Have any of you ever been to Brazil? I have not – but funny thing – I have two very special Brazilian friends. How did I swing that? Well, they were both here in the Netherlands in the exact same predicament as myself. Our husbands followed their schooling dreams to the TU Delft and we followed right along side. This kind of left us three women in the lurch. What should we do while we were here? Who will we find for friends? Well, we all made our way to a little group called the International Neighbours Group. The ING. I know, it is the same as the bank, which makes it very confusing where talking about it.
The ING is a group sponsored by the university for foreign students and their families. Every Wednesday there is a handicraft group. Naturally, since I am keen on handicrafts, I was all over this. And that is where I met Josie. We found out that we lived in the same building and that she actually lived directly over top of me. She was my answer to who I was going to be friends with. We had coffee dates, we shopped together, we celebrated birthdays together and she was the first one I told about Little Pea. After one year, she returned to Brazil and I was devestated.
Then along came Renally, another Brazilian. I actually met her through Josie before she left. Renally was fun, sweet and outgoing. Who knew Brazilians were so friendly! We became fast friends and did everything together. She supported me through my whole pregnancy and was even there when I was in labour. Then, after her year was up, she moved back to Brazil. I was heartbroken, but she has already been back to visit!
These two ladies introduced me to the Brazilian culture. They taught me not to be so shy and to reach out to people. Josie and Renally will always be in my heart as those who were there for me in what could have been a very lonely life here in Delft. Luckily, after their tutelage, I have made some other spectacular friends here in their absence.
Here is a recipe that Renally left for me to try. Brigadeiro – a traditional birthday candy. Super easy and chewy delicious!
ps. I am working on getting a recipe from Josie for Brazilian cheese bread, stay tuned…
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cocoa (plus extra for coating)
sprinkles (coloured or chocolate)
mini cupcake paper cups
Start by melting the butter in a pot on medium heat. When melted, add in the milk and stir. Next add in the cocoa and stir until combined. Continue to slowly stir with a wooden spoon while heating. The mixture will eventually thicken. Keep cooking until you can draw your spoon through the mixture and you can see the bottom of the pan. The mixture should not fold back over the line from the spoon. (see photo)
Remove from heat and let cool until you are able to handle it. With a spoon, scrape out about 1 teaspoon scoops and roll into balls with greased hands. Roll balls in sprinkles or extra cocoa. Place balls in the mini cups. THis recipe makes about 20 brigadeiro.