Monday, 30 April 2012

flowers in the house

It's a 'flowers in the house Monday' party over at our excellent friend Jane's house.

This particular Monday in Cape Town is an extended holiday weekend, 5 days in all, which is also sadly, dark, gloomy, very cold, blowing a gale force wind and not to be outdone, also pouring buckets of rain.

So, feeling like Indiana Jones or is it more like Mcgyver?  I grabbed the secateurs, braved the elements and came in from the garden triumphant........I offer you roses, still with their rain drops, next to the bathroom mirror and dramatic delicious monster leaves for the lounge ( an exceptionally brilliant idea that never occurred to me until I saw that Jane used them for a function in a museum- I think dinosaurs were involved?)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Dias Tavern

Dias Tavern has been around forever, over 20 years, so no surprises that its packed most nights, attracted by riotous party noise and laughter, we tried a walk- in on the odd Wednesday or Thursday evening- no luck.

So, we got clever and popped in post lunch, pre-dinner at around 4 pm, there were a few lunch stragglers and some early after work drinkers at the bar, aromatic Portugese cooking smells hung in the air.

I opted for Chicken Livers peri-peri and the art teacher went for a crispy Eisbein and chips. We're fussy with our chicken livers as the art teacher has perfected them, see here-  we weren't disappointed.

To kick start your long weekend, start with a drink in the cosy pub at the Castle Hotel, stroll down to satisfy your tummy at Dias, then finish the night at Assembly or the Harley Davidson Club around the corner- isn't Cape Town great?

Drive by- Table Mountain

Monday, 23 April 2012

Moon-baths. pizzas and platters.

fireflies by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu
 I finished Anais Nin's A spy in the house of love this weekend -

                  'At sixteen Sabina took moon-baths, first of all because everyone else took sun-baths, and second, she admitted, because she had been told it was dangerous. The effect of moon-baths, was unknown, but it was intimated that it might be the opposite of the sun's effect.'.

Home made pizza Friday, mine- smoked salmon, pineapple, peppers, bacon and very generous dollops of creme fraiche- I know.. I just can't help myself.
 The art teacher's, as you can see, very manly- ground beef, bacon, peppers, bananas, olives, it smelt seriously good.

Saturday's sky was grey and so were my boot sale purchases, 1956 oval leaf patterned platters and oh so delicate, wispy Spanish air plants- I left quite satisfied.

Friday, 20 April 2012

all the leaves are falling

A kaleidoscope of leaves fall gently from trees and land picture perfect.

no work this weekend, I think I'll pull on my boots and play in the garden

perhaps find a cosy, warm spot to curl up and read - silly me, it's taken

here kitty, kitty....

Thursday, 19 April 2012

lord Sithus

Meet lord Sithus in all his glory-  lord of all he surveys.

The little hacker felt the fish tank lacked drama, we ooh and aah, as he twirls and twists, flaring those magnificent fins, he sees our admiration and basks in it.

Since his arrival there's been tension in the tank, little baby Neon was found belly up in the lego cave, following that, Mrs Guppy was murdered with a short sharp bite to her tiny eye.

No need for Horatio here, I witnessed Mrs Guppy's demise.

We've grown quite fond of the little sociopath and are not without a little sympathy, lord Sithus now has his own tank next door to the other- white sand, drift wood and a tangle of plants, nothing less would do.

I think a bit of Carly Simon quite fitting.....

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

rainy sunday morning pancakes

The ballet teacher made the pancakes in her gorgeous kitchen, the prop and costume whizz made the nectarous fruit salad with a clever twist of orange peel and I, of course, supplied the bubbles.

A cosy catch-up, the warmth of friends, our tummies happy, the bubbles straight to our heads.

We retired to the stoep, coffee in hand and listened to the gentle pitter patter of the raindrops.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Nicolaas Maritz- Kalk Bay Modern

 Kalk Bay Modern is currently hosting a new Nicolaas Maritz exhibition- 'Lucky Packet Exhibition No.2'

As usual, Cheryl's beautiful gallery is filled with art lovers and friends. The walls adorned by Nicolaas Maritz's vibrant and colourful works, as well as more subdued and muted ones which I enjoyed.

Its hard to resist those delicious smells from Cafe Olympia as we are leaving, but alas the art teacher had a student waiting... I know I'll have dreams of  white bowls full of black mussels in creamy wine sauce with thick chunks of ciabatta poised to sponge up the sauce * sigh*.

Art teacher's drive by on the way there- a view of Marina da Gama, Lakeside

Drive by from Boyes Drive of Muizenberg Beach

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Brisket and ... watermelon

Voluptuous rolls of Brisket in the kosher meat section are always beckoning me, but a Mexican recipe in Taste magazine got me quite excited, it combined brisket, watermelon and tequila- Arriba! Arriba!

They deep fry the brisket wrapped in a tortilla which sounds intriguing, but perhaps for another day.

Heat a few tablespoons of butter in your roasting pan- add 2 Tbs coriander seeds, 11/2 Tbs cumin seeds, 1 t origanum, 2 Tbs sweet smoked paprika, pinch of chillies, fry until fragrant, add the brisket and brown, pour on some stock coming half way up the brisket and cover tightly. I did - 10 minutes at 160 degrees and then turned down to 140 in my convection oven and cooked for 4 hours.

You can peek, sadly your big piece of flesh will shrink, don't panic. How to tell when its perfect? Grab a fork and poke, if it gently flakes into the juices, you have a winner. Now for the fun part...

Yep, watermelon and tequila salsa- how perfect is that!

Chop your watermelon, add some tomato juice to moisten, drizzle...or pour, depending on your need- the tequila over, chop some mint leaves into the mix along with some fresh chilli and serve with the brisket.

Since you've opened the bottle....if you're looking for the perfect tequila cocktail to go with your meal- head on over to Marie at  66 square feet.  her cocktails are impossible to resist.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

a slight unsettling

I think my 'oomph' is coming back- temporarily lost, I'm not sure where I left it, on the rocks in Mouille point with the realisation that summer has passed without a single swim in the cool ocean.

Perhaps in the poignant book, 'No great mischief' given by Aida, that I've only now picked up- stories of the strong Scots people who sought a fresh life in Canada, settling in the wild and beautiful Cape Breton- thoughts about great grandparents who did the same, my fathers side- all unknown to me.

or maybe my 'oomph' is just feeling a bit battered by the constant politicking and the poverty in this beautiful country.

But we won't go there...

There have been delightful distractions, the lovely sourcerer invited us to dine with her.... I can still taste that sublime carrot salad, she has inspired me to re-open those Moro cookbooks and her home you wonder?

As you can imagine, treasures and beautiful objects everywhere- too many to admire in one visit, we were privileged to see some prints of her pictures- we oohed, aahed and sighed at their beauty, memorising our favourites, an exhibition there has to be- thank you Lily.

We submersed ourselves in  two more delightful movies by our favourite Hayao Miyazaki - watch Ponyo and be swept away by this talent.

But today the sun is shining again and I hear Friday will be 29 degrees- perhaps I'll have that swim after all and for the rest, it'll just take time.
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