The Red Kitchen

A year ago I’ve discovered the multi-talented and dynamic Andrea on the internet.  A first for me… painting on biscuits?!  I started following her on social media, and saw her ‘Alice in wonderland’ collection.  It literally took my breathe away!  I’ve decided, we need to know more about The Red Kitchen.  I ordered the ‘Rock a Roll’ Biscuits for my husband’s birthday and not only was it so beautiful, but also brilliantly delicious!!!!!

Andrea was kind enough to let me into her space to document her process.  What an amazing experience.  Thank you Andrea!  Do yourself a favour and follow her on facebook. You will be simply loving it!!




Q:  Where did it all began?

A:  I started baking from a very early age- I have a sweet tooth and my mom wasn’t the greatest baker then so I took over. 6 years ago a friend of mine gave me 2 cookie cutters from England (teacup and a teapot) That was when I started baking cookies and teaching myself how to ice and decorate them.


Q:  Who inspired you to create and follow your ambitions?

A:  I first watched a YouTube tutorial by SweetAmbs and was hooked but her style is very elegant and I wanted something else, I then found a cookier also from America called Arty McGoo, she changed everything for me as she paints on cookies. When I discovered I could use my art background together with my Chef’s diploma, my cookie world suddenly seemed endless.

My mom, Vicki Thomas, is an award winning internationally known botanical artist and she gave me a book about Chinese brush painting techniques. This style works incredibly well for cookies as it’s all about simple brush strokes and water colours. My mom definitely inspired my early cookie designs.  My designs now are influence predominantly from nature, artworks and textile design.



Q:  What did you do before you started with ‘The Red Kitchen’?

A:  I worked in the beauty industry as a rep for a cosmetic company.


Q:  Tell us more about your chickens….?

A:  Ah, my really silly pleasure!  I got my first 3 bantam chickens last year (Poached, Scrambled and Fried. Scrambled turned out to be a rooster so he became Roast and was roasted for dinner one night ) I now have another very beautiful rooster,  Roosten Bieber and bossy boots Cupcake as well as a new chick (who gets a name once we know gender) I love my chickens, they follow me round the garden and eat from my hand and don’t mind if I pick them up for a cuddle.




Q:  Are you the first person,…or only, in Cape Town painting on biscuits?

A:  No, there are a few others I know of- Roxanne Floquet was probably the first, then me and Nessie Peevie (the Cake Witch) and the owner of Creative Cakepops. But I have no facts to prove this, only what I have seen on social media. I am pretty sure that they only do it occasionally as accompaniments to their cake orders whereas I tend to do it more often and with a far greater variety.


Q:  The most challenging request by a client?

A:  3 spring to mind… The first time I was asked to do the Blue Willow pattern made me really excited and rather terrified as Blue Willow is intricate, precise and iconic.

Another was a set for a client’s best friend’s 40’th birthday. I painted each family member and their pets on cookies as well as a vintage bike, handbag, etc. Portrait painting is tough but on a 6cm edible canvass…

The other was a set for a North African hip hop DJ- the brief was complex as the client wanted me to incorporate a lot of ideas into the set and I had to find ways to make it all work together. I used Vintage Hip Hop posters as inspiration to make the set become a cohesive design. I was thrilled with the end result.


Q:  Your 2 most popular requests?

A:   Blue Willow and Star Wars.


Q:  What is your secret for for a good shortbread?

A:  The trick with cookies and baking actually is to start with great ingredients, a good recipe and control to stick to the recipe. Once you have mastered the basic techniques then by all means experiment. Baking is a science. My sugar cookie dough is same quantities butter and sugar with double the quantity flour; it makes stiff pliable dough that doesn’t spread when baking.


Q:   Are there any new things you would like to explore in the world of baking? Or any new ventures for ‘The Red Kitchen’ in the future?

A:    I want to experiment more with 3D cookies and eventually move into 3d cookie sculptures. My dream is to open up a cookie boutique with facilities for teaching and parties. A how to Cookie decorating book for South Africans, is also something I want to embark on.


C is for cookie and cookie is for me – the cookie monster






























There is only one real happiness in life, and that is the happiness of creating – Frederick Delius


Food, Places

Changing lanes…

Johannes Cornelis Goosen’s renaming of his farm, Wagenbooms Rivier to Prince Alfred Hamlet in 1861, after Queen Victoria’s son, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was surely an honourable idea.  He did not exactly think that one day a Scotsman will be its most popular ambassador… a classic case of ‘boereverneukery’?!

