Drowned the Doom with Cape Verde (with poll)

We’re shipping off to Beaver’s Bend for a much desired, talked about, planned, dreamed about, already paid for … long weekend. There’s only one problem – the entire trip reeks of doom. Here are three reasons why:

1. Ava loves her crib and room. This, in turn, means that Ava does not love any other cribs or rooms. Upon placement in a foreign crib, she immediately morphs into insomniac zombie baby.

2. Ava is teething and has been waking up shrieking bloody murder several times a night, for the last three nights. Each time she does, my heart stops dead its tracks and I have to ask Keith to restart it. He’s a very patient man.

3. I have the flu. I spent all week trying to deny it, but the fever, chills, aches, and coughing fits won’t be ignored.

Oh, if only things could be like this photo all the time, every day:

But they aren’t. Last night I got a little overwhelmed. There I was thinking about these three sad facts and wringing my hands with worry. But, then I had a lightbulb moment. I bet Cape Verde has a solution!

Always the optimist, I began thumbing through the internet for ideas. I’m here to tell you I found three surefire solutions to my vacation woes.

The irony?

They came from this very web site. From one of your comments. Have I told you how much I love your comments? I do. I really, really do.

So, without further “ado,” here are three Cape Verdean ways to drown out the doom. I’m considering combining all three:

1. Grog

This stout Cape Verdean liqueur is made from distilled sugar cane. It’s so strong you could catch fire just smelling it. I might be able to beat down this flu just looking at a bottle of Grog.

2. Pontche

This is Grog sweetened with sugar cane molasses. So, with this drink, you get a nice sugar rush right before you catch on fire. Could I rub this on Ava’s gums to help with teething? Ok. Maybe not. But I bet our grandmother’s would have!

3. Feijoada

This is the way all rational people cure their woes. Comfort food. This hearty black bean and meat stew is commonly eaten in Cape Verde. With all that heavy protein, this stew is sure to make us all sleep better. FYI: Feijoada is often called the national dish of Brazil. The connection? Both countries were settled by Portuguese. Here’s the recipe we made when we did our Brazilian Global Table.

Special thanks to Mette, one of our devoted readers, for contributing these factoids. Mette spent 7 months living in Cape Verde and, as a result, just might save our mini-vacation from doom. Cheers!


  1. Sharisse Steber says

    I laughed out loud at the comment about grandparents using liquor for teething. I had a dear Lebanese friend with 4 kids. When visiting the old country, Granddad would rub their teething gums with Arak. The pain would stop, the kids would sleep and mama was relieved…..do what you gotta do. 🙂

  2. Hydrate!!! And lots of good drugs for the symptoms. And stay hydrated. Sleep helps. Feijoada will help with any problem.

  3. The last time I got the flu was 2002, it was awful, didn’t want to move
    I couldn’t imagine having to do anything like take care of a kiddo
    I started an IV, a foley & took any drug I could find.

  4. Wow, I’m very honored! To kill the flu, I would definitely try the pontche (for lack of real grog, another good rum will do) and I hope all three of you will get a lovely, relaxing week-end.

  5. I’ll be praying for a peaceful relaxed Ava who loves adventure as much as her Mama and for you to feel better and enjoy your time away. You deserve some unwinding time and I hope it’s everything you wanted it to be when you first planned the trip!

  6. I haven’t had the flu since I started taking my flu shot faithfully every year. And I get fewer colds now, too. What helps me the most with a cold is – really, truly – Chicken Soup, made with real chicken, not from a can or commercial broth. It might be all in my head, but as long as it works….

    • How about the Cambodian Chicken and Pickled Lime Soup? Between the chicken and the limes, it ought to really be good!

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