Bean and Butternut winter warmer, in the magical Tankwa Karoo

Another lazy weekend at the Tankwa Tented camp…..

The drive is far, but we see it as a “road trip” and stop along the way. From Cape Town I suggest you take Friday half day and plan to be at the Tankwa Farmstall at around 4, just in time for late afternoon coffee or early sundowners, don’t miss this Farmstall, it is all part of the Tankwa Magic. You also want to get to the Tented Camp before dark and drive in “combo” with someone else, just in case you need some assistance with those dreaded flat tyres.

The last part of the trip from Ceres is really beautiful, long long long flat straight roads with absolutely nothing ….

Pit stop no one..

Pit stop no two..

The Tankwa Tented Camp is a self catering campsite, with tents with bedding on request.

I’ve decided to make this lovely bean and butternut bake as side dish to our chicken braai, it is easy packing, none of the ingredients needs refrigeration, except for the parsley, a real “out of a tin” dish which works for me on weekends away. You need an oven for it, but there’s one at the Tankwa Camp kitchen.

click on the link for a printable recipe cardBean and butternut winter warmer ………. RECIPE CARD
For the Bean and butternut bake you will need:
No 13c. tankwa
2 tins drained butter beans
2 tins peeled tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 onions
olive oil
1 butternut cubed
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
baby carrots – optional
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
salt, pepper and a squirt of lemon juice
(recipe adjusted from the Halfaampies Celebrates , Gigantes Plaki recipe – what a lovely book)
Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees. Saute the onions with the garlic and a bit of olive oil, add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 3/4 cup parsley and bay leaves and simmer for +/- 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper.

NO 13d. tankwa.jpg

Drain the butter beans and add to a +/- 6cm deep oven proof dish. Add the optional baby carrots and top with the cooked tomato mixture, cover with foil and bake for one hour.

No 13e. tankwa.jpg

Roast the cubed butternut, drizzled with olive oil on the bottom try of the oven (in a flat oven tray) while the beans and tomatoes simmer on the top try.

After on hour, remove the cover from the bean and tomato mixture, (don’t mix) and add the roasted soft butternut on top of the bean and tomato mixture. Bake uncovered for another 30 minutes at 180 degrees. Serve hot and top with the rest of the chopped parsley just before serving.

No 13f. tankwa

Campsite braai...

Campsite braai…

This warm soothing bean and butternut bake goes well with any kind of braai as a side dish, I prefer chicken….

At the Tankwa Tented Camp you are supposed to unwind and relax, BUT if you want to you can always….

HAVE FUN and go for a run…

RELAX in the hammock…

As long as you don't swing 2 together and break it like Abby did...

As long as you don’t swing 2 together and break it like Abby did…

Go for a 3 – 4 km cycle with the kids to the Africa Burn site…

ALWAYS but always take your camera with…

Me and my bike... strangely I did not crash as I was taking pics while cycling....

Me and my bike… strangely I did not crash as I was taking pics while cycling….

AFrica Burn fixtures

No 52. tankwa

And Sunday morning, make sure you get up before the sun and go for a walk…

No 62. tankwa

And if you are planning to get married, stroll over to the “wedding” site..

No 63. tankwa

A pic from our last trip..... a wedding...

A pic from our last trip….. a wedding…

And when the sun comes out the smell of coffeeeeeee will draw you back to the camp…

No 64. tankwa.jpg

And then it is time to go home, as I said a weekend can work, and if you make a “roadtrip” of the driving it is not too short, in Friday, back Sunday…

Make sure you take an extra tyre…

As this road eats tyres…. and

No 67. tankwa

inspire your kids to also take lots of pic’s ….

A helping hand..

No 70. tankwa

And you know it was a GREAT weekend if you feel TIRED…. luckily the long drive home will give you enough time to “recover”, just make sure you are not the driver…..

We need to explore the hidden treasures in our area…. like the beautiful Tankwa Karoo….

Everyday Chicken Curry – a family favourite..

This lovely flavourful chicken curry is a recipe from Bruce’s father, now Bruce Jnr makes it quite often when “the weather” moves in. I actually think it is this family’s favourite family recipe as we eat it quite often. It’s quite a simple recipe but it really works, Bruce had to write it down last night while making it so let’s hope the quantities are correct, as he commented “how do i measure a couple of shakes of chutney….”

For this curry you will need:

8 chicken drumsticks and 8 chicken thighs (the chicken quantity is not really important)
2 sliced onions
4 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tablespoons of hot curry powder (Bruce use Cartwright’s)
sprinkle of chilli flakes
1/2 bottle of Mrs Balls fruit chutney
a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce
1 x packet of ministrone soup powder
1 litre of tomato juice
Boiling water
some peas, peeled carrots and a couple of peeled baby potatoes.
200ml cream

Fry the onions and add the chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix together in a bowl the garlic, hot curry powder, chilli flakes, chutney, worcestershire sauce, ministrone soup powder and tomato juice, pour over the chicken.

Add the carrots and small peeled baby potatoes, NOW, quite important, add boiling water to level the sauce with your chicken, all ingredients should be covered with liquid, stir and bring to the boil on top of you stove.

Put the curry in a preheated oven at 170 degrees and cook with the lid on for 2 hours, i don’t stir the curry, just check the liquid every now and then as you don’t want it to go dry, but this should not happen.

For the Condiments we make:

Poppadoms (30 secs each in micro, i don’t like to fry them in oil)
Tomatoe salad
Cubed bananas with a dash of lemon juice
Greek or Bulgarian Yoghurt mixed with Mango Chutney – A MUST

Serve with Basmati Rice.

For the Yoghurt and Mango Chutney, mix about one cup of yoghurt and 1/4 cup of Mango Chutney, it is actually worth buying the bottle of Mango Chutney, it really lasts long and you can keep it in your fridge for ages once opened… I now don’t make this curry without this yoghurt and mango chutney condiment, last night i realised that i did not have any mango chutney left in the fridge and i drove all the way back to the village just for that…

After 2 hours, remove the curry from the oven, it’s heavy and it’s hot so be carefull, add the peas and 200 ml of cream. Stir through carefully just to mix in the cream, and cook for another 20 minutes. The chicken will be so soft that it will fall of the bone, so don’t stir it too much.

Serve with Basmati Rice and the condiments…..

And tomorrow, when you wake up with snow capped mountains, (can you believe it, snow capped mountains on the first day of spring )you have a big platefull of leftover curry for breakfast, that is why i always use 16 pieces of chicken…

Enjoy, we will be making THIS curry untill we are old….