Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday glorious sunday

34 degrees and my only day off this week- yes, that's me, a G & T and the Sunday newpapers- all floating happily in our little pool.

Don't worry, lunch is looking after itself, a voluptuous little brisket that's been slow roasting for the past 4 hours-  in the pleasant company of some chunky potatoes for that last hour.

 What can I say, all that bobbing around and reading gives a girl an appetite.

I stuffed the brisket with lemon thyme and garlic, browned it nicely, added  1/2 cup wine, 1/2 cup coke, a few tomatoes from the garden and an onion, covered it with foil, put the lid on and cooked for 4 hours on 160 degrees......meltingly tender with a gravy to remember.

Another day, another dollar.... Bring it on........just don't mess with my Sundays.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Zombie in the garden

Spiders or not?  Not.

I scream and run, sometimes simultaneously,  the alarm thus sounded, it's the art teacher to the rescue. He gently persuades the hideous- okay- terrified creature that life outside is infinitely safer and for the moment quieter, than in the house with the hysterical woman.

So it was with morbid fascination, that we watched this horror unfold.......

The carefully excavated hole awaits the paralysed spider

there was much measuring of the spider and the hole, it was a tight fit

down the hole- poor thing
all covered up and carefully disguised

If you can take a bit more of the horror, hurry on over to green lima beans to see the' beauty' in his garden.

We visited on Sunday (careful to stay far, far away from that rockery)- not only does he take some scarily beautiful pictures, but the man can cook.....hmmm, the most fragrant of thai soups, lemongrass, chilli, thai basil, crisp asparagus-  crunchiest peanut sauce, creamiest chicken satay, a soothing burst of papaya freshness and that veg salad, but best of all, the coconut cream ice cream and mango sorbet- pure heaven!

Did I mention he grinds his coffee beans by hand....but we know his secret- it's the lovely Rosie!

The relaxing, calming 'holiday' view from their house- now I can face the week, thank you blogger friends!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Outside Rooms of Wonder

My very first blog in March last year was Rooms of Wonder, our friend Braam and his lovely business partner Zaan, had opened a new prop warehouse- propellerprops, and the collection of treasures inside just had to be shared.

Braam is still moving his collection into the warehouse and estimates that if he moves a bakkie load a day for the next 3 years he'll complete the move ( its true! ), totally understandable as he's been collecting for more years than I've known him and that's close on 30 years now.

Art is at work here-  not just the objects themselves, although some are astoundingly unique, it's the arrangement and grouping of  these treasures and the aesthetic created, that leaves you mesmerized.

Find a few of the cosy hidden seating spots outside - everything has a story.

First batch of pictures below and more to follow tomorrow... I have to show you all the corners!

In a few months all the plants will be moved in, the art teacher puts its well, Braam is a 'secret gardener'.

Grab a cup of coffee or a drink and enjoy the show.......

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Happiness is a watermelon

I think the picture says it all?

The guinea pigs new favourite treat

Oh, they generously left us the other half.

Chocolate praline delight

Does everybody start with dessert when planning a menu?

I have a few desserts that are foolproof and delicious, which is very comforting, as no matter the experimental main courses or starters that proceed it, you're assured of a great ending.

So consider it a New Year gift from me to you dear reader.... my very 'bestest' dessert.

As you can see, it'll have your guests satisfied and relaxing languidly on the lawn in no time at all

The recipe- adapted from an old Marie Claire cookbook by the great man himself Nigel Slater.
I've simplified the measurements and it still works a treat-

4 slabs of milk chocolate
1 tub of 250 ml cream
3 tbsps butter
for the praline
60 g almonds
60 g sugar

Make the praline first, melt sugar, as it's melting add almonds, a quick stir and pour onto a greased surface to cool. When cool, throw the solid mass into a bag covered with a cloth and beat with a rolling pin or hammer if handy, I know this can be very satisfying-  but stop when you have crumbs.
Melt the chocolate with 2 tbs of water, mix in your butter, then add beaten cream, you'll need to mix it nicely and evenly, then add praline crumbs and pour into whatever mould takes your fancy.


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

How cute is the new boy on the block

I spotted him on my walk yesterday, clamored through the bushes for a better look- he lifted his head and gazed at me with those big brown eyes- sigh- I was smitten!

I rushed home, confessed to the art teacher, who kindly offered to bring the big lens for a bit of stalking.

That's when things started to heat up, you see he's a bit of a mama's boy still and mama's on the large side, giving us the eye.

Dad was even less impressed, he huffed and puffed and butted his son out the way, either he's had enough of the little upstart or he was getting ready to charge...

Don't worry cutie pie - I'll be back tomorrow.....I know where you live.

safely between mom and dad

Dad sizing us up

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A bunch of bloggers under a tree

How does it happen that a bunch of bloggers and their partners who've never met before come together for lunch under the billowing bows of a magnificent plane tree?

The lovely Marie from 66 square feet makes it happen, the fabulous link between us, she's brought us together in her parents garden (adjectives for her mom's garden escape me- I think you can tell from the pictures?)

We'd been drooling over the menu for days, you can drool here -  again the pictures say it all.

Did I mention her charming dad kept the corks popping on a seemingly endless supply of bubbly.

Isn't life just grand.....strangers reaching tentatively across the internet, meeting, sharing, laughing- same time next year?

the lush pathway to the lunch table under the tree

Drinks on the patio- Green lima beans, Voer and the Sourcerer

Ohh, that red pepper mousse....

so very yummy....

A toast to our hostess

Perhaps the simplicity of ' beautiful' says it all?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Skeleton Gorge and Jelly legs

Stunning skeleton gorge

You'll be forgiven for thinking that jelly legs refers to me after I ate all the Christmas trifle..

But we're talking Skeleton Gorge...and yes, I would think the name says it all.

How did this happen, you ask?

Our middle princess needed to do an 'endurance' for school before the year was out and so, duly dragged her brother from his Xbox and her mother from the trifle.

A 9 am start- a challenge in itself  during the holidays, the backpack stocked and with a very slight spring in our steps, up we went.

 and then up some more......steps as far as the eye can see and around every corner, and then more steps, waterfall steps, ladder steps and stone steps......hell, I'm still stepping in my sleep.

you think that was steep going up- try coming down again

I am pleased to report that about an 1 hour into all this stepping,  either the endorphins or the jelly beans kicked in and we emerged, sprightly and euphorically at the top 2 1/2 hours later.

we still managed to gasp at the view with what little breath we had left

the reservoir on top of the mountain with strange white sand and eerie tree stumps

You've probably guessed that I'm now starting the New Year with aching calves and knees and will be avoiding steps at all costs for the next week at least.

Was it worth the pain? Every ache....

Stunning Kirstenbosch and the start of our hike

May your year be filled with the beauty of Nature.
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