Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Broad bean blossoms

I'm counting the blossoms, imagining the long bursting upstanding pods

and tasting the sweet freshly podded beans gently drizzled with olive oil

.....grow quickly little beans!

Class of '81

Wynberg's impressive hall foyer, steeped in history

Please don't do the maths, I'll just own it- it been 30 years since we were in matric, that makes us 47 years old give or take 1 year..... we'll be taking that year.

We're scattered across the globe, England, Canada, America, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand etc and scattered across the suburbs from north to south, despite this about 35 ladies managed to attend our reunion at Wynberg Girls High.

Never noticed the beautiful detail in the hall foyers stairs

What can I say? We all know about High school reunions- its a sharp, swift kick in the teeth and it screams the question, 'What have I done with the last 30 years?'

We've all lived 30 years more for better or worse. Success? It's having lived a happy life.

and the most liberating realisation about those questions ....are we older or poorer, less successful or more, than our peers?

Well, after all these years, the resounding answer from the class of '81 would be -     

Quite frankly, my dear, we don't give a damn.

Honour before honours

Monday, 29 August 2011

Scones for breakfast

Oh, the crumbly comfort of freshly baked scones, melting butter, a gentle 'smothering' of jam and a dollop of fluffy cream-  such perfect harmony.

Add fresh strawberries and its the perfect breakfast, especially if you consumed far too much bubbly at your high school reunion the previous night....I know.... but more about that later.

Or if you have a mouth full of freshly cemented braces, sensitive to everything, but the softest of foods- poor baby!

For such things as scone recipes, I refer to the generations of women before me and consult the trusted old  'Housewives league' cookbook or anybody's grandmothers recipe will do.

Two tricks however, your oven must be hot and handle the mixture quickly-  no fondling the dough- quick pat down, cut and in the oven.

Add a good strong latte and that thumping in your head will be gone........

Friday, 26 August 2011

Menu magazine- best food in Cape Town

I've been paging through the scintillating new 'MENU' magazine that the 'Toffie Culture' people kindly put together and I'm riveted.....167 of the best dishes in Cape Town.....

There are some unexpected places- best Lasagne, the Hildebrand, and some I expected- best pork belly, Bizerca and some places I haven't thought of in years- the Fireman's arms, Sloppy sam's and Dias tavern, they all featured at least twice and I'm a pub kind of girl.

Menu is packaged with the latest Taste magazine and to add immensely to your pleasure, Brandon Edmonds has written a few articles in his inimitable edgy style and the photography..... well its Paul Ward.

So much good food....where to start?

The Toffie Food Festival is on at the City Hall Sept 3 & 4 - see you there on Sunday?

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Barrels of leafy greens

The barrels are now cascading with leafy greens, this luscious one has an abundance of butter lettuce, cos lettuce, spinach, rocket, watercress, spring onions and tatsoi.

We've been happily picking the daily salads from the barrels and not noticing any shrinkage- oh joy!

Unfortunately we only have 2 barrels of broad beans, the bunnies breached the perimeter of my little garden and feasted ....* deep sigh* ...speaking of critters, do you see the barrel is on bricks- wondering why?

It's a fact that moles can squeeze themselves through the tiniest of holes in search of the 'good life' in a cosy warm barrel.

You're looking at the magnificent watercress the art teacher has been growing...volcanic dust is his secret ingredient..... now I've just got to convince him to let me pick some.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Present History II- at Photographers Gallery

If you missed Wednesday night at the Photographers gallery-  it was another wildly successful opening reception at this very special gallery.

Hundreds of  Cape Town's nicest people, impressive art, the inimitable Bruce Gordon as opening speaker and our favourite band, the fabulous Time Flies.

