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Of Crowning glories Queen of Tarts and Family Jewels

Of Crowning glories Queen of Tarts and Family Jewels

Posted in Recipes

are none of the things I can boast of.  You could say I'm always the second runner-up or the Burntoutactress being a drama Queen, the reigning Queen says the family jewels are for the aging Queen.  Such is life.  But sit me down to Pudding and I'm in clover!   The real Queen of Tarts is...


Hydrangeas Hot Chicks and Old Favourites

Hydrangeas Hot Chicks and Old Favourites

Posted in Recipes

The hydrangeas are blooming, all cotton-candy pink and lacy blue. My Pecan nut tree is throwing off its flowers and my garden is swarming with bees, dragonflies and frogs. It’s old summer magic and there’s no time to waste experimenting with new menu’s, which suits me just fine. Last night...


Chocolate Champagne and Caviar

Chocolate Champagne and Caviar

Posted in Recipes

the star attractions leading all the wise men to your festive table. “Happiness, Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart, Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” - Joanne Harris, Chocolat. Don't invite the usual suspects, be brave and invite someone new; who'll breath new life into...


Five Fish and Four French loaves

Five Fish and Four French loaves

Posted in Recipes

Won't cut it if you're planning on feeding a multitude. This basic recipe for everything divine, double it up for a crowd. My motto is: Consistency is unimaginative, dress it up or pasta it down. Girls just want to have fun and preparing a meal must be  quite a quiet quicky.  Every time I serve...


The Fast Lane to Bloemfontein

The Fast Lane to Bloemfontein

Posted in Travel

You may well ask, what on earth were we doing in Bloemfontein? The home of the Safari Suit; indeed, one only goes there for a wedding, a funeral or a meeting. But someone’s wagon stopped there. My Ouma was a student at the Teacher’s Training College in 1929. Today, unless you’re accepted...


From Leap Frog to Toad in the Pole

From Leap Frog to Toad in the Pole

Silvery soft, silky, squishy and slightly dry that’s what I thought the glob of sticky putty would feel like as I gingerly tried prying it from between my speedometer and dashboard while driving home; and then it jumped! It was a silvery soft, silky, squishy and slightly dry Arum frog...


Being a Free Spirit and an Aging Gypsy

Being a Free Spirit and an Aging Gypsy

Posted in Musings

Children are resilient, so is the child in me. Circumstances change, I’ll adapt. Nothing is impossible, my mind renews like shedding skin. I’ve wept, it made me strong. I loathe mediocrity, apathy and dullness.  When I'm hopeless I live one day at a time. When depression knocks I walk to find...


Curry Flavour When It Rains In November

Curry Flavour When It Rains In November

Posted in Recipes

111 years ago on this day my Grandmama was born. How the world has changed, the only thing that hasn’t is the rain! Bob Hope was also born in 1903 and Konrad Lorenz (Austrian Zoologist 1903-1989) said "I have found the missing link between the higher ape and civilized man: It is we." George...


Fashionable Food for Fabulous Fridays

Fashionable Food for Fabulous Fridays

Posted in Recipes

Those are some of my favourite F words; fortunately it was a good week so I have no desire to stab someone with a cake fork. To celebrate the weekend there’s nothing better than having fab food lined up which won't keep you in the kitchen for hours. Try these when serving sundowners or as...


Clickety-clack choo-choo

Clickety-clack choo-choo

Posted in Travel

Clickety-clack, Clickety-clack choo-choo-choose your train wisely! Trains and Champagne. I’m neither an Anorak nor a Trainspotter but I love the huge beasts. Skinny bandy legs, new black lace-up shoes the dress 6 inches off the floor when kneeling. A very wobbly chin, I'm petrified I’ll...


Pass Lee's Age Rose Merry and Time

Pass Lee's Age Rose Merry and Time

Posted in Recipes

These are some of my favourite things! It’s snowing in Canada and a fine mist covers my mountain. Comfort food is called for which is perfect as it stews in its own juices while I get spring out of my garden and prepare for Summer. Clay pots will be filled with culinary herbs, Parsley,...


Halo! Halong is Halong Bay?  Halong can I stay?

Halo! Halong is Halong Bay? Halong can I stay?

Posted in Travel

“To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value.”  and “To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance;” I must confess I knew very little about Halong Bay except that it was exceptionally...


Silly Season Snapping at our Heels

Silly Season Snapping at our Heels

Posted in Review

This morning I didn’t wake up to the chirruping of songbirds, but to the clanging of a bucket, snap of a step ladder and a jodling painter, Wally is revamping. Roof trusses are being knocked up across the street as a new house shoots up and according to the owner his parents are moving in on...