Peter Mitchell is a thinking man, songwriter, and comedian…a well respected artist among his alternative and commercial colleagues in the South African music industry.  The lyrical content of his songs is intelligent, emotional and purposefully written… a read between the lines. If you listen to his songs and his vocal deliverance, you will find yourself gazing in a melodically hypnotic state of meditation and beauty simultaneously. The best parts of his live shows, is when he is changing lanes, and entertains masterfully between his tongue in the cheek stories and his beautiful songs.  Like a true craftsman he knows when and how to do it.

Lens & Ladle checked in for a rehearsal… & lunch cooked by Peter Mitchell a.k.a. ‘Pietman die Skot’ and his partner, Arnè.

“Heid doon arse up!”


‘Have you ever been experienced? Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful.‘

– Jimi Hendrix





Pietman & Schalk











Espresso & Rum Mousse


4 tsp                     Espresso

4 tsp                     Butter, cut into blocks

4tbsp                    Rum

4                            Egg Yolks

8tbsp                    White sugar

375ml                   Cream



Heat espresso and butter together and take off heat when butter is just melted.  In another pot – heat rum, egg yolks and white sugar over a pot of boiling water and whisk until light and fluffy.  Ensure your heat is very low.  Mix butter and espresso mix together with the egg mixture.  Add the cream and refrigerate for about 2 hours.














Rust Familie Wyne





The flavonoids in onion tend to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh. To maximize your health benefits, peel off as little of the fleshy, edible portion as possible when removing the onion’s outermost paper layer. Even a small amount of “overpeeling” can result in unwanted loss of flavonoids. For example, a red onion can lose about 20% of its quercetin and almost 75% of its anthocyanins if it is “overpeeled.”























Tomato, Port & Thyme pasta sauce


20ml                     Olive oil

1tbsp                     Butter

1 small                  Onion, chopped

10ml                     Chopped garlic

2                           Carrots, grated fine

½ cup                  Port

1 can                     Cherry tomatoes

1 can                     Chopped tomatoes

1 can                     Tomato & onion ‘’smoor’’

2tbsp                    Tomato chili jam

4 sprigs                Thyme

Salt and Black pepper to taste



In a pan, heat olive oil and butter and fry onions until soft and caramelized.  Add the chopped garlic and carrots and fry until the carrot starts to get a slight colour.  Add the Port and reduce for 10 minutes.  Add cherry tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, tomato & onion smoor, tomato chili jam, thyme, salt and pepper.  Bring to the boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes on very low heat.   Serve with homemade Pasta.  Garnish with TONS of Parmesan cheese







It was a real experience with real living legends!  Lens & Ladle say a big thank you to everyone, you were awesome!

Have a look @ some of our favourite links!

Peter Mitchell –

Nicole Holm –

Schalk Joubert ––FGc1QWr8


Jorina & Olivea x




Food, Places, Recipes

Let there be wine

“24 August 2011”

On this date, winemaker Eric Saayman won the General Smuts trophy, South Africa’s most respected award for a young wine.  It was also the first and only time a Viognier…slightly wooded…won this coveted trophy since 1952 when A.P. Conradie lifted this prestigious beauty for the first time.

The Riebeek Cellars talisman is all rock & roll, with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Jimmy Hendrix and CCR on his list of favourite bands.  Looking at him, you will observe calmness when he is in focus while doing what he cares for.  Eric is a straight shooter, a family man, a friend; and one of the most passionate winemakers in South Africa.

Walking into Eric’s home in Riebeek Kasteel, we heard Bob Seger from the kitchen, the sound was inviting…

“And I stood arrow straight

Unencumbered by the weight

Of all these hustlers and their schemes

I stood proud, I stood tall

High above it all

I still believed in my dreams”

This particular song, ‘Like a rock’, was something Lens & Ladle could identify in the winemaker of Riebeek Cellars, and was looking forward making lunch with him, @ home with his beautiful wife, Alta.

Pop! goes the cork… Pieter Cruythoff Brut, you beauty!

Let’s roll Eric!!





“You are doomed to make choices.  This is life’s greatest paradox.”

Wayne Dyer







The Filling



A Ladle a day… keeps the hunger away…



Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a palate of ripe fruit and interesting spice.

Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavours of Christmas pudding… lekker!!



…our Lens & Ladle food guru




Cinnabuns makes my toes curl…,but when I saw this recipe in the ‘Taste Magazine’ I started to drool with excitement!!

Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf ingredients:

2 cups                   Milk

2.5 teaspoons       Instant yeast

100g                      Sugar

½ cup                   Canola oil

540g                      Cake flour

½ teaspoon          Baking powder

½ teaspoon          Ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons           Salt

120g                       Melted butter

100g                      Dried cranberries

300g                      Sugar for spiced sugar mix

5 tablespoons        Cinnamon


Cinnamon and Cranberry ‘Pull – apart’ loaf method:

Mix milk and instant yeast in a small bowl.  Place the sugar, oil, flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt in large mixing bowl and add the milk yeast mixture.  Mix to form smooth dough (like you would make bread).  Set aside to rise for 1 hour to double in size.  Knock down the dough and roll out to make 50x25cm rectangle.  Cut out 5 x 25cm long rectangles.  Brush each rectangle with melted butter and scatter with cranberries.  Mix sugar and cinnamon together and dust each layer with the spicy sugar mix. Place all the layers on top of each other and cut into 6 equal parts.  Place them into a greased loaf tin, cut side up.  Set aside to rise for another hour.  Bake for 30 – 35 min at 180°C.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from loaf tin.

To serve:  mix 130g icing sugar with 1 shot freshly brewed espresso.  Drizzle over the cinnamon and cranberry loaf

OOOO my goodness!!  You will want to repeat this culinary explosion every day!


Eric’s toolbox





Eric made this beautiful Grenache Rose’ from the vineyard of, and for Morne du Plessis, former Springbok captain and Riebeek Kasteel habitant.






Just checking!



Clara & Schalk





Bacon and Walnut stuffed deboned chicken


20ml                     Oil

2                            Onions, finely chopped

1                            Packet streaky bacon, chopped into small blocks

2                            Garlic cloves, finely chopped

250g                     Brown mushrooms, sliced

150g                     Walnuts

4                            Slices of white bread, toasted and cut into blocks

1                            Egg

1                            Large deboned chicken



Fry onions with oil until soft and starting to caramelize.  Add bacon, garlic and mushrooms and fry until cooked.  Add walnuts, bread blocks and egg.

Now to get your hands dirty….

Stuff the chicken and roll up and tie with string.  Leave to rest and set for 1 hour.

Cook in Weber for 40 mins – 60 mins.  I like a squeeze of lemon right at the end.


Based on a Ina Paarman recipe





“Woke up this morning I was all alone
Saw your picture by the telephone
I was missing you oh so bad
Wish I had you here to hold
All I’ve got is this touch-tone phone
So I guess I’ll give you a call
Operator help me please”

BB King – ‘Telephone Song’


The big tin left of the wine bottle candle stick is Carbonell olive oil and was founded in Spain in 1866. Its quality & tradition have made it the Nº1 Olive Oil Brand in Spain.


Riebeek Cellars Sauvignon Blanc 2015 tank sample in a humble plastic container, crisp on the palate…


The art of wine paired with food, a chicken flesh moment…




Roast Vegetables

The cool thing about vegetables is that you can’t really mess it up!!  The secret is to keep the sizes of the cut vegetables similar.  This will ensure an even cooking time and roasting colour.  Add fresh herbs for extra flavour or drizzle with balsamic vinegar.


50ml                       Olive oil

2                             Onions (red or white), cut into slices

10ml                       Ground coriander

10ml                       Ground cumin

10ml                       Paprika

2                             Garlic cloves, chopped fine

1                              Butternut, cut into blocks

1                              Yellow pepper, cut into strips

1                              Red pepper, cut into strips

2                             Babymarrows, cut into chunks

8                             Brussel Sprouts

10ml                      Salt and black pepper


Method for roast vegetables:

In a frying pan, add olive oil and onions and fry for 5 minutes until the onions starts to caramelize.  Add coriander, cumin, paprika and garlic and fry for a few minutes.  Add the onion mix with the rest of the ingredients into a roasting pan and roast for 25-30min at 180°C until cooked.  Garnish with char grilled rosa tomatoes on the vine.

Recipe by Eric Saayman




Autumn salad with citrus and poppy seed dressing

This is a whopping’ beaut’ of a salad.  Fresh, funky and full of flavour and texture. You will knock the socks off your guests.

Autumn salad ingredients:

200g                     Parboiled baby beetroot and cut into blocks

200g                     Parboiled baby carrots, peeled with stem on

2                            Salad springonions, thinly sliced

1                            Handfull coriander

1                            Handfull micro leaves

100g                     Feta cheese, cut into blocks


Autumn salad method:

Layer micro leaves and coriander in between baby beetroot and baby carrots.  Top with feta cheese blocks and drizzle with citrus and poppy seed dressing

Citrus and poppy seed dressing ingredients:

250ml                   Orange juice / Mango & Orange juice

2tbsp                    Sugar

1tbsp                    Salt

1tbsp                    Mustard powder

2tbsp                    Poppy seeds

Citrus and poppy seed dressing method:

Add juice, sugar, salt and mustard powder to a pot and bring to the boil.  Simmer until you have a ‘thick dressing’  consistency.  Cool down and add poppy seeds. YUM



Sweet, white & red, and at the back, Ben… please to meet you!




