Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This Week's MENU. The Granary Cafe at The Silo, Breakfast at La Petite Tarte, Visits to Groenland and Kaapzicht in Stellenbosch, Classic Chicken soup, Kaapzicht The Glimpse 2015

A tanker on a "wine dark sea" (quote from Homer) with clouds on the horizon which we hope will bring more blessed rain
Winter has set in and we are feeling the cold. Thank goodness for a new load of firewood being delivered tomorrow. While the temperatures are not significantly lower than we experienced in Oslo last month, our houses are not built for cold weather; we have always pretended that it doesn’t exist. This is Africa, after all – even if Antarctica is the next stop to the South and a lot of our weather comes from those parts. So we have a couple of stories for you about good things to do in a cool place which pretends to be warm in July....

The Silo in the Waterfront is about to open its much publicised gallery, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) to the public. John heard about it on Cape Talk last week and we realised that we had not been to see the Silo Hotel or its restaurants which are above the gallery. So, on a rare lovely, sunny and warm Champagne day this week, we made a booking. The Silo Hotel is part of the Royal Portfolio Group
Last Saturday was a raw and miserable morning, a little wet, but we were all anticipating heavy rain from a big front approaching the city. We decided to cheer ourselves up with another breakfast. Not too far from home, we discovered Le Petite Tart in Dixon Street, across the road from the Cape Quarter Lifestyle centre in Green Point and got a table for 10 am. No one wants to jump out of bed early on a chilly Saturday morning
The restaurant, which also does lunch and dinner, is easy to find; you can't miss those red and white striped awnings. We also found parking at the top of the street
What to do on a cold and damp Saturday morning in the Cape midwinter? Why not visit some wine farms not too far from Town. Bottelary took us only half an hour on the N1 and Old Oak Road. And we zoomed along, not breaking any speed limits with very moderate traffic
What’s on the Menu this Week?     Classic Chicken soup     We love the restorative properties of good chicken soup. We have been buying it from the Kosher section at Checkers for years and keep a litre in our freezer for those days when we are feeling a bit wobbly and some winter bug or other is beginning to overtake our life. However, they seem to have left out the chicken recently and Lynne decided to make her own. We had a large chicken this week and on day three, still quite a lot of meat on one leg and on the carcass; she sacrificed it to the pot. It is not rocket science, you just need good vegetables. This was quite astounding as, when we ate it, it was full of umami flavours. And yet, no salt had been added, just some real chicken stock. Use a stock cube if you must, but make sure it actually contains some chicken, not just MSG
One cooked chicken carcass, not picked completely clean - one cooked leg of chicken - 2 celery stalks, finely chopped - 3 carrots, finely chopped - 2 leeks, finely chopped - one turnip, finely chopped - two cloves of garlic, sliced - 3 T celery leaves, finely chopped - 2 T parsley with stalks, finely chopped - ½ litre good chicken stock - 2 bay leaves - 1 t fresh thyme - 5 whole peppercorns -seasoning: white pepper and salt to taste.
First, cut off as much good chicken meat as you can from the carcass and the leg and keep aside. Put the carcass and any bones from the leg and the skin into the pot and add all the vegetables and the stock. Cover with water and simmer for about 1½ to 2 hours. Check the pot every half an hour and when the carcass looks as though it is about to fall apart, immediately remove it with the bones and skin from the pot. Remove any more bits of chicken on the carcass that can go back in the pot, then discard the carcass, skin and bones. Taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to, adding white pepper and a little salt if it needs it. You can add some soup noodles at this stage and add back all the chicken pieces you have saved, cook for another 10 minutes until the added chicken has been boiled and any noodles are cooked. Serve as a meal with crusty bread
MENU's Wine of the Week. Kaapzicht The Glimpse 2015, from Kaapzicht in Bottelary, Stellenbosch. 
From a winemaker with vision, Danie Steytler, who is also a member of the Cape Winemakers Guild. This is made from the same grapes as the Vision (45% Pinotage, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cab Franc) but spends only 12 months in barrel. It is different, with pomegranate and cherries on the nose and palate, soft with chalky tannins with some liquorice. So satisfying to drink and cellar. R300 a bottle. We predict that it will win awards

18th July 2017

© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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