Scotch eggs, a roadtrip picnic, the Magical Tankwa Tented camp, a wedding and so much more…

A road trip to the Tankwa Karoo and the Magical Tankwa Tented camp will not be complete without something profound like “scotch eggs” and a picnic breakfast on the flat Tankwa “vlakte”……

I’ve been wanting to visit the Tankwa Tented Camp for a couple of years, and grabbed the opportunity for a quick 24 hour in and out to take venue pics for our host at the Tankwa Tented Camp, Henk van Niekerk, after a very late night invite one Friday evening, over a pizza, at their restaurant Bodemloos Kombuis in Elgin.

The Tankwa Tented Camp is situated 150 km from Ceres towards Calvinia…. a very long tyre eating gravel road.

Many stops along the way...

Many stops along the way…

For the Scotch Eggs you will need:
Desired amount of eggs, small size, room temperature
1.5 flavoured pork sausages (bangers) per egg
2 raw eggs mixed with salt and pepper
fine bread crumbs
2 – 3 cups of canola or sunflower oil

Click on this link for a printable recipe cardScotch Eggs ………. RECIPE CARD

The eggs – add the room temperature eggs to the water and bring to the boil, boil for 3 minutes from when the water start to boil. Crack the shell and rest in cold water for a couple of minutes. (I prefer to use the oldest eggs in my fridge as they peel easier)

Peel the eggs, you want them as soft as possible. Dry the peeled eggs, this will help the meat stick onto them.

Flatten the meatball in your hand...

Flatten the meatball in your hand…

Push the pork meat out of the sausages and shape into meatballs, use the meat of 1.5 sausages per meatball. Press the meatball flat in the palm of your hand and put the dry cooked egg on top of the flat meatball.

It is important to use flavourful sausages, I use Oak Valley Pork Sausages with peppadews and rosemary. You can also add capers ect to normal pork bangers to add to the flavour.

Wrap the egg in the sausage meatball

Wrap the egg in the sausage meatball

Close your hand and shape the meatball around the egg, don’t panic, the sausage meat will feel sticky, don’t stress, work with both hands and keep on pressing the meat around the egg, it will come together at the end…

Keep on working the meat to cover the egg..

Keep on working the meat to cover the egg..

Carefully place the meat covered egg on a plate, prepare all the eggs. Brush the eggs with the beaten raw egg, brush both sides, work carefully. Roll the eggs in fine breadcrumbs and let them rest in the fridge.

Brush the meatball covered eggs with beaten egg.

Brush the meatball covered eggs with beaten egg.

I prefer to rest the prepared eggs in the fridge until just before we leave the house, these eggs I fried while we packed the car at 4 in the morning.

NO 7. tankwa scotch eggs.jpg

Use a wok if you have one, it will use less oil and works well, the eggs should be covered halfway with oil. Slowly fry the crumbed eggs as you want the meat to cook and the crumbs not to turn too brown.

Lovely light brown scotch eggs...

Lovely light brown scotch eggs…

I drained the excess oil and transported the freshly fried scotch eggs wrapped in foil. Ready of our very early morning breakfast in the Tankwa Vlakte…. It was COLD, luckily we had steaming mugs of coffee to warm our hands…

Our Tankwa picnic table..

Our Tankwa picnic table..

Serve the Scotch Eggs cut in half, with course salt and black pepper, and don’t forget the tin mugs of steaming coffee to warm your hands.

Me and my photo buddy, Evelyn Rust, always game for lots of adventure

Me and my photo buddy, Evelyn Rust, always game for lots of adventure

After breakfast we stopped at the Tankwa Padstal, (a small café between nowhere and nothing). You have to stop here, it is a real treasure chest.

Thanks for the Pic Evie...

Thanks for the Pic Evie…

Tankwa Padstal décor...

Tankwa Padstal décor…

Our destination, THE TANKWA TENTED CAMP, in the Stonehenge Nature Reserve. With an annual rainfall of +/- 80 mm it’s one of the driest areas in South Africa.

Fellow road users.. locals on their way to the Tankwa Padstal for their weekly shopping

Fellow road users.. locals on their way to the Tankwa Padstal for their weekly shopping

The Tankwa Karoo is BEAUTIFUL no picture can really do it justice, it is covered with black stones as far as the eye can see…. nearly pre-historic…

Nearly there..

