Monday, 27 September 2010

Sweets for my Sweets

I'm a pretty big advocate of bribing children with sweets.  Mine will do just about anything for a lollipop, but I'm not so sure I approve of Catholic Saints following the same strategy!  Today was apparently Saint Cosme and Saint Damiao's day and my children were thrilled to receive not one but five paper bags full of sweets from strangers on the ten minute walk to school, in accordance with Brazilian tradition. 

They were accompanied by Luiza today, but I checked the booty when I got home and found a thoroughly Brazilian stash of goodies.  Twirly meringues (suspiros), shaggy white coconut sweets (cocada), heart-shaped pumpkin and sweet-potato sweets (doces de abobora e de batata doce), peanutty squares and brilliantly named 'pe de moleque' which means 'rascal's feet', presumably because the nut pieces stuck into toffee look like really dirty feet.  Finally, slack handfuls of fruit chews and lollies.  The kids think they have died and gone to heaven.

Funnily enough, my nearly-four year old did ask me this morning what happened to people when they died.  I told him no-one really knew, because once you're dead you can't tell anyone.  Some people, I explained, think they will go to heaven where there are loads of sweets and toys.  They also believe that if you are naughty you will go to a hot place with lots of fire.  Other people think that you will be born again as someone else's baby, or an animal.

He was excited by the potential for fire engines in hell, but finally decided to back being reborn as a bee who didn't sting people.  Dear Cosme and Damiao, it's going to take more than five bags of sweets to win this one over!


  1. Thanks for sharing! I've missed this 2 years in a row, but I shared it on my blog so that others won't!

  2. Awww that last little bit made my day (or night, as it were). :)

  3. The opening sentence made me laugh :) great job Tash, keep on writing!!! EVERY DAY!!! xxx Daniela

  4. Hi ! I have just discovered you blog and I am loving it. I am a carioca who lives in Holland since 1999. Here they have something similar to St. Martin's Day. Kids go to people's homes and sing traditional songs while holding (sort of)Chinese lamps. Then they get some fruit, muffins, lollies or chocolates. I have posted about it last year:

  5. My boss told me 'pe de moleque' was called because of what you said. But My Portuguese teacher told me a story about an old woman. She was making pe de moleque when a boy smelled her goodies. When they were sitting on her table the boy came in and ran off with the loot. They got their Because they were stolen on foot by a boy.