sides and bottom. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, yolk and remaining 1 cup sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Slowly stir in the milk mixture until blended. Pour into flan mold, and set mold in a small roasting pan. Place in oven and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up mold.

4. Bake flan until set around edges but slightly jiggly in middle, 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on oven, and size and depth of mold. Remove from water bath and place on a work surface to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.

5. To serve, run a sharp knife around inside edge of pan. Place a deep plate on top and flip. Remove mold, and serve.

Yield: 8 servings.

2009/04/09

A última carta

Recebi muitas cartas da Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, quase sempre a anunciarem o pagamento de mais um mês de bolsa. Este mês recebi a última. A anunciar o contrário: descontaram o cheque de 1495 euros que eu lhes passei pelo mês de bolsa que me tinham pago a mais.

2009/04/08

"Newton às voltas no caixão"?

"Lá na Abadia de Westminster, Newton deve andar às voltas no caixão", dizia a minha (excelente, e portista) professora de Física do 12º ano sempre que alguém cometia um erro.
Parece que o FC Porto invocou Newton para contestar a punição a Lisandro Lopéz (talvez alguém tenha sido aluno dela na SAD portista). Pelo que eu vejo no vídeo citado por Carlos Fiolhais, porém, a decisão do árbitro durante o jogo, a avaliação da causalidade daquela queda, é que deve ter deixado Newton às voltas no colchão. Entretanto parabéns pelo empate de ontem em Manchester, e boa sorte na Liga dos Campeões.

2009/04/07

Actualização dos montantes das bolsas de investigação

O governo criou novas oportunidades de trabalho para bolseiros de investigação científica, com contrato (eu sou um dos beneficiados, bem como a maioria dos meus colegas). Mas não melhorou em nada o estatuto do bolseiro de investigação científica, para os bolseiros que continuam nesta situação. E há muito a melhorar para estes profissionais ultra-precários e sem regalias (eu era um até há meses), como bem denuncia a ABIC. Assinem esta petição.

2009/04/06

Sócrates perdeu o tino

Confundir uma coluna de opinião do João Miguel Tavares (com quem me solidarizo totalmente) com o "Jornal de Sexta" da TVI e a Manuela Moura Guedes revela total desorientação. Assim não vai longe.

2009/04/03

Névoa fora da Braval

Francisco Louçã em pessoa acabou de me entregar na Avenida Central de Braga um panfleto com um apelo a esta petição. Assinem!

2009/04/02

Ponte das Barcas, 200 anos depois

Não me lembro de ter estudado a tragédia da Ponte das Barcas em nenhuma disciplina de História. A verdade - tenho que o admitir - é que se até à semana passada me perguntassem o que tinha sido a tragédia da Ponte das Barcas, não saberia responder ao certo. É provável que o episódio venha referido no livro Uma Aventura no Porto, que eu devo ter lido há 20 anos. Talvez me lembrasse de um acidente na fuga às tropas de Soult, mas não imaginava que tivesse tido a dimensão que teve.
Ora isto é muito grave. A tragédia da Ponte das Barcas, como o Pogrom de Lisboa de 1506, sendo duas tragédias bem distintas na sua natureza, são episódios importantíssimos da História de Portugal, que não podemos ignorar. No caso da Ponte das Barcas, em termos absolutos - mais de 4000 mortes - é uma tragédia bem maior que o 11 de Setembro de 2001. Para não falar em termos relativos: o Porto não é a Nova Iorque de hoje, e muito menos o era há 200 anos. 4000 pessoas representavam muito mais para o Porto daquela altura do que para a Nova Iorque de hoje. Bem sei que - com respeito por todos os mortos - o que tornou o 11 de Setembro horrendo foi o acto em si, mais do que o número de mortos. Mas justamente por isso, o que impressiona na Ponte das Barcas é a dimensão da tragédia. Tal como Leiria (como eu referi há três meses), depois das invasões napoleónicas o Porto não era a mesma cidade de antes. A principal lição histórica é esta, e eu não creio que seja bem aprendida.

2009/04/01

"Concerto a la carte"

Monólogo de Franz-Xaver Kroetz com Ana Bustorff. Em cena no Teatro Circo em Braga até sexta feira e, depois, noutras cidades do país. Eu fui ver e gostei.