Saturday, July 12, 2014

140711 Main Ingredient's MENU - Wandering in the Wilderness, Knysna Oyster Festival, Belvidere House

Main Ingredient’s weekly E-Journal
Gourmet Foods & Ingredients
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+27 21 439 3169 / +27 83 229 1172
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A white-fronted plover running from the surf on The Wilderness beach
In this week’s MENU:
* Gremlins and last week’s links
* The Big Freeze
* The Vineyard wine bottling at Warwick
* Lake View of the Wilderness
* Wild Oats Market
* Sunday lunch at Flava Café
* Build your own log cabin or luxury house
* Belvidere Manor
* Pick n Pay Tabasco Flavours of Knysna Oyster competition
* Ocean Jewels Fresh fish and lunchtime restaurant
* Entrepreneur in the making
To get the whole of our story, please click on READ ON..... at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to our blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
It is winter school holiday time and many of you will be taking a break and disappearing off into the wide blue or green yonder. We wish you a wonderful holiday with your families and, above all, a safe journey to and from your holiday destination.
This week’s Product menu – If you like spicy food, remember that we do stock a large range of unusual spices like Asafoetida, Allspice, green and brown Cardamom, cumin, Grains of Paradise, pink peppercorns, Shichimi togarashi, star anise and of course, northern and eastern Mediterranean favourites like, sumac, ras el hanout and za’atar – all of which we sell in 25g jars, but we can pack larger quantities if you need. We don’t stock the spices you can get in every supermarket, or fresh herbs, but if you can’t find a spice you need, please contact us to see if we have it or can get it for you......... See them here.
Gremlins found their way into our system last week and we had several complaints that links to our blogs ddn’t work. Here they are so that you can see them this week: The Roti Indian Restaurant in Sea Point - Ocean Jewels Fresh fish and lunchtime restaurant in Woodstock - Oranjezicht City Farm
The Big Freeze     Many of us have been around for quite a long time and many of us cannot remember a year quite as cold as this one. Yes, we do get a dusting of snow on the high Cape Mountains in some years, but pictures of a Bonnievale vineyard completely covered in frost and ice and other chilly views have been exception. The cold has been unremitting and as South Africa is usually in denial about our winters, not many houses are adequately heated, if at all. We see the stores doing very good business in warm clothing and watched amused as many people pulled into a Knysna garage not to get petrol, but to fill their boots with wood. We hope you all are managing to keep warm.
The Vineyard wine bottling at Warwick     You may not know that the Vineyard Hotel does actually have a vineyard in the gardens, on the side of the Liesbeek river, where they grow mainly Sauvignon blanc and some Semillon. We have been made custodians of one of these vines. They had a very good harvest this year. Our grapevine produced 15 bunches, so much better than the single bunch of the previous harvest. And they managed to get ?? kilos of grapes this year. They were vinified by ? van Graan at Warwick and we were invited to come and taste these on Thursday, and enjoy some lunch afterwards where we tasted some good wines from Warwick, Waterford and Klein Constantia  READ ON.....
Lake View of the Wilderness      We were invited to come to Knysna for the Oyster Festival and decided to take a short break in Wilderness beforehand. It is an easy decision. This lakeland and coastal area is an area of outstanding natural beauty, with very friendly people. Also, the petrol costs are such that you feel obliged to get the most out of the expense and we did need a break. We found a small apartment on at the very end of the Wilderness called Lake View and we certainly had that. The weather has been mixed and we have managed to explore the area, do some serious bird watching from our window, and have a walk on the beach where we found a storm tossed piece of a rare paper nautilus shell. It has been very, very cold and we have welcomed any sunshine we have found.  READ ON.....
Wild Oats Market     On Saturday morning we drove through to Sedgefield to this very authentic weekly market. It is so nice to see real farm vegetables, free range poultry, plants, good bread and other tempting delights. It was very well attended and we went home with lots of goodies, including a new vegetable to us, rutabaga. We recognized it but did not know how to cook or eat it. Luckily a German customer told us how to prepare it and she said “ you can even peel it and eat it like an apple”. She was right, it tastes just like a large crisp radish. We bought some really good camembert and baked it that evening and used the rutabaga with carrot, courgettes and tomatoes as crutidé to dip into the liquid cheese. Some will now go into soup.  READ ON.....
Sunday lunch at Flava Café     We had been directed to The Girls restaurant in Wilderness but they were closed. However we discovered they also run Flava and on offer was a rather tempting menu and a value Sunday lunch, so we booked for that. .  READ ON.....
Build your own log cabin or luxury house     The owners of Lake View, Cathy and Roy Trembath invited us to their home for a drink and some supper and we discovered that Roy, a mechanical engineer and qualified toolmaker, is an extremely talented builder of log cabins. He built their beautiful three story home using local trees and has been so successful that he now runs courses to teach other people, local and international, rich and poor, how to do the same. Have a look at their website to see how beautiful, affordable (and green) log houses can be.
