Hello Pickle!

I have been something of a pickle cruncher for pretty much my entire life. Seriously, I was virtually eating pickles in the womb. Well, my Mom was – it was her biggest craving while I was snugly baking in her tummy (and crab curry apparently, but that is a tale for another day). There is something about their crunch and tang that makes your tongue go all funny at the back, and your cheeks sweat a little that I just love. Because of this pickle brine that runs through my very DNA, our household goes through the tangy little suckers like nobody’s business, and let me tell you- great pickles don’t come cheap! This crunchy craving was seriously effecting our bottom line. Seriously, go to the Supermarket and see for yourself. Daylight Robbery. This is part of what makes good old fashioned Pickling so damn satisfying.  My entire stash cost me approx R40 and I came out with 6 Jars, stuffed to the rim.

I chose to store my Pickles in Weck Jars. Why?  They are the best looking jars in the business; they are used by my spirit animal – Martha Stewart; They seal brilliantly well and all it takes is one tug of the little rubber tab and the seal pops open (I have smashed bottles before just trying to get under the damn lid!). I buy my Weck online from a local company who goes through all the admin of importing them. Click through here, think seriously about clicking on the ‘Large Volumes‘ button and ordering a case of jars. They will set you back a couple of bucks but you will seriously use them for life.

Before you get completely overwhelmed with excitement, please ensure that you have the following in your possession:

3 x 500ml Glass Jars (I use the WECK Tulip Jar)
800g Radishes
2 Cups Spirit Vinegar
2 Cups Water
60ml Raw, unfiltered Honey
1 tbs Coriander Seeds
1 tbs Mustard Seeds
1 pinch celery seeds
1 tsp black pepper corns – whole
4 bay leaves


colinder
1. Start by chucking your Radishes into a colander and giving them a good scrub. I choose not to peel them because their skin turns the Pickles a beautiful pink colour after about 24 hours. Once they are all scrubbed, use a sharp knife or a Mandoline  and cut the Radishes into thin slices (see picture below). I use a Mandoline, but very cautiously, I had an incident a while ago that haunts me, and my finger, to this day. The thickness of your slices is entirely up to you, obviously the thicker the slice, the bigger the crunch.

2. Once all the Radishes are chopped, distribute the slices amongst the 3 jars. It might seem like you have WAY too many Radish slices, this problem can be solved by simply forcing them into the jars.

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3. Once your Radishes are safely in their vessels, combine the remaining ingredients in a medium sized saucepan and bring to the boil. As soon as the liquid boils, and the honey is dissolved, turn off the heat and pour over the radishes until they are completely covered. Make sure you equally distribute all the little seeds and pips between the jars otherwise 1 jar will get all the Pizzazz. 
pickle 3
4. As soon as your Radishes  are safely underwater and well on their way to becoming insanely delicious pickles, seal the jars and let them cool. Only once they are cool will they be ready to eat, DO NOT OPEN THE JAR until they are cool and all the delicious juices have had time to do their thing.

Enjoy your pickles with every and any food stuff or just on their own, straight out of the jar.

Sweat Meats with Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants.

ffmm

I recently teamed up with Andy from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants and created this tasty little number. Next time you swing by to pick up your weekly bag of grass fed goodness, make sure to swipe one for your after dinner enjoyment. Inside the wrapper, you will find a block of Hand Made Honey nougat, laden with roasted Macadamia Nuts, a Pinch of Maldon Seasalt and a healthy helping of crunchy Pork Crackling.

Knysna Oyster Festival: Where to Eat.

We were lucky enough to eat at some really awesome places while we were in Knysna. Thank goodness I decided to run the Half or I would have had to walk home to burn off all of the deliciousness that I stuffed in my face all weekend long! These were my favourite places to fill my tummy at…

cafeZ

Cafe Z at Pezula.
The night before the Half, we were treated to an absolutely glorious dinner at Cafe Z at Pezula. I am usually not one to go to a Hotel for dinner. I don’t know why I have this prejudice about hotels, I just always assume that there will be a big, fat buffet with big silver platters of re-heated food.  How wrong I was.
The menu caters for every taste, and includes everything from simple fish and chips to Free-Range Duck Confit. Chef Geoffrey Murray prides himself on using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients which adds to the quality of flavour in every bite.
I had a starter of Country Style Pork Terrine with Dried Peach chutney, bread and butter pickles and baguette crisps and Chef Peter’s Famous Chicken Laska for my main. We had planned on behaving and skipping dessert but were unable to resist the charm of the warm Cardamon, Basmati rice Pudding which lasted less than 2 minutes on our table! All in all, we had a wonderful evening. The waiters were extremely friendly and had a great understanding of the menu and the flavours that comprised it. I will certainly be back.

Lagoonview Drive, Eastern Head, Knysna, 6571  TEL: 27-44-302-3333

iledepain

ile De Pain

On my last trip to Knysna I made the fatal error of stepping into Ile De Pain, just to have a look (they were fully booked so we were not able to actually grab a bite.). Since then, I have been desperate to sample their menu. Luckily, The Bird and I were able to grab a table this time round. On entering this little treasure trove, I was hit with the smell of freshly baked bread and my eyes with a bustling hive of kneading, folding and proving.

The Ile de Pain menu offers a massive variety of goodies, ranging from Big, Fat, juicy Burgers to beautifully crafted confectionery and pastries. There literally is something for everyone. Liezie Mulder said, ” I love food, Food is life, Food is happiness. Food is part of everythingI do. I love to cook simple, honest, fun food that is really flavourful and fresh.’ This sentiment describes, perfectly, the the nature of what is served up to the loyal customers of Ile de Pain.