Alta & Eric





Nikki sitting on the right, or shall we say ‘Johnny come lately’, he has played a more prominent role as a babysitter on the day.

The Saayman’s is special people and playing a big role in the community of Riebeek Kasteel.  If you are passing by, pop in @ Riebeek Cellars and have a taste.  You won’t be sorry, and probably gain a whole new respect for the dynamic role this cellar plays in promoting wine.

To be or not to be…..surely to be!

Hup hup! Riebeek Cellars!



Food, Places, Recipes

My Basaar

It’s 07h00, still dark, the city already buzzing…the smell of coffee… fresh croissants just out of the oven… it’s the last day on location, and Loop street is walking, full of memories…

Bernice van der Merwe started her career as a food & décor writer, and a stylist on various publications.   In April 2012 she took on a dream and started her own business, My Basaar.

The name comes from her childhood years in Philipstown, where the annual church bazaar is one of the biggest events on the calendar.  Philipstown is situated in Big Sky country, eastern Karoo area almost right in the middle of South Africa.

It is the last day for My Basaar as a restaurant and food shop. The off site part of the business were acquiring a lot more time from her, and today…will not be shy asking for the same attention. There is just too much to do, preparing, cooking, serving …if life could go down as a book, and this part of the journey with My Basaar could go down as a chapter … it will go down as one to remember and a bloody good one too!

Lens & Ladle were in town to capture beautiful Bernice and her team, always cooking for, and serving their customers as if it was in the comfort of their own home.


Leya, David, Bernice, Charmaine and Manie.




City -the last verse

“I can’t believe I’m here and that I don’t fear tomorrow anymore. I think we might be headed for a great time. So look at me, tell me what you see and give me a left cheek kiss. If this is not called happiness and don’t know what it is.
So take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. I smell a good time in my life.
If this is not called happiness and don’t know what it is. I think I like this city.”

– Billie the vision and the dancers



Princess Marie Antoinette came to France as a new bride when she was only 15. The young queen missed the simple cake in the shape of crescent, of her homeland, Austria. To honor their new queen, the bakers in Paris made some “kipferls” of their own. The only difference was that they called it by the French word for crescent, “croissant” and made it look more complex for the royal dining table.


Barista, an Italian word meaning bartender.





Manie, the perfect gentleman from the beginning till the end.


































Bernice is a humble human being with a warm personality, and an inspiration for everyone around her.

With good reason this facts about Bernice van der Merwe will show you why…

her career started as an intern at ‘Huisgenoot’ and YOU magazine

assistant food editor at ‘Sarie’ magazine for 6 years

junior food editor at ‘Huisgenoot’ and YOU magazine for 6 years, stylist for décor & food, food writer

publications @ Caravan and Outdoor/Sarie/WEG/ / TV Plus/Huisgenoot/Drum Décor

Food styling on the latest ‘Kook en Geniet’, Wenresepte 500

Published cook book: One-Two-Three on the Table

Cook Book series (with Arina du Plessis):   Party Magic 2, Party Magic 3 and Party Magic 4

Televison @ Expresso Morning Show/Dagbreek Kyknet/Nataniël Tafel

Food Stylist on Marita van der Vyver’s new movie ‘Dis Koue Kos, Skat’ – coming to the big screens 2016


The door closed at 16h00, it was a long day that went by quickly.  Good times will be remembered!  The sit down, the knowing that they came out to your creation, your ideas, your food, to enjoy, to relax, to come away from the busy life in the city for a minute or two…to My Basaar.  A proud moment.

Photographs by Jorina:

Food, Places, Recipes

Koue Bokkeveld Kitchen Diaries

“…you may get a visitor over the weekend, looking for love, he’s got one brown and one blue eye, but if he is in your way, just send him home by saying, ‘huis toe!’.”

– Anso van der Merwe

Ghonzo, the farm sheepdog, were indeed a visitor, but what a lovely creature!

We were really looking forward to the weekend and what the beautiful landscapes of the Koue Bokkeveld had to offer… and… we loved it!   About 2 hours drive from Cape Town, through Ceres, Prince Alfred Hamlet, and flying past Oppie-berg, we took a left turn 23km’s later.   Our sights on Schoongezicht…fucking awesome!

