Pixie’s Adventure

It seems Summer may properly be on the way, or that Spring has properly sprung? Whatever is happening I’m loving the warmth & sunshine! 

  
All of the greenery has flourished, the roadsides and gardens blooming. It’s been fabulous to go to work in bright light and come home with a few hours of sunlight remaining.  I had been waking in the dark and rushing home before complete darkness hit each night. 

Caitlin and I were keeping us all meat free early this week, we made fresh veggie burgers from chickpeas, coriander, sweet corn, an egg and cumin. We floured and fried them in coconut oil until crispy and brown. We bought fresh rolls from our local Oakhurst Kwikspar which has an amazing wee bakery, we have their savory and their sweet pies often. We did the shopping for our entire dinner from there! 

Caitlin made a tzaziki from the Greek yogurt and cucumber we picked up and I made fresh salsa from a yellow pepper, tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro. I made crispy fried potatoes, pepper and onions and we topped the burgers with slabs of fresh avocado and cheese, a creamy Camembert for Norm and the girls and a sharp pungent cheddar for me. 

 
Caitlin went for the no bread option. 
  
Norman had also picked up Malva pudding and custard so we had that for afters and we watched a movie, the last in the series of Night at the Museum films, it is sad to see Robin Williams making us all laugh and now knowing with hindsight just how broken he was. I think of his poor children left to live with that burden. It’s so heartbreaking. 

I can’t discuss the movie itself as I mostly snoozed. As usual. 

I never follow recipes, I just wing it. Hence I’m crap at instructions and used 2 tins chickpeas instead of one, and a whole tin of corn instead of half so we had a lot of mixture left so the next night we went Mediterranean! 

Again, that Spar sorted me with the extras I needed. I picked up some small auberines (eggplants to you Yanks 😉). I also got pita bread and a few other bits and pieces to feed us for a few breakfasts and lunches. 

I cut the aubergines in half and baked them for a bit then topped with crumbled feta and popped them back in the oven to melt the cheese.

 
Caitlin rolled up the chickpea mixture and we covered the balls in flour and deep fried them. We toasted the pitas and filled them with tzaziki, salsa, onion and feta. It was so yummy! 

Wednesday I hadn’t prepared for dinner and got home late so I chucked in the free arriabita sauce I received in one of my Girl Geek Dinner event goody bags and chucked in some crispy grilled bacon and served with pasta. It was edible and it was cheap! Sometime a girl just has to go for function, without the frills. One can’t always live the caviar lifestyle. (Any local Hout Bay readers will get the tongue in cheek jab I’ve made.) What a load of bollocks exists on the Internet. 

Thursday afternoon I had a meeting in the northern suburbs which finished after 430pm. The only benefit of sitting in traffic in Cape Town is the views. You are driving parallel to Table Mountain.

  
As I only got back to Hout Bay at 6.30 we decided to get take aways. Lily and Norm had cassarechio ravioli and Caitlin and I had pizza from Mimmi To Go. I opted for a half and half. I got half Salame – tomato, mozzarella, salame, mushrooms, olives and half Manuel – olive oil, mozzarella, cooked Parma ham, avocado, basil. 

As always it was divine, I so love their tomato sauce, you so seldom taste it on a South African pizza but it is a thick base for the slabs of proper creamy mozzarella on a Massimo pizza. 

  
Luckily after 2 hours in traffic munching that pizza and vegging out with my dogs and family saved my day. And possibly me from death row if anyone crossed me. 

  
I finally remembered to email the doggy Chiropractor David Black that I had Read about on a random blog. I was delighted when he rang me on my way home and we made an appointment for the next day to take Pixie to see him. 

Friday evening I finished about 4ish and headed home. Caitlin was out and Norm and I fancied a curry. We are so blessed to finally have a decent take away since Indian Oven opened in the bay. We got our usual, a portion of saag aloo with soft potato cooked in creamy spinach and a buttery garlic naan bread to share, I had prawn curry and Norm the chicken korma. It is so divine.

As Lily only eats mine or her mom in law’s curry she asked for a chicken chow mein from K1 sushi. Norm came home ready to scream as they were so disorganized it took 3 attempts to pay. Luckily their food is so good you forgive their idiocy. But they will drown in season if only 1 dude can work the bloody card machine. FFS.

Saturday Lily and I got up and had a lazy morning and then scooped up Pixie to head around the mountain to Noordhoek. The house is in San Michel and love this area and if I didn’t have to trundle into the city every day would love to live here.  Such stunning views.

 

We were taken in promptly at 12 and Pixie looked so anxious. She kept giving me the side eye on the drive there.

  

But  she wasn’t stressed once she saw David was only going to rub gel on her with an ultrasound device she relaxed and enjoyed the attention. He thinks a few treatments will help with the spasms. Bless her. She struggles lifting her lower body and falls over at the slightest touch since her accident.
We brought her home and headed to The Riverway Cafe for lunch as we were starving. We grabbed a table outside and ordered their delicious lemonade.
   
