Oh no! The original image was lost in a camera malfunction . . .


You never know what to expect in “institutional cuisine”.  It certainly doesn’t sound tasty, but the food at APAE was made with a lot of love.  When the students baked something in their cooking class, I was always invited in to sample cake and other goodies.  I love to sample cake and other goodies!  And, the staff always made sure there was a plate for me at lunch and a snack or two to help me through the day.  They made feijoada for me on a day when nobody else came to the center.  It made me feel special.

One of the unexpected treats was the soup quirerinha.  If you like soup on a chilly day, this just might be for you.  It certainly worked for me.  However, I had the hardest time figuring out what in the world “quirerinha” actually was. Different online translators said it was cherries, basil, or apples.  Even I knew it had nothing to do with them.  Finally, my search lead me to “canjiquinha”, which lead me to grits.  Now, if I had grown up in the American South, I would recognized grits immediately.  But, growing up in Ohio, it was only a vocabulary word I was familiar with.  So, if my research is correct, quirerinha is corn grits.

. . . so, I had to make the dish in Ohio.
the APAE Cafeteria, Barbosa Ferraz, Brasil
1 ⅔ cup corn grits
2 cups vegetable
1 piece of bacon
3 calabrese sausages
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
chives or parsley to taste
1 carrot
1 leek
1 chopped finger red
½ cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Wash your quirerinha and let it soak for an hour in the vegetable stock while you do your other preparations.  It gives the grits time to absorb the flavor.  I would have instantly reached for chicken broth, but it’s recommended to stick with vegetable for the proper flavor.  So, what do I know in the kitchen?

Brown the bacon and sausages along with the onions, garlic, chives, parsley, and other diced up vegetables.

Finally, mix it all together.  Make sure everything is covered with water and cook for 30 minutes.

If you need variety in your kitchen and life, you can substitute pork or shrimp as well as okra.  However, for me, okra brings back memories similar to fried mush. I sat at the table refusing to eat both of those things.  No way in my home!  Not in my kitchen!  It’s safe to say never.

You learn so much more about a recipe when you make it.  It took me about two years to do this dish.  And, I found, that in order to cook the carrots a half hour to get them tender, I needed to use an entire box of vegetable stock.  I think I added extra water as well.  Otherwise all the liquid would have evaporated away.