Nearly there..

After 150 km’s from Ceres, turn right….

The wedding venue at the Tankwa Tented Camp

The wedding venue at the Tankwa Tented Camp

We were invited to take a couple of pics for Henk of the “wedding venue” at the Tankwa Tented Camp, little did we know what we will find in this barren piece of land… it was beautiful, …. dreamlike and unreal…

What a VENUE...

What a VENUE…

Surprises for the guests...

Surprises for the guests…

This venue is magical, different as can be and stunningly beautiful….

We had a wonderful evening, running around in the dark taking pics for Henk and Maryke….

Lazy bones Evelyn... sleeping on the "veranda" under the stars and waking up to the smell of coffee...

Lazy bones Evelyn… sleeping on the “veranda” under the stars and waking up to the smell of coffee…

And then… Henk surprised us with a sneak peak at this years Africa Burn statues…. just +/- 3 km from the camp….

No words can describe the hugeness of this wooden man…

An early morning surprise visit to the Africa Burn site..

An early morning surprise visit to the Africa Burn site..

Thanks to Henk and Maryke for giving us a sneak peak into this new wonderful wedding venue… we liked our 24 hours so much that we’ve decided to book a full weekend in two weeks time…..

So off we go again, I cannot wait…

NO 19. tankwa scotch eggs.jpg

And to the 3 TANKWA girls joining me next weekend, we are going to have a ball…. Ann I expect scotch eggs with herbs…

Smoked Salmon tagliatelle and bunny paw prints, Part 3 of 3….. EASTER at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve

I’ve waited eight months to post this recipe, it was the first one I thought of when I started my blog…. Now at last, 56 posts and eight months later, Shannon cooked it for me and I’ve managed to capture the process at this very special Easter venue…. Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve, a little piece of paradise….

After a long afternoon on the beach, collecting driftwood sticks for our silhouette bunnies and playing with my polariser ring we climbed up the hill and started cooking….

Collecting beach treasures...

Collecting beach treasures…

Early evening view from the deck...

Early evening view from the deck…

Shannon, first enjoying a glass of bubbles before hitting the kitchen….the one thing we missed, the champagne glasses….2 x boxes WILL be delivered , to say thanks…

4. salmon.jpg

It was time to light the candles… with no electricity, the house gets lit by flickering candles…

The lighting of the candles..for earth hour, we had EARTH weekend, no electricity for 4 days...

The lighting of the candles..for earth hour, we had EARTH weekend, no electricity for 4 days…

For the Salmon tagliatelle you will need:
6. salmon.jpg
+/- 150g smoked salmon
1 small bunch spring onions
butter and olive oil
5 large red tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar 200ml cream
2 tablespoons old brown sherry
200ml milk mixed with 2 teaspoons Ina Paarman white sauce powder or flour
salt and pepper to taste
3 shakes of tabasco
1 teaspoon grated parmesan per serving
2 handfulls chopped flat leaf parsley

Click on this link for a printable recipe card Smoked Salmon tagliatelle ………. RECIPE CARD

Peel the tomatoes

Peel the tomatoes

Cut a cross on one side of the tomatoes and dunk them in boiling water for 1 minute, this will make the peeling easier without loosing any tomato flesh.

Finely chop the spring onions.

8. salmon.jpg

In a heavy based pan or wok, saute the finely chopped spring onions in butter and a bit of olive oil. Cut the peeled tomatoes into small chunks and add to the spring onions. Fry for +/- 5 – 8 minutes to soften the tomatoes.

10. salmon.jpg

Add one teaspoon of sugar to the fried tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of Old Brown Sherry. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.

11. salmon.jpg

Add the cream and milk mixed with 2 teaspoons of Ina Paarman White sauce powder OR two teaspoons of flour. Cook through. Chop the smoked salmon into smaller pieces and add to the pan with one tablespoon of chopped flat leaf parsley.

9. salmon.jpg

Add black pepper and salt to taste as well as 3 shakes of tabasco.

12.salmon.jpg

Serve on tagliatelle with one teaspoon parmesan and more chopped parsley.