Heidi introducing Bruce Gordon (the artwork)

It was the culmination of Heidi's 10th year celebrations, a  group exhibition with works from established, well known artists, as well as some exciting fresh new talent.
Nicola Grobler, Pieter Badenhorst, Manfred Zylla, Willie Bester,
Paul du Toit, Guy Tillim, Paul Weinberg, Mark Hipper, Jurgen Schadeberg,
David Lurie, Themba Shibase, Dario Matter, Roger Ballen, Johann Louw
Barbara Wildenboer, Melanie Cleary, Nomusa Makhubu & Jan Neethling
Italian artists, Erik Chevalier, Nicola Vinci & Laurina Paperina
& introducing emerging talents Carla Erasmus & Marike Herselman

Love the burning bed picture
Talented new comer Marike Herselman

As Bruce Gordon so eloquently pronounced.... if Heidi puts her mind to it, there's not much she couldn't accomplish and in the last 10 years she has managed to establish a unique and successful gallery space with a stable of talented artists and a very loyal following........we're looking forward to the next ten years Heidi!

Drive by - drive home picture

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Beef and ricotta meatballs with saucy tomatoes

Fantastically versatile and relatively inexpensive beef mince- whether its with spaghetti, or curried and snugly wrapped in a Roti or layered and saucy  in a lasagne- there's one thing I know, men love mince- it makes them happy.

That said,  you can never have enough recipes.........this one has a touch of sophistication with the ricotta cheese and you can roast a few cherry tomatoes to add to the tomato sauce if you're looking to impress.

Basically take 400 g mince and add 125/200 g ricotta cheese, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Make your little mince balls and flash fry to brown. Set them aside and make your tomato sauce.

Great tomato sauce recipe- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (roast cherry tomatoes or normal to add extra flavour), 1 onion, garlic, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 chilli, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp sugar, salt and pepper. Saute onion, garlic until aromatic and throw the rest in.

Add your meatballs and simmer gently until cooked. Make pretty, top with shredded basil and shavings of Pecorino cheese, chunks of bread to mop the sauce........don't forget the wine, any red should do nicely.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Oude Molen Eco village

Forever in search of the perfect bread, the gorgeous ballet teacher revealed a magnificent farm loaf at her dinner party last night.

I was cautioned to go early or face disappointment, it's the kind of advice I take seriously, so I arrived at the little farm stall,  Mill stone in the Oude Molen Eco village.... eager and hungry at 10 am.

They are closed on Mondays.

Instead, I strolled around the village, it's looking more deserted now. Sadly, I think they are still under threat of eviction, the village will be replaced by a new housing development- it'll be a crime.

There is so much charm in those old, slightly derelict buildings, they house various craft and trades people, including the Gaia Waldorf school and of course those magnificent horses that roam the village.

I'll be back....

Friday, 12 August 2011

A pocket full of pebbles

This little pile was collected on our Jacobsbaai weekend, most were discovered on our happy hikes along the Keurbooms coastline. Later, I'm still finding them, under the seats in the car, deep in the corner of my beach bag and sometimes even in the laundry.

Outside there are stashes of interesting....well, clearly I think so... pebbles, stones and rocks arranged in small clusters beside, behind and inside various pot plants. Many now hidden by the growth of overhanging plants.

Occasionally, the art teacher makes the mistake of tossing one at a noisy guinea fowl or the neighbours marauding cat.

Why do I have the irresistible urge to pick up pretty stones, insanely weighing down rucksacks and pockets on long walks?

I have no idea......they are just too beautiful to leave behind unnoticed.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Pumpkin fritters anyone?

The shops are full of mammoth sized white 'boer' pumpkins and memories of soft, sweet 'cinnamony' pumpkin fritters sprang to mind.

I decided to bother the kids again,  I know the rhubarb didn't go very well.....but hey, this is one of the fun parts of being a mom.

Briefly explained the holiday breakfast idea to them, relying heavily on the cinnamon/sugar part and noticed only the slightest hint of scepticism cross their eyes- sold!

Grabbed my battered old 'South African cookbook'  by Magdaleen van Wyk and we had fritters within 20 minutes...and guess what...they loved them!

Add more flour to the recipe, so the consistency is less watery and they taste a bit more like pumpkin cake instead of fried pumpkin.

