Monday, 30 June 2014

When Life Throws You Lemons.............!

You have all heard the psychologically uplifting phrase about lemons and making lemonade when they are thrown at you? I often wonder what you are supposed to do when things like eggs are thrown at you, make a soufflé perhaps? Or what about watermelons? If they are thrown at you, don't worry about making anything, just make sure that you are not underneath one when it comes down!!

Anyway, back to lemons! Or limes and oranges in actual fact.

The 'Before' shot!

A week ago my neighbour Emma gave me some limes. They have a tree or two on their farm and the trees are bearing a goodly amount of fruit at the moment. So, I squeezed them and froze the juice. The smell of fresh lime juice is mouthwateringly good and fresh limes are hard to find in our part of the world. Then Emma gave me some more limes along with some oranges and I decided that it was time to do something more exciting! So, I had a go at making marmalade. I have had several 'iffy' results with marmalade, some good and some disasters, so I googled microwave marmalade recipes and found one that only used 500 gm of fruit, not too much to chuck away if it all went wrong! It actually worked quite well, so I made a couple of batches and added whiskey to the second batch.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Darling Olives in June!

Yesterday we were forced to go on a trundle. The problem? We were without power for the day as some major additions and adjustments were being carried out on our power here in Jacobsbaai.
So, unable to vacuum, do the ironing, bake or do anything else constructive, I reluctantly agreed to leave the dusting for the day and allow Rob to buy breakfast and lunch followed by an ice-cream for afters!! We loaded Alfie and his ball into the car, dodged Basil who was quite keen to come with us, and headed off inland.

Our selection of olive products, yum!!

Our first stop was the Olive Farm and shop in Darling. We have bought their products for years now and loaded the car with a five litre can of oil, a large bucket of pitted, broken olives (wonderful for baking muffins and bread and takes the fiddle out of eating them), two bottles of flavoured oil, one garlic and one chilli, some olive pesto and two jars of marinated olives. That should keep us going for a while and once the oil is finished, the can will make a welcome addition to our collection of tins and things. Alfie was very good and sat while we tasted the new infused oils.

Monday, 16 June 2014

In the Bleak Midwinter.................!

Yes, it's winter and it's cold............and wet! This is the view from the office window yesterday morning! See the rain running down the window panes?

We had 10 mm rain after this storm and two cats were out in it!

However, we are warm and snug inside, thanks to our stove that Rob had installed a few years ago. This was because the builder just couldn't get the chimney right and the fire place smoked so badly that we had to have the doors and windows open to clear the smoke! This, of course, defeated the whole object of having a fire. Eventually the builder told us the whole problem was due to our neighbours roof! After that, he wasn't allowed back and I was ready to kill him with a log! And Rob cleverly found a stove with doors that works every time!

The veranda was awash!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Movies in the Sky!

I watched a wonderful film in April. (If I sound excited it's because the closest Movie House we have here, is in Cape Town. No more pensioner mornings at the local one in Vredenburg!) In fact it was on the plane when I was flying from Madrid to Dubai. Now, I normally battle to see the screen as it is fixed to the back of the seat in front and even with my glasses I am long sighted! And just when I am able to focus, the chap in front decides to tip his seat back a notch or two! So it all becomes one long fuzzy, neck-aching-with-my-head-tipped-back experience. Actually, on the flight to Dubai I watched a movie that the chap two rows in front of me was watching. He was on the aisle seat and fortunately it had English sub-titles that I could read from my seat! I don't remember the title, but it was set in Holland and was quite watchable! The wife was guilty of kidnapping the daughter, very twisty plot! And the husband kicked her out in the end. As he should!

But, back to the movie that I so enjoyed. It was called 'Saving Mr Banks' and was all about the author of the 'Mary Poppins' books (P L Travers, real name Helen Lyndon Goff) and her somewhat fiery meetings with Walt Disney. I shan't mutter on about the plot, but if you haven't seen it, look for it, it's lovely, and it got me singing all the wonderful songs all over again! Apparently P L Travers never wanted the film to be a musical, or to have any animation in it all, but thank goodness she finally relented.

I love the bird handle.

Now, the point of all this is Mary Poppins' umbrella. Not the whole thing but the handle to be more explicit. I know that the bird is a parrot, but it reminds me of our beautiful Blue Crane, our National Bird. I know that the beak is the wrong shape completely, but the shape of the head and the exquisite long neck seen from a distance through squinted eyes, does in fact bear a resemblance.

Our beautiful Blue Cranes

And I saw some on the way home the other day, at least eight of them in the field happily eating whatever it is that they eat. It's wonderful to see them, there were adults and youngsters, and the sight of them just makes my heart sing!
And the song?

'Feed the birds, tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag..........................'

Bet you're singing it now!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Congratulations and Celebrations!

I know that I promised a Food Report for my last blog, but cats got in the way as they so often do!
So, better late than never, and before I forget completely, here it is!

Rob and I both celebrate our birthdays in May, and friends of ours have their Wedding Anniversary in May as well, so it seemed a good idea to combine them all and head off to celebrate (commiserate?) the whole lot. We wanted to try somewhere new that was not too far away but one of our favourite places in Paternoster was closed for renovations. So, off we set to Yzerfontein. I must admit that we went with some trepidation as Rob had read some write-ups about the restaurant and they were not very complimentary! But our friends Dee and Daan had been recently and were very happy with the food and service and setting, and as they were the Anniversary couple, we decided to give it a go.

And we were not disappointed! At all!

The view from our table

The setting is right on the sea, and the weather was perfect, the waves were crashing in and one brave lady was surfing! I tried to remember whether it's every seven or eight (or maybe even every six) waves that is a big one, but I kept losing count, probably the wine! Which was also very tasty I might add!

We were greeted by a rotund Jack Russell who took a liking to us all (or was ready for lunch too) and spent some time under the table, but we were all very good and didn't share any lunch with him.