Food for angels...

Food for angels…

Emma, my “tea please” little one, first had to have a tea party with Lara…

Think it is bed time...

Think it is bed time…

Early morning, Sunday… Bunny masks done, part 1 of 3, black silhouette bunnies, part 2 of 3, and now the bunny flour paw prints….

15. salmon.jpg

Cut out the paw prints and “stencil” them with flour….

16. salmon

We could not have asked for a better EASTER weekend, thanks to great friends and magical venues……

ps…. add a squeeze of lemon… just before serving..

Chilli Chicken Liver Pancakes and Bunny Silhouettes, Part 2 of 3….. Easter at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve

Waking up at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve is a magical experience, the light through the huge windows gives a blue haze and the wooden house feels like a big ship floating on the open sea….

2. chicken liver.jpg

Evie treated me to a real coffee experience and we downed huge cups of steaming coffee discussing the menu’s of the day…

The real coffee experience WITH a view...

The real coffee experience WITH a view…

5. chickenliver.jpg

We moved inside, to the kitchen with the “best view” I’ve ever cooked in and Evie spoiled me with these lovely baked pancakes filled with chilli chicken livers…and more coffee….

A kitchen with a GREAT view...

A kitchen with a GREAT view…

For the Baked Pancakes filled with chicken livers you will need:
1 x batch of pancakes- see recipe on recipe card
500g free-range chicken livers
1 onion and 1 clover of garlic chopped
Black pepper and Ina Paarman chilli and garlic salt
Dash of Wellingtons Hot Sweet Chilli marinade
2 tablespoons rosemarie leaves
200 – 250 ml cream
Lemon juice and grated white cheddar cheese

Chicken liver pancakes ………. RECIPE CARD Cut on this link for a printable PDF recipe card.

The process...

The process…

We asked the girls if they wanted some Chicken Liver Pancakes as well…. look at the faces we got…

Lips in spasm...

Lips in spasm…

Evie busy in the kitchen… it took her about 45 minutes to get this dish on the table… nice chat time for the two of us …

Evie busy spoiling me ....

Evie busy spoiling me ….

Suite the onions and garlic in a little bit of olive oil and butter. Once soft add the roughly chopped chicken livers. Fry until cooked and nicely browned. Add black pepper and 2 good shakes of Ina Paarman Chilli and Garlic salt. Add a dash of Wellingtons Hot Sweet chilli marinade and +/- 250 ml cream. It should not be too runny. Add 1 tablespoon of rosemarie leaves and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and cook through.

Fill the pancakes and add a thin line of mayo over the chicken liver mix before you close the pancake.

Add grated white cheddar and bake for +/- 20 minutes until crisp on top.

Yum yum...

Yum yum…

Ready for the oven... bake until crisp..

Ready for the oven… bake until crisp..

After our BIG breakfast it was time for a quick walk on the beach…

12. chickenliver.jpg

And then, Evie and Albert went to show me the farm… Evie, apparently is the “better” driver and in the loose sand we needed a GOOD driver. At one point we went up a very steep hill and could not see the road going down, Albert shouted “sharp right” which was what Evie did…. but it was not as sharp as what we thought….

A view of the Nature Reserve..

A view of the Nature Reserve..

Our very capable driver..

Our very capable driver..

A quick damage check...mmm not tooo bad...

A quick damage check…mmm not tooo bad…

CREATIVE BUNNNNNY TIME……

We’ve decided to cut out 20 black silhouette bunnies for the easter egg hunt. We did not want to disturb the vegetation and decided to do the hunt all along the access road, and marked the “nests” filled with chocolate eggs with our black bunnies on a stick.

Evie busy cutting out the bunnies...

Evie busy cutting out the bunnies…

Bunny silouette

Print the bunnies on A4 white paper and make photocopies on the darkest setting, roughly cut them out and stick them to cardboard. Cut them out and tape a small stick to the back…

Midnight creative fun by candle light..

Midnight creative fun by candle light..

Evelyn woke me at around 6 on Sunday morning… mmmmm it was drizzling outside but we had to get this done before the kids wake up…

Early morning fun, think we had more fun than the kids..

