Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Maak daai Potjie

Preparing potatoes for the Potjie

Maak daai Potjie (Make the Potjie)
Roer daai Potjie (Stir)
Proei daai Potjie (Taste)
Dis Potjie Kos! (It’s Potjie food!)

We had another relaxing weekend in the Western Cape with highlights being:

*Eating delicious Chorizo & Olive pizza over looking Camps Bay beach on Friday evening as the sunset.

*Followed by sleeping over in the city apartment, allowing us to make an early trip to Llandudno beach the next morning.

*And reading the weekend paper in the sun to the sound of crashing 6f waves while watching a cold front move in on the horizon from the south – it looked like a tidal wave!

View of Llandudno Cove

However the grand finale was receiving an sms from Justin inviting us to a casual Potjie (at our house) on Sunday afternoon. We arrived after having some drinks with Chef (he says Howsit to all the family) to find the inflatable pool full, the umbrella up, the fire going and Justin and Sandra already rather intoxicated on “Justin’s Special Blue Lagoons”.

We had a wild afternoon.

Removing the sauted onions and chicken before beginning the layering.

I learnt to make Pojtie (‘little pot’ in Afrikaans) which I’m told is all about the layering of ingredients and then the extended cooking time which leaves your guests famished and inebriated so that they’ll enjoy what ever you put on their plates. (Mum and PJ are also adapt users of this technique.)

There were far too many nasty drinks, (Justin has a passion for making ‘specials’), the surprise appearance of genuine Cuban cigars????, a bit of rollerblading and running (don’t know who’s idea that was) and general crazy behavior which had us all passed out by 6pm!

Monday morning rudely arrived finding us all a little worse for wear. B was missing skin on both knees (I vaguely remember him in a star fish position on the road the evening before) and modeled a bruise running down his left side – ahh, that would have been when he bomb dived Justin in the pool - forgetting that it was only 30cm deep and the bottom lay on the solid concert stoep!

Myself, holding a degree in partying obtained at the University of Colombia, remembered to drink water all night and thus escaped the imploding headaches the other 3 were obviously suffering from that morning. Sandra looked like lobster and Justin… well, we still haven’t seen him yet, and it’s now Tuesday.

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Farm Fresh Blueberries

The other day I noticed a black board across the road from Welgevonden advertising freshly picked blueberries.

See the sign in the background?

Unfortunately the opening hours for this little farm stall, which was just up the road, were also Barry’s work hours. Having deciding that walking there probably wasn’t the safest I decided to wait until Thursday when I would accompany Chef to his lecture on Fish and Shellfish at the local university.

In the mean time I searched the internet for a recipe for Blueberry Muffins – from scratch. Sammie and I used to make them all the time for school, but that was a packet mix only requiring mixing in an egg and then licking the bowl.

They turned out fine… but because of I had a bucket of blueberries I made two batches over the week (24 muffins) and now I don’t want to see another blueberry muffin for a long time, as I write this I’m being stared down by a half eaten one next to me.

Yummy Muffins

The dam opposite the front gate where the sign was.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006


View of Le Petite Ferme

A few Sundays ago we took at day trip to Franschoek (French Corner) so named because of the French Huguenots who fled France and prosecution by the Catholic Church and settled, just north of Cape Town, in picturesque country side framed by two mountains.

This little town is now the hub of culinary activity in the Western Cape, with 10 of the 100 top restaurants in South Africa. The streets are lined with Parisian style cafes but to the backdrop of Cape Dutch architecture.

We always try and drop into a few of the privately run art galleries. Unfortunately all window shopping at this stage, which is a pity since I discovered a new favourite:

Braam Van Dyk who specializes in black and white etchings;

One day (big sigh).

Thursday, 19 October 2006


Last night we went to play some relaxed pool and have a few drinks, and I was surprised to see girls walking in wearing dresses and superhigh heals (it was a Wednesday night remember!). Then a little later we went for some burgers (I’d already had some veggies for dinner, blacklash from my months overindulgence in Colombian brownies) and all these kids (18 year olds) we walking past in fairy outfits – wings, short shirts, colourful stocking etc and boys in PE kit – 80s style - obviously off to some party. It was just great to be reminded that we’re living in a student town, 12,000 students live here during the uni year to study at South Africa’s oldest Afrikaans university.

Also, if you’re interested, you may want to check out the website for our security estate; Welgevonden. It has some great photos, including a whole page showcasing the electric and barb wire fenced security.

