Silly Season Snapping at our Heels
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 the 15th December! Ignorance is bliss I say. “For Sale!” signs are being taken down faster than you could say Sold and before the ink is dry renovators and decorators are tapping their stilettos and iPads to get the new owners settled. It’s that time of the year again. Soon we’ll be going from the one dinner party to the next cocktail party. Last I heard Precious’ girls had decided on a “Master Chef” style cook-off competition for the annual Year End Function. Unless reservations are made timeously many restaurants will be chock-a-block spelling disaster for many of the “Swallows” landing on our shores. (Swallow = a person migrating from a miserable, cold, wet, grey Northern Hemisphere, to our Sunny Shores for the Summer where they can enjoy long lazy days, our warm hospitality, good food, great wine and a very favourable exchange rate.)
Most villages will be hosting a Christmas Market now, where shoppers can browse, pick and choose from a wide selection of very affordable and delightful gifts to fill Christmas stockings, or to stock the gift cupboard, pantry or just indulge in a treat for the holidays. I particularly enjoy packing my basket with an array of interesting bottled or pickled goodies, cured meats or cheeses, or ingeniously mixed herbs and spices, handmade chocolates and sweets, or an indigenous plant; to take as gifts along with the bottles of wine or bubbles. Long past are my “bread and butter” letter days.
I look forward to seeing what the 2014 Men’s Barbeque Apron Collection holds in store. My brother always steals the show as he swings his tongs and sports his new apron in December.
In Onrus the monthly Onrus Markie will soon be held every Saturday. I know that it’s quite alright to go very early in the morning to get the “best” goodies on offer. Many of the participants are local ladies who bake and make their offerings from years of experience, passion and enthusiasm. It’s a great place to have an early morning chat and to see who’s come down for the weekend. I’ve never been disappointed and I can recommend the Markie with confidence.
We’ve even had our Biltong delivered, and Sandra de Wet who is the best cook I know, has a table groaning with delectable deli dishes. I can highly recommend her Baked Pudding with Orange sauce! But then again nothing from her table will not delight. As the seasons change so does her menu.After the Onrus Markie take a slow drive through to the Hermanus Pietersfontein Wine Cellar where there’s a divine food market, here you catch up with friends over a glass of wine and a platter of Tapas. If you’re not careful you might even stay until the market closes.
Never to be outdone, Hermanus hosts the Fernkloof Market at the Montessori School. A larger market with a wide selection of items for sale, it’s a winner and an all time favourite with everyone. My first purchase is a bunch of beautiful Fynbos, often still dripping with sweetest nectar which attracts bees, then it’s off to the Sanity Farm Kitchen (who produce the finest quality handmade sausages, boerewors and biltong) to buy pork sausages to accompany our Chicken Braai, of course I can’t resist the German bakery next door so there I buy the most delicious Artisanal bread and German pastries. For medicinal purposes I have to see what’s on display at the Gluten Free stall, what could be nicer than one of the tarts for afternoon tea, and it’s healthy too. We taste beautifully crafted cheeses and buy a blue veined cheese for our cheese course.
We drink wine from various cellars. Enjoy creative breakfasts and coffee listening to the chap on his guitar and watch children run around and play in the sand pit and jungle gym. I love to see people with “real” jobs come up with something creative, living their passions e.g. the drama teacher who makes clothes, the plumber who carves fish from huge chunks of wood, the grannies who sew and knit the cutest baby clothes, the ladies who quilt and make sunhats and then there’s Helen Silversmit who can turn antique Silver cutlery into beautiful heirloom jewellery. The market buzzes with the sounds of people chatting, laughing and singing, you can hear voices from Amsterdam to Zimbabwe. Before we leave I drag my Precious over to the fresh fruit and vegetable stall to buy freshest asparagus, tomatoes, artichokes, bringals and fresh fragrant herbs.
If you have time there’s the African Market in the centre of town where everything from clothes to curious can be bought. Pretend you’re a tourist the bargain may be yours.
After a day browsing the markets there’s only one thing left to do, sit on the wall at Frans se Klip and do a spot of Whale watching, then take a nap or go down to the beach and chat up the 50’s and 60’s crowd who go down for a swim and body surf every afternoon at four. Return just in time to slip into something black and strappy, grab a basket fill it with bottles of wine and something delectable for your hostess.
P.S while you’re sipping your cocktail know you’ve done the right thing, supported a local farmer or craftsman or cook who grows organic produce, produces the very best product using the best produce from a farmer who’s doing it for the love of the land. Bottoms up!
SANITY FARM KITCHEN: (Pork Sausage)
Mike: 083 653 8584
Sue: 083 658 0609
Tel: 028 482 1636
SANDRA DE WET (Onrus Markie)
Deli foods. Catering
+27 82 8766020
HELEN SILVERSMIT (Silver Jewellery)
Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HelenSilverSmit