Quilombo Deserto Feliz São Francisco de Itabapoana, North Fluminense Region
Legend has it that the name of the Quilombo Feliz Deserto came from the echoing laughter of slaves to faraway places where it could be heard. Today, the village is located in São Francisco de Itabapoana where approximately 130 people identified as remnants of the Quilombo live. According to Dalva Abreu, 59, president of the community, the group has revived old traditions, for example, jongo, and keep alive other customary practices, for example, the feasts of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, and St. John the Baptist on June 24, as well as the dance that happens on Saturdays.
In Deserto Feliz Mrs Maria das Neves Cruz, 70, also known as Mrs Santinha, was the hostess, whose narrates the most intense memories refering to forró and cooking. According to her: "That stuff, prom, forró, we used to go. Arriving there, we met and started dating ... thanks God I married. "So, amid the shaking and the accordion, Mrs Santinha met her husband when she was 15 years old. Thereafter, numerous events emerged: generating 15 children, eight of whom, unfortunately, died, and was widowed. However, the joy of attending the dance remains unchanged into her weekly routine.
In that same festive mood, Mrs Santinha enjoys cooking when gathers the large family, consisting of several children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren: "I make roast beef, chicken, some noodles, rice with chicken ... What he likes. fried beef .. [...] dessert, I always do pudding, they like very much. I make a sweet papaya, it is tasty [...] they like very much.”
Today, the family can enjoy the dishes prepared with skill by Mrs Santinha, which is due to an apprenticeship that began in her childhood, as she states: "I had to cook, my mother worked out in farm business. Then I stayed at home taking care of my brothers "At that time, it could not miss coffee with sugar cane, as she says:". Cane, she took the juice, making coffee ... there, we drank, I cooked potato, sweet potatoes [...]. So it is with coffee syrup, right? And we were raised with that.”
From the past lived with difficulties emerge memories of Mrs Santinha: "We were so poor, right? [...] Do you know what we liked? Potato Stew [...] We bought that beef ... Then it was that stew ... Then we ate ... So, then we grew. We ate very well this was manioc with beans.”
Sweet manioc prepared by Mrs Santinha is one of the recipes that were part of her childhood, which had been crossed by material constraints but rich in knowledge construction. So try this dish, seemingly simple, allows a feeling of immense happiness.