Schoongezicht is a bit like a good song, the beginning is gripping, the verses are storytelling, the chorus is a true reflection of emotion meeting the punch line, the break make your thoughts going nowhere slowly while taking a grasp, and the ending will always echo in our existence as travel and food bloggers.

This came forward as a destination for everyone, no matter what your preference is…our preference was eating, drinking and having loads of fun!

Nico & Anso van der Merwe



Curry was adopted and anglicised from the Tamil word… kari …meaning ‘sauce’


“Once upon a time, man had a love affair with fire.”

– Robert McCammon, SWAN SONG


Olivea preparing…


Nikki on duty @ the fire department – making sure the heat is on


“Ghonzo” Chicken curry


4 tbsp            Olive oil

Large onion, chopped

2 tbsp             Curry powder

Red/green chili, chopped with seeds

1 tbsp             Cumin seeds

1 tbsp             Black mustard seeds

Curry leaves

Cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp              Chopped ginger

½ tbsp            Green cardamom powder

¼ tbsp             Fine cinnamon

½ tbsp              Turmeric

3 tbsp               Tomato paste

3 tbsp                White sugar

1-2 tbsp             Salt

½ tbsp              Black pepper

8                         Pieces of chicken – thighs and drumsticks

½                       Lemon – juice squeezed out

1                          Can chopped tomato

150ml                Water

150ml               Yogurt

150ml               Cream

Big handfull of chopped coriander

1 tbsp             Black onion seeds


Heat cast iron pot over medium heat coals.  Add olive oil and onion, and fry for 5-10 minutes.  Add curry powder, chili, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, green cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, tomato paste, white sugar, salt and black pepper, and fry for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from the pot and keep aside.  In the same pot – sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown.  Squeeze with lemon and close the lid.  Simmer chicken for 10 minutes.

Add the onion spice mix back in the pot with the chicken, and add tomato and water.  Simmer for 30-40 minutes over a low – medium coal heat.

In a separate container mix yogurt, cream coriander and black onion seeds together.  Take 1 tablespoon of the tomato curry sauce in the pot and mix this in with the yogurt mix.  This will ensure that the yogurt does not ‘’split’’ your sauce.  Add the rest of the yogurt & cream mix slowly to the tomato curry sauce in the pot.  Simmer for another 20-30 minutes over a low- medium coal heat.


Saag Aloo

Traditionally Saag Aloo is made with potato and spinach, and served as a side dish with Indian Curry.  But – as a ‘’usual’’ food blogger – we add our own bit of magic…and in this case the star of the show is Aubergine


2 tbsp               Olive oil

1                        Onion, finely chopped

2                        Large Aubergine, cut into blocks

2 tbsp               Butter

2                        Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tbsp                Chopped ginger

500g                 Potato, peeled, cut into big chunks and cooked

1 tbsp                Cumin seeds

½ tbsp              Black mustard seeds

½ tbsp              Turmeric

250g                  Baby spinach


Heat olive oil in pan and add onion.  Fry until soft.  Add aubergine pieces and fry until golden brown.  (Aubergines are very thirsty for oil, you might have to add a few more drops). Add butter, chopped garlic, chopped ginger, potato, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and turmeric.  Fry for 20-30 minutes on a very low heat.  When you are ready to eat – add the baby spinach and quickly fry for 2 minutes on high heat.


Naan, Nan or Khamiri


Koue Bokkeveld firestarter…Arrie will explain on arrival… he, together with Grieta, are the people you will be likely to meet first on your arrival… humble and helpful is probably the best way to describe this extraordinary couple.



Griet’s freshly baked – the morning after arrival Grieta baked us a welcome surprise!


A plunger of ‘sawwe lyf’






The Old English word stofa meant any individual enclosed space, such as a room, and ‘stove’ is still occasionally used in that sense, as in ‘stoved in’. Until well into the 19th century ‘stove’ was used to mean a single heated room.’




Bokkeveld Jaffles

 The smell of jaffles takes me right back to the good old days at the ‘’kerk basaar’’ on a Saturday morning.  Since the 90’s people have made much more exciting fillings than curry mince.

The secret is a good farm style white bread….more than 3 days old.  Butter the bread on the outside and squeeze it with your cast iron jaffle pan.

You will be in ‘’carb’’ heaven soon…

Ingredients for Tomato Chili Jam

40ml             Canola oil

1                   Red onion, finely chopped

Large red peppers, deseeded & finely chopped

Red chillies, chopped with pips

5                   Garlic cloves, chopped fine

400g             Fresh or canned chopped tomato

750g             White sugar

100g             Balsamic vinegar

150g             Red wine vinegar

Method for Tomato Chili jam

Heat pan with canola oil and add red onion.  Fry until almost soft.  Add red peppers, red chili, chopped garlic, chopped tomato and white sugar, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add balsamic and red wine vinegar, and simmer for another 30-40 minutes until caramelized and ‘’sticky’’.  Cool down in a jar or tupperware container.