Early morning fun, think we had more fun than the kids..

WE also had some mmmmmmm bunnies for the adults…

Bunnies for the Adults..

Bunnies for the Adults..

Let the HUNT begin…

The HUNTERS...

The HUNTERS…

A little bit of hassle, a HUGE lot of creative fun…

Full of smiles...

Full of smiles…

To follow in part 3, Shannon’s Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle and bunny paw prints…

Velvety quick MILK TART and BUNNY MASKS, Part 1 of 3……. Easter at Bosbokfontein Nature Reserve

EASTER AT BOSBOKFONTEIN NATURE RESERVE!

38. Friday

The invite said “come and celebrate Easter in Stilbaai”, little did I know how magical this place would be, the house gave me the feeling of a HUGE pirate ship on the open ocean, all you can see looking out of the windows is the rolling ocean for 180 degrees, even from the loo window……

The view from the Stoep...

The view from the Stoep…

Menu planning for weekend’s away are easy, everyone gets a turn and it makes for easy packing and you only need to focus on 2 meals over 4 days, and every one was just nicer than the one before….

I will post 3 recipes in this EASTER Blogpost, the first will be a really easy velvety quick milk tart, then Evie’s baked pancakes filled with creamy chilli chicken livers and end with Shannon, the Princess’s smoked salmon tagialtelle….. I will also add templates for quick Easter fun for the kids, Bunny Masks, Black bunny silhouettes and flour bunny paw prints…

40. friday

For this Quick Milk Tart you will need:

3 x XL eggs
250 ml sugar
30 ml soft butter
250 ml cake flour
5 ml vanilla
5 ml baking powder
1 ml salt
1 l milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 cup sugar mixed

Click on this link for a printable recipe card Velvety milk tart , quick and easy ………. RECIPE CARD

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease a deep “lasagne dish” with butter. Cream the egg yolks, sugar and butter till pale and light yellow. Add the cake flour, baking powder and salt to the yolk mixture. Add 750ml of the milk and mix well.

39. Friday

Whisk the egg whites till stiff and fold into the remaining 250 ml milk. Add the egg white mixture to the yolk mixture and fold until combined, the mixture will look very runny.

Pour into the greased dish and bake at 180 degrees for 55 minutes until golden brown and slightly wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and dust with the cinnamon sugar. Cool for 1 hour 30 minutes and serve slightly warm but set.

41. Friday

After lunch it was time to hit the beach…. down the dunes and we have the beach to ourselves for as far as the eye can see….

Girlie time with a bottle of bubbles…

51. Friday

54. Friday

Late afternoon it was time to start making the Bunny Masks for the easter egg hunt on Sunday Morning…. A nice holiday craft for the kids. See template attached Easter Bunny Mask click on the blue “Easter bunny Mask” to open the template.

95. Saturday

Cut out the template and trace the outlines onto A4 White cardboard. Cut out.

96. Saturday

Cut out two smaller pink pieces to form the inside of the ears, and paste to the white mask. Glue around the pink area on the ears and around the eyes and stick cotton wool to the mask. Let it dry.

97. Saturday

Cut 30 cm long strips 5 cm’s wide out of white cardboard and stick to the left and right inside of the mask to form the bands around your head.

IMG_4409

Leave the 2 bands loose in order to fit it to size once you are ready to do your hunt, then stick the two banks together to size.

READY for our Easter Egg Hunt!

READY for our Easter Egg Hunt!

Not too sure who had the most fun, the adults or the kids…

123. Sunday

What a setting for an Easter Egg Hunt…. we’ve kept to the road and marked the eggs with black silhouette bunny’s, to follow in the next post…

126. sunday

The find…

115. Sunday

To follow…. Baked pancakes filled with chilli chicken livers and black bunny silhouettes….

Pressed Chocolate Ganache cake with raspberries…… and Elvis Blue….

Summer concerts at The Paul Cluver Amphitheatre….. picnic….. Elvis Blue…..

Arrive early...

Arrive early…

The gates open at 17:00, we usually arrive at 5 to make sure we get a good spot. Then picnic till 19:00 and a supercool summer concert from 19:00 – 21:00….

