Launch of the Season

Even though it is not quite December, the season seems to be fully launched. The week flew by and it was the weekend again before I caught my breath.

On Thursday night we had a work function in the city centre. I left my office in Mowbray promptly at 3pm and shot off to Hout Bay to leave my car at home and then Norm kindly drove me in so I could have a drink. The traffic was insane! The function was at The Park Inn at the Foreshore. They have a roof top bar and restaurant called Harald’s Bar and Terrace. The view of Table Mountain is spectacular from there.

haralds.jpg

It was a bit overcast and at one stage the dark clouds rolled over the mountain and we actually got rained on and had to dash inside for cover.

haralds clouds.jpg

Our lovely office manager Tamarin and I raced off to the bar when it started to drizzle.

tamarin

I got a lift home with my colleague Darren so I did not stay terribly long. As it was a work night I kept to single vodkas and avoided the deadly wine. As a result I was able to function on Friday at work without too much pain, just a bit of tiredness.

As Norm and Josh were home alone Norm bravely decided to make low carb spaghetti bolognaise. I sent him brief instructions and he managed it all on his own. It was delicious. We had been given tidbits to nibble at the work function so I did not have any that night, but I did take some to work the next day.

spagbol

On Friday afternoon Norm messaged me to say that a truck had rolled over on Rhodes Drive. I did not think much of it until hours later on my drive home when I came up on a long queue of traffic. There was a traffic cop redirecting everyone. A cement truck had rolled over onto a car. Luckily (and unbelievably) no one was killed.

cement truck

Photo credit.

We were all redirected back onto the motorway and then eventually we could drive the long way around and get home but it added a while onto the journey, not what anyone wants on a hot sunny Friday afternoon. But I guess it is better than being under a cement truck! #Winning

Norm and I decided to just get a take away for dinner that night as it was hot and we were both rather tired. I had been going to go out with Retha for her birthday but her plans changed and quite frankly I was happy with having a night at home.

Norm popped down to Indian Oven, our local Indian food take away spot.

We started with a shared order of Spinach bhajees.

indian oven starters.jpg

I had my usual prawn curry but it was a bit spicier than usual, it was still divine. We also shared an order of saag aloo which is cubes of potato cooked in pureed spinach. It is so tasty.

curry.jpg

We had a quiet cozy evening in. The dogs were being ridiculously cute. Pixie was chasing Navajo around and nipping at him. He would jump on the sofa with her ball in his mouth and she was then unable to reach him. Then he would jump down and run around the sofa with her in hot pursuit growling and yipping at him.

dogs cute.jpg

I woke up early on Saturday as Pixie had an appointment in Noordhoek at the doggy Chiropractor.

It is such a stunning drive.

chiro view.jpg

We were lucky with the traffic and arrived early.

me pix chiro.jpg

Lucky for us he had a no show so we got to go in early and so we finished earlier than planned.

I was meeting the George Escapees NoBooksNOurBookClub members for lunch at 12. We have all been friends for about 25 years and meet up whenever we are all in Cape Town.

We were booked at Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Farm. Janine had already nabbed a table outside in the shade by the time I arrived.

1682 me janine.jpg

We had to wait about 30 minutes for Nicola who was late.

1682 nic janine.jpg

The waiter helpfully suggested that she might be lost until I told him she actually lives on the estate! She had an exhausting week and after getting dressed had sat down for a second to just rest her eyes and fell asleep.

Oops.

We forgave her.

The menu at Bistro 1682 is mostly a Tapas based menu so we all decided to choose 2 starters. They do have main courses but it was a hot day and it was a bit too much to try and gnaw through a steak or something large and heavy.

I chose the Baby Patagonian Calamari for R92 which was described as: Avo pulp, tomato & jalapeno jam, aioli, coriander salsa. I loved the little phyllo pastry basket in the middle to add a bit of visual interest.

This was perfection! The tangy sauce and the coriander all joined together to create a celebration in my mouth.

1682 calamari.jpg

For my next course I chose their version of a “Caesar” Salad for R94. It was described as ‘Parma Ham, white anchovies, artichokes, marinated peppers, cos lettuce,
soft quail egg, curry oil’.

1682 salad.jpg

Now regular readers know how calling a salad a Caesar just because someone chucked on some ‘Caesar dressing’ is a good way to wind me up. This one was adequately described so I did not really expect a proper Caesar. I found it a bit heavy on the dressing and not very much like a Caesar at all other than the anchovies. But it was tasty enough. I just found all of the sauces combined a bit overwhelming for what should be a delicate salad.

I did not take a snap of the menu on the day and the online menu only has this dessert dish which sounds vaguely like it could be what I ordered: Dark Chocolate Marquise R82 Raspberry Ice Cream, Chocolate Soil, Orange Foam, Chocolate Cigar.

