Unfortunately Eduardo had to leave today as he could only take a little time off work, but before he left he wanted to show us a really good way of cooking Pinhão called "Sapeco" (not to be confused with Seppuku!). This method is really nice because it's about cooking the Pinhão with the tree's own fallen leaves ("Grinfa") and nothing more. He went into the forest for half an hour and collected a couple of barrow loads of Grinfa and about a hundred Pinhão and then we stacked the Grinfa up in a big pile with an indentation in the top to pour the Pinhão into.
The Grinfa are extremely easy to light, even when they have moisture on them you can get them going with a lighter or match with no need for anything else like paper. It's best to light it at three or four locations around the base so it burns evenly. Once it gets going it's like a volcano with really thick smoke and gets really hot. After a few minutes it's all burned and collapsed down, and you then scrape the cooked Pinhão out of all the ashes to eat them. We all had them for breakfast with Chimarrão :-)
Shortly after our Sapeco breakfast, Eduardo packed his things and left, but promised to return soon with some other friends who he said would also be really inspired seeing how we live out here. Just last week we were thinking how hard we've been finding it out here, and came to the conclusion that what we really needed was to find some good local friends who really share our ideals and values. Well the universe definitely seems to have heard us and promptly manifested a solution! thanks universe!! - and thanks Barry for introducing us :-)