No 8. elvis b

Bring your own picnic, or buy sushi or pizzas there….. buy wine and glasses from the Paul Cluver drinks stand at the concert….

The open air amphitheatre...

The open air amphitheatre…

I’ve decided to make this very visual and ultra yummy “pressed” chocolate cake with ganache for the picnic, and added some chocolate dipped strawberries and white chocolate coated fresh cherries.

I did not “capture” the baking of the cake, but this is a REALLLLLY easy recipe, on lazy days I don’t even take out the electric mixer,…. just mix it by hand….

FOR THE RECIPE CARD CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW>>>>
Flat pressed Chocolate Cake and Elvis Blue………. RECIPE CARD

Picnic prep...

Picnic prep…

"pressing" the warm cake flatter...

“pressing” the warm cake flatter…

“Pressed” chocolate cake, once cooked, you press down onto the warm cake with a baking tray. Put 2 or 3 plates on top of the tray for extra pressure and let it cool… this will create a dense gooooey “flat” cake, nearly like a brownie that can easily be cut into blocks, +/- 4cm by 4cm…..

The FINALE......

The FINALE……

These cake blocks are very VISUAL, you can also use fresh strawberries or fresh cherries…

PRESENTATION....

PRESENTATION….

Me and Evie... stocking up on some liquid refreshments..

Me and Evie… stocking up on some liquid refreshments..

No 25. elvis b

What fun we've had... picnic... and running around taking hundreds of pictures...

What fun we’ve had… picnic… and running around taking hundreds of pictures…

The Concert.... and ELVIS BLUE...

The Concert…. and ELVIS BLUE…

The "girls"....having a blast...

The “girls”….having a ball…

The beautiful amphitheatre at night...

The beautiful amphitheatre at night…

And the older "girls" ...... also had lottttts of fun....

And the older “girls” …… also had lottttts of fun….

And the "litttttle" girls.... did not want to bath for a couple of nights...

And the “litttttle” girls…. did not want to bath for a couple of nights…

Thanks to The Paul Cluver Amphitheatre for yet another super stunning summer concert….. I cannot wait for the next one….

The week of the Braai Pie and “Bakkie sakkie”, riots, fires and high stress…

What a start to the year, labour unrest, fires, high stress, and then a relaxed evening and my first introduction the a “braai pie” and “bakkie sakkie”…. at least I can say it ended on a high and it seems that peace have returned to our beautiful Elgin Valley….

We were invited for a Saturday evening braai, a supposedly “quick one” as Matthew had to do his “farm watch” duty, a late and nearly midnight shift, very abnormal for our peaceful little town.

Mandy whipped out Matthew’s Christmas Gift, a lovely “braai” cookbook and made this lovely “braai pie” …… I loved it, something new ….

For the “Braai Pie” you will need:
2 x 500g rolls puff pastry 2 – 3 baby marrows
1 large onion chopped 1/2 cup cubed feta
1 yellow pepper sliced 1/2 cup grated matured white cheddar cheese
250g sliced brown mushrooms 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 chicken breast fillets cubed olive oil
OR ANY FILLING OF YOUR CHOICE salt and pepper

Mandy prepping the pastry...

Mandy prepping the pastry…

EARLIER IN THE DAY…
Fry the onions, mushrooms and sliced yellow pepper in a bit of olive oil until soft. Fry the cubed chicken and season well. Leave to cool and refrigerate – the pastry needs cold ingredients.
Defrost the pastry in your fridge.

Adding the ingredients...

Adding the ingredients…

ONE HOUR BEFORE SERVING…
On a tray that fits into your fridge, open the first roll of puff pastry, brush with a bit of olive oil and flip it over onto the plastic sheet on the tray. Scatter the cooked chicken, onion, mushrooms and yellow pepper. Make sure you drain all the liquid before adding the filling on the pastry. Add the cheese and top with thin slices of baby marrow, ( Mandy used a potato feeler to slice the marrows). Season with salt and pepper…

Adding the cheese...

Adding the cheese…

Cover with the second sheet of puff pastry, close the sides by pressing lightly with a fork all around the edges. Brush with olive oil and refrigerate. It is important to refrigerate the “braai pie” for at least 45 minutes otherwise the pastry will be too soft for the braai grid.

