A Few Of My Flavourite Things

July 26th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

We all have our meals, ingredients, cuts and condiments that we gravitate to on a regular basis. But when I cook myself into a lacklustre corner it’s time to shake up the shopping trolley, so to speak, because you’re only as good as the contents of your pantry and fridge. These are the ingredients that keep my meal wheels turning. Most of them are good flavour mates to each other and although some are pricey, they’re good value given their potency and shelf life. I’ve not listed great olive oil, salt, pepper and butter as they’re non-negotiable. So, before the yodeling kicks in, here are A Few Of My Flavourite Things:

 

O Captain! My Captain Beefheart!

O Captain! My Captain Beefheart!

TOMATOES – My great love. Sadly, all tomatoes are picked before they’re properly ripe. Never ever ever refrigerate a tomato unless it’s been really mean to you. Give them at least a few days on the shelf to ripen and for some reason, they last longer if placed bottom up. If you have a really beautiful ripe tomato (like a beefheart, which is scarce in SA), peel it with a sharp knife before slicing and serving with a generous amount of excellent olive oil, Maldon salt and a few drops of vinegar. If you’ve bought a really decent mozzarella or burrata, take the time to peel smaller tomatoes by first immersing in hot water, then cold, and removing the peel with the help of a sharp blade. It does taste better. The Italians and Spanish do it, and they are world leaders in Tomatoism. » Read the rest of this entry «

Melt Sieberhagen answers the PROST! Questionnaire

June 8th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Talker, actor, writer and joke-machine Melt Sieberhagen talks kitchen melt-downs, flavour fiestas and why bacon should get back to basics.  A generous host, he insists any injury-by-artichoke would be unintentional. Also, it is now officially official: Peppadews are not cool.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 12.02.49

 

What is your favourite flavour combination?  I’m a total sucker for bold, powerful flavours. And combining them. Strong umami and savoury tastes. The sharp chilli, garlic and ginger in a fresh stir fry, enhanced with a big dash of soy sauce. A feisty vinaigrette, pickles, olives… » Read the rest of this entry «

You can’t have your cake preservative-free and eat it next month

May 9th, 2016 § 6 comments § permalink

I thought of Lunchbox Lies as a title for this post because I’m a sucker for sensationalist alliteration. Also because it started out as a mother’s earnest quest to analise the content of her son’s lunchbox – an exploration of the toxic-sounding components of modern food, if you will – that devolved into a whole lot of bitching about how small ‘small print’ has become. Almost like it’s not meant to be read.

Before I take you down the preservative-lined rabbit hole, let me say that I am not a health food fanatic. My life has been characterised by pervasive hunger and what I like to think of as discerning taste buds (my mom called it ‘being full of shit’). I’ve always punched above my financial weight when it comes to food shopping. I’ve eaten little organic fruit and veg (limited availability and just too expensive) but I buy the cleanest meat, eggs and dairy on the shelf. I stay away from artificial sweeteners, fruit “juice”, pre-cooked sauces, long-life anything and carbonated cold drinks, unless heavily diluted with hard tack. In short, I think I’m quite balanced.

Sometimes I play with Ben's food

Sometimes I play with my son’s food

But the food industry is full of horror stories. Good old MSG was the first scary blip on my radar, then tartrazine, followed by growth hormones causing young boys to grow breasts and girls to menstruate at 9, carbon dioxide-ripened tunnel tomatoes, pesticides, a plethora of preservatives, carcinogenic colourants, mad cow’s disease, BPA-seepage from plastic packaging, the alluminium free radicals in tinned food and let’s not forget those GMO-peddling mofos over at Monsanto. I can’t even begin with the cruelty at the heart of the meat industry. There is a certain poetic justice in humanity being eradicated by a cloud of cow fart. » Read the rest of this entry «

Koekedoor Twee is kolwyntjies in high polfies

April 12th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Die tyd om te bak is sommer nóú nóú! Koekedoor is terug en hierdie keer draai hulle nie vatdoekies om nie. Koekedoor Een was vir my ‘n meditasie in pastelskakerings met sagte skadus wat deur meelwolkies filter, ‘n spel van soet en sout wat hom nooit verstout het nie. Tot die saggeaarde en perfeksionistiese Martjie Malan die f-bom sommer drie keer in ‘n ry gedrop het. Maar bak kán dit mos aan ‘n mens doen.

Ek was onlangs bevoorreg om die eerste 90-minute episode van Koekedoor Twee saam met beoordelaars tannie Elizabeth, Tiaan Langenegger en Mari-Louis Guy te kyk terwyl ons aan soet- en southappies uit die einste episode gesmul het.

