Jeffrey’s Bay

February 20, 2019 at 08:30 (Move, Uncategorized)

Been in JBay for a little over two weeks and overall, it’s been good. There are a few things that I had expected but the levels were surprising. I expected the macho male first attitude but the number of entitled white men was more than I expected, and also, the number of younger white men with that attitude. A large number of young people also smoke, and it’s weird to see.

One thing I didn’t expect the was the terrible driving. There is no traffic in JBay and only one traffic light (which is out during load shedding), but the driving is appalling. Another thing is barking dogs. Dogs bark all the time – it feels like I’ve swapped house/car alarms for barking dogs.

Generally though, I’m pleased with the move. Last week I found a cute place that can be made really comfortable. It’s small and super convenient.  When we were looking at houses back in CT, there were a few places that looked amazing. When we got here though, the places were still great but they were far from shops and other conveniences, and to get anywhere you would need to get into a car because the road need an upgrade and the driving is all over the place so cycling was out of the question. Living in the city for near 20 years means that I can no longer live without certain things as much as I liked the idea of our very first plan, I’ve realised it’s not for me – too remote, too much hard work and I don’t want to be so far away from everything.

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Baked Peaches

February 13, 2019 at 14:35 (Bake, Uncategorized)

A simple summer dessert.  It’s quite light and not very filling so it’s perfect for after big meals 🙂

Six ripe peaches

Six ripe nectarines

Mascarpone

Vanilla sugar

Slice the peaches and nectarines and place them in a baking dish.  Sprinkle some [to taste] vanilla sugar over the pieces and bake at 200 c until soft.  Place the baked fruit and resulting syrup into small ramekins and allow to cool.  Next, sweeten some mascarpone cheese with vanilla sugar and place on to of the cooled fruit.  Serve.

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Peanut Butter Biscuits

January 24, 2019 at 14:34 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I love peanut butter biscuits.  I can never have one, I always end up munching five or six at a time.

1 ½ cups flour

125 g butter/full fat marg

3 tablespoons peanut butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

Cream the sugar, butter and peanut butter until smooth.  Add the egg followed by the flour and baking powder.  Roll small amounts of mixture into balls and place on a baking sheet; flatten slightly with a fork and bake for 15 -20 minutes at 180C.

Sometimes I use crunchy peanut butter so there are bits of peanut in the biscuits but you can add a handful of chopped peanuts into the mix.  I have on occasion added choc chips – just as tasty.

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Pork Stew

January 5, 2019 at 12:52 (Bake, Uncategorized) (, , )

I watch a Korean reality TV show called 2 Days & 1 Night, and I think it’s the Hangover Race episodes where one group eats this awesome looking nappa cabbage and pork stew. I googled it and made up a variation of it which was delicious.

This version is with baby bok choy because nappa cabbage is so difficult to find 😦

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About 300g pork shin, with skin and excess fat removed, fried in a little olive oil.

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When lightly fried, add a quarter cup of soy sauce and fry for a few minutes.

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Add roughly a litre of hot water.

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Finely chopped small onion and medium potato.

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Add onion and potato to the stew – the potato will cook away to thicken the stew.

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Boil for 20 minutes. Simmer for a further 30 minutes to cook away the potato pieces.

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Baby bok choy – trim the ends before putting whole in the pot.

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As the bok choy wilts, push it into the stew. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

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Ready to eat. I usually leave it for an hour or two then bring to the boil and eat it with rice.

 

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Mary, moving and spiders

December 31, 2018 at 07:32 (Move, Uncategorized)

Mary loves eating spiders.

Rose and Mary bring all sort of bugs into the house, they play with them till they’re dead and then Rose plays with them some more. Most mornings involve crime scene clean up.

Mary though, has a fondness for spiders. She doesn’t play with them at all – she catches and eats them. One evening she came in meowing as usual but when she came into the room, she was also licking and chewing (and meowing). It looked like she had a blackjack stuck among her whiskers so I quickly got up to pull it out. It was a spider leg. She wasn’t distressed at all, she was finishing up a delicious snack.

In my current  urban environment, the spiders tend to be small. But JBay has a lot of natural vegetation and the houses all have large gardens, and my year in Mossel Bay taught me that given the chance, spiders grew very big. I have a fear brewing inside me – Mary bringing in a large spider, a rain spider, a hairy spider…

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Fruit Cake

December 4, 2018 at 14:33 (Bake, Uncategorized)

I love fruit cake.   This cake uses ground almonds instead of flour so it should be good for those that can’t eat wheat.  Ground almonds give the cake a moist texture but it doesn’t become as cakey as flour so easily crumbles.  It would work well with custard as a pudding.

