Archive for July, 2010

Libertè, egalitè, fraternitè! The Franschhoek Bastille Festival

the revellers celebrate freedom in true French style by raising a glass

Eppie and I were well and truly muffled up when we left Somerset West for Franschhoek on Saturday. With the hint of winter’s steel in the sunbathed air justifying the layers, we were looking most forward to a day in Franschhoek, celebrating everything that is French, but particularly the sentiment of freedom that has become synonymous with what happened at Le Bastille on that fateful day in 1789 when the rabble of Paris stormed the hated symbol of the French monarchy, and started the French Revolution.

As we approached the “French Corner”, winter’s cold white footprints were clearly evident on the surrounding mountains, further affirmation of the Michelin-man mode of dress we had adopted. Read more…


Wild mushroom risotto & Groote Post 2010 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve

Sumptuous wild mushroom risotto

When you get invited to go wild mushroom picking for the first time, you accept with alacrity. What you also do, when the phone call does come – this is a weather dependent exercise – you drop everything and go. Why is it then, that it took three consecutive invitations from Anita Bunn to get me to actually put on my hiking boots, gather a basket and serrated edge knife, and meet her at the appointed place? As much as I’d love to divulge where that is, it is more than my life is worth. I have a very clear picture in my mind of Anita, serrated knife casually in hand, as she asked me not let on. My lips are sealed!

The first trip, which involved quite a bit of tramping about in dank dripping woods yielded a crop of poplar mushrooms and what Anita calls sticky Bolitus mushrooms. They’re better for making stock than for eating, so that’s what I did with them. Read more…

Shortbread with a difference

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Baking Time: 45 minutes Yield:Plenty!

The pursuit of physical perfection – well such as it is possible for those over 50 considering the inexorable effect of gravity – requires, other than regular physical exercise, a change in eating habits.

The first requirement is a healthy diet, and the second is a healthy eating plan. Neither comes easy, and personal experience reinforces the maxim that “too much, too soon, too fast” leads inevitably to disastrous backsliding. So, mixed metaphors aside, softly, softly catchy monkey helps to avoid the otherwise inevitable slip betwixt cup and lip. Read more…