Drie dae lank was die Cakebread Studio 'n fees van kleure en geure

So reg uit Riaan Cruywagen se kinderdae uit…

 

En glo my, hierdie is ‘n Koekedoor van ‘n ander kleur. Die Barbie-pienk en Sound of Music saligheid van die eerste reeks het ‘n gravitas bygekry wat jou laat regop sit. Koekedoor Twee se intro is so belaai met hartsnaarbeelde en dramatiese musiek, ek het skoon tranerig geraak. Goeie hel, dog ek, dis soos een van daai epiese, opswepende bankadvertensies. Of het ek straks PMS, moes ek myself vra. Any which way, dames, moenie julle pêrels stukkend druk nie! » Read the rest of this entry «

Alex Hamilton answers the PROST! Questionnaire

April 8th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Pop artist, exhibition curator and creator of the word Hoepelpoep, Alex Hamilton also owns what may well be the world’s largest collection of vintage wall sconces. He talks about his fear of 1000-year-old eggs and middle-aged mozzarella sticks in New Mexico.

The fascinating Alex Hamilton with fascinator

Fascinating with fascinator

 What is your favourite flavour combination? Quince jelly and Gruyère cheese. » Read the rest of this entry «

Hoe gemaak met ‘n groot tros

April 6th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

Danksy Herman Lensing weet ek ook nou. Ten spyte van die erge droogte, hang die laaste trosse van die oes swaarder as ooit tevore. Wyndruiwe is klein met dik doppe en ouskool pitte, maar word soeter gepluk as tafeldruiwe. So toe ek vandag verby die laaste kratte van hierdie oesjaar stap, gryp ek ‘n paar trosse Cabernet Sauvignon* om Herman se plat druifbrood van ‘n onlangse Inspirasiekos met Sarie-program na te maak.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 21.44.46

Makliker kan dit nie. ‘n Sakkie klaargemaakte deeg by jou plaaslike supermark se bakkery en die res is at your own discretion. Herman se weergawe het bloukaas, heuning, sout, peper en uitvoergehalte pitlose druiwe bevat. Ek het sy raad gevolg en ‘n bakplaat vrot van die olyfolie gegooi, die deeg dun uitgerek en toe met vingerpunte vol dimpels gedruk. My topping het bestaan uit: » Read the rest of this entry «

Mari-Louis Guy answers the Prost! Questionnaire

March 29th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

 

She whirled from baking on boats to churning out cookbooks and judging the popular Koekedoor baking program. Mari-Louis Guy takes a short break from preparing an Easter feast for thirty family members to have a stern word with bacon and ponder the prevalence of all things sugary in her life.

 

Magnificent multi-tasker Mari-Louis Guy

What is your favourite flavour combination? The royal combo of peaches and cream.

What is your most cherished food memoryMy husband Chris and I travelled the American South on a pie-eating trip – we even visited Graceland. Deep dish apple pie, Shoofly pie, peaches and cream pie, cherry cobbler pie… » Read the rest of this entry «

Fear of banting. There, I said it.

March 15th, 2016 § 10 comments § permalink

Is it a dwarf nut cup or a polyp spliced with a humongous kidney stone? NO, it’s a banting bokdrol!

After a lifetime of never having to diet – sure, I’ve cut DOWN but never cut stuff OUT, completely – I took a daylight, panic attack-inducing look at my waist, calcualted the cost of upsizing my wardrobe and promptly messaged a friend: “Hey, could you send me the recipe for those banting cocoa things, please?”

Because if I were to really start dieting, I need to know there is a good eat-as-much-as-you-can snack in the mix.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 14.47.04

DO MY FINGERS LOOK BIG IN THIS??

 

A friend lost an impressive amount of weight by banting and feasting on these nibbles whenever temptation reared its ugly potato head. » Read the rest of this entry «

Hantamlam, neem my hand…

March 10th, 2016 § 2 comments § permalink

The hipsters can keep their bacon. My heart belongs to lamb. South African lamb from the Karoo, to be exact. Possibly the best in the world, renowned for its herbaceous, tender meat.

The Woordfees is in full swing in Stellenbosch and despite an extensive festival program, it was Bertus Basson’s tasting of Merino lamb from four districts around South Africa that caught my eye. Four legs of lamb prepared in the exact same way, alongside four award-winning Veritas wines. We had to taste and score the lamb individually and pair each with a wine. Not unlike speed dating for the taste buds.

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 10.46.14

» Read the rest of this entry «

Book Review – Wine, Women and Good Hope: A history of scandalous behaviour in the Cape

February 23rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Of all the books I’ve read on Cape history, this is the first to focus solely on booze, whoring and fraud. I was tickled to read that author June McKinnon is a granny, and less surprised that she holds a Masters degree in history.  She recounts the ins-and-outs of the Cape’s raucous citizens with detached empathy, while extracting valuable historical nuggets from the social swill.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 14.09.30

Starting with Jan van Riebeeck’s arrival in 1652, McKinnon runs through three centuries of high jinx and low blows, and if she sounds slightly exasperated towards the late 1800s, it’s entirely understandable. » Read the rest of this entry «