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.
Why do people pity you when you dine alone? I love taking some time just for myself yet, all too often, it becomes tainted by people’s reactions. Last time, at my favourite coffee shop, the barista even said ‘Good luck’ as I left, knowing I am usually there with a man who has a much finer appreciation for coffee than I do.
One of my favourite food-related memories is a Sunday morning breakfast my mother and I used to love. We usually slept in and, still in our pyjamas, make tea and toast. Without giving it much thought, this was a habit that later became a ritual. It wasn’t a big deal, but the effortlessly chic way my mother did it is really quite memorable. Continue reading “Anchovies: a love story”
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.
All across the world, millions of South Africans are digging into homemade curry or bobotie accompanied by a generous dollop of a perennial favourite – Mrs Ball’s chutney.
The first time I ever tasted basil pesto. A salad of sun-dried tomatoes and feta in a lovely sweet and sour vinaigrette. Roasted vegetables liberally sprinkled with rosemary and olive seasoning. Easy peasy tikka chicken curry. Delicious chocolate cake that even a child could make.
All this is thanks to one person – Mrs Ina Paarman.
I first made frangipane tart on the day before Valentine’s Day. I was 19 years old and had fled the nest a mere month before, to live in a shabbily charming Victorian house. To celebrate my new life, I had been collating some new recipes in an exercise book with a red spine. And this was the first one: frangipane tart with apricots. It was a sunny day Continue reading “If almonds be the food of love”
Everybody knows you can count yourself lucky if you have experienced life on a farm. There is nothing like it, waking up early to milk the cows, exploring the wonders of the veld, not to mention the dramatic, rolling rainstorms. I was happily plunged into this experience when my father married a lovely woman with red hair and they decided to raise their children on her parent’s farm in the Kowie River valley, halfway between the villages of Bedford and Adelaide in the Eastern Cape.