Belvidere Manor     We arrived in Knysna on Tuesday morning and went straight to Belvidere Manor where owners Sue and Mike Mills had invited us to stay. We had a lovely well decorated and comfortable house, with a lounge with a log fire, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The kitchen is fully equipped and we were delighted to discover that we had heated blankets on the beds as the night temperatures here had fallen as low as 1 degree C. There was also a heater. Not only a place for high summer, as exploring this wonderful area year round can be a delight. Cycling and walking are very popular. Fishing, canoeing, boating, all from their own jetty too. We had a lovely lunch from their pub, The Bell, sitting on the terrace outside the historic Manor house which dates back to 1834. We also had two marvellous breakfasts and the staff are terrific, especially tall, amusing Jeffrey, who acted as a tour guide around the estate as well. He has been on the estate longer than the Mills’.  READ ON.....
Knysna Wine Festival     We go to many wine festivals, but one in a totally new area was a good draw when we learnt that some local wineries from George to Plettenberg Bay and beyond would be showing their wines. So, some very familiar faces and wines and lots that were completely new to us.  READ ON.....
Pick n Pay Tabasco Flavours of Knysna Oyster competition     The following night we were back at the Exhibition grounds for this competition. Each of twelve local chefs had to prepare an oyster dish using their own recipe which also had to have some Tabasco incorporated in it. They also had another competition for the best dressed stand. Tickets were extremely good value at R165, as you could taste all the oysters and some more dishes prepared by the sponsor Pick n’ Pay, who also provided canapés of yellowtail skewers and a tiny seafood mélange. Visitors were given a booklet of vouchers which could be exchanged for oysters, wine and three courses (with no oysters) from Pick n Pay booths. John tasted all the oysters, Lynne did the other foods and tasted the winning dish which was an oyster paté wrapped in crocodile.  READ ON.....
Entrepreneur in the making     When we were at the Oyster festival we met a charming young man Mawande Kondlo, a registered tour guide, who has decided to organize tours to the township of Knysna “That broaden the mind” as well as township homestays, and “A dining experience that's like nothing you've ever tried...” Check out his website. We so applaud his ingenuity and get up and go. You even get to meet the Township Big 5 and as he says, “it’s not what you think”.
This week’s recipe     We are eating quite a few eggs on the Banting diet, but they are starting to get a little boring. Lynne has some very old cook books in her collection and it includes a lovely book entitled How to Cook Eggs and Omelets (sic) in 300 Different Ways by C Herman Senn, O.B.E., G.C.A, F.R.H.S. It was published in 1920, nearly a hundred years ago. It is full of lovely ideas, some quaint and some mysterious, as some of the ingredients have disappeared, like loaf sugar. Would you know what Lemco or Lucullus paste was? The end section is full of wonderful sounding sweet omelettes and custards that make one’s mouth water. Lunch is an area in the Banting diet that can get boring. Lynne thought you might like to try this for lunch or for a dinner party starter. We quote directly from the book:
Egg and Tomato Custard     Break 4 eggs into a basin, beat up and add three tablespoonfuls of tomato pulp (that is, fresh ripe tomatoes rubbed through a fine sieve), one tablespoonful of cream and one tablespoonful of grated cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Butter six or seven small soufflé cases, fill them with the prepared custard, and bake them slowly in a fairly hot oven for about ten minutes. Dish up and serve quickly.
Modern methods: Lynne might use a stick blender on peeled and deseeded tomatoes or use passata. The oven temperature might be 180°C or even 190°C . We are going to try this out soon. Please report back if you liked it, or not.
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. Events outside the Western Cape are listed here.
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. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
Chez Gourmet in Claremont has a programme of cooking classes. A calendar of their classes can be seen here.
In addition to the new Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a six module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details 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).
Lynn Angel runs the Kitchen Angel cooking school and does private dinners at her home. She holds hands-on cooking classes for small groups on Monday and Thursday evenings and she has decided to introduce LCHF (Banting classes). The Kitchen Confidence classes, which focus on essential cooking skills and methods, have been expanded and are now taught over 2 evenings. She continues to host private dining and culinary team building events at her home. She trained with Raymond Blanc, and has been a professional chef for 25 years. More info here

20th June 2014
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 online shop 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 and standard 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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