Thursday, March 07, 2013

7th March 2013 Main Ingredient's MENU - Carnival, Ormonde harvest, Art at the Mansions, Dornier Pop-up, Vineyard harvest, Starlight Classics, De Grendel lunch, Durbanville Festival of the Grape, Recipe: Emerald and Jade fruit salad

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
Eat In Guide’s Five time Outstanding Outlet Award Winner
+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
A bit of history: Ten years ago, we closed the shop to get married
In this week’s MENU:                                                              
*       On Line Shop
*       This week’s Product menu
*       Our market activities - Neighbourgoods, Long Beach
*       Carnival time
*       Ormonde harvest in Darling
*       Carol Mangiagalli Art at the Mansions
*       Dornier goes Pop-up
*       Harvest at The Vineyard 2
*       Starlight Classics at Vergelegen
*       Lunch at De Grendel
*       Durbanville’s Festival of the Grape
*       Recipe: Emerald and Jade fruit salad
*       Wine and Food Events
*       Wine courses & cooking classes
To take a look at our Main Ingredient blogs, follow the link: because to tell our whole story here would take too much space and you can also read earlier blogs. Click on underlined and Bold words in the text of this edition to open links to pictures, blogs, pertinent websites or more information. Follow us on Twitter: @mainingmenu
Main Ingredient's On Line Shop is performing very well. We are continuing to update it with new products and with photographs of products. Please do not pay until we have confirmed availability and invoiced you. When you make an eft payment, make sure that it says who you are. Use the form on the website to email us your order and we will send you the final invoice once we’ve made sure stock is available. Click here to see the shop.
This week’s Product menu    Our best selling item is not imported, its locally made for us by a Chef, Peter Ayub of Sense of Taste.  It is the most excellent Prego sauce and contains no preservatives or emulsifiers and no sugar.  It is a marvellous all purpose sauce for stir frying prawns, baking a whole fish, on grilled chicken breasts, of course on steak rolls and Lynne even uses it to cook long and slow dishes like Lamb shanks and oxtail.
We have a lot of fun putting MENU together each week and, of course, doing the things we write about, but making it possible for you to enjoy rare and wonderful gourmet foods is what drives our business. We stock a good range of ingredients and delicious ready-made gourmet foods. You can contact us by email or phone, or through our website. We can send your requirements to you anywhere in South Africa.
Our market activities Come and visit us at the Old Biscuit Mill’s wonderfully exciting, atmospheric Neighbourgoods Market, as always, this Saturday and every Saturday between 09h00 and 14h00. Tip: Some visitors tell us how they struggle to find parking. It’s quite easy if you know how. Click here for a map which shows where we park. Today, Friday, March 8th, we will be back at the market in Long Beach Mall, Sun Valley, Fish Hoek.
Wey hey! It’s high summer and the weather is gorgeous. The wind has almost stopped and those pesky clouds and drizzle have held off this week and we have had such fun doing all the lovely things one can do during Harvest time in the Cape. When you see what we have packed into the last week you might gasp. And we know it will continue like this for a few weeks or more. We love our lives. We have tried to keep MENU as short as possible this week and put more detail into the attached blogs with the photographs.
Carnival time again     After we put last week’s issue of MENU to bed, we shot off to Wynberg for the Community Chest Carnival, for us a “must do” annual event and a chance to support some very worthy charities. We bought a huge pile of books from the Rotary used books tent, bought some things in the benefiting charities tent and had the excellent obligatory Croquetten and Grolsch beers at the Dutch stand (it’s our favourite). Later, we had awful so-called boerewors rolls at another stand (yes we do believe there might have been other meat products in it – goat, kangaroo, buffalo all sound too good) and bemoaned the drop in standards of much of the food on offer and the show. Microwaved pizzas on the Italian stand? No way. We shared another beer at the Austrian stand but this year they didn’t have Austrian beer and it was a reasonably good micro brew from Stellenbosch. We had thought of having the usually excellent Austrian würstchen, but the sausages on show did not look as good as they have been in the past. We overspent our books budget and went to one of the Standard Bank’s two ATM vans to replenish. Neither was working and we were told that the Standard bank was not prepared to send a technician till the next day - Sub-Standard service. So John walked a few blocks to the Spar in Wynberg which had the nearest working ATM. The funfair didn’t seem to be there this year and the music everywhere was at painful pitch. The camera never left its bag and we left quite early. The carnival is still very popular, but we really think they have to raise their game next year, it seems to have lost its mojo.
Nothing to do?     The season of festivals and events has truly begun. If you take a look at Events calendar (link below), you can find lots of coming events you might like to do. Good luck to all of you taking part in the Argus Cycle Tour this weekend.
Getting involved with grapes     On Thursday, we headed out to Ormonde wine farm in Darling, where we had been invited to take part in the harvest and help them pick some grapes. Click here to see the photos. We, the invited media and other customers, picked a few crates of ripe Cabernet Franc grapes along with their workers and added to their baskets. Backbreaking work and hot in the full sun so we were relieved when the vineyard was picked and in the trucks and it was time to on to the winery in the very bumpy staff transporter. The workers picked on for many hours afterwards but it gave several people a wake up as to how hard they have to work. We did a winery and cellar tour, tasted some really wonderful fermenting grape juice, and some of us rolled up their trousers and got foot stomping. Confession -John and I have done this before and left it to the young folk. Modern grape presses are SO much more efficient than the feet and its a horribly messy task. Then it was back in the transporter to the homestead where we were rewarded with a lovely lunch of spit roast lamb and loads of other vegetables and salads paired with the very, very good  Ormonde wines before it was time to leave. We particularly loved their Cabernet Franc and Merlot so some had to come home to our cellar.
And when in Darling...... how can you NOT visit Charles Withington’s wine shop on the main street. Charles sells all the wines of the area so if you are passing by, do stop and visit him and you will get a very warm welcome and lots of help purchasing wines of the area. Charles also has imported some Ginger cordial from England which we believe people may be looking for. Contact him on 022 492 3971
Great meatings     We than made a quick visit a couple of doors down the road to the Darling butcher who has superb meat and bought a huge belly of pork that Lynne cooked for a dinner party last night and some huge chicken breasts. He also has good charcuterie and bacon.
Winchester Mansions and Art     On our way home, we called into the Winchester Mansions where art dealer Penny Dobbie had invited us to the opening of her exhibition of Carol Mangiagalli’s paintings. We love her lively and colourful primitive art and the exhibition will continue for a while. Click here for details. Her charming picture of Winchester Mansions has been bought by the hotel and will make a superb centrepiece statement.
Dornier goes Pop-up     We popped into town on Friday evening to see what Dornier were doing at the Merchants Café at 33 Long Street. Pop-up restaurants are becoming all the rage here suddenly, following their popularity in America and Europe. It gave Dornier a chance to showcase their wines, some tapas prepared by their talented chef Neil Norman and get to know a completely new crowd on Friday and Saturday evening. Click here to see the photos. Apparently they will be doing this again in the winter. Watch this space.
Final wining in the Vineyard     We wrote, a couple of weeks ago, about the first wine harvest in Newlands in 150 years, which took place in the Vineyard Hotel’s little vineyard on the bank of the Liesbeek River. The harvest had been scheduled for a date better  suited to most peoples’ diaries, but the grapes wouldn’t wait. On Saturday morning, having unloaded our merchandise at the Neighbour goods Market and helped her set up, John returned to the Vineyard for the “official” harvest, where the last few bunches were picked with great celebration by some of the representatives of farms who had sponsored and planted the vineyard. Some of these farms were up to their necks in their own harvests, but Warwick’s doyenne, Norma Ratcliffe, did her duty with great style. More here....  After the market at the Biscuit Mill, we headed off to Vergelegen for the marvellous
RMB Starlight Classics concert, to which we were delighted to have been invited again. This is probably one of the highlights of our musical year and this year was no exception. Vergelegen is a magic place and the concert is held in the gardens in front of the Camphor trees. This year they featured amongst others Lira, opera divas Angela Kerrison and Sarah-Jane Brandon, the PJ Twins, Cape Town Opera Chorus and and it was all amusingly and brilliantly conducted  by the redoubtable Richard Cock. Armed by the organisers with a full picnic bag, Vergelegen wine, chairs and polar fleece blankets (just in case) what more could anyone want. See the photos here
And then...? (as we said to a friend, this week was INSANE) We didn’t feel tired until we came to write MENU, then it hit us how much we have done.
Doing it in Durbanville     On Sunday, we were off to Durbanville, where we had been invited to have lunch in the restaurant at De Grendel. We think this restaurant needs much more investigation - the food was terrific and we certainly need to go again, and probably again... very talented chef. And of course lovely faultless wines made by Charles Hopkins, another extremely talented winemaker.
Then it was off to the Festival of the Grape held at the Durbanville Race Course over the weekend. We had a blast and have given you a detailed report on the blog. Just click here.
This week’s recipe is a reprint of one Lynne invented several years ago. We had a dinner party last night and she made this again. There is quite a short season when green melons and grapes are in season together and it is now. Do try this, it is lovely and fresh. She served this with a green lime jelly made with a bottle of gewürztraminer on which she floated some tiny basil leaves.


