I now wonder why I have not visited the De Hoop Nature Reserve before, it is a real outdoor experience with lots of class, a photographic paradise and lots lots more….
We visited the De Hoop Nature Reserve during the Fathers day long weekend in June, and stayed at the De Hoop Village. It is not often that you walk into a self catering cottage and am completely blown away by the high standard and quality of the unit, white puffy duvets, a fully equipped kitchen with lovely crockery, platters and bowls, (yes that is what’s important to me), a beautifully set table and views that goes on forever… and when you open the back door, you see Bontebok grazing in your back yard.
Hans, Carey and Isabella joined us for the weekend, and sorry guys but I just need to post this pic to explain the friendship…
Hans was on “food duty” on Saturday night and cooked up a storm to impress the “blog girl” with his food… Hans from now on you are on permanent “food duty” whenever we go away together…
Hans had lists, printed recipes and loads of ingredients… and Thyme… in a tin, yes you add water and it still needs to grow…. Hans, that was very funny… we should have started the process and left the “herb garden in a tin” in the kitchen windowsill for the next guests.
And the “baby potato” mash, not sure if it was meant to be baby potato’s, but it showed us the strong friendship bond you share with Bruce, as he got up and without giving you “lip”, helped you peel the little baby potatoes for the mash.
The lovely “laid back” dinner served by Hans and Carey… I am impressed… Oven roasted salmon on herby mash with roasted baby tomatoes and a homemade vinaigrette.
Fathers day started with a 3.5 km Vlei walk, with a couple of moans from the little ones but it was beautiful, a floral and fynbos explosion, birders paradise, lots of buck and a stunning view over the “Vlei”.
I was in charge of the fathers day lunch, a slow roasted leg of lamb with baby potatoes, sweet pumpkin fritters, roast vegetables and pesto tomatoes…
And for dessert, I thought I need something traditional, and what better than a delicious dessert from my new cookbook, HALFAAMPIESKRAAL CELEBRATES, the Crimplene Pudding….. we will visit Halfaampieskraal later this year in September..
It is important to select the correct serving dish for this dessert, either a flat serving platter or individual clear glass bowls…. I could not find a clear glass platter, and stopped in Bredasdorp at a lovely pottery shop and found this beautiful white platter with a light blue protea print, just perfect for De Hoop.
For the Crimplene Pudding you will need:
half tin condensed milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
125g cream cheese (a soft type)
1 large bottle or 2 small tins guavas in syrup
1/2 tablespoon custard powder
1 x readymade swiss roll thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of icing sugar
Click on THIS link for a printable recipe card in PDF format:Cimplene pudding ………. RECIPE CARD
Line the serving platter with thinly sliced swiss roll. Mix the condensed milk, lemon juice and cream cheese until smooth and spread over the layered swiss roll slices.
Add 150 ml water to a saucepan with the juice from the guavas and the custard powder, simmer until thickened and let it cool.
Layer the guava halves onto the cream cheese mixture and pour the cooled custard mixture over the guavas. Refrigerate for +/- 2 hours. Serve with dusted icing sugar.
After lunch it was time to visit the De Hoop Dune area and beach, the De Hoop Nature reserve is one of the best coastal areas to view whales from June to December each year. It is a marine reserve and a World Heritage Site. The high dunes gives a great viewpoint for spectacular whale sighting. We will be coming back in early November to walk the five day Whale Trail, and after our short visit I know it’s going to be whale watching paradise.
The children decided to surprise the “dads” on Fathers day with a concert on the dunes with the whales flapping in the background. It was stunning with the sun setting in the distance, magic hour, with the sky turning from blue to any colour pink you can imagine and the violin stings playing on the dunes…
Thanks to Hans, Carey and Isabella for a great weekend,… I now cannot wait for our five day De Hoop Whale Trail walk in November… and we will be back to try out all the other cottages in the De Hoop Collection..