Running as fast as we can... One year ago today, Dubrovnik, Croatia...

The sky continues to captivate us. The billowing smoke is from a fire burning next door.
Hardly a day passes that we don't hear or see something, including on the days we stay home, that makes us laugh or smile, grateful for our time in Madeira which is moving too quickly for our liking.

This morning, checking today's weather from the veranda, I see the four goats next door, the mom, dad and two kids.  I holler out a loud "baa" to which they all turn, looking at me, all "baaing" back in response.  This happens each day.

Blue sky, blue ocean.  Beautiful.
Moments later, the rooster crowed for the first time today to begin his daylong litany of crowing to his heart's content until sunset.  A few minutes later, we hear the quarter hour church bells ringing as the sounds bounce back and forth in the hills surrounding us.  We love these sounds.

But, the musical sounds of the various vendors of fresh foods echoing through the hills is a sound unlike any we've experienced in the past.  Anticipating it with the same fervor as a child awaiting the ice cream truck's musical foray into the neighborhood, both Tom and I await in wonder.

Mom goat sitting and hugging a branch.
On Thursday morning as Judite ran about the house cleaning, we heard the approaching music, hoping it was the produce guy.   When able to clearly hear the sounds, we have to hustle.  He zips through the neighborhood with a fervor barely giving a prospective customer time to get out their door.  With our shoes on, the door unlocked and Tom's wallet on hand, we're always ready to run.

In a matter of seconds, not minutes, he was on the street while our fast response enabled us to flag him down after he'd actually passed our house.  Backing up, he got ready for us.  Unlike the fish guy, he turns off his music when he has a customer, making taking a video less interesting.

Mom goat hanging out with the two kids.
We're never certain when he is coming when his timing doesn't appear to be consistent.  Thus, we tend to purchase small amounts of the produce we'll need for several days at the nearby little market which is also farm fresh.  All we needed on Thursday was lettuce and carrots.

It was the same 20's something produce guy from whom we'd purchased in these past four weeks.  We always try to shop from the local vendors when possible.  After all, they've welcomed us with open arms, especially in this quaint village of Campanario which is less of a tourist area and mostly occupied with locals.

The produce guy coming toward our street with music blaring.
I couldn't have been more thrilled when we saw he had avocados which I've been unable to find at either the supermarket or local market.  We purchased four avocados, two heads of Bibb lettuce and a kilo of carrots. 

The produce from the truck is not as much of a bargain as it's been in other countries in which we've lived.  The total was US $8.12, EU $6, a none-the-less great price by US standards. 

We didn't recognize some of the produce and didn't ask when the driver speaks no English.
As I later cleaned the lettuce, I picked off worms and bugs, smiling all the while as I was reminded that no pesticides were used in growing this produce.  And the carrots of peculiar shapes and sizes, also illustrated that the growing process was as natural as it would be if I'd grown them in the yard.

As a matter of fact, produce is growing in our yard, planted and cared for by Gina's dad, Antonio.  I'm sure as it matures, we'll be the recipients of some of his gardening expertise.

The first avocados we'd seen in Madeira.
Last night we made pizza, one for each of us based on our topping preferences.  Tom had his usual mushrooms, olives, onions, sausage and cheese while I made mine with anchovies, a small amount of sausage, piled high with cubes of carrots and zucchini, eggplant, red peppers, onions, mushrooms and cheese. 

Of course, for the base we made our usual cheese and egg crusts, made in earlier in the day in order to harden into perfect crusts.  As always, the pizza was fabulous with enough leftovers for another round tonight with a huge side salad using those farm carrots and Bibb lettuce.

These green summer squash are similar to zucchini.
Today, we're scheduled to return the blue car which we plan to return in plenty of time by 3:00 pm.  On July 15th, we'll return the second rental car to pick up the  third and final rent.  We have an outing booked that morning on a 70 foot catamaran for whale and dolphin watching.  That way, we'll be at the pier in Funchal for the booking at 10:30 am, returning the car later in the day after the boat trip. 

Last night, the full moon alluded us with a cloudy sky.  We'd decided not to dine out last night as we'd mentioned, when we realized we needed to use the produce we had on hand including fresh mushrooms we'd purchased on Monday. 

Although I can't eat fruit (due to sugar content) and Tom doesn't like it, we both were amazed by the size of these grapes.
We've so enjoyed the fresh food and cooking again after our reprieve in Morocco that we've hardly dined out, only three times since our arrival.  With the average cost of dining out at US $65, EU $48 range, we've found that doing so holds less interest for us while we're here. 

We'll be dining out for over two months, beginning on July 31st when we leave for Paris until we end up in Oahu, Hawaii on October 5, 2014 after the two booked cruises and four hotel stays. 

What are these green things?  Anyone know?
By then, we'll have had our fill of dining out especially when a dinner for two on any of the four islands on which we'll live in Hawaii, typically costs over US $100, EU $74, without wine or cocktails. 

That's all for today folks.  See you tomorrow with photos from today's trip to Funchal, the capital city of the island of Madeira.

Photos from one year ago today, June 14, 2013:

We took a tender from the ship to the small pier in the walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.  Our ship was scheduled to go to Athens but political unrest prevented it.  Instead they chose Dubrovnik which I believe we loved all the more.  (I had added the date feature for the camera that day but changed it later).

Once again, walking the narrow alleyways between buildings in Dubrovnik held tons of charm. For details of that date, please click here.


Anonymous said...

The green fruit looks like the cherimoya fruit which I had at one time. It's supposed to be quite good for you, but I don't remember why, so I googled it.

Julie and Tess in Minneapolis

Jessica said...

Julie and Tess,
How sweet of you both to comment on the cherimoya fruit and for including the link. It looks quite good. Its been fun discovering new foods as we travel. Every culture seems to have their own foods that so well bespeaks their way of life and unique diets.

We hope life is good for you both and that summer in Minnesota will be rewarding after your long and horrible winter.

Warmest regards to you both,
Jess & Tom

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