 Method for the ultimate Bokkeveld jaffle:

Butter 2 slices of bread (yes with real butter).  Layer with 2 tablespoons of tomato chili jam, thinly sliced onion, thinly sliced tomato, salt, black pepper and cheese.  Place it, butter side down, in the jaffle maker and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side on a low – medium heat.

If tomato chili jam does not ‘’rock your boat’’ – be adventurous and try some new fillings.  Bully Beef & Gruyere cheese OR Pork belly braised in soya sauce, Dijon mustard, cheese, fermented Chinese cabbage and sesame seeds.




The Protea is named after the Greek god, Proteus, who could change his form at will.  Schoongezicht has an amazing 6km walking/biking route where you could experience this gift of nature, in its different forms, like Proteus.




Just mind blowing…


Meanwhile… back at the ranch…

Jenga – game on!




Clara was simply a better player than Schalk, a promising youngster…



The Cottage – base camp: Lens & Ladle



Clara & Olivea, hands in the pocket…




Gourmet Dogs

People have different opinions of what characteristics a good sausage must have.  For me…it is about the ‘’knak’’ in the bite.  If there is no resistance when you bite – then it is usually not a real German sausage.  And the German’s rule when it comes to making sausages!!

The choice of bread you can use to rest your doggy on, is endless.  Plain white or brown.  Brioche or toasted.  Sourdough or bread with sesame seeds.  Whatever your heart desires.

Toppings are key.  The fresher, the better.  Wild rockets adds a peppery taste and coleslaw adds crunch and tangy.  Tomato and cucumber gives your conscious a break and cheese make everything taste better.

We bought our sausages from a very special shop in Gardens shopping centre:  Raith Gourmet.  Pay them a visit – they have much more than a sausage on offer.

Homemade wholegrain mustard mayo

If you are too lazy, boring and ordinary – take any branded ready made mayonnaise and mixed with wholegrain mustard


1                              egg yolk

1 tbsp                     Lemon juice

1 tbsp                     Water

1 tsp                       Dijon mustard

1 cup                      Olive oil

1 tsp                       Salt

1 tbsp                     Wholegrain mustard


Mix egg yolk, lemon juice, water and Dijon mustard together with a fork.  With a stick blender – add the olive oil to the egg mixture, little by little.  Remove stick blender and mix in wholegrain mustard.



Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveller, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost, the road less travelled







Roasted pumpkin with honey & nuts


¼                 Pumpkin with skin on, cut into wedges

4 tbsp           Oil (I prefer canola oil when roasting)

½ tbsp         Salt

1 tbsp           Fine cinnamon

2 tbsp           Honey

3-4 tbsp       Roasted mixed nuts


Drizzle pumpkin with oil, and then roast for 20 minutes at 180°C.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, cinnamon and 1 tbsp of honey.  Roast for another 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and assemble on your favourite platter.  Drizzle with the rest of the honey and sprinkle with nuts.

The crunchy nuts adds a lovely texture to this dish.  You can add ground green cardamom to the pumpkin for extra fragrance or crushed chili flakes for some extra kick.


Pork Neck with Fennel rice

Ingredients for Pork neck

30ml             Oil

1.2kg             Pork neck

10ml             Salt

3ml               Black pepper

1                     Large onion, sliced

100ml           White wine

1                     Lemon’s juice squeezed out

100ml            Cream

1tbsp              Wholegrain mustard

Method for Pork neck

Heat oil in cast-iron pot over medium heat coles. Add the onions and fry until soft.  Remove from the pot and keep aside.  Add pork neck and sear on each side until golden brown.  Salt and pepper and reduce coles to a low simmer.  Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.  Do not add any water if it is not necessary. Add the onion back into the pot with the white wine and lemon juice.  Simmer for another 40 minutes.  The pork neck should be ready, if it is not soft and succulent, put it back in the pot and simmer for another few minutes.  Remove the pork neck from the pot and let it ‘’rest’’ for a few minutes.  If you like your meat sliced – now is your time to shine.  If you are anything like my family – take the knife and cut of the size you want!  Add the cream and wholegrain mustard to the rest of the ‘’gravy’’ in the pot and simmer for a few minutes.  Pour over the pork neck and enjoy!!  Pork neck can be substitute with Pork fillet

Ingredients for fennel rice

20ml              Olive oil

Medium size onions, chopped

Garlic cloves, chopped

3 tbsp             Fennel seeds

1 tbsp              Cumin seeds

300ml             Basmati rice

400ml             Water

10ml                Salt

1 tbsp               Butter

Method for fennel rice

Heat olive oil in pot and add onions.  Fry until soft and starting to caramelize.  Add the chopped garlic, fennel seeds and cumin seeds and fry for a few minutes.  Add the basmati rice and fry for another few minutes.  Add the water – little by little.  Slowly cook the rice over low heat.  You might not need to use all the water.  This takes about 10-15 minutes until cooked.  When your fennel rice is good to go, add the salt and butter.