Fat Plump October

Fat Plump October

Posted in Recipes

Now’s the time to get Grand’Mere off the shelf, dust her and riffle through her pages to the two stuck together when I baked last year’s Christmas cake. It’s eight weeks to go and that’s how long one needs to mature a cake. This fact struck me like a blow to the solar plexus this afternoon when...


Decidedly Dilly Divas and other Dramas

Decidedly Dilly Divas and other Dramas

Posted in Travel

Confucius say “short man who dance with tall woman get bust in mouth”. That is indeed a pearl of wisdom! As we were privy to local lore we were treated to strange customs in Ha Noi.  So instead of watching the famous Water Puppets we went in pursuit of Fre Astair and Ginga Roger (in keeping...


Oranges and Lemons ring the bells of Citrusdal

Oranges and Lemons ring the bells of Citrusdal

Posted in Review

Just a quickie before I forget, do not pass through Citrusdal without stopping for brunch and coffee in the main road. The chocolate cake is the best in the west and the baked cheese cake is celestial.   At the Grapevine Coffee Shop the instruction is clear, "greet everyone with a smile!"  and...


Street food in the fast lane

Street food in the fast lane

Posted in Travel

Streets are swarming with scooters, rickshaws, hookers and hawkers. The sidewalks bustle with traders, pedestrians, street cafes, and panhandlers This frisson is like a needle in a vein and addictive. The steamy life on the street is heady and the cacophony of sound and raw energy makes any...


Serenading Sundays

Serenading Sundays

Posted in Recipes

More lyrics have been written about a Sunday than any other day of the week. From Queen to Joni Mitchell.  Here Sundays are a day of worship, thankfulness and rest. Panama hats, cheesecutters and blazers, the old school tie, and Church Schools are still a firm favourite in our neck of the woods...


Cheese Souffles

Cheese Souffles

Posted in Recipes

There’s nothing nicer than waking up to a freshly mowed lawn, Cape White-eyes splashing in the birdbath and that special feeling of well-being when the sun shines. Perfect Porcelain blooms cover rosebushes; I spot the neighbour’s cat unwinding himself from his scratch-pole. All this calls for...


Having street food without being a pavement special

Having street food without being a pavement special

Posted in Review

Si! “The Italians and Spanish, the Chinese and Vietnamese see food as part of a larger, more essential and pleasurable part of daily life. Not as an experience to be collected or bragged about - or as a ritual like filling up a car - but as something else that gives pleasure, like sex or music,...


The Church Boutique Hotel Hanoi

The Church Boutique Hotel Hanoi

Posted in Review

Imagine our excitement when we touched down in Ha Noi, we’d had a brilliant flight, been attended to hand and foot, but, a cunning little cottonwool cloud floated over our sunny, autumn horizon as we were being ripped off at the Tourism counter when we ordered a taxi. Charging us an arm and a...


In a Singpore Grip

In a Singpore Grip

Posted in Travel

Lets agree prohibition sucked and led to all sorts of mischief. Imagine a government that bans chewing gum? The fear of the law was put into me and I had visions of sniffer dogs discovering my Imodium and Vomifene so I rushed to my G.P for prescriptions in case I got the chop, no questions...


Green Mango Salad

Green Mango Salad

Posted in Recipes

Sing-song voices of ladies walking and the chitter chatter of birds wake me up on quiet mornings, summer's here, it's flip-flop-sunhat season and we need refiguring for the beach. Salad days are back, perfectly timed are the fresh summer fruits and vegetables appearing on our shelves. GREEN...


Lemon Grass and Turmeric Chicken Skewers

Lemon Grass and Turmeric Chicken Skewers

Posted in Recipes

When the sun shines evenings are balmy and a perfect reason to have a mid-week celebration, light a fire and barbeque something easy, fragrant lime and delicious. Sip cold crisp green Sauvignor blanc and listen to evening sounds. LEMON GRASS TURMERIC CHICKEN SKEWERS(this recipe has been...


Ruffled in Raffles

Ruffled in Raffles

Posted in Review

This I’ve got to get off my chest. When in Rome do as the Romans do, right? So off we went to the iconic Raffles bar for the famous Singapore Sling. It was a typical hot and humid Singapore day so we didn’t need much encouragement to visit this famous landmark. The beautiful Raffles Hotel...


Yikes bikes, peddling power

Yikes bikes, peddling power

Posted in Travel

“Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realise fishing is stupid and boring.” Desmond Tutu, high-fi! This afternoon I donned my cycling shorts and reluctantly went off to the gym to attend a Spinning...


