Archive for October, 2010

Simonsig Gewürztraminer: the perfect wine with Lemon Mousse

October 31, 2010 2 comments
Preparation Time: 10 minutes Chilling Time: 60 minutes Yield: 4-6

Isn’t it amazing where recipes can emerge from? A dinner for friends Ann and Garth Coetzee’s 17th wedding anniversary last Saturday evening caused me to tackle biryani for the first time (more about that next week), and since Annie loves making desserts, she brought along one of her favourites.

I tend to avoid desserts, as I do not have what is referred to as a “sweet tooth”. Well, that’s what I usually declaim when I encounter a dessert that I really like, but as dear daughter Alex (she of the sharp tongue) pointed out on Saturday evening, “Dad, you always say that, but with the number of desserts you now eat…..” and left it at that! I actually don’t like really sweet things, so I think what does it for me in this dessert, is the tartness which the lemon juice brings, to off-set the sweetness of the condensed milk.

I liked this one very much; so much so in fact, that I had a second helping there and then, followed by a third on Sunday while writing the recipe! Read more…


Health risks pose threat to alcohol marketing

October 28, 2010 1 comment

First published in Bolander Lifestyle & Property, August 26, 2009.

Adrian Botha, director of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA)

The right to market alcohol beverages in South Africa is under threat, according to Adrian Botha, director of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA). “In my 21 years of dealing with this, I’ve never actually experienced such an amount of pressure on the industry as we have now,” he said. Mr Botha was addressing guests at a meeting of Rootstock, a wine industry interest group that meets regularly to discuss and debate issues of importance to the wine industry, at the Kleine Zalze Winery in Stellenbosch last Tuesday evening.

According to Mr Botha, part of the reason for the increased pressure on the industry, is the recent heightened level of interest of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the effects of alcohol. “The WHO looked at alcohol last in 1983, but until recently was not that concerned about [it]. They had asbestos as a big issue, then they had tobacco, but that has changed,” he explained. Read more…

The baby out with the bath water

October 25, 2010 8 comments

The City of Cape Town's Liqour By-law amounts to little other than throwing the baby out with the bathwater

The City of Cape Town’s restrictive liquor trading by-law is set to come into effect on January 1 next year.  It will, amongst other provisions, reduce the legal trading hours for both on-consumption and off-consumption outlets, in an attempt to curb rising levels of alcohol abuse, and the associated consequences like binge drinking, alcohol-related violence, foetal alcohol syndrome, drunk driving and pedestrian road deaths.

In the course of the mandatory public participation process, which preceded this by-law, the hospitality industry expressed its concern that the proposed restriction in liquor trading hours would have dire consequences. Guest houses and restaurants in residential areas for example, will no longer be able to serve liquor after 9pm. Read more…

First Sighting 2009 Anders Sparrman Pinot Noir – a tribute to our history

October 11, 2010 1 comment


The starkly beautiful cellar at Strandveld Vineyards, the southern most vineyard on the African continent


When Bartholomew Dias’ expedition rounded the Cape of Good Hope in January 1488, he was completely unaware of it. Adverse winds had pushed his three tiny ships far south, and after sailing east for some time without sighting land, he realised that he had probably rounded the southern tip of the Prasum Promontorium (Green Promontory) postulated centuries before by the Egyptian geographer, Ptolemy.

He then sailed north for a few days, until the featureless tip of the continent, where Africa tumbles into the South Atlantic was sighted, and he named it Cape Agulhas (the Cape of the Needles).

Legend has it that on or about May 16, 1488, Bartholomew Dias set foot on shore at Cape Agulhas. He climbed the low hill, all of 260m high, behind and between what is today L’Agulhas and Arniston, and looking down towards the sea, his eye would have fallen for the first time, on the land which is today the home of Strandveld Vineyards, and more specifically, the vineyard blocks from which comes the First Sighting “Anders Sparrman” 2009 Pinot Noir. Read more…

False Bay Rosè with Lasagna Senza Carne

Preparation Time: 60 minutes Cooking Time: 60 minutes Yield: 4

It’s hard to not believe in serendipity when the perfect wine for a dish you’ve just crafted lands on your doorstep.

In the very week that I created this recipe, a gift pack of False Bay wines from the nearby Waterkloof Estate arrived.

False Bay is Waterkloof’s entry level range, which consists of three whites, a rosè and two reds. They’re all affordable quaffers, at around R55 per bottle at the cellar door, and although they’re not made from grapes grown on the farm, cellar master Werner Engelbrecht affords their making the same attention as he does the Peacock Ridge, Circumstance, Circle of Life and Waterkloof wines. The Rosè turned out to be the perfect match with this dish, although we opened the Sauvignon Blanc to drink while cooking anyway! And so to the recipe….

The origin of the name of a dish is often the most fascinating thing to track down. Paella, that quintessential Spanish dish is one such. The name describes neither the dish itself, nor any one of its ingredients. Rather, it describes the pan in which the dish is prepared, and traditionally served. The paella is a large shallow pan with two handles, purpose designed for the preparation of the much loved Valencian dish.

Lasagna, my research reveals is also named after the utensil in which it was traditionally prepared. Legend has it that the Romans borrowed the Greek word “lasana” (trivet or stand for a pot) or “lasanon” (chamber pot) which became “lasanum” in Latin, and means cooking pot. And so over time, the utensil in which the dish was prepared became the name of the dish, which became lasagna in modern Italian. Read more…