Chocolate pudding with berry & balsamic compote

Did you ever notice there are no recipes for leftover chocolate….

It’s not that chocolates are substitute for love.  Love is a substitute for chocolate – Miranda Ingram

Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication, a sharing of deep dark secrets- Milton Zelma

Ingredients for chocolate pudding (Nigella recipe)

60g                       Butter

170g                     Caster sugar

1                            Egg

140g                     Cake flour

30ml                    Cocoa powder

15ml                     Baking powder

2ml                       Salt

200ml                  Milk

Ingredients for chocolate syrup

250ml                   Water

200g                     White sugar

15ml                      Cocoa powder

Method for chocolate pudding and syrup:

Cream butter and sugar together until white and fluffy.  Add egg and whisk.  Sift cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together and add to the butter mixture.  Add milk and mix.  Spoon mixture into a large greased ovenproof dish.

For the syrup:  Add all ingredient together in a pot and bring to the boil.

Pour the syrup over batter and bake in preheated oven @ 180°C for 30 minutes.

For the berry & balsamic compote:  Add 350g frozen berries (your choice), 150g white sugar, 60g balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 tsp black pepper to a pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes at a very low heat until caramelized and ‘’sticky’’.  Cool down and serve with Chocolate pudding


Beautiful landscape by Jorina



Ghonzo looking at Clara… with his colourful eyes…brown & blue



Breakfast Cups (4 to 6 people)


250 g  Streaky / back bacon

1 punnet mushrooms (chopped in small pieces)

1 sachet Ina Paarman Basil Pesto (Home made is the best – if you have the time to make it)

Eggs (1 egg per cup)

feta cheese


Line the cup out with the uncooked bacon

Fry the mushrooms,  add the pesto and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes

Add a tablespoon of the mushroom/pesto mixture on the bacon

break the egg on the top of that

crumble feta cheese on the egg

bake in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes or until the white of the egg is solid


The oldest verifiable record was “Old Billy”, a 19th-century horse that lived to the age of 62.  In modern times, “Sugar Puff”, who had been listed in Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living pony, died in 2007 at age 56.



All recipes by Olivea

Food, Places, Recipes

Point of no return……

‘All you touch and all you see,
Is all your life will ever be.’

Pink Floyd, “Breathe”



Nikki steering ‘Oom Piet’ (Oom Date’s riverboat), en route to Vermaaklikheid about 10 km up the river


Jorina capturing our beautiful journey up the Duiwenhoks river



“Brulsand” – opposite Kleinefontein on the Duiwenhoks, where the sand roars beneath your feet


Our afternoon burger braai – Tannie Marie’s farmhouse on Vermaaklikheid


5 interesting facts about Garlic

 * According to Christian mythology, when Satan left the Garden of Eden, garlic grew from his left footprint.

* April 19th is National Garlic day.

* Alliumphobia is the name given to the fear of garlic.

* The greater health benefits from garlic are attained by chewing raw garlic.

* Garlic was used, in medieval times, as a cure for drunkenness and over-eating.



Salt processing dates to around 6,000 years ago, when people living in Romania were boiling spring water to extract the salts


Olivea scouting in tannie Marie’s kitchen




Nikki, Schalk & Oom Date – taken by the view and peace of the picturesque Vermaaklikheid


Puntjie Coleslaw

This colourful coleslaw adds great texture, crush and tangy taste to a burger.  An absolute must have on your burger. If you like a bit of ‘’zing’’ – add a chopped red/green chilli


2 cups Grated Carrots

2 cups Grated White Cabbage

2 cups Grated Red Cabbage

½ cup Mayo

½ cup Full cream plain yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

1tbsp Chopped coriander

1tsp Wholegrain mustard


Mix ingredients together and ‘’slab’’ it on your burger



 Home made burger patties in the making


Hamburger Patties
Nothing beats a succulent home made burger!! You can go wild with your meat selection. Play around with using Kudu and Ostrich mince or a combination of Beef and Lamb mince. For extra ‘’oemf’’you can brush the patties with a marinade just before it is ready to come off the fire. YUM

500g Beef Mince
4 tbsp. Greek yogurt
3 tbsp. All Gold Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp. Worcester sauce
1 tbsp. Wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp. Soya sauce
½ packet Brown onion/ Mushroom soup powder
2 slices White bread – soaked in milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and rest for 20 minutes.
Form into patties and braai. You determine the time because you decide the size!