Recipe-  2 cups cooked pumpkin, 1 egg, 2 tbsp flour (throw in some more), I used self-raising, but if you use normal add 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, mix it all together and fry fritters in a bit of butter or oil until golden- dredge with lots of cinnamon sugar and squeeze over some lemon juice- any leftovers are equally good eaten cold for supper...I know, just couldn't help it.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Altyd Diana- a wedding

The groom wore his heart on his chest, the bride vivid and stunning in colour.

The house uniquely stylish and abundant with winter's beautiful arum lilies

The guests swish, joyful and excited- it was a union we had all been hoping for.

The evening serene and the garden sweetly scented with moon flowers

The cake elegant and simple, adorned with sugared arum lilies, the food,  made with love

The samurai danced an elegant tango embracing the newly weds

May the joy, happiness and love from this day, sustain and bless you both.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Sillery flower farm

I've been buying flowers from Sillery farm for the past 18 years, ever since the kids were next door at the Waldorf  kindergarten (the kindergarten children still visit, to see the gigantic chickens)

 They sell the romantic, old fashioned flowers- sweet peas with fragrance, delicate poppies, stocks, pretty purple violets and lots more, all for a very good price.

The fields, as you can see are freshly planted with the summer flowers, but the happy poppies are in abundance.

If we're energetic, we walk from our house, down Constantai road, right into Pagasvlei and take the short cut through Brounger way - how gorgeous is this lane....looks good for a game of boules?

Whenever we walk down this lane, I stand on tippy toes to peek at this gorgeous old Corrugated iron cottage- Oh, the possibilities....

The other bunch of flowers I bought to brighten my spirit, whilst I toiled away at work this week.

The greenbelt between Constantia road and Brounger way, there is a weeping willow of note next to the stream- well come again in spring to show you. Picture perfect!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A heavenly scent

The intoxicating scent drifted towards me and then retreated- a little shy of its magnificence I think?

When I found the source, no wonder....it was the gnarly old grapefruit tree.

This tree rarely does much, besides scratch and scare little children, it might have produced a few blossoms once, years ago, and I vaguely remember two small' flattish' round pale- yellow fruits.

A thick skin and sour citrus smell, our eldest duly tasted it and declared it so sour that she might never recover.. and this from a child that grazed on little yellow 'sour suck' flowers!

Whatever the reason for this extraordinary blossoming...

Thank you, gnarly old tree for all these deliciously fragrant blossoms (blogger needs a scratch 'n sniff panel) -
we've taken some cuttings and I see a future filled with the heady scent for grapefruit blossoms.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Piri piri chicken livers

The two chilli plants on the stoep are decoratively hung with little bell shaped yellow/orange chillies- they are distracting me, I can hear them shouting ..'pick me- pick me!' whenever I pass them by.

Saturday night was the ideal time to test our pretty little chillies, the art teachers has a delicious signature dish- piri piri chicken livers.

The recipe comes from one of his favourite books 'piri piri starfish' by Tessa Kiros, he keeps it safely hidden from my grubby cook hands- understandably.......you should see the state of my cookbooks!

I also confess to being a bit of a cowboy cook- I 'gooi' (throw), never measure and frequently take short cuts, whereas the art teacher is methodical and careful, which is why his chicken livers are so delicious.

Her recipe for Piri Piri sauce- 1 cup olive oil, 3 ripe tomatoes, 50 g butter, 1/2 tsp salt, pinch of sugar, 6 piri piri chillies, (hard to find here, we use what we can get) 4 cloves of garlic.
Heat the oil, add tomatoes and butter- simmer for 25 mins. Add salt, sugar, chillies & garlic, cook for 5 - 10 mins. Remove from heat and puree.

For the chicken livers- take 2 Tbsp butter heat until golden, add 1 tsp oregano, saute for 1 minute,  add chicken livers, fry until crusty and golden- turning gently, add salt and pepper, pour over juice of 1 lemon, add your piri piri sauce, some fresh greens from the garden and a few slices of toasted ciabatta

Perfect on a chilly Saturday night- add a good DVD and a few glasses of  red wine.

.We used the leftover piri piri sauce on Sunday- I rubbed it all over the free range chicken and it roasted happily will some cherry tomatoes and onion wedges until crispy and fall- apart tender.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...