((Ghost Scar)
Coffee and Milk Scar over pubis

Navel superstition

When the baby is born, a small part of the umbilical cord that connects him/her to the mother hangs out of his/her belly. As if it might take a while for this body to become well-sealed. And so one day, the cord dries up and the navel falls off.

When I was small, very small, my belly button had just fallen. Of course, the same happened to all of you.

What to do with the fallen navel?

In the tradition of my village, it is believed that we should bury this little piece of the person someplace special. Burying babies' navels in the hope that this will guide them in life. For example: under a rosebush, it makes the little girl a beautiful woman; at the hospital door, the little boy becomes a doctor; at the farm gate, the little boy will be a farmer. A legend was created that it was dangerous to wait too long to perform this ceremony. Because, perhaps a mouse would carry the navel away and the person would grow up to become a bandit, an outcast…

My mother buried my belly button under a rosebush.

So, we need to plant our first seed, which is also our first scar, allowing us to grow strong and be given a good life.


The grandmother's kitchen

Coffee with milk recipe

Also known as:


-Cortado (pronounced cortao)



-Café au lait


It's one of my mother's favorite drinks.


It invaded the language of Brazil with expressions like:

-You're very cafe com leite. It means you're not official, not sanctioned. For example: A café com leite person in a game of catch is someone who is participating but is not officially competing.

- A café com leite person is also - problematically - considered to be of mixed skin color, neither ‘completely’ black nor ‘completely’ white.

-A café com leite situation. It means a fake situation.

-A café com leite book. It means that the content of the book is not good or serious enough to be considered relevant.



To make café com leite you will need:

  • Coffee (ground or as a soluble powder). I suggest you use ground coffee.
  • Milk (fresh or powdered). I also suggest fresh whole milk.
  • Sugar if you like. My grandmother and my mother use an insane amount of sugar. It must be a remnant from colonial Brazil, which was divided into 13 Capitanias Hereditárias: 13 private properties of the Portuguese nobility in Brazil. Even today we deal with this sugar colonel inheritance, and they form a small bloodthirsty elite that oppresses the vast majority of people by treating our land like café com leite.
  • Mix the coffee and milk in the proportion you wish and drink it while it’s hot.


This drink goes very well with buttered toast or cheese bread.