200g ground almonds

200 g butter/full fat marg – melted

1 teaspoon peanut butter (can be left out)

½ cup sugar

2 teaspoon baking powder

100 g coconut

3 eggs

500 g mixed raisins

250 ml orange juice

200 g cherries

100 g mixed nuts – roughly chopped

100g milk chocolate – roughly chopped

Soak the mixed raisins in the orange juice for a few hours before mixing all the ingredients together.  Place in a lined cake tin and bake at 180C until done, about 1 – 1.5 hours depending on the oven.  The edges should be browned but the centre should still be somewhat jiggly but not gooey.  As the cake cools it will become firmer, wait until it is completely cool before removing from tin.

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Chocolate Cherry Trifle

November 30, 2018 at 14:28 (Bake, Uncategorized)

Trifle with a difference.

Sponge:

4 eggs separated

1 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

6 tablespoons cold water

3 tablespoons cocoa

Whisk egg yokes, sugar and water until light and creamy.  Add shifted flour, cocoa and baking powder.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the flour mixture.  Pour into  30cm x 25cm oven proof dish and bake for 30 – 45 minutes at 160C.

Custard:

560ml milk

55ml cream

4 egg yolks

2 teaspoons cornflour/potato flour

2 tablespoons cocoa

30ml sugar

60g dark chocolate

Whisk yolks, cornflour/potato flour, cocoa and sugar together.  Add to warm milk cream mixture and simmer until thick – do not allow to boil.  Turn off heat and add chocolate, whisk until chocolate has melted.

Trifle:

1 tin black cherries – keep syrup

10g gelatine

40ml water

250ml cream

40ml sugar / vanilla sugar*

Drain the cherries and set aside.  Heat the syrup – not hot but warm – and add the gelatine, once dissolved add the water.  Pour the jelly over the hot cake, fresh from the oven.  Toss the cherries evenly over the cake.  I like to press the cherries into the hot gooey cake, and allow to cool.  Once cool, pour over custard.  I usually leave the trifle like that for about 4-6 hours before adding the cream.  Whip cream with sugar and spoon onto trifle.  Top with grated chocolate and you are done.

*vanilla sugar – I keep a jar of sugar with two or three split vanilla pods inside for baking use.  The sugar can be used for coffee as well.

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Weekly

November 23, 2018 at 17:39 (Move, Uncategorized)

I’m always torn when starting a non-English show that is still ongoing. What happens if the translator/s give it up half way? Or worse – one or two episodes left. But also, I’m so used bingeing a series, I don’t want to wait a week for an episode.

I started Children of Nobody anyway. It’s good, I hope I get to see it until the end.

I also have five weeks of work left before it’s proper work from home vibes. Then it’s final weeks of the house I spent 18 years in from a teenager to an old cat lady 😀

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SOLD

November 16, 2018 at 11:46 (Move, Uncategorized)

So my last post about house selling was just before what happened to be my last show house. Excellent! Super pleased to finally make some progress on the whole moving process. And it is such a process. Gosh – the steps and paperwork involved is crazy, but luckily, a lot of it done by lawyers so no actually work on my part.

Not only is the process multi-stepped, it also takes a number of weeks. And usually during this time, people would pack up their stuff. But we decided to move in February and so started the packing up process then.  We also expected the house to sell a lot faster than it did so for near a year, we’ve been living half packed, sort of out of boxes and with no furniture.

It wasn’t total madness that lead to getting rid of everything so early. The main reason for the move is a lifestyle change, and part of that change is to simplify. Many items in the house we had because we had the space, and a lot of the furniture wouldn’t fit in the smaller house we want to buy – again because big furniture was bought to fill big (and high) spaces. Strangely, one of the things I’m most excited about is having regular height ceilings. And walls made with bricks, not clay.

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Lemon Curd Cheesecake

November 8, 2018 at 14:49 (Bake, Uncategorized)

It’s delicious~!

Lemon Curd:

3 large eggs

80ml lemon juice (not from bottle)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

¾ cup white sugar

4 tablespoon butter

Whisk eggs, sugar and lemon juice in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water – do not let the water boil or the curd will crystallize.  Whisk continually for about 10 minutes until curd thickens, remove from heat and add butter and lemon zest. Curd will thicken slightly as it cools.  Cover with cling wrap and store in the fridge.

Cheese cake:

500g smooth cottage cheese

60ml cream

60ml sugar

2 tablespoons potato flour (or corn flour)

1 egg

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth.  Place on a base of your choice in a 30cm spring form tin.  Smooth out and place three or four generous tablespoons of lemon curd in different places.  Use a knife to swirl the curd into the cheese cake – do not mix it in. Pour onto a base of your choice and bake for 30 – 35 minutes at 180 C.  Cheese cake is fairy wobbly while hot so the middle will not look cooked but if the edges are firm looking, the cake is done. Allow to cool completely before removing from the tin.

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