However I do not see any raspberry ice cream or a chocolate cigar on my plate below, do you? Who knows what I ate but I can tell you I would have it again and again!

It was divine!!

Whatever it was.

1682 dessert.jpg

We did not stay out terribly late as Nicola was going to the Johnny Clegg concert so we wrapped it up about 2.30 and I rang for Norm to collect me.

We went home and pottered about getting ready for the open house on Sunday. That evening we had planned on going out for dinner but we decided rather to stay in and continue to get things ready for the show house.

Norm went to the fish and chip shop and bought calamari, prawns and fish then he went to the Thai place next door and bought salads. We split it all and had a rather delicious (low’er’ carb) dinner and did not miss the chips at all.

fish

On Sunday we got up and got moving with the cleaning and sorting of the house. I had a wander around the garden and decided to dead head my strelitzia. It was looking a bit straggly. (It is also known as a Bird of Paradise due to the bird like blooms.)

I got into the midst of it and tried to avoid losing an eye to the sharp leaves. I cut out quite a lot of dead growth.

Left pic is after, upper right before.

stylitzia.jpg

Unfortunately I forgot that I am old and rather unfit and I put my back out due to all the contortions to avoid eye loss. I was in agony and this meant Norm had to do all of the rest of the show day preparation on his own. Not that I do much at the best of times, but still. I usually at least pretend to help.

I hobbled about until 3pm when the estate agent arrived then I took her on a tour so she knew where things were and what to promote to any potential sellers.

Then we bundled all of the dogs into Norm’s car and headed off to Deli Delish as they were so welcoming to us and the dogs when we went the last time. It was a terribly windy day and so we sat out on the patio area. This time Panda insisted on sitting in Daddy’s lap.

pups at delish.jpg

We were both ravenous as it was 3pm and we had not had anything except coffees. As it was so warm I opted for a salad and had the soy-sesame chicken salad. It was OK but there was a bit too much sauce for me.

delish me.jpg

Norm opted for breakfast.

delish norm.jpg

We even indulged in dessert and I had a piece of Pineapple tart.

delish pie.jpg

After we finished we popped over to drop off Retha’s birthday present. I gave her a voucher for Skin in Hout Bay so she can treat herself to a pedi or something nice. Norm took the dogs for a walk and I hung out with Retha, Paola and Philip chatting for a bit.

Just around 5pm Norm headed home to relieve the estate agent but I stayed a bit longer chatting.

I am still hobbling about with my back pain. Norm treated us to a lovely dinner last night, he made fillet steaks, veggies and roast pumpkin.

steak.jpg

There is nothing quite so nice as having someone look after you when you are not quite feeling yourself. I am very blessed.

Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxoxox

Advertisements

Is There A Doctor in the House?

This past weekend was a lovely long 3 day weekend as Monday was Heritage Day in South Africa. It was made even better as Lily and Josh were down for the weekend. I cooked for us all on Thursday but on Friday night Lily was out with her childhood girlfriends for dinner but Josh had been working all day so he was happy to stay at home and chill with me and Norm. We ordered ribs and chicken burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway.

ribs

We started watching a new show called ‘Better Things‘ which I really enjoyed. I thought it was very funny. It stars Pamela Adlon who is very cute yet sexy and quirky and odd and she is perfectly cast for the part.

better things

Of course she is one of the creators so that makes sense that she is perfect for the part. She collaborated with Louis C.K. who I am not always a fan of, I think he uses crudity in place of humour sometimes. But I am often edging onto the crude side myself sometimes, but then my prudish Virgoness pulls me back from the abyss.

We got up early on Saturday as I had an appointment at Skin in Hout Bay for a laser treatment. Norm and I popped in to La Cuccina for a quick breakfast before my appointment.

Norm then went off to do some errands in town and then he came back at 12:00 to pick me up.

Regular readers will know that we are downsizing and have taken the difficult decision to sell our beloved house and leave Hout Bay. After Norm collected me we drove over to Constantia to view a house which looked appealing on the brochure. We quite liked it but it does need a bit of work done to make it suitable for us, such as putting in a shower in the en-suite and removing some cupboards so my cooker could squeeze in to their kitchen layout.

After we had our viewing we went home and started on our plan to ‘house-doctor’ our home to make it more viewer friendly as the agent was coming to make the brochure photos on Tuesday. This is also called ‘Staging’ your home. Basically we removed all of the ‘personal’ items such as family photos and just did a general decluttering.

There were some items which I have kept for ages as they were gifts, or some which were mementos and had memories associated to them. Time to let that all go.

I had gone through a ‘Chinese’ themed decor phase a few years back where I had a bright red dining room and a lot of Chinese style artifacts and items, but this is no longer my style so out they went. I had other mementos of our past holidays such as a rusty little statue from Sardinia and a pottery plate from a trip to Portugal. The platter has a chip on it and I still have my memories, so out they went.

