I had a long-time idea for a photoshoot that I wanted to try involving a free-spirited girl, a cool van, and some vintage clothing. All I needed was a model that would fit the part, a vehicle, some vintage clothing, a location, a makeup artist, and time. I also had a bubble machine that I wanted to incorporate into the shoot.
I first met Sarah in June of 2016 at my grandaughter's graduation ceremony in my old hometown of Napanee. I knew as soon as I saw her that she would be perfect for what I had in mind. It wouldn't be until two years later that I would ask her if she wanted to do a photo shoot.
Within those two years, I became friends with the owner of a vintage store (a story for another day) and broached the idea with her of letting me use some vintage clothes for a shoot in exchange for store promotion when posting the photos. So I had the clothing arranged. Next, my good friend, model and MAU Mandy arranged for Sarah to do the shoot and Mandy to do the wardrobe coordination and make-up. Once I became aware of a cool VW Bus in Deseronto and the owner was contacted and agreed, the last bits to put in place were date, time, and location. It was late in the year 2018 that things all came together and we had one nice day left in the year to shoot, and on an afternoon after work, I gathered everything I thought I would need and headed to the location.
I had 3 hours to sunset in which to gather all the props, drive to the location, set up and start shooting. I wanted a sunset to be part of the shoot, but as the time neared, the sun was covered by clouds and it was getting chilly. In addition to that, the bubble machine would not work. Luckily part of the props I brought was a vintage blanket, and Sarah could keep warm in between setting up for photos. And this photo is of Sarah keeping warm in between shots. She did a great job of not shivering for the photos, and this turned out to be one of my favourite photoshoots.
But what I came to see was the Furnas Stew, or Cozido das Furnas, which has been made here for hundreds of years. The word "cozido" simply means cooked or baked. The Stew is cooked underground with geothermal energy. Everyone has their own recipe. Different restaurants cook their stew in different holes in the ground, with a sign on the hole to know which stew goes to which restaurant. The restaurant workers are up around 4 AM to get the stew ready and place it in the ground. There are 2 pots, one for the meat, one for the vegetables. The lid of the pot is not completely sealed but held with a cloth. This is because there is no water added to the pot, the volcanic steam is what gives moisture to the dish. It also adds a slightly smokey flavour to it.
The Cozido das Furnas is pulled out of the ground around noon, so if you want some you have to get to the restaurant by noon. Our tour guide got us to the place the stew is pulled out of the ground in time to see it come out, and then to the restaurant in time to try some. We went to the Miroma Restaurant in Furnas to try it. I'm not a food critic, so when I tell my friends it tasted a little like volcano, they say sorry, I really don't know how volcano tastes, but that's how I describe it. The meat just kind of melts in your mouth and has a bit of a smokey flavour. There was beef, pork, chicken, and blood sausage in the stew we had, although like I say, everyone has their own recipe.
Nearby to where the Cozido das Furnas is cooked in the ground is the hot baths. I only found out after I got home that these are considered to be the fountain of youth. I never did find out the legend of the mermaid at Furnas Lake. I'm sure there must be one. If I find out I will update this blog.
How It's Made
Tea is made from the dried leaves of the plant “Camellia Sinensis”, a small tree of the Theaceae family. All tea comes from this plant and its hybrids. The difference in teas is based on leaf selection and processing. At Chá Gorreana only the top three leaves of the plant are used in tea production. The machinery grades the tea leaves as they are processed. The top leaf is used to make Orange Pekoe, the second leaf for Pekoe, and the third leaf for Broken Leaf tea. I am an Orange Pekoe tea drinker but did not know that it was made from only the top leaves of the plant.
Interestingly, black and green tea are both from the same plant. The difference is that black tea leaves are exposed to air and thus fermented. Our tour guide explained it this way, think of peeling a banana and leaving it exposed to the air, it blackens. Green tea is not left to ferment and is processed differently than the black tea.
I would recommend a trip to this tea plantation on your list of things to do on São Miguel Island.
Great video below with aerial footage showing the size of the plantation.