by Marielena Montesino de Stuart

Because life is like a samba

Bem-vindo ao Brasil, Barack! Dá meu amor a Gadhafi!

Bem-vindo ao Brasil, Barack!

You’ve got to hand it to the guy.

Libya is burning, the Middle East is going to hell in a hand basket, and Japan may be on the brink of a nuclear disaster– but Barack Obama is flying down to Rio de Janeiro for a much needed escape from all this stress.

I too will set aside all the serious news, and will  indulge my love of samba and Brazilian jazz.

And since half the fun is getting there, let’s join Barack in a much needed break with…

The sounds, sights and taste of Brazil!

Imagine how excited Barack must be to arrive in Rio de Janeiro.  Let’s begin our trip with one of  Antônio Carlos Jobim’s most beautiful bossa nova melodies, the Samba do Avião (The Airplane Samba)– which describes the anticipation and excitement of landing in Rio:

CLICK on arrow below to listen to Samba do Avião, and sing along with Barack:

(Portuguese and English lyrical translation)

Rio de Janeiro

Feijoada Completa

TASTE OF BRAZIL: Feijoada Completa (Bean and Beef Stew)
This is a Brazilian classic, traditionally served with Carioca sauce.

Total time: more than 2 hours

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
Desalting time for the meat: Overnight

Difficulty: Easy
Chef’s Note

It can be accompanied with a rice pilaf and steamed cabbage.
– 500 g (18 oz.) salt pork, (1 foot, 1 ear)
– 500 g (18 oz.) smoked sausage
– 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) smoked bacon
– 3 fresh pork chops
– 500 g (18 oz.) fresh pork tenderloin, tied
– 1 ham bone
– 1 kg (2 1/4 lb.) black beans
– 60 g (2 oz.) + 15 g (1 tbsp.) lard
– 15 g (1/2 oz.) garlic
– 1 bouquet garni
– Salt and pepper
– 6 oranges

Cristo Redentor statue on top of Corcovado, a mountain towering over Rio de Janeiro. In the background the Ipanema and Leblon beaches separate the lagoon from the Atlantic Ocean.

Soak all the salt pork products overnight to draw out most of the salt.
The next day, place the black beans in a large pot and cover with cold water; bring to a boil.
In another pot, bring the desalted meats to a boil.
Once the beans have cooked for an hour, add the meats that have been cooking separately; add the ham bone, bacon and fresh pork.
Continue simmering over low heat for 30 minutes; flavor with 60 g (2 oz.) lard plus the finely chopped onion, crushed garlic cloves and bouquet garni that have been sautéed in lard.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours longer.


Serve the beans in a large terra cotta dish and the meats separately.
Serve each guest a chopped orange in a small individual dish.
Accompany with carioca sauce… and bossa nova.

Porque a vida é como um samba!

(Ah, Barack– e como são os reatores nucleares no Japão?)

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TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION:  Brazil,  Samba, Bossa Nova, Brazilian Jazz, Libya, No-Fly Zone Over Libya, The Maghreb, United Nations Human Rights Council, United Nations Security Council, Japan, Muammar Gadhafi, Japan’s Nuclear Reactors, Crisis in Japan,

You may also read Marielena Montesino de Stuart’s commentaries through: RenewAmerica, USAToday, The Dallas Morning News, U.S. Politics Today (an EIN Service for Political Professionals-*) Poynter Online, Spero News, Daily Estimate, The New Liturgical Movement-Poland, The Naples Daily News, Culture War Notes,  ProLife Blogs,  The Wanderer, etc.