Lily had a look through the box and she took the Chinese artifacts and some of the other items. The rest will go to DARG to be added to their fundraising garage sales. I have another big bag of jewelry which will go as well once Caitlin has made sure there is nothing she wants out of it.

We packed up CD racks and gave away a CD player to a friend as we have several CD players and never play any of them. Norm took some winter jackets down to the homeless men who do car guarding in Hout Bay as they are outside in all elements and it is still cold at night. They were very happy that he thought of them. He is a good kind hearted man. I hope that it helps to balance out my own nasty selfish side. A couples group karmic score sort of thing.

The house is so empty it almost echos. But it looks so spacious.

That evening as we were on our own we decided to pop down to Woodcutters Arms for a wee bevvie and a pub dinner.


We are never very adventurous and we both had our usual starters, the jalapeno cheddar cigars for me and the scotch egg for Norm.


He does love these scotch eggs.


Norm was somewhat virtuous and had the Blue Cheese Burger on special and he had it with salad and did not eat his bun.


I was very naughty and had chips with my chicken burger but I also did not eat my bun.


I had an order of onion rings to make up for not eating the bun however.

After our dinner we headed home and decided to watch a film. I randomly chose ‘Nocturnal Animals‘. I do love Jake Gyllenhaal.

nocturnal-animals-trailer.jpg

That was one weird hard to follow film. I could never tell what was reality and what was part of the screenplay the lead actress was reading. I won’t even go into whether the lead was played by Amy Adams or the other one.

Isla-Fisher-Amy-Adams

We had more house viewings on for the next day but first we got up and carried on getting the house in a state for the brochure photos. Norm pottered about endlessly fixing and tidying. He is a demon when he sets his mind to a task.

Lily and Josh headed off to their hen party and bachelors parties.

Norm and I headed out late afternoon and viewed 2 houses both in Constantia, just around the corner from the one we viewed on Saturday. The 1st property we saw on Sunday was perfect for us. It was in a quiet cul-de-sac and the only thing we need to do is add a shower in the master en-suite. A lot of the older houses do not have an en-suite at all and when they do it often does not have a shower. With our current drought one cannot even contemplate filling a bath to luxuriate in.

The 2 properties were just a few minutes away from Cait’s new flat and she had just returned from her weekend away with Wes and his friends so we popped by to see her. She has made a lot of progress with unpacking.

After we left Caitlin’s house we were starving so we popped in to Peddlars for an early dinner. Once again they have completely changed their menu. They have now opened up what was 3 different restaurants on the same site which previously had 3 different menus to be one open room and only 1 single menu. However it now seems to have lost it’s identity, decor wise. There are completely different styles in the 3 seating areas and it seems a bit of a design fail.

But I wasn’t there to enjoy the decor I wanted fed.

Norm settled in with a glass of sauvignon blanc.


We decided to have a cheat night (ignore I had one the night before *cough*)

I ordered the Panko Crumbed Chicken Breast for R98 which was described as Parmesan and herb crusted with chips. I chose to add cheese sauce for an extra R20 and was glad I did as it was a bit dry without it.

Norm had the Beer Battered Hake and Chips for R115 and he enjoyed it.


We decided to push the boat out and have a dessert to finish off our day of debauchery.

We decided to order 2 and to share so we had a Chocolate Brownie at R48 which came with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce as well as the Chocolate Nemesis at R65, described as a flourless chocolate cake, mascarpone and berries.

I preferred the brownie and Norm preferred the chocolate nemesis. But they were both delicious.

We headed home and Lily arrived soon after we got in. Josh was still of partying with his pals until later that evening when Lily went to fetch him feeling a bit worse for wear. The girls had a pamper party but the fellas had played footy on the roof of a building and he ended up with raw knees and a bruised rib.

His blood pressure has been very low so I was worried about him playing sport, but I am a bit of a paranoid mommy sort. He was fine, just a bit banged up.

We had a chilled out evening as we were rather knackered from the House Doctoring and tidying.

On Monday morning Lily and Josh were up early and off back to the Garden Route as they both had work the following day. Norm and I carried on pottering about.

I made us an omelette out of the bits and pieces in the fridge. I fried peppers, onions, mushrooms and chorizo and then made it into an omelette. I served it with avocado and tomatoes.

I reheated my left over onion rings and had those with my omelette.

After I ate I went out and started on tidying the garden. I worked at trimming all of the bushes around the pool as that is what you see when you are on our patio looking out and it was full of dead bits from the last time it bloomed. We do have a gardener but he seems to be busy doing other things….not sure what.

We set up our back garden patio area which was still in winter mode. We put the couches out and put on all of the cushions, we rearranged the tables and chairs and did a general tidy up.

We were so exhausted after it all but it feels great to get rid of clutter. Our house looks fab. Hopefully it will sell quickly and we will find the perfect house to move to which is smaller and without the stairs which are giving my arthritic knees such issues.

