Friday, December 26, 2014

Feastival (2)

our Christmas-eve menu


pilchard and olive bread rolls

salted butter


picked beef rolled in black pepper corns

smoked pork layered with peppermint leaves

chicken breast slices

mustard sauce

pepadew sauce

françoise cream cheese sauce


variety of salad leaves





mission olives

coconut flakes

cherry tomatoes

glazed pineapple

dried banana


sweet potato & butternut bake in cumin & cream custard

marinated mushrooms (uncooked)



fruit salad

soft serve ice cream

My co-chef & daughter Emmy

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Feastival (1)

In South Africa, the Christmas and New Year holidays fall together with the extended summer holiday, various public holidays and the academic year end. This is a time for reflection, relaxation, recuperation and indulgence.

We indulge in what the added leisure time offer us: FEASTING. Long hours filled with family & friends & food & fun.

We take the time needed to cook good food properly and recognizing that reliance on fast food damages our health, social fabric and cultural food traditions.

We create menus and shopping lists with ingredients suggested by our recipes. Some traditional and trusted. Some elaborate and exotic. Others modest and momentous. Then, at last, we pamper ourselves by enjoying being in the kitchen. Alone or with partners, children and grandchildren. We go slow, we sip wine as we cook and bake, we wear our aprons, we go the extra-step by soaking the cherries in liquor, we stuff the roast with dates, beacon, basil, thyme and some of the soaked liquor, we make tiramisu in the timely way, we daily add one layer to the trifle.

The glorious trifle

The earliest use of the name trifle was for a thick cream flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater, the recipe for which was published in England, 1596, in a book called "The good huswife's Jewell" by Thomas Dawson. Sixty years later eggs were added and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things can change in a day.

 Mary Elizabeth, Crown Princess of Denmark, Countess of Monpezat, is the wife of Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark. The couple met at a pub on 16 September 2000 in Sydney.


Mary, Crown princess of another well-to-do family of the middle-class family, is the wife of Vincent Kenneth Rowe. The couple met at a pub in Ugie.


Perhaps it's true that things can change in a day.

That a few dozen hours can affect the outcome of whole lifetimes.

The Day Before You Came


Must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I'm certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial, no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I'm pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came

I must have lit my seventh cigarette at half past two
And at the time I never even noticed I was blue
I must have kept on dragging through the business of the day
Without really knowing anything, I hid a part of me away
At five I must have left, there's no exception to the rule
A matter of routine, I've done it ever since I finished school
The train back home again
Undoubtedly I must have read the evening paper then
Oh yes, I'm sure my life was well within it's usual frame
The day before you came

Must have opened my front door at eight o'clock or so
And stopped along the way to buy some chinese food to go
I'm sure I had my dinner watching something on tv
There's not, I think, a single episode of dallas that I didn't see
I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten
I need a lot of sleep, and so I like to be in bed by then I must have read a while
The latest one by marilyn french or something in that style
It's funny, but I had no sense of living without aim
The day before you came

And turning out the light
I must have yawned and cuddled up for yet another night
And rattling on the roof I must have heard the sound of rain
The day before you came

What was with the bird's beak?

Named after scientist and scholar Nicolas Steno (1638-1686), the Steno Museum is located in the southern part of the Aarhus University park (or campus). The Steno Museum is dedicated to tell the history of science and medicine. I took these pictures on 7 May. To illustrates, apart from the fear of contracting the Black Death that killed 2 million people, the superstitions of our ancestors.




This Beak Mask was filled with vinegar, sweet oils, and other strong-smelling chemicals to mask the stench of death and unburied bodies. In addition, herbs like garlic, was added to fight off the plague in the air before the doctor could breath it in. Phew!

The Glass Eyes protected the doctors against evil (aka the deadly disease).
The Black Overcoat minimized skin exposure. Doctors tucked the neckline of their long overcoat behind the mask. The coat extended down to the feet and was often completely coated with suet (a hard, white fat on the kidneys and loins of cattle and sheep, usually used in puddings and pastries) or wax. Doctors thought the suet could draw the plague away from the flesh of the infected or the wax could repel it.
The Leather Breeches protected the legs and groin from infection. Because the infection tended to attack the lymph nodes first, doctors paid close attention to cover and protect their armits, neck and groin.
The Wooden Cane directed family members on how and where to move infected patients and to examine them without direct contact.



"Is the Black Death Coming and Who's to Blame?"
asks Stephanie Ocano.       

The country of Madagascar is known for its tranquil beaches, exotic wildlife and rich culture. But something else also inhabits the island that is now making headlines: The Black Death. Perhaps best known as the Bubonic Plague that is generally associated with the Middle Ages when rats, fleas and poor hygiene resulted in the deaths of approximately 200 million people.

Madagascar has been one of the world’s last remaining hotspots for the plague but the illness has been mostly isolated in rural villages and self-contained... until now.

On Friday, Nov. 21, the World Health Organization announced an “outbreak of the plague” in Madagascar. Cases have been reported in 16 districts of the seven regions.

Now that the disease has made it to a densely populated area, a major outbreak seems inevitable. The capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo, houses the prime conditions for a disease such as the plague to spread, similar to those in 14th century Europe – garbage is dumped in the streets and public restroom conditions are terrible. Black rats, which were the primary vector for the disease in the Middle Ages, also roam freely between buildings.

Whichever variety of the plague, as the disease progresses its victim lapses into recurrent seizures, Alzheimic confusion, coma and internal hemorrhaging. Death can result in as little as 24 hours
"Belief in old practices, rampant misinformation, and apathetic, corrupt politicians have combined to make the current outbreak much more widespread than it should be,"

For now, the World Health Organization does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.