Homemade Yogurt… and other lessons.


Today I’m making homemade yogurt.

Oh the memories this brings back!!…I have done it many times since I learned how to when I was a teacher for 1 year in the isolated and stormy island of Flores in Portugal.

During Winters there was not much to do and neither many people to be with. There was this couple, he was a police officer and she was a teacher too, that, like me, were lonely and away from home, trying to adjust to this small community. This island’s community thought of them as strange, peculiar… I thought of them as interesting.

With them I learned how to make omelets with seaweed, how to cook watercress soup, how to make homemade yogurt and how to play chess. Our friendship was filled with day-walks at the seashore collecting seaweed or watercress… and the evenings cooking and learning to play chess.

They were such good teachers that when the French Army Air Force, based in the island, hosted a Chess Championship, I participated and won the 2nd place female award. I remember there was a cocktail party at the Awards, with all sorts of French foods, and I for the first time had caviar. I was so hungry after competing all day that I just stuffed my mouth with a cracker piled with caviar… and wanted to vomit right after!! (…awkward…)

I haven’t ate caviar since then… I still love to play chess, even so I have no one to play with… and I sometimes still make homemade yogurt.

I think about that couple every time I go pick watercress in some wet field. And I’m sure they don’t remember me… because I taught them nothing! That is what I remember the most about everyone I met. It is not the feelings or the laughs or the stories! It is the lessons I’ve learned from them.

Now back to the yogurt! LOL! You have to let it “sleep” for at least 6 hours… wrapped and cozy.


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