Uncategorized

Hello world!

DSC_0397Welcome to my world! I am Anna-Karien Otto, a writer living in the Boland region of South Africa. I like to think of this space as a secret library, a tea party, a welcoming kitchen or even a magic toy shop where we can explore all sorts of treasures together. This is where I share my passions for food writing, children’s books, poetry and so much more!

Personal Essays

Road trip turns treasure hunt

My ideal road trip vehicle is this classic Borgwood Isabella in delectable red dating from the 1950s. Here’s me on the way to the post office, snapping myself standing next to it! Coincidentally I am wearing a red gabardine coat from the same era.

What is better than heading off down the unbeaten track, winding down the window and taking a deep breath of fresh air, mingled with traces of dust or the smells of the veld? When my partner J and I go on a road trip we love to seek out all the interesting little towns and villages and keep everything really relaxed and open ended.

Continue reading “Road trip turns treasure hunt”

Journalism · Personal Essays

Vasgevang in glas

20191010_115638-01

PANNEKOEK VIR JAN & JORIE

Gepubliseer in Vrye Weekblad http://www.vryeweekblad.com in Oktober 2019

As ek dink aan oranje, dink ek aan my oranje-blanje-blou kinderdae. Die bloem van ’n lemoen. Sonsondergange en die bruin-oranje gesigte van sonneblomme.

As ek dink aan nartjies dink ek aan hoe die olie van die skil jou vingers taai maak en soms laat brand. En Jan Rabie se fel-oranje T-hemp met DJ Opperman se magiese woorde: “My nooi is in ’n nartjie” in wit hoofletters voorop en, soos hy omdraai: “My ouma in kaneel” oor die vleuel van sy skouers.

Continue reading “Vasgevang in glas”

The Curious Cook

Summertime means strawberry time

IMG-114
Photo: redberryfarm.co.za

When I was a child, one of my favourite holiday treats was to stop at Mooiberge farm stall in Stellenbosch to buy a box brimful of freshly picked strawberries. Bright red and nectar sweet, I would devour them right there and then in the back seat of our old beat-up Mazda. We used to combine them with the most perfect accompaniment, a punnet of thick Jersey cream, into which we would dip the tip of each berry. This was back in the late 80s and 90s, when this now iconic farm stall was much smaller with only a handful of scarecrows to point the way.

Continue reading “Summertime means strawberry time”

Journalism

The epitome of elegance

JHAThe JAN Innovation Studio is one of the most inspirational spaces you will ever enter. This is where fine dining meets creativity in a myriad of forms – wine, books, antiques, flowers, art – all as stylish as South Africa’s first Michelin Star chef himself, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen. Last week, a select group of 18 guests gathered to spend an evening Continue reading “The epitome of elegance”

Journalism

Wendy Appelbaum: wine maker extraordinaire

20190826_124422
Photos: Courtesy of Food and Home magazine and De Morgenzon wines

The idyllic Stellenbosch wine farm De Morgenzon has twice been named as one of the top 100 wineries in the world by Wine and Spirits magazine. But what many people don’t know is that Wendy Appelbaum, the grande dame at the helm, is the most down to earth person in the business. And that’s saying something because among her many achievements is being included on the Forbes list of the Top 10 Female Millionaires to Watch in Africa.

Continue reading “Wendy Appelbaum: wine maker extraordinaire”

The Curious Cook

Ancient cravings

20190902_102909-01
Digestive biscuits made with spelt flour. Served with local raspberry and pink peppercorn cream cheese from Fairview. Photo: Justus Wagener

Can you remember what was in Little Red Riding Hood’s basket? Well, most of us are just as distracted as she was by the flowers she stopped to pick along the way. And what with the looming presence of the Big Bad Wolf, who can blame us? But you may recall that Grandmother was ailing so her granddaughter was bringing her the perfect fortifying food – wine and cake.

Continue reading “Ancient cravings”