Close the sides...

Close the sides…

FOR THE BRAAI…
Transfer the “braai pie” from the tray and plastic onto the braai grid. Braai for +/- 10 minutes over a medium heat, make sure the pastry don’t burn.

Turning with a semi closed grid...

Turning with a semi closed grid…

Carefully close the grid, don’t press it tightly, and turn over. The pie might be slightly stuck to the “now top side” of the grid, carefully loosen it, and braai for another 10 minutes on a low heat until golden brown..

Serve immediately

No 9. braai pie

OK, us girls, we don’t normally do this, but we had to get rid of the week’s stress …..

The "bakkie sakkie".... portable fire cart on the back of a "bakkie"...

The “bakkie sakkie”…. portable fire cart on the back of a “bakkie”…

And then it was time for Caroline to introduce me to the HERO OF THE WEEK, “die bakkie sakkie”….. we’ve had several fires in the Valley this week and “DIE BAKKIE SAKKIE” definately helped the farmers getting to the “hot spots” quickly and on time…

A STRESSFUL WEEK…… BUT I CAN REPORT THAT CALM HAS RETURNED TO OUR VALLEY…

Time to send out your Valentines Dinner Invites….

It is nearly 3 weeks to go, so NOW is the time to deliver your Valentines Dinner Invites… They must be RED, SEXY and full of PROMISE…..

Come on! Everyone LOVES a good party, and what better reason than a sexy dress-up Valentines dinner for your friends….

I will leave you with a couple of pics out of my “archives”…I think it is time again..

O

No 4. valentines

O

No 5. valentines

No 6. valentines

No 7. valentines

It was a GREAT evening, one that will be remembered for a loooooong time…

Slow roasted acorn-fed pork shoulder with honey and buttered apples and pears….Christmas with friends…

Christmas, friends, gifts, acorn-fed tender pork shoulder, honey and buttered apples….. what more do you want for a lovely early Christmas get-together with friends to exchange gifts and eat delicious food produced here in our beautiful Valley…

Once a year a couple of our friends get together to celebrate Christmas the weekend before “Christmas”. As usual it will take us a week or two to decide on “what to cook”, this year we outsourced the snacks, starter and desert to two of the other families and myself and Shannon focused on the Main Meal…. we did however demanded Yummy Galore food from the contributors and they knew they had to perform or be scrapped for the invite list, and believe me they did not disappoint…

Shannon decided on a simple yet beautiful and tender acorn-fed pork shoulder for The Pool Room at Oak Valley Estates… wow, what a beautiful piece of meat, you should have seen Shannon handling that lovely shoulder, rubbing it with the lemon salt with true respect…
We are spoiled with various restaurant’s in the Elgin Valley and THE POOL ROOM with chef Nicole Precoudis, is the latest edition to a growing list… they also have a deli and restaurant filled with local produce, flowers, freshly baked breads and bakes, acorn-fed pork, beef and their own Oak Valley Wines.

No 24. w2s the poolroom

No 21. w2w the poolroom deli

For the slow-roasted acorn-fed pork shoulder you need to follow the following steps:
The day before, soak the shoulder in brine…
+/- 3kg or larger acorn-fed pork shoulder with the bone and skin on
1/4 cup sea salt
3/4 cup castor sugar
2.5 litres water
6 bay leaves, rosemary, a hand full of sage leaves or 1 tablespoon of dried sage
1 whole head of garlic with the top cut off to expose the cloves
1/4 cup green peppercorns

Make the brine, by adding the salt, sugar and water to a saucepan, slowly bring to the boil and dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the cooled liquid to a plastic bowl, big enough to fit and cover the shoulder. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, sage, whole garlic and peppercorns. Prick the shoulder with a skewer and dry the skin. Score the skin at 1cm intervals with a small sharp knife or ask your butcher to do it, rub with salt… Place the shoulder in the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

4 hours before serving…
Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees. Remove the shoulder from the fridge and discard the brine. Pat DRY with paper towelling.

Handled and rubbed with LOVE it could not be anything else that tender...