 
How cute are those bottles? For lunch we each had the special and we shared a portion of their homemade chips. It was fresh prawns wrapped in bacon and grilled and served with warm bread and salad.

  
We thought the riverbank looked lovely.  All the wildflowers are blooming.

  
We finished up and headed to Pep Stores to shop for Operation Shoebox the charity we support every year. We bought almost all of it at the one stop! This year we chose a 3 month old girl and a 6 year old girl. 

  
We got lots of goodies and some clothes, a soft, soft stuffed animal for the baby and 2 Polly pocket sets for the 6 year old as they fit easily in the confines of a shoebox. I love that we make a child happy who might otherwise have nothing for the holidays.

We were so efficient we decided to go and hit the spar again just as the rugby was starting so there were no crowds. We got a filet, potatoes, mushrooms, a bag of spinach and an avo.

We settled in and watched the South Africa and Wales game and then Lily and I made hassle back potatoes, mushrooms fried in garlic and butter, a spinach salad and a yummy sauce. We had blue cheese dressing which was perfect. The steak melted in your mouth and the potatoes were nice and crispy.

  
We had brought home a lemon meringue pie from spar. It was so creamy and tart. Perfect for a warm evening. We rented the new Jurrassic Park but of course I fell asleep. 

Tonight I’m going to roast the other fillet half in the oven but I’m enjoying having nowhere to rush off to. I’m off now to see what Norm is up to, I saw him wandering off with a paintbrush.

Enjoy your weekend all.

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It’s All Relative

Last week was one of those weeks where you feel like your life is one monotonous rotation of work, home, bed, and then the cycle starting over again the next day. But this week was packed full of all manner of random diverse activity. 

Work was again hectic with me going off at 7am and getting home about 7pm so we had a few nights of take aways. I was delighted that my favourite pizza appeared back on Massimo’s daily special menu. 

  
The John Wayne is one of their many delicious sounding daily specials and consists of pulled bbq beef, smoked mozzarella, red onion, and huge pieces of jalapeño peppers. It’s my happy place. Oh Lordy. Their tomato sauce is so full of flavour. The mozzarella is thick and creamy, it is proper mozzarella. Not that plastic rubbish so many places try to pass off as mozzarella. It’s just amazing. My only slight suggestion would be to cut the jalapeños a wee bit shorter but that’s more about my untidiness while eating than anything else. But it is all of my favorite things all on one pizza.

Caitlin got the Happy Valley Calzone – stuffed with ham, mushrooms, mozzarella, feta, caramelised onions & cacio cheese, served with sliced avocado.

   

Norm was supposed to ask for no ham as Cait is trying to be pescatarian but he forgot. 

We liked the idea that R10 of the cost of it goes to Watchcon. She said it was delicious and it certainly smelled divine. 

On Tuesday night Norman and I attended the meeting of the Hout Bay Community Policing Forum. There was a huge upsurge in attendance from the usual numbers of attendees and they ended up moving it to the local elementary school. There were over 200 people in attendance with many people expressing concern at the increased level of crime we are experiencing in Hout Bay. 

A young lad spoke to the group, a tall good looking guy who is the head boy at Silikamvas  a local school in the informal settlement. He spoke passionately and eloquently about the fears the students have traveling back and forth to school. Another guy spoke about the issues he has living right next to the township gates, about how unmanageable crime is. The crime stats were read and a very dry presentation of a mind map was spoken through.

The issue is that police distribution is driven by the census results and the census takers just lay about in the shade. No one was willing to let strangers into their home to take stock of all their belongings in a society where people regularly rob you of said belongings, therefore they submitted incomplete figures and our area’s population was stated as approximately 30k, however based on the analysis done by a local pilot the real figure is closer to 66k. The informal settlement alone is estimated at 30k, so in reality our entire police force should be allocated only to one of Hout Bay’s informal settlements, Imizamo Yethu, not to all of Llandudno, Suikerbossie, the harbour, and the rest of the valley. Even if we didn’t have such a high level of crime we would be under-resourced. 

We had promises from our representative in charge of Safety and Security  JP Smith.  I for one feel neither safe nor secure.  He even had the nerve to try and joke about the Burning of The White House.

Tempers were boiling and words were flying, but the usual level of lack of care was exhibited by our councillor Marga Haywood, she is so unimpressive and ineffective. At least JP Smith talked the talk, as to whether he will actually have any effect will remain to be seen. Hout Bay is such a beautiful place it breaks my heart that it is so full of violence. How many stabbing victims and raped children will make the government wake up to this crisis? 

I felt like the group meeting was still rehashing the same points as always, nothing changes except the crime stats. Rape has gone up 200% but only the National Crime commissioner can know the number, we can only be told percentages and statistics. They tried to reassure us that it’s ‘only in the single digits’ but one woman raped is one woman too many and 9 is still a single digit, and 9 is way too many.  