The Bird polished off a dreamy, wild mushroom pizza while I kept it simple with Rye Bread topped with a fluffy scrambled egg cloud. The food was simple and delicious and the service, unfussy. I finished it all off with a glorious cappuccino and a cellophane bag filled with these crazy cocoa crusted roasted almonds that were sweet and crunchy but also chocolaty. We left with out lips on the ground as we really wanted to spent the day, nestled in our cozy corner, sipping cuppacinos, eating macarons and chocolate croissants and everything else these magicians had to offer but unfortunately we had a beer festival to go to. I cannot wait to go back for more – next time I will also buy more than one bag of the delicious chocolaty almonds.
The Boatshed no.10, Thesen Island, Knysna. Call 044 302 5707 www.iledepain.co.za

east-head-cafe copy

East Head Cafe

The East Head Cafe is a brilliant lunch spot. You can expect simple, classics like fish and chips, seriously delicious, hand made burgers and a really well put together range of salads and healthy fare.  We were lucky enough to nab a great table and spent the afternoon sipping ice cold beers, with the sun on our backs and a stellar view of the Knysna Heads.  Burgers were ordered all round – we had just run the half marathon so re-fueling was very important! We all ate in complete and utter silence, they were that good!
25 George Rex Drive, Eastern Head, Knysna, Western Cape . Phone: +27 (0) 44 384 0933

Dallas Clayton on following Dreams.

 

Today, we celebrate the birthday of the greatest person we will know in our life times. We celebrate a man who followed his dreams, no matter what. Today, we are encouraged to spend 67 minutes, trying our best to make our Country better, not only because Tata has asked us to, but because we would like to make the dream of a united and strong South Africa a reality, for ourselves.
I decided to post this book today because it makes me feel encouraged, full of hope and certainly inspired to dream bigger and make myself better, which is exactly what Nelson Mandela wants for us all. Click on the link below and take some time, maybe 67 minutes, to read through this book then go home, and read it to your family, friends and anyone else who will listen. Take 67 minutes today and think about your big dream and how you are going to make it happen.book-cover-full dallas-clayton2 dallas3 dallas5
click here to follow the dream…

The dummies guide to what went wrong in Europe.

Every Now and then, an envelope appears in my post box, from my dear Dad. I look forward to these little envelopes with such excitement as they always leave me a little smarter or a little happier. Every time my dad reads an interesting article, be it life, business or whatever related, he tears it out, folds it neatly into a little white envelope and posts it over the mountain for me to read. I have decided to share the contents of this week’s envelope because I think it is brilliant. I really hope you enjoy this clever little piece as much as I did.I have no idea who wrote this article, I consulted the google machine butno luck!

Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Helga keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers’ loans).
     
Word gets around about Helga’s ” drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Helga’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in town. By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Helga gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer – the most consumed beverages.
     
Consequently, Helga’s gross sales volumes and paper profits increase massively. A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Helga’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral. He is rewarded with a six figure bonus.
     
At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINK BONDS.
These “securities” are then bundled and traded on international securities markets.
     
Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as “AA Secured Bonds” are really debts of unemployed alcoholics.Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.
     
The traders all receive a six figure bonus.
     
One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Helga’s bar. He so informs Helga.
Helga then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons but being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Helga cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and Helga’s 11 employees lose their jobs.
     
Overnight, DRINK BOND prices drop by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.
     
The suppliers of Helga’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the DRINK BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.
     
Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multibillion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from the government.
     
They all receive a six figure bonus.
     
The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who’ve never been in Helga’s bar.
     
Now do you understand?

 

10 Things with: Sarah Graham

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This week on 10 THINGS, we have a chat to the gorgeous Sarah Graham of Bitten TV fame, about doing what you love and Impala Testicles!. Sarah not only has her own, super awesome Cooking show but she is also the Author of the, ‘must have’ local Cook Book – Bitten. When Sarah is not cooking up a storm on set, she is pouring love into her site – afoodieliveshere . Click on through and spend some time pouring over her recipes, there is some serious supper inspiration to jazz up your Monday to Friday offerings!

1. Describe yourself in 10 words – Closet nerd, box-checker, happy heart, family girl, food lover.
2. Every Kitchen should have these basic10 ingredients: Good quality olive oil, butter, cheese, eggs, fresh herbs (preferably in your garden!), a decent assortment of spices, flour, sugar, baking powder, chocolate
3. If you were on Survivor and you could only take 1 thing with, what would it be? why? Salt. It cures, flavours and preserves.rob
4. What was the first dish you cooked for husband, Rob? Did he propose right away?! The why-he-married-me bacon pasta from my book, ‘bitten.’ – no he didn’t propose right away, he took a little more convincing. (click here  for the recipe of this ‘almost Famous’ Pasta)
5. What is the wierdest thing you have ever “bitten” Ooh, I am suddenly feeling like a very unadventurous eater – probably Impala testicles?!
6. Kitchen Aid or Kenwood ? Kenwood, both for reasons of sentimentality and practicality.
7. How did Bitten TV come about? Any tips and tricks for young bucks out there looking to follow your footsteps? I know it might all seem glamorous, but it’s mostly down to a heck of a lot of hard work, and enough love for what I’m doing that it never actually feels like work.
8. The best way to eat bacon is… Fried until perfectly crispy, with sweetcorn fritters on the side
9. When no one is around I like to eat ….. Really boring stuff like tuna and avo on rye crackers
10. What is your favourite recipe in your beautiful new book? Oh goodness that’s so hard, it’s like asking who someone’s favourite child is – for the sake of answering the question I’ll say spicy BBQ pulled pork with red cabbage slaw, but next week the answer could be completely different!