Handled and rubbed with LOVE it could not be anything else than juicy and tender…

Make the Lemon Salt rub..
Make the Lemon Salt Rub by grinding together in a pestle and mortar…
1/3 cup sea salt
2 tablespoons lemon rind
1/3 cup green peppercorns
1 tablespoon olive oil

No 4. christmas with friends

Rub and massage the DRIED shoulder tenderly and with LOVE with the Lemon Salt mixture…work it into the scored/cut skin.
Line a roasting pan with foil, and add 500ml of boiling water, rosemary, sage and bay leaves. Place the shoulder skin side up in the roasting pan. The water should come up +/- 3 – 4cm in the pan. Roast for 35 minutes at 220 degrees. Remove from the oven and cover with foil, REDUCE THE HEAT to 150 degrees. Roast for 3 hours 30 minutes, remove from the oven, uncover the pork and crisp at 200 degrees for a further 30 minutes until crisp. Rest for 15 minutes, remove the skin and cut the skin into smaller pieces to serve as cracking with the sliced tender pork.

For a printable version of the recipe click on the LINK BELOW
Slow-roasted acorn-fed pork Shoulder with Honey buttered apples and pears … RECIPE CARD

No 7. ch5ristmas with friends

We’ve set the table as per Shannon’s instructions, silver and white, while the pork roasted in the oven and finished a couple of bottles of bubbly on the kitchen floor, life like we love it…..

Me in kitchen heaven...

Me in kitchen heaven…

The silver and white themed table...

The silver and white themed table…

Shannon decided to serve the tender pork with sweet honey and buttered apples and pears straight from the farm…
Poach the peeled and cored apples and pears until slightly soft but still firm. Drain and fry on a high heat with 1 and a half tablespoon of butter and a big squirt of honey until golden brown…

Honey and butter like the girls in the kitchen...

Honey and butter like the girls in the kitchen…

We started the afternoon with me and Shannon and the other friends joined us a bit later… the girls all dress up for our dinner…

After dinner it was time for the VERY important “exchanging of gifts”…. thanks to Vissie for being very “willing” to be Father Christmas, I wonder why??

No 27. christmas with friends

So Shannon promised me a scale,( see it is in Vissie’s hand on the pic above) yes I don’t have a kitchen scale and every second day phone her to “weigh” flour ect for me and give me the ml’s…. so when I saw my flat small parcel I gave it back to her, unopened and said “WHERE IS MY SCALE??”, she gave it back and once opened I saw it’s a VERY FANCY flat electronic scale that can take any type of bowl… wow how lucky am I…

And for the “outsourced” desert … a truly decadent triple layered chocolate mousse… to follow on the blog as soon as I can get Elzaan to make it for me again…Elzaan I demanded Yummy and it was “Yummy GALORE”…

nO 29. christmas with friends

Christmas is all about tradition, and this is one tradition I would like to keep…

2012 in review

Here’s an extract received today from WORDPRESS blog hosting:

“600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,300 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.”

To the 4300 people who viewed my blog over the last 5 months…, wow I am blown away…. I loved every second I’ve spend creating it, the cooking, the fun times with friends, the long hours editing the pics, a big thanks to SHANNON for all your help and assisting with the cooking.

I cannot wait for 2013….

Hanlie Green

 

 

 

Sweet potato and phyllo bake ….. Christmas at Bodemloos Kombuis

Thanks to Maryke van Niekerk for sharing this recipe with me, I need to create a “noddy badge” system on my blog to highlight my top 5 recipes, yes….. , it will be real easy to select my top 5, but to start with, this recipe will be right there at the top….

1a

Bodemloos Kombuis, the venue for our Office Christmas Dinner, will stay one of my favourites in our Valley. Looking out over our beautiful Elgin Valley it is ideal for smaller size functions like our recent Office Christmas Dinner. Maryke and Henk’s friendly approachable and enthusiastic nature combined with great food made us return year after year to this venue… and let me not mention the “rolled up lamb spit” and her sweet potato bake and and and…

Bodemloos Kombuis at night...

Bodemloos Kombuis at night…

Nicole, our General Manager’s wife, always goes “all out” with creating a real Christmas feel to these dinners, and I once said that she is maybe the only person apart from Shannon (my blog partner) who I will trust blindly with decorating and setting up for a function without any “interference” from my side.

