“…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
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
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
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.
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.’
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…
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
1.2kg Pork neck
3ml Black pepper
1 Large onion, sliced
100ml White wine
1 Lemon’s juice squeezed out
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
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)
170g Caster sugar
140g Cake flour
30ml Cocoa powder
15ml Baking powder
Ingredients for chocolate syrup
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)
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