Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Monday, 30 January 2012

Op die rug van die wind vlieg ons na die
tolbos strate...

Ver op die horison verdwyn jy in 'n oogwink
en ek wonder of jou spore nog daar sou loop soos gister

Die geraamtes fluister in 'n koor...
Hier le jou Karoo*

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Homegrown Flavours

A tick from our 2012 list:  Start a herb garden!

Our herbs include; Oregano, Rocket, Italian Flat leaf Parsley,
Thyme, a Dwarf Curry Bush, Chocolate Mint, Garlic Chives and sown Sweet Basil & Onion Chives...

Will keep you in the know how with the recipes we conjure up! 

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

When Life Throws you Onions; Don't Cry make French Onion Soup

Recipe: Rick Stein.  French Odyssey

'Millions and millions; Onions for me!'

Onion Seeds drying in a shed

Voelgesang Farm, De Rust,  Western Cape
French Onion Soup
Serves 4

60g butter
1kg onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 x garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons caster sugar
300ml dry white wine
1.5l Beef stock
Bouquet garni of bay leaves, thyme and parsley stalks
4 x 2.5cm thick slices of French bread
225g Gruyere or Comte cheese (any strong cheese will do)
coarsely grated
Salt + blackPEPPER 

Heat the butter in a large pan.  Add the onions, garlic and sugar saute over medium heat, stirring regularly for 25min, until the onions are soft and caramelized.
Add the wine, simmer rapidly until reduced by half.
Add the beef stock and the bouquet garni, cover and simmer for 30min.  Remove the garni, flavour to taste with salt + pepper.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 150 degrees, place the bread slices onto a baking tray, let them dry out, but not brown.
Remove the tray, increase the temperature to 220 degrees.

To serve, place a slice of bread into the bottom of a ovenproof serving bowl, fill with soup, cover the soup with the grated cheese.  Place the bowls on a tray, bake for 30min until golden and bubbling.  
Alternatively place them under the grill for 5min.
Serve scalding hot!

We wanted to steal bags and bags of onions from this guest farm we visited over the holidays,(the onions were strewn everywhere) but knew we would come out on the other side rather flavoured :) 

Friday, 20 January 2012

Heat Crusher

What you will need:

For the Ice Cream, unless you find a tub of good quality Coffee flavoured Ice Cream (bet you would not find any around here)...

6 x green cardamom pods
375ml x milk
250ml x cream
1tbs instant coffee granules
115g caster sugar
5 x egg yolks

For the Crust:

1 x pack Romany Creams, or Digestive Biscuits
80g dark chocolate, combine in a food processor.
1tbs butter, just melted, it should not be hot!

For the Butterscotch Sauce:

250ml Maple syrup
1/2cup Muscovado Sugar
250ml fresh cream

To prepare the Ice Cream:
Preferably 24 hours in advance.

1.  Crush the cardamom pods, place in a saucepan with the milk, cream and coffee granules.  Heat gently until the mixture boils, remove from the heat, leave to infuse for a few minutes.
2.  Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until pale and light, stir in the cream mixture and pour through a strainer into a clean saucepan.  Heat gently, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Do not allow the custard to boil!
3.  Remove from heat, leave to cool completely, pour into a container and freeze until the edges are frozen.  Place mixture in a cold bowl and beat with blender until thick, return to the original container and refreeze.  Repeat this process 3 times until the ice cream is thick and creamy. Leave to freeze until used.

To prepare the crust:

Take the crushed chocolate and biscuit mixture, combine with the melted butter, place in a rectangular serving bowl, gently push up against the sides.  
 Place in the freezer.

While you wait for the crust to set, remove the cardamom coffee ice cream from the freezer.

In the meantime pour the maple syrup and muscovado sugar into a sauce pan, heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to boil for a few minutes, pour in the cream.  Remove from heat and stir through.  Leave to cool completely.

Remove the set crust from the freezer, spoon the slightly melted ice cream onto it, replace in the freezer, until butterscotch sauce is cooled.

Pour the sauce over the ice cream, leave in freezer to set.

Remove from freezer a few minutes before serving, to cut.
Enjoy on a special occasion or a steaming hot summer evening!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Click

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Hotel de Ville, Paris

St Malo, France

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

HEAT wave

Goodness were we glad to see the behind of yesterday!

I know everyone anywhere in the Cape is complaining about the heat! Let me just share our thought:

At 09:15 yesterday morning it was already 40 degrees in the sun!
Then at around 14:00 we measured 50 degrees on our front lawn!
At approximately 15:15 it was 49 degrees when hubby took Nana home!
When the clock hit 18:45, I hung my last washing for the day (I know, we had a power failure most of the day too) it was around 39 degrees on my front porch!
And at sunset, it dropped down to a cool 36 degrees!
Inside at bedtime the mercury dropped to about 28 degrees while the aircon was running at full speed!

Our little flower swam 4 times,(once in the sink), only ate food from the fridge that included ice lollies and walked around in her diaper for the most part of the day!

Shheesh, and we have not even met February yet!

Monday, 16 January 2012

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Trip down South Part I

The Anchorage  was our second stop on our mini road trip to the Eastern Cape... The first few nights we spend at relatives in Langebaan - It is set on a picturesque farm just outside Stillbay, along the Goukou River.

We chose the Self Catering option, to have more space for Nikah to enjoy.  Our room was perfectly situated with a breathtaking view of the river, we sat on our terrace well into the late hours of the night, soaking in the still waters and nightlife.  

I manage to sneak out at 6:30am to capture some of the farm jewels, (which includes a small vineyard, luscious vegetable patch, The Stables which are home to a few horses, a ginger cat, geese and a very handsome cock) and just spend a few minutes taking in all the awesome things that came our way in 2011!

If you find some time on your journey to who knows where, make sure you pop in at 
The Anchorage...
The service is spectacular, the scenery unbeaten, and the rooms, well 'our dearest' slept through the night in a unknown space! Now that's something to write home about-