“Sometimes we often take the first tears. But I love people and there are many happy moments too”. Jacky manages St Vincent’s Hospital accommodation for rural residents in need of long-term medical care. An occupation that requires sensitivity and patience, Jacky discussed the often difficult and sad nature of her job, while professing her passion for helping people. Recently semi-retired, Jacky is a busy woman, holding several roles exclusively related to people. Aside from working at the hospital, Jacky cares for her elderly mother, who she brought to Australia several years ago. On Saturday mornings, Jacky teaches Portuguese to primary and high school aged children, a skill she has been practising since coming to Australia; “I arrived in Australia on Australia day. School started two weeks later and I have been teaching ever since”. Before settling in Australia in 1983 with her family, Jacky, born in Evora Portugal, also lived in Switzerland and Angola. Multi-lingual, Jacky speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese and English. Despite leaving Portugal several decades ago, Jacky cherishes her Portuguese roots. Currently a director of the Portuguese Ethnographic museum in Newtown, Jacky explained “I like to be involved and share my culture”.
Jacky’s kitchen, itself a museum of precious artefacts and sentimental trinkets presented to her by loved ones, exhibits a rooster decal. Handmade by her elderly mother during a daycare session, the rooster proudly hangs on the wall. Synonymous with the branding of commercial Portuguese cuisine, the rooster is commonly manifested through kitchen paraphernalia; magnets, tea towels, plates. The legend of the rooster in Portuguese culture dates back many centuries, stories vary but the crux remains the same, as Jacky explained bellow;
“A man was charged with stealing and other crimes. He was going to go to jail and would receive the death penalty. He decided to go and visit the judge. The judge was sitting, about to take his meal including a roasted rooster. The judge was about to start eating and the man plead for his freedom and innocence. The judge asked ‘how can I believe you?’. And the man said ok, if its true what I am saying, then that rooster will crow. And all of a sudden the rooster started crowing and they set him free”.
A symbol of good luck, honesty and integrity, the legend of the rooster is highly regarded in Portugal; “I was in high school when it became a national symbol. Every kitchen has a rooster because they are very colourful.”.
Almond Tart – Tarte de Amendoa
100g plain flour
100g self raising flour
100g caster sugar
pinch of salt
Ingredients for the topping
125g flaked blanched almonds
100g brown sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
Preheat the oven to 200⁰C
Process the base ingredients in a mixer until they form a ball
Place the dough in a prepared tin and spread it until the base of the tin is covered
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is golden brown
Place the topping ingredients in a small pot and bring to the boil for about 5 minutes
When the dough is golden brown, remove it from the oven and prickle with a fork
Pour the almond topping across the pastry ensuring it is evenly spread
Return the tart to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until it is golden brown
Remove it from the oven and let it cool in the tine
Dust with icing sugar to serve
Prawn Rissoles -Rissois de Camarao
1/2 cup of milk
3 teaspoons of flour
1 heaped teaspoon of butter
1/2 cup boiled prawns
salt and pepper
Put the milk in a small pan, when warm add the flour slowly and stir continuously until it forms a velvety sauce. Add the cooked prawns, chopped in small pieces, the parsley and season to taste. Set aside.
1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
2 cups of sifted flour
2 heaped tablespoons of butter
Pinch of salt
Pour the water, milk, butter and salt into a pan. Bring it to boil.
Then add the sifted flour all at once. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon till it is fully combined.
Place it on a flat surface and knead into a smooth dough
Roll out the dough and cut our circles using a round cutter or even a glass
Place a teaspoon of filling in the centre of each circle
Fold the rissole to a half moon shape and the seal the curve with water
Dip each pat tie in a beaten egg and roll them in bread crumbs
Deep fry them in hot vegetable oil
When golden brown take them out of the oil and place them in absorbent paper