2-3 green kiwi fruit - a green fleshed melon - 200g green seedless grapes - 2 green skinned ripe pears – 20 small mint leaves - angelica or green glace cherries

For the syrup: 2 limes - 285 ml water - 175g caster sugar - 150 ml dry white wine: Chenin Blanc, Semillon, Gewürztraminer, unwooded Chardonnay or, the best, Viognier

Make the syrup by adding the juice and grated rind and juice of one lime to the water, wine and sugar and simmering for 5 minutes. Cool, then add to the salad.
2 - 3 hours before serving, peel, core and slice up the pear leaving the skin on. Place in a deep glass bowl. Pour over the juice of the second lime. Peel and slice the kiwi. Halve the melon, remove the seeds and make balls with a melon-baller or cut into 2 cm cubes or triangles. Cut the grapes in half.. Put all into bowl and mix very gently. Add the mint leaves Pour on the syrup. Cut the angelica/cherries into small diamond shapes and sprinkle onto the salad. Chill.
You can also serve this with pistachio ice-cream or a kiwi and lime sorbet.
There is a huge and rapidly growing variety of interesting things to occupy your leisure time here in the Western Cape. There are so many interesting things to do in our world of food and wine that we have made separate list for each month for which we have information. To see what’s happening in our world of food and wine (and a few other cultural events), visit our Events Calendar. All the events are listed in date order and we already have a large number of exciting events to entertain you right through the year.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here.
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here. Pete Ayub, who makes our very popular Prego sauce, runs evening cooking classes at Sense of Taste, his catering company in Maitland. We can recommend them very highly, having enjoyed his seafood course. Check his programme here. Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has cooking classes in Fish Hoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here. Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia. Brett Nussey’s Stir Crazy courses are now being run from Dish Food and Social’s premises in Main Road Observatory (opposite Groote Schuur hospital).

7th March 2013
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our product list for details and prices.
PS If a word or name is in bold type and underlined, click on it for more information
Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian or Dutch flavoured Afrikaans.
Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are © John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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