Sometimes I get discouraged by the way we are forced to live, looking over our shoulders. I had to pop into the ATM to get cash and as the guard was nowhere to be seen, I took my pepper spray. I would have taken my tazer had it been in the car. Yes, I have a tazer. Next on my list of desired acquisitions is a paint ball rifle adapted to use pepper balls. 

We left the meeting and went off to grab dinner at Cassarechio which is Norman’s favourite Italian restaurant and I got a nice winter tummy warmer of a dinner of spaghetti bolognaise and we headed home. 

Wednesday I had the nurse pop round work to test me for a new policy, they need to take blood and urine etc to test that you are not about to drop dead before they insure you.

I left work a bit early as my pedicurist Vanessa popped round. It is so cold I kept my socks on til the last minute! Brrrr. But it is so nice to have her come to the house. 

Thursday we had a team lunch booked at Borage Bistro.

  
 I had heard great things about the restaurant and the chef since it opened and was so excited to try it. Norm dropped me off that morning so that I could have a drink to celebrate with the team.

   

   
 The team took a few bottles of a nice Spanish red with them and I ordered a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which comes from the Almenkerk winery. It was lovely and light and crisp, I loved it. 

  
We all ordered our food from the specials menu.

  
 I ordered the pork tacos, I love carnitas so I was expecting a lot.

I was disappointed on many levels. 

The service was sporadic, not because of the waitress but because of the kitchen. They were passing over the dishes a bit slow. We told the people served not to wait for us as their food was getting cold. 

Lizelle had the pasta, we were joking it looked like pot noodle. She said it was nice. 

  
It looked dry.

Guy had the chicken salad at R65 which looked nice. He said if he made it at home he would had added more chicken but it was sufficient. It was chicken, bacon, tomato, avocado, honey & mustard. 

  
The pork tacos were nicely presented in a big wooden bowl thing.

  
I’m not sure if they make their own tortillas and then fry them or buy commercial flour tortillas and then fry them. Or were they poppadoms?  They were impossible to eat and the shells shattered as soon as you tried to bite into one. You need the heavy texture of a corn tortilla for a taco, not flour. The flavours were nice, I enjoyed the sort of fusion of a pulled pork sandwich topped with coleslaw and then served in a taco. I just think it lacked something in its execution and delivery, 

The meat was riddled with large blocks of fat. 

  
You had to do a quick sift through the taco for fat blobs. It makes me want to heave a wee bit to think about it now. Sorry you have to look at it but I wanted to show I wasn’t exaggerating. 

I expected dry shredded meat like carnitas. This was very moist. 

It had white bean purée instead of the traditional borlotti/pinto beans which might work, but they needed more flavour, maybe a wee bit of cumin or some chili to lift it. 

The portions for the salad and the risotto were tiny. The pork tacos were the largest of the choices we all had. The men who didn’t have tacos were still hungry after we ate and so we ordered 4 of their Food Boards.  

 
They were lovely. That seemed to fill the gap. 

Charlton had the brownie. He said it was good.

  

 

Norm collected me at 4 after far too much wine with my lunch. I was being collected at 6 for the Launch of the Xtraordinary Women Inspirational Evenings

  We had a lovely evening, it was put on by the students at the other campus to the same school my daughter Lily attended, CPUT. It was all very professional and well done they should be proud. I would never guess it was first year students. 
It was lovely to see everyone. It seems my bestie Retha and I have no time to see each other as we are both so busy with work.

  
The wine sponsor was Bon Courage who provided a lovely rose sparkling wine.

  

I got home late and was so tired but Friday passed quickly. Lizelle and I took advantage of the midday sun and walked over to The Foodlovers Market and had their salad bar for lunch. 

We had so many days of rain and howling winds it was nice to have a sunny day yesterday and today. It is sunny but still bitterly cold. It is about 12 celcius every day. 

This morning it was bright and sunny but cold, all of the book club girls were meeting for breakfast at La Cuccina to celebrate Dawn’s birthday. It was so delicious. I had the Eggs Benedict with crispy bacon which is R58.

  
They serve the cappuccino with a charming little shortbread heart shaped cookie.

  
We had a good natter and a nice meal and then I came home to collect Lily and we headed off to Blue Route Mall. There were still some sales on and I got several tops and a pair of jeans, several jackets and a pair of trainers. Lily was lucky to find everything on sale. She got a great buy on a warm winter jacket.

We had a lovely day but the entire world seemed to be there as it was the 1st Saturday of the month. Never mind, we survived. We stood about half an hour at Mr Price. Very poor show. How can you not realise you will be busy on that day? 

The girls are out tonight so Norm and I are relaxing at home. Tomorrow we are out at a jazz event so we are taking it easy tonight. 

I do hope you all enjoy your weekend everyone.