Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas is my Kryptonite

This is how I started last week- all good intentions and serenity, can you feel it?

what about now...........

Brisk walks through 'long shadowed' vineyards (of course, I'm anticipating those Ferrero Roche boxes under the tree), meditative cleaning of our little pool, energetic games of bat and ball with the kids (now anticipating those melt in the mouth mince pies), a serene evening decorating the tree with Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, decoration memories and great wine.

And then Whammo- it all went out the door, faster than torn wrapping paper on boxing day.

My kryptonite found me and yes......it's Christmas.

What ensued was a 'panic' of shopping, small catering favours taking too much time, hours searching for parking and long queues at the tills- my sanity strained, my serenity gone and blogland a distant memory.

But come Christmas eve, when my family and friends gather, it's all a distant memory and I wouldn't change it for all the Ferrero Roche in the world.

Roses sent from our Eldest with Xmas eve greetings- we missed you!

The most delicious Sarmale made by the beautiful Romanian- now a Christmas tradtion with drinks, not forgetting her much anticipated Romanian potato salad, perfect counterpart to the rich meats. 
Buttery rich divine Christmas cookies made by my sisters talented Chef boyfriend- I've had one for breakfast every day

May your Christmas season be blessed, safe, stress free and filled with family and friends.


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Perfect festive summer dessert

Chewy, creamy, crispy, sweet, tart- she must have been something that Anna Pavlova.

A pavlova makes people happy, it creates a celebration and is the perfect dinner party distraction- was the Beef really overcooked?

Throw everything you have at it- strawberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, if it looked like a berry I tossed it in, along with 2 tubs of cream and to finish it off, I whizzed up a strawberry coulis and poured it over...it felt good.

Before I got the knack, I threw away at least eight. Eventually you get a feel for when the beaten whites are just right to add the sugar and then to add the sugar just slowly enough to make magic, and then the treachery of the oven.......I do 10 minutes 160, then 1 hour 140- then switch off and leave in oven- Do not peek!!!

When you can't stand it anymore open the oven, if its good, pour yourself a drink, if it's a flop, grab the bottle you have a long night ahead...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Quagga Books - Kalk Bay

Quagga Rare Books and Art  beckons you from outside, once inside it invites you to find a cosy corner, then settle in and enjoy the stay ..... don't worry about food, Cafe Olympia is around the corner.

Our friend George currently has an exhibition - 400 years of Maps and Prints of Africa,  as you can see the walls are covered with fascinating old maps.

My favourite corner is in front of the children's book cabinet.....I spied old friends- Alice in Wonderland, Wendy and Peter Pan and that naughty Amelia Jane- the urge to touch and smell them was overwhelming.

The exhibition will move to the Stellenbosch shop on 17 January.

View from Boyes Drive of Muizenberg on our way to Kalk Bay

Drive home- Tokai forest

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Michaelis Graduate Exhibition

Michaelis prize winners work-  Ashley Walters
The largest exhibition of the year and a perfect end to the art year is the Michaelis Graduate Exhibition, a few hundred shy of a thousand art lovers and students turn out to wander the beautiful Hiddingh Campus- Oh, if these walls could talk......

A small sample of what caught my eye...... the campus is open daily from 10 am, so if you missed the opening be sure to catch the exhibition before the end of the year, and grab a map, you don't want to miss any rooms- there are some hidden gems.

see what I mean.....look at this beautiful hall

love the attitude!

drive by- drive home

Tasty little pea shoots

Almost tastier than peas, deliciously sweet and very trendy at the moment. We first ate them at The Test Kitchen,  they have neat window boxes packed with eager little shoots- genius idea to grow the peas just for the perfection of their shoots.

The art teacher fearing for his plants, gathered the old pea pods and kindly planted an urn full of shoots for me.

I also couldn't resist purchasing a huge tray full for R60 at the Gaia Market, Alphen Centre Constantia. A lovely lady- Cherene Organics, makes them to order and has other sprouts to choose from -chereneorganics@gmail.com / 0834271085- next market this Friday.

I've been tossing the pea shoots on everything, on sandwiches, in salads and simply with fresh peas, add a little olive oil and a few dollops of creme fraiche for some decadence.

And guess what- they've all sprouted again!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Cameron Platter- What if the world

One of my favourite artists Cameron Platter is currently exhibiting at What if the world .

I'm still lusting after one of his drawings - but frustratingly they are getting further from my reach....I've really got to try to win the lotto whilst the artist is still emerging.

Big, bright, bold and beautiful - perfect for their new gallery space, a double storey old synagogue in Woodstock.

This table had me drooling, so elegant and desirable-  Gregor Jenkin *sigh*

We all know that what if the world's exhibitions attract the beautiful people, so I was especially pleased to see a beauty a few years older than me, excellently preserved and getting all the attention.....

Gilles's   '61 Saab

Drive by- drive home

Friday, 2 December 2011

CPUT- Student Exhibition 2011

This week Cape Tech's faculty of Informatics and Design hosted their annual student exhibition, always such a treat to see the work of so many talented students.

For two hours we wondered through classrooms, jewellery, fashion, architectural, interior and surface design.

If I were Goldilocks, I would have happily settled into the jewellery studio, it felt just right....

A small sample of what caught my eye and wanted to come home with me......

I'll take 10 please!- made from a Bosal exhaust-  stunning

functional and glamorous

made from the plastic bags that oranges are packaged in

If I was a dog.....

More of the most adorable toy animals

This students drawing style caught our eye- presentation was outstanding

drive by - drive home, hospital bend

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Waldorf Constantia evening market

Sultry summer evenings on last Friday of every month, there's only one place to be - Constantia Waldorf Evening Market.

Grab the kids, a picnic blanket and some wine, actually grab a few bottles extra as the market doesn't sell and you're sure to make plenty of new friends with a bottle to share.

Don't worry about food, you can smell the curries as you approach and there is just about anything else you can imagine, from sushi to stir-fries.

I've got a soft spot for the desserts, so we settled on these scrumptious lemon meringue pies and some rocky road chocolate brownies with melted marshmallows..I know.......YUM!

My school friend Susan, has a fabulously successful stall, Pink Pincushion unique designer handbags, she makes these beautiful handbags, special fabrics, attention to detail and her equally talented daughter makes the gorgeous little creatures you see below- so perfect for little hands.......I need a baby to buy one for?

More cuddly creatures from another stall.......irresistible..

As the sunsets, your tummy full, you can lie back and listen to the live music....or get up and dance, nobody will mind- only nice people here.

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