The beautifully decorated tables by Nicole and Maryke...

The beautifully decorated tables by Nicole and Maryke…

Always something different...

Always something different…

For the second year in a row, we’ve selected the Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit…. and I will put money on it that next year we might choose it again.

Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit ...

Bodemloos Lamb roll on a spit …

Let’s get back to that Sweet Potato and phyllo bake that accompanied the tender and juicy lamb.

For the Sweet Potato and phyllo bake you will need:

This recipe is for +/- 12 people….

Shortcut sweet potato method

Shortcut sweet potato method

2.5kg sweet potatoes (or a bit more)
125ml or half a cup of butter
187ml brown sugar
125ml golden syrup
one roll of phyllo pastry
+/- 1 cup or tub of cream
125ml brown sugar, half a cup

Cook the sweet potato by your method of choice, basically the “traditional South African” way, and if you don’t know how to do that, follow the easy method below, thanks to Ilse Groenewald for sharing this method with me.

Peel the 2.5kg sweet potatoes, immediately put the peeled sweet potatoes in water to prevent browning. Once peeled slice the sweet potatoes in 5mm thick rings and keep covered with water. In a heavy based pot melt together 125ml butter, 187ml brown sugar and 125ml golden syrup, simmer together for about 5 – 10 minutes until it looks like a slightly thick caramel. Drain the sweet potatoes and add the rings to the simmering caramel. Give the caramel and sweet potatoes a good stir. Add boiling water to “just cover” all the sweet potatoes, this is the strange part, as the traditional method cooks the sweet potato without adding any water. Simmer for about 45 minutes on a low heat without stirring until well cooked and all the water has dissapeared. Keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes as you only want to cook it until there’s about 1 cm of liquid remaining. Let it cool.

Once cooled completely start rolling the pastry rolls.

Very important when working with phyllo is to firstly defrost it overnight in your fridge, and once ready to use make sure you have a damp tea towel at hand to immediatly cover the sheets of phyllo as soon as you remove them from the plastic packet, if you don’t cover the flat opened sheets they will dry out quickly and stick together. I love working with phyllo, as long as you remember to cover it with that damp cloth.

Remove one sheet, and spoon one long line of sweet potato 5cm from the bottom of the pastry over the full lenght of the sheet, refer to the pic below, and roll it up tightly. Cut into 4 – 5 cm long pieces and pack the rolls into our dish. Make sure you cut the all the same length to create an even layer of little rolls stanking up in your dish…

The process...

The process…

Up to this stage you can prepare in advance, I would guess up to 3 or 4 hours before you need to serve….

About an hour before you need to serve, drizzle the cream over the sweet potato rolls and sprinkle with the 125ml of brown sugar, add a bit more sugar if the 125ml don’t seem to be enough, the cream will absorb into the phyllo and the brown sugar will turn into a crispy layer on top of the rolls… sweet crispness at the top and soft heaven inside…

The unbaked rolls sprinkled with brown sugar...

The unbaked rolls sprinkled with brown sugar…

Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees or until crisp at the top and all the cream absorbed into the pastry…

For a printable recipe card click on the PDF link below:
Sweet Potato and filo bake … RECIPE CARD

The crispy top

The crispy top

I loved this recipe so much that we made it on Friday night before Christmas at our “Christmas with friends” dinner and AGAIN on Tuesday for our Christmas Lunch….

Maryke, serving crispy prawn snacks...

Maryke, serving crispy prawn snacks…

Thanks to Ilse for always grabbing my camera and taking a couple of pics….(not a lot of people will be brave enough as they might get a growl), I don’t have a lot of pics of myself and really love the fun pics I find on my camera late at night when lying in bed and quickly scanning through the evenings pics on my camera…

Me and Bruce, thanks Ilse for taking the pic

Me and Bruce, thanks Ilse for taking the pic

Now time for something sweet…

The yummy dessert.

The yummy dessert.

LET THE PARTY START!! But I’ve had a busy busy week… (one of the pics I found on my camera)

A find on my camera...

A find on my camera…

What a GREAT evening, I think we went home at 3…. the next morning….

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And next year we will be back…. Thanks Maryke for your great food and Henk for the music that made us dance the night away…

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