The face of anticipation….



In a state of readiness….. hunger games…..


The ladle….


Tannie Marie prefers her eggs dirty….could it relate to the dirty dozen?



Puntjie’s lookout from the braai, featuring the Duiwenhoks river mouth, looking towards Witsand which is more or less about 17km from the Puntjie, as the crow flies.





Dangling in water
Making and shaking
Slapping and clapping
Warming and warning
Hitting and fitting
Grabbing and rubbing
Peeling and feeling
Taking and breaking
Helping and giving
Sifting sand
Hand holding

By Peter Young




Chilli, Coriander & lime pesto

This is such a cool ‘’foodie thing’’ to have in the fridge.  Pesto is such a versatile ingredient and can last for up to two weeks in the fridge.  You can add it to pasta, drizzle it over chicken, serve it with cheese and bread or serve it on a pizza with salami


20g Mixed Nuts

½ cup Basil leaves

½ cup Rocket leaves

½ cup Coriander on stalk

2 Garlic cloves

60g Grated Pecorino cheese

½ Red chilli, chopped with seeds

7tbsp Olive oil


Blitz all ingredients together.

Mix with cooked pasta of your choice.  Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with cocktail tomatoes, fresh wild rocket and feta cheese


 Rooikrans fire – with Basjanbaai as the backdrop for great things about to happen.


Sticky chicken basting sauce


1 cup Sweet chilli sauce

1 cup Mrs Balls chutney

¼ cup Soya sauce

½ cup Lemon juice


Mix ingredients together.

The secret:  only brush the marinade over your meat/ sosaties about 5 minutes before it is ready!!


Rosmarinus officinalis


Garlic & Rosemary fried mushrooms


2tbsp Canola oil

½ Onion, thinly sliced

1 punnet Button mushrooms, halved

1tbsp Chopped garlic

Fresh chopped rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste


Add canola oil to pan and add onions.  Fry onion until soft and add button mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and fry for 5 minutes.

Tip:  Add a dash of cream and you have a sauce for a steak or pasta or fresh toast!!


Duiwenhoks Baked Beans

where the “Long drop”(an old custom toilet) may be your best friend


Canola Oil

1 Big onion – chopped in slices and then cut slices in half

3 Cloves of garlic – chopped

3 Chilli’s – chopped

2 Canned Bake Beans

2 table spoons of Chutney

2 table spoons of Tomato Sauce

4 table spoons of Jimmy’s Sauce

Salt & Pepper to taste


Add Canola oil to the pan and fry the chopped onions until crispy and darkish in colour, move the onions to the side of the pan and add the garlic and chilli on separate open spots in the pan and fry until the garlic shows signs of colouring.  Then mix the onions, garlic and chilli together and add the canned baked beans, turn the heat down one notch, add the Chutney, Tomato sauce and Jimmy’s and mix everything together.  Let it slow cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, constantly stirring your mix, the sauces can easily burn to the pan if the pilot is not in a state of consciousness (babbelas).  Do a taster, if you are satisfied with result, take it off immediately, add salt and pepper if needed.

Tip and Warning:  not to be eaten by the overly health conscious, and if it is not hot enough, be my guest and add some more chilli’s, yebo yes!





“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast”

 – Robert A. Heinlein



South Africa 15 – Ireland 29 – Springboks outgoing tour 2014 – Fuuuuuuuck!!!




Potatoes is such a versatile creation, a starch, useful and delicious in many forms, almost as versatile as Captain AB de Villiers (Proteas – Good luck for the 2015 Cricket World Cup!!)



We had a lovely time in a place that took our minds for the weekend.  The trouble is we need it more and more, eish, so little time.  Special thanks to Tannie Marie and Oom Date for your hospitality on Vermaaklikheid and arranging a clean house on the Puntjie and lots of Rooikrans.  We surely enjoyed the beauty, food, wine, music, travel, snores, hills, sea, river, smells and the company of friends.  To be continued….(or at least in our minds, ha ha haaa!)

 “If all we seek is an escape, what does that say about the world we live in. We are desperate with our dreams. What – oh, what – does that say?”

― Steven Erikson, “The Crippled God”