Do you mind if I vent for a second? Cool, thanks!
Living abroad definitely makes you feel a disconnect sometimes. No matter how present we make ourselves with the support of technology, you still have days when you feel helpless. I speak to my family and girlfriends daily, pretty religiously. I hear their voices, watch my nieces grown on video, see my parents get old… I’ll be honest, thanks to Skype and Whatsapp, 90% of the time I feel like I’m just down the street. But there’s that amount of time where I feel like only their physical presence can close that gap.
There are a few things I do every morning when I wake up, before I even get out of bed – look for my mother, then check on everyone else in the family and then my girlfriends. With the time difference, I almost always wake up and already have my mom’s Good Morning message, filled with hearts, flowers and smiley faces waiting to greet me! When I don’t, I chase her to complain “Hey!!! Where are my good morning kissies, Ma!?” Then, I check my family group, laugh at my father’s struggle with his choice of emojis, hug my phone when there are audio messages or pictures of my nieces… I have to check the group with my girlfriends last because sometimes I wake up to over 400+ unread texts and audio messages. Yes, 13 girls yapping all day long!!! We laugh, we cry, we get political, we complain, and sometimes we argue a little bit too. Then I get on Skype with my mom while I get ready for work.
This morning was no different to me. I woke up, and checked my “Brazil” messages like I do every day. Then when I caught up to my girlfriend’s messages, my heart broke down into a million pieces when I saw that one of them had a pretty bad seizure and really hurt herself. Moments like these really remind me of the physical distance between the ones I love and am emotionally close to. I felt so useless… all I wanted was to be able to hug her, treat her to some warm soup, help her feel better, heal. It sure is tough sometimes, but it is the life I chose. Knowing I can’t afford to go home as often as I want to, I have to just manage the emotional times and continue to make myself present the way I can.
What about you? Do you or did you ever live away from your loved ones? If so, how do you make yourself present?
Now, moving on to food, which I know is why you came here for
I know corn is the poster child of the American summer, but Sopa de milho (Brazilian Corn Chowder), is one of the many popular dishes Brazilians savor during the winter when we have our Festas Juninas (translates to something like June parties). These parties are also known as Festas de São João (St. John’s Parties), to highlight the celebration of the birth the Saint John the Baptist, a custom introduced to us by the Portuguese during colonial times. For Catholic Brazilians, this is an opportunity to give thanks to St. John and other Saints, as well as celebrate rural life through food, clothing and music.
Either way, this soup is amazing no matter the time of the year, the season, or the occasion!!! I hope you love it as much as I do. Make it, take a picture, feed a loved one then post it on IG #CookingWithAline
So here is the step by step
First, and most likely the most important, most meaningful step of all, if you want to do this suuuuuper Brazilian style, I’d highly recommend you put some traditional Festa Junina music, like these by Luis Gonzaga so you can make this soup dancing like we would back home haha true story!
Now that you are dancing (trust me, I know you are dancing), you can start to remove the husks from about 8 corn cobs so they are nice and naked like this… oh haaaaaay corn, how you doin’
Then, roast them so they blister a little bit – you can use your grill, or, if you have a gas stove, you can just carefully hold your corn over the burner with thongs until they are nicely charred.
Slice off the kernels from the cob, like this (don’t thank me, thank the Pioneer Woman for the bundt cake pan trick – she says she’s learned from other people, but I learned it from her! Thanks girl!)
Ok, now finish prepping the rest of the ingredients
Btw, are you still dancing? Remember, this is really important!
Ok, good! So brown the sausage with some of the butter
Yeah, buddy… now remove the sausages, and set them aside (on a plate lined with some paper towels)
Add more butter to the pan, and add the onions, then after a few mins, add the garlic
OMG, smell that!!??? *eyes rolling with delight*
Now add the corn, stir a little bit
Add the yams…. Stirrrrrr
Add salt and pepper, stirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Add the stock and let it simmer until the yams are cooked
Using a slotted spoon, scoop about half the corn and potato out and set aside
Then, using an immersion blender, blend what’s left in the pan
Add the sausage and the corn back to the pot (you can save some to use as garnish) and boom, you are done!
Drop some more butter in there, throw on some garnishes and EAT!!!!!!