Clams Crabs and Cookery Courses

Clams Crabs and Cookery Courses

Posted in Review

Slipping into a sexy, starched apron with a new recipe in one hand and a flute of bubbles in the other is bliss. The olive in my Martini is attending a cookery course re-kindling my passion for food, where delicious recipes are shared, prepared and then enjoyed by the group.   Good food and...


V Lavender Hotel Singapore

V Lavender Hotel Singapore

Posted in Review

Singapore is someone’s vision come to fruition and for that I admire the man and his dream, but, it’s just another large, modern city with a beautiful skyline at night when the lights are shining bright. We were very spoilt whilst there and enjoyed sundowners at a rooftop bar, had delicious...


KOK Coffee - Ha Noi - Vietnam

KOK Coffee - Ha Noi - Vietnam

Posted in Review

A week ago I opened my eyes in Saigon; today I awoke, like most mornings, by the exotic aroma of a  freshly brewed cup of coffee and the golden sunshine pouring into my bedroom from the azure sky.   My Dad has been making his “Sleeping Beauty” her first cuppa every day now for 60 years and...


Baked Pumpkin Pie

Baked Pumpkin Pie

Posted in Recipes

Here it's summer blue, sun-yellowed gentle days, which is  a reminder of the harsh weather many ex-pats are going into. Celebrate a table laden with the essence of summer with joyful Thanksgiving. BAKED PUMPKIN PIE - South African style.“without bread, without wine, love is nothing” Anon...


Trekking in Sa Pa with Zer-Zer

Trekking in Sa Pa with Zer-Zer

Posted in Travel

On 24th August Butch Googled “trekking in Sa Pa Vietnam” and found a guide called Zer-Zer followed by a telephone number. Little did we know that a life changing experience was awaiting us. To contact Zer-Zer: phone +84 16 75312817 Butch was quick out of the blocks, phoned the number and...


Fowler's Grill

Fowler's Grill

Posted in Review

In a one horse town this is where the horse is. It's had it's ups and downs but it remains a landmark in Church Str.  Locals love it, as there're no surprises here. Not even Chef has a bad day. When I arrived in Worcester thirty three years ago there was a landmark restaurant called Albert's...


Flights of Fancy

Flights of Fancy

Posted in Travel

Boozy lunches can lead to  trouble and this one was no exception, at our table there's always good food, good company and copious amounts of champagne and wine.   As the afternoon unravelled we decided we’d flip a coin, September was a good month to either start Banting or to travel. It was...


Les Girls are Frenching It - First Reunion

Les Girls are Frenching It - First Reunion

Posted in Review

My beloved spends a weekend with his four ex-wives and a girlfriend, that's how he described himself when asked what he was doing! Our friendship is a gift which we re-live as we savour it. In a wink a year has passed.    Les Girls got their act together and we enjoyed a fabulous weekend...


Les Girls are Frenching It - Menerbes

Les Girls are Frenching It - Menerbes

Posted in Travel

Au Revoir Paris! All too soon we had to pack our bags and make our way down our narrow staircase to our taxi to board the TGV to Avignon.   Thankfully we had someone who very kindly carried our bags down those stairs and waved and airkissed us, shouting "Au revoir" to us as the door closed...


Les Girls are Frenching It - Paris

Les Girls are Frenching It - Paris

Posted in Travel

The three days in Paris were just fabulous, our apartment in the Hotel Verneuil Saint Germaine  beautifully appointed, modern, immaculate and slap in the middle of Saint Germaine, pure indulgence. A stones throw from the Louvre, the Seine, the shops, eateries, cafés, bakeries and all...


Inverroche Classic Gin

Inverroche Classic Gin

Posted in Review

Most people remember their Grandmothers because they smelt of Violets or Lavender,  when I think of my Glam’ma I imagine Gin and cigarette smoke, two of my favourite things! Femme fatale. She was glamorous, worldly, beautiful, graceful, well travelled, she spoke the Queen’s English and...


Have NO Passport. Will NOT Travel.

Have NO Passport. Will NOT Travel.

Posted in Musings

Picture the scene:   you're late, you're brushing your teeth and above the whine of the electric toothbrush you hear this "Darling! have you got your passport?"  by now you've had it and shout back "yesh" loudly.  Spraying toothpaste foam all over your new black cashmere sweater.   I received...


Ranthambore National Park - India

Ranthambore National Park - India

Posted in Travel

We travelled halfway around the world to visit Ranthambore National Park for one reason only. To see the mightly and very elusive Bengal Tiger. I wonder if they exsist?In Ranthambore village Precious decided to employ the services of a tailor to make some shorts, after a lot of haggling...