Stellenbosch tree lined streets

The Stellenbosch University

The Cape Dutch housing

I'll post some more photos of Welgevonden (our home) tomorrow.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

!Happy Twenty First Samantha!

Today my little sister, who I usually picture as a 3 year old with long curly hair has turned 21!

Samantha, ever delightful, while camping in Byron Bay

When Sammie visited me in Melbourne - Penthouse Party

My most darling friends, Daniel and Samantha

(Daniel, not to be confused with Sammie's NZ boyfriend, Dan)

In my brilliance I organized for a Colombian friend to delivery Samantha her birthday present back in August when he was on a business trip. So this morning the first birthday card she read was from me – tears of joy are a great way to start the day.

Sammie, has already sent me an email updating her big date, and guess what her boyfriend surprised her with: a darling necklace with little diamonds and

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

A return (it better be!) flight to New Zealand – Dan’s home country. So Sammie will be spending some of her firsts days being an adult looking at sheep, bungy jumping, and correcting people on how to say ‘six’ correctly. Lucky girl.

Happy Birthday Darling!

Of course I wish I could be there to embarrass you with stories and shake your pina coladas. Have an awesome birthday party, dance till dawn. Have you heard that new song Rock the Party… pump it, louder!

Ps. I had this birthday cake made for you, but the nice lady at the shop said it wouldn’t travel well in the mail, so B and I will eat it ourselves and think of you.

Pss. People here in deep Africa don’t understand my Aussie accent too well, so that little old lady thought I said your name was Summer (go figure) and confused 21 for 5??? But she was so kind that I said it didn’t really matter.

Hope you like it, love your Big Sis xoxxo

Green Thumb

Over the weekend I wrecked my manicure by gaining a green thumb. We went to one of the biggest nurseries in Cape Town, complete with pet centre, outdoor animal nursery (cute goats, pigs and turtles), cafĂ© and boring art gallery. I laughed the whole way around as Barry randomly pointed out plants calling them the wrong name – “ look lilies” as he points to hibiscus, “lavender” as we walk past agapanthus. I think I just like how confident he is when he says it, and it’s also funny because this seems to be his only knowledge weak point.

B has a love for gardens from his Father, I have my knowledge of plants, which I didn’t realize was so vast from my Mother. Being the constant pragmatist I don’t really see the point in growing something I can’t eat.

“Those herbs are pretty” I say as I point out a large area of small green plants.
“But they don’t have flowers”
“Umm, they don’t have flowers.” I admit, then quickly add in defense;
“But you can eat them!”
This receives a look which says: Candice, stop being so pragmatic and try and enjoy the pleasure a flower can bring.
“Those roses are pretty” I say in a perky voice with my hand sweeping over the rest of the garden centre.

Yellow rose

B catching some rays

Tools. Note: nitrate plant steroid, works a gem.

End result, on our balcony.

Roses starting to bloom on Tuesday morning

Friday, 13 October 2006

Glorious SA

I just love all the old art deco posters highlightly exotic destinations to be reached by ship or train! More coming soon.

We'll always have Cape Town

I just spent the morning wandering around the Waterfront in Cape Town. Popping into the tourist shops, walking over the habour bridge, taking in the view of the clock tower and Table Mountain- just generally wasting time while Barry was in a meeting.

The Cape Grace Hotel in the Waterfront, Cape Town

When I was taking in the view of Table Mt, which I heard someone say is like the waterfront's tiara, I spotted two playful seals. They were splashing about and lying on their backs with their flippers in the air catching some rays.

Being Friday, we finish up at the office at 4pm, and are driving back through to Cape Town for sundowners overlooking Camps Bay:

You can see how Cape Town wraps around Table Mt and Devils Peak (which I climbed back in 2001). These areas are nature reserves, thus maintaining the views of trees and natural environments even when you're in the middle of a huge city, it's one of the aspects which makes Cape Town so stunning.

Where am I?

I just found this cute map on the net, and thought I'd show you where I am.

Welcome to the Western Cape of South Africa.

I would write more, but I have to run...

ps. Cape Town is the light brown part on the left, and Stellenbosch, where I'm currently living, is the bright yellow part.

Bye xox

Cuban Art

At least the Cuban socialist government supports the arts. In the museums I visited I was surprised by how liberal, and in some cases shocking, the topics and images were. But in the streets it was definately more laid back; lots of colour.

This style of painting can be found on almost every street corner. I took this photo next to the pool in our resort in Valdero.