I know supper clubs are supposed to be secret…but this one is too fun to keep secret…and you all live 8,000 miles away, so I think its ok!
As I have told you before, we have grown to love this little cafe in J’Bay and the people that work there. The cafe feels like home, and the staff feels like family. They not only serve our FAVORITE coffee in the world- but some of the most amazing bread, baked goods, omelets, veggie burgers…you name it…its amazing.
Over the last year or so, we transitioned from just eating all of their food- to sharing some of our favorite recipes and things from home with the staff. We have started a Supper Club…meaning that once a month, whenever we are here, Gavin and I cook a meal for our InFoods family. We arrive with bags of groceries just after close…and I get to cook in their amazing- totally stocked kitchen! Our meals have ranged from Shrimp and Grits to sausage gravy biscuits…and this time, Shrimp Etouffe over rice with a Winter Citrus salad and home made Grandma Mary bread.
(We had to get to InFood really early in the morning to start the bread and it was FREEZING so I decided to warm up by the ovens!)
The night was so fun…full of laughs, stories, and love. We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore…and then I pulled out the home made (with real pumpkin) Pumpkin Pie. Or the Mrs. American Pie as our South African friends affectionately named it.
InFood Supper Club is now one of the highlights of our time in SA. Next month, we are sharing the goodness of real Maple Syrup (they don’t have anything like it here…they just pour Corn Syrup on their pancakes!)…I brought bottles of the good stuff from home :)
Sunday was a really lovely day…it was beautiful outside…so we took advantage of the day, and the fact that one of our house mates is an incredibly talented graphic artist, photographer, and art teacher at the local high school. We covered the out door table in newspaper, made some tea, and went to work on a charcoal sketching class! I was pretty intimidated…1, because she is so stinkin’ talented, and 2, because I haven’t sketched anything since I took art lessons about 15 years ago.
We set out to sketch a little potted tree that we have in the house. It is really beautiful with windy branches and roots and Liza-Marie started us out with a few sketching exercises to help us see the different parts of the tree and all of the small details. She then gave us a big fancy piece of sketching paper and a piece of charcoal and let us loose. Her only guideline was to only sketch PART of the tree, not the entire thing.
The afternoon was perfect- the sun was so warm and the breeze was so nice…and our creative juices were flowing! I might not be the next Picaso, but we all had so much fun sketching our hearts out!
Later that night, we headed back over to Ria’s house for a dinner. Ria and I have a lot in common…one thing being a deep love for all things sea food. We both had a craving for Hake (a super flaky white fish) and roasted veggies (she wraps them in tin foil and bakes them and something magical happens!) so we made plans for a fish dinner. We made brown rice with mushrooms, onions and baby shrimps, roasted veggies, a huge fresh salad, hake, and braised cabbage. It was a wonderful feast…probably the meal that I would choose if it was my last one on earth! I got all excited to take pictures of the night…and what do you know? The power went out! Literally, the second that we were finished making the fish…POW, no power! Most of the food was all perfectly cooked (luckily) and the table was set…so we just cracked up laughing and went on a iphone lit hunt around the house for candles and a gas burner to finish cooking the prawns!
So, here is the best picture of our super fancy very candle lit dinner that I could take! It really was amazing, even though we ate in the dark!
I never thought that I would say this- but the last 24 hours have made me thankful for taxes. Well, not really taxes…but the fact that in the States, we pay taxes and there is a system put in place that makes sure that our tax money goes where it needs to go. Of course, we have problems…of course there are things that could get better..and of course I would prefer to not pay taxes, but, living in a country where really HIGH taxes are paid every day…and the money does no get spent where it should will make you thankful for our government…no matter who you vote for.
All that to say, our fun filled farm day was cancelled before it even started! The roads were closed…ALL of the roads, because they were ALL flooded. There was literally no way in and no way out of J’Bay yesterday! The roads to the dairy farm were completely underwater…and the pot holes on the roads are so big, that if your car dips into one, your engine can flood (it has happened to a few of our friends). So, we decided to make a new plan- go the the damn, a little outside of J’Bay and have a picnic…but, we couldn’t get there either!
So, we scrapped all of those plans and went to have tea with Ria in the afternoon followed by a movie night with Sally and Haughtign. I told Sally that I would bring dinner…and because it is FREEZING cold and central heating does not exist here, I decided to make a chicken (to borrow a word from Rachel Ray) Stoup. Stoup-meaning thicker than a soup but thinner than a stew. It turned out really well (I took pictures but I will save the recipe for later because it is definitely not a 100 degree 100% humidity in ATL type of dish)!
In spite of the terrible roads and massive pot holes- we had a wonderful Sunday with friends…and we rescheduled our dairy farm day for later this week when the roads clear up!
Side note: We woke up this morning to a black out…no power in J’Bay…for no reason what-so-ever! Honestly, it was kind of fun…we improvised! We have a gas braai (basically an indoor grill) so, I made coffee and oatmeal on the open fire…and literally the second that it was finished cooking, the power came back on!
So, here’s to taxes…and checks and balances…and democracy ;)Posted on June 27, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More
You all know my love for anything “farm fresh” and how incredibly (overly) excited I get about seeing where my food comes from…or getting to pick it right off the tree, or pull it right out of the ground. I totally understand if you are not jumping up and down about this idea, but what can I say? It makes me really happy!
So, I am super excited about today. Gavin and I are going to a dairy farm about 30 minutes outside of J’Bay with our friends Sally and Haughtign. But, the best part is…we aren’t just going to a dairy farm…it is owned by Sally’s Aunt and Uncle! So, we will get the “inside” scoop…get to try fresh milk and see how everything is done…followed by a South African Sunday Lunch (I write this as if it is a proper noun…because it should be!) Sunday Lunch in South Africa is not taken lightly. It is an event…and I am excited about it!
I will take lots of pictures…and fill you in on our day, tomorrow! But first, I want to share one of my favorite morning treats (South African style) Bran Muffins. I know, the thought of Bran Muffins probably doesn’t get you super excited either…but Bran Muffins, eaten the SA way will change your life.
The essentials: A super moist, warm bran muffin + Sharp Cheddar cheese + strawberry jam.
It might sound weird…but don’t ask questions- just trust me on this and try it…SO STINKIN’ GOOD!
Makes 12 Muffins
1 1/2 Cups wheat bran
1 Cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/3 Cup apple sauce
2/3 Cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup Oat Flour (raw, whole oats in the blender)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (peeled first) grated carrots
1 small grated apple
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray. Mix together the wheat bran and yogurt. In a separate bowl, beat the apple sauce, egg, sugar and vanilla and the mix it in the bran mixture. In another bow, mix the oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then gently stir it into the bran mixture. Next, gently fold in the carrots and apples. Spoon the completed batter into the muffin tins and bake for 15- 20 minutes. *Watch them carefully, you want to cook them just until the middle becomes solid…but no longer or they will dry out!*
Let them cool for about 5 minutes, and them serve them warm with grated cheddar cheese and strawberry jam!
*I like to crack a LITTLE sea salt on the top of each muffin right before they are finished baking…it goes well with the jam!June 26, 2011 by LindsayTarquinio · 0 comments Read More