Category Archives: food

time to eat

Taking a break from dealing with my supernatural ability to create *&%$#@ havoc wherever I live, I made a light supper last night for a friend. It was so easy and so delicious I’m going to put it out there. Try it yourself and tell me what you think.

salad thing

Chop up some butternut and sweet potato into smallish chunks, roll them around in a bit of olive oil, plonk them onto a baking tray with some freshly chopped garlic and roast at about 150 for an hour (maybe a bit longer, need to be just cooked but not soggy). Let them cool.


Boil some brown and black lentils in salted water for about 30 mins. Medium heat. Keep checking because length of time depends on how many you chucked into the saucepan (I forgot about mine until the smell of burning wafted through from the kitchen, so there was no need to drain the water off because there wasn’t any left. Crispy lentils, anyone?)


Wash and tear up some butter lettuce – this is the first layer in your dish. Slice a Spanish onion and layer over the lettuce, then the roasty veg and burnt lentils. A little bit of salt and pepper, another splurge of olive oil and a nice lug of balsamic vinegar and you’re done.

My friend also got some cold roast chicken with the butternut surprise. I like roast chicken but only certain parts, and yesterday Pick ‘n Pay only had thighs and legs so, not for me.  A bottle of white wine was all else that was needed. Okay, two bottles. A simple meal to suit all tastes (barring the chicken). And there are leftovers for lunch today!



I would have thought there’d be no reason why most of you would have any idea what waterblommetjies are, but google tells me that this stuff grows all over Australia and also in parts of France and England. Who knew? Translated from the Afrikaans as “little water flowers”, we should really call a spade a spade: we’re talking pond weed here!

And it’s in season now. The guys on the side of the road in Franschhoek are hawking 1 kilogram bags for R25, and a sudden impulse made me buy a pack on the way home from the market on Saturday morning.


Waterblommetjiebredie is a traditional South African dish, like a lamb stew but with a lot of pond weed chucked in. I’m not vegetarian but I’m not really big on lamb at all, so I looked for a recipe that was less, well, less lamb-y.  There isn’t much, but I found this by fabulous local blogger Lana: lanalou style. I made mine without mushrooms (forgot to buy) and without white wine (didn’t forget but I’ve found it’s better to leave alcohol out of food dishes when I cook) (which isn’t often, as you know). And I won’t say any more on that subject :-)

And I won’t take a photo of the finished dish either, because, as we’ve all previously agreed, home-cooked food looks like baboon vomit in amateur pics. What I will tell you is that it was really really tasty, and it’s a million times better with bacon than with lamb.

And who the hell knows how my brain works, but there’s something about writing about pond weed that made me think of the 4 Yorkshiremen. And if you don’t know what I’m referring to, you can have a look here: cracks me up every time.


Macon, spam and Nazareth House celebrates 130 years

I’ve had intermittent internet access for the last two days, mainly due to ISP changes and related problems. For a brief window yesterday, I was able to read and reply to comments on my blog, then nothing, then I was granted a bit of facebook time, then again nada. No gmail at all. Today was Lights Are On but Nobody Home until about 4pm. Judging from my stress and irritation levels, I’ve clearly become addicted to all things online. It’s taken me over four hours to feel a sense of balance returning.

I met Karen for a late breakfast this morning, in an attempt to take my mind off the above. We decided to try a new place in W——-, which I will not name, nor will I return. It wasn’t that they tried to hide the fact that no cooked part of a pig will be served on the premises (everyone is entitled to their own reasons and religions), the problem for me was that they thought macon would be an acceptable substitute. I first heard of macon from a Muslim colleague a few years ago and, frankly, I thought he was pulling my leg. Macon??? Really??? He himself said it was pretty horrible and that he’d rather stick pins in his eyes than eat the stuff. All I can say is that I have never ever seen anything so revolting on a plate, and that’s saying something because I was once at a very trendy new Asian restaurant in New York (I know, me!) and was served a patty of raw minced tuna submerged under a 5-inch layer of stinky oil. It was so vile that even the intrepid and image-conscious person I was with described it as “intense”. But given a choice between the oily tuna cowpat and the plastic-y sculpted organ-pink slice of macon, I’d pick the fish any day.

And while I’m going on about something already, what is it with all the spam? Sex Dating and Gratis Sex? Five or six comments a day…. sigh. Do real people really and truly click on those links? Trashing them isn’t enough, they just keep coming. I wish I could make them stop.

Finally, let me finish this post on a happy note. I visited Nazareth House in Vredehoek after the macon episode today, and what an amazing experience it was. Built in 1930, the buildings and grounds are superbly maintained, and the view across Cape Town and the harbour would make property developers drool. The staff I met were so so nice and professional and organised, and I cannot wait for the 2-day Fun Fair next week to celebrate their 130 years, and raise some much-needed funds.

Jam Tarts is going to be there with bells on!

To be continued…

Bowled over

Today I intend to:
1. Hang up my washing in the sun and not leave it in the machine for another 24 hours
2. Include lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, apples, sunflower seeds and other colon-friendly and bone-building foods in my diet
3. Make Alex’s bedroom good and tidy
4. Not pull rude signs at taxi drivers on the road even though they all deserve every rude sign they get
5. Visit Doreen and tell her how grateful I am to have found her
6. Drink coffee out of my new button mug that doesn’t really have buttons but just looked like it did when I bought it

7. Not allow myself to get stressed over silly small things
8. Get to the post office and send things overseas to lovely people
9. Update my blogroll (DONE) – yay (see right)
10. Shave my legs (winter is over so I can no longer justify needing the extra warmth)
11. Post photos of my most recent crochet efforts:

Yes, they are bowls. I proudly showed the first one to Rob the other night: he tore his gaze from his laptop screen for a second, glanced at my offering, said blankly, “Oh. Nice. What does it do?”, and went back to news24. Pearls, I tell you, pearls.

To be continued…

Lunch at Lyra’s

It was Karen’s birthday yesterday, so we picked Lyra’s in Rondebosch for lunch to celebrate. I landed a good forty five minutes earlier than Jane and Karen, so I got to fit in an extra cappuccino and a read of the Cape Times.

I specially asked for a take-away cup because I like the size – those stupid white cups and saucers have never done it for me and, despite what people say, size really does count with some things.

I don’t think Freddie and Dr Phil are just waiters, I think they actually run the place!

Lyra’s used to be a different restaurant which also had great food and a similar vibe, but the revamp is a vast improvement.  The menu is really comprehensive  and caters for all tastes and pockets.  (Rondebosch has a large student population, for those of you who don’t know it.) (Also a lot of OAPs, now that I think of it.)  The outside section is tented and those funny wires you see on the roof are lights that flash like glow-worms on steroids at night.  Being “outside” also means that there are ashtrays on the tables.  Works for me.

Between us we had: 4 (big) cappuccinos and three deluxe sarmie delights (roast beef, roast veggies, and bacon), which were accompanied by the best and no doubt the most unhealthful french fries I have ever known.  Next time I’m going to order just those.  I was so excited with my food that I forgot to take a photo.  Before we added a 15% service tip (because we had such excellent service!), the bill came to R206.  Amazing value!!

It’s hard to know what to give to friends for their birthdays sometimes, especially now that we are all at that middle-aged stage of life where we already have pretty much everything we need.  But I knew Karen didn’t have a moonflower – so that is what she got!

I added a few buttons this time, which I think worked well. She says she loves it, but the proof of that will really only be evident the next time I go to her house.  If it’s not hanging up somewhere, I’ll know I should have given her a couple of lacy thongs instead.

To be continued…