We were back at work on Tuesday and today I facilitated a client workshop delivering our first work item. It went really well and they are happy with my progress.

A Cosatu strike occurred today. The strike is in protest against corruption and state capture.

cosatu

Cosatu national spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the country was struggling with a 38% unemployment rate and about 10 million people who were without jobs, while more than 17 million were on social welfare.

“This is happening while South Africa is losing roughly R147 billion a year from the money illegally taken out of the country,” he said.

There is such corruption across all political parties and branches of our government. It saddens me as South Africa is such a wonderful place, if only it was not being pilfered by our government. It is over 20 years since apartheid ended yet nothing has changed for the vast majority of the people here. Crime is prevalent, unemployment is rife and millions still live in shacks.

The ruling government should be ashamed of this continued oppression.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week. I am looking forward to my Introduction to Shamanism course on Sunday. We are taking a break from viewing properties until we gauge how our house performs on the market.

Kisses from the Kitten. xoxoxoxox

It’s A Wonderful Day In The Neighborhood

As I write that title I think about the dilemma I often have, who is going to ‘get me’. Did the whole world know about Mr Rogers or was he an American only concept? In today’s fast paced world Mr Rogers would never succeed. He spoke too slowly, his concept was too simple and would never hold the attention of the overstimulated ADHD kids of today.

Last night we went to Quentin’s with our friends Retha and Pierre

IMG_1956.JPG

IMG_6791.JPG
We have been wanting to go for dinner there since they opened, but we never seem to get ourselves sorted. In fact I have booked and canceled 3 times there due to a variety of reasons with a variety of companions. We have been for the lunch carvery recently but I’m not a fan of carverys or buffets in general and I wanted to try it on an evening with proper service.

What service! Subtle, unobtrusive and attentive. Really brilliant.

The venue is just stunning, the pseudo rough image of a renovated barn, but with such gorgeous decor. Linen napkins, and lovely tableware. I adore the chandeliers. The lighting is strong enough to see what you are eating but still gentle and flattering.

IMG_6810.JPG

There is a standard menu.

IMG_1959-0.PNG
and a blackboard with specials of local available fresh items.
Norm and Retha had the fritters.

IMG_6795.JPG
And Pierre had the marrow.

IMG_6799.JPG
I had one of the specials from the blackboard which was the scallops in a burnt whiskey sauce. I adore scallops and these were fresh and tasting slightly of sea which is as they should. The whiskey was a subtle accent not overwhelming at all.

IMG_6798.JPG
I would have this again. I think they were about R100.

For mains Retha had the kingklip, it was served on a bed of spinach. She said it was lovely and it looked moist, it was a lovely thick fat loin of kingklip.

Norm had the slow cooked lamb neck and said it was tasty.

IMG_6803.JPG
It looked very tender and seemed to flake off the bone.

Pierre had the lentil bobotie. I didn’t fancy that, it looked too fiddly, loads of wee dishes of things.but Pierre seemed to enjoy it.

I had the fillet. It was a huge portion at 280 grams. I have enough left for a nice steak baguette today. It came with perfectly crispy and fluffy chips and al dente baby broccoli and green beans. The steak was incredibly tender, perfectly cooked and beautifully seasoned. It was exceptional. There was a wee bowl of spicy green peppercorn sauce. It was hot and full of flavour and not at all gloopy so I know it was made fresh for me, not a premade pot on the boil like a lazy chef might do. It was creamy like silk. It had a sharp bite of the peppercorns. Really a gorgeous plate of food.

We washed it down with our usual Sauvingnon Blanc, this time a Tokara. It was a gorgeous one, crisp and sharp. We are so blessed with so many vineyards on our doorsteps in the Cape.

IMG_6793.JPG
For dessert I was stuffed but we still wanted to try the chocolate mousse ganache. It would be rude not to really. 🙂

IMG_6805.JPG

It was so rich and creamy, so divine and a perfect end to our meal. I loved the toasted hazelnut sauce with the walnuts in. I adore walnuts, a underutilized nut in my view. Walnut whips? Mmmm. Yeah baby.

Retha had the malva pudding with custard. It looked delicious as well.

IMG_1960.PNG

I fully enjoyed our meal. The service, the food, the fact it is 2 minutes from my house? All of it. A fabulous experience, definitely to be recommended. It is not cheap by any means, but it is excellent quality and I feel it is worth every penny. Our meal was about R400 per head. Three of us had wine, 1 had a few mixed drinks, we all had starters, mains, 3 had desserts and 2 of us had a coffee with 2 bottles of water for the table.

Quentin does seem to genuinely want to please his customers and for people to enjoy his food. He seemed to get a bit nervous when I mentioned I have a food blog, until I assured him I am no one of any importance 🙂

IMG_6820.JPG