Friday, December 04, 2015

This Week's MENU: Beer Festival Braai at Hamiltons, 2015 WWF-SASSI Trailblazer Awards, Elgin Christmas Tweet Up, This week's recipe: Strawberry Ice Cream

Summer is here
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This was a reasonably quiet week for events, but a crazy week for us at home, as we had to get the house and the food ready for John's 70th birthday celebrations on Friday 27th and Saturday. We had wanted to do the Saturday party as a picnic somewhere nice, but it was too much of a challenge at this time of the year. Everywhere is booked for weddings and Christmas parties. We couldn't afford expensive function places and even if we had, they wanted to sell us their own food and wine and we wanted to do our own catering, and, especially, bring out some great bottles from our cellar, which we did.

So, somehow, after cooking all week, we managed a family dinner party on John's actual birthday and then managed to squeeze 30 people into our small house. Lynne has vowed never to attempt this again. She said the same after John’s 60th, when we had 60 people. Presumably, there will only be 15 for his 80th! There was lots and lots of food and drink. Thank you to the friends who contributed, we are very grateful. Did we mention that we also stripped and painted a wall, replaced some decayed planks on the deck and coated it with preservative and repotted all our planters...?
Oh, and as if that was not enough excitement, on Tuesday, John had his second cataract operation. All is well and his sight is much improved. Nowadays, it's just a five hour visit to hospital and a 20 minute op.
Beer Festival Braai at Hamiltons     The festival was held last weekend and on Thursday night before that, we were invited to join other media and the exhibitors for a braai there. We tasted lots of the different new beers and ciders and ate a good braai. It was a great fun evening, except for the exercise we endured getting there.
We learnt an important lesson. NEVER leave the house for a function without checking a map. Lynne spent her ’Tween years living in Green Point so we decided to take the bus there and Uber back. She knew how to get to Hamiltons Rugby Club. Or did she? Had we checked a map we would have seen that the Green Point Golf club has now blocked the way she knew and we had a very , very healthy 4 to 5k walk first through the beautiful Green Point park at twilight and then onward in almost a circle to get there! Well, we do need the exercise.
2015 WWF-SASSI Trailblazer Awards at The Table Bay Hotel     Every year SASSI (South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative) award chefs and others who support the initiative in some way. This year the awards went to seven chefs. The Media Award went to a cookbook author, Daisy Jones, a journalist, for her cookery book, Star Fish, published by Quivertree Press. Daisy’s cookbook is a collection of recipes using only green listed seafood. SASSI is aimed at informing the public how their choice of fish for consumption can help determine the future health and productivity of our oceans. We were invited to the awards ceremony on Monday evening.
Elgin Christmas Tweet Up at South Hill     The Elgin Winemakers Guild decided to reward all the hard work by the Tweeters this year with a last tasting for 2015 and Christmas lunch party in Elgin at South Hill. Transport was arranged for many of us from town and a great day was had by all.
This week's recipe was served at John's birthday lunch and had everyone demanding the recipe. It is the easiest ice cream recipe ever, it does not take a lot of time to make, has only four ingredients and does not need either an ice cream maker or lots of stirring to break up ice crystals. It comes out of the 1973 edition of the Cookery Year Book, which Lynne has used for years. Their recipes are faultless. This quantity would fill one ice cream container. Make this before the end of the strawberry season and you can have strawberry ice cream in the middle of the winter.
Strawberry Ice Cream
500g fresh strawberries - 175g icing sugar - 1 teaspoon lemon juice - 600 ml whipping or double cream
Wash and hull the strawberries and cut them in half. Put them into your liquidiser or food processor with the lemon juice and icing sugar. Add the cream and blitz. You can do this until completely smooth, but we like it with a few small pieces of strawberry still remaining for texture. Freeze. It is soft serve and can melt quite quickly. You don't have to take it out to defrost a little, as you do with normal ice creams. We know you will enjoy it.

3rd December 2015
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