Of Wine and Truffles

Yesterday was not a good day. I found out that a bottle of expensive wine that I bought almost a year ago disappeared out of the back of my grocery cupboard. The only thing I can think is that it was taken by the once-off cleaning lady and her companion that came to help me spruce up The Cave during level three of the lockdown. I left them alone for maybe a half hour to go and buy them some groceries as part of their agreed remuneration. It’s not so much the wine, but the memory attached to the bottle. I bought it for the girls’ night Eliza, Carmen and I had when we knew that Carmen was leaving to join Ewan in the Land of the Kiwis. We never got around to drinking it, but we made a pact to drink it together – Eliza and I at her house, with Carmen on a video call. To add insult to injury I felt a migraine setting in late afternoon and I felt all round blegh. Anyway, what’s done is done; there’s nothing I can do about it.

It’s Friday and nobody want to listen to gripes anyway, so I am going to share another kitchen adventure with you.

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Day 161: Knowing Me, Not Knowing You

In an attempt to draft a ‘getting to know me better’ post for you, my awesome readers, I put a post on FB which read, ‘if you could ask me any question, what would it be?’ The response wasn’t all that great, so I searched ‘how well do you know me’ images online and found one with thirty questions:

Do you have an addiction?

If I had to admit an addiction, it would be ice-cream. It is one of the few things I can’t resist – even when the weather is colder than the ice-cream is.

Who is/are your best friend(s)?

I have many besties – all for different reasons. It wouldn’t be fair to single out only one or two.

When is your birthday?

Soon – September 22nd.

What is your current mood?

I’m still a bit cheesed off because of Stage 4 loadshedding, but I’m feeling remarkably chipper otherwise.

What is/are your favourite animal(s)?

I love any kind of cat. Oh, and baby elephants. I am fond of birds too.

What is your favourite cartoon?

I will never tire of the roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote.

What is/are your favourite movie(s)?

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dirty Dancing, Fatal Attraction, A Few Good Men, An Officer & a Gentleman, Dead Poet’s Society, Shanghai Noon, The Holiday, Two Weeks’ Notice, and Notting Hill.

What is your favourite colour?

Purple.

What is/are your favourite food(s)?

Homemade: The Toppie’s curry or The Bean’s cottage pie. If I splash out at a restaurant, I prefer a medium-rare steak, sushi, or seafood.

Which of your girlfriends do you trust?

All of them – we wouldn’t have a friendship without trust?

Which of your guy friends do you trust?

See the answer above.

What is/are your favourite TV Show(s)?

Lately I’ve been watching Nurses and Pure Genius and loving them. A few of my all-time favourites though are: Bones, Dr Who, NCIS (all of them), and Suits.

Do you have any insecurities?

Show me someone who doesn’t, and I’ll show you a liar.

What is the last lame joke you heard?

On AlgoaFM Breakfast yesterday, Charlie T told this one:

A woman goes shopping and when she gets back to her car, she sees she locked her keys inside. A man stops, asking if he can help She explains what happens and the man removes his pants, wiping them across the lock on the door and it springs up. She asks how he did it and he replies, ‘these are my khaki pants.´

Who is the last person you hugged?

The Bean

What is/are your favourite hobby(ies)?

Blogging and more recently, cooking.

Who is the last person you texted?

My colleague, Nikita.

What is a random fact about you?

Before I got my braces, I could fit my fist in my mouth.

What is your current relationship status?

I’m so single that if I was a dollar a stripper’s g-string would spit me out.

Do you have any children?

Of my womb, no; of my heart, many.

Who/What do you miss?

Charlie, Suki, Carmen, and my mind most days.

What is something you hate?

Being woken up when I’m not fully rested. Seriously. Just. Don’t!

What is something you love?

Spending time with my parents and with my friends.

What is something you want?

To travel abroad again.

Who is the last person you called?

If you must know, it was Teresa – and that was on Tuesday night.

Where are you from?

Earth

What do you look for in a significant other?

Honesty, integrity, loyalty, trustworthiness, and compassion.

Do you have a morning routine?

Yes. Most mornings it is to try to get to the office on time after working from home for almost five months.

How much do you weigh?

More than I should.

And lastly…

How tall are you?

Not as tall as I’d like!

Day 140: Looking Back on Women’s Day: Arendsrus Country Lodge

It’s amazing how when you actually sit down and look for places to stay, you find gems right on your doorstep. One such place is Arendsrus Country Lodge. It’s less than 45 minutes from where I live, and the perfect place to stay a night or two to recharge your batteries.

Driving to Arendsrus, you may think where is this road taking me – after all, it takes you past the Morningside chicken farm, but when you arrive at the lodge, you feel like you’re in a different place. The road leading to reception is lined with trees, which, when in bloom, must be breathtaking to see.

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Day 126: A Promise Almost Un-Kept…

After 126 days in lockdown, there is still no real sign of when a sense of normality will return. I know that life as we knew it before COVID-19 will never be the same, but still, having the freedom to do some of the things we used to, would be nice. Anyhow, I’m not going to rant. It just sets me off into a downward spiral.

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Day 123: Wyn vir die Pyn (Wine for the Pain)

If there was a Pandemic Prevention Olympics, South Africa would be on the podium taking gold medals by the barrel full. We’ve had the longest #Coronavirus lockdown in the world.

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Day 115: Boozy Comfort Food and an OTT Dream

It finally happened! I made the Boozy Jack Daniels Mac and Cheese that I’ve been hinting at in a previous post here, and here. Oh. My. Word. It was delicious!

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Day 110 (I Think): K’Ching Cheddar

There I was, merrily typing away when poof, off went the computer and the deafening silence that only loadshedding brings, set in. We were supposed to be on stage one, but apparently a half hour before 14h00, they upped the ante. I had a number of consequential four-letter words that I silently screamed at Eskom. Aside from work that gets behind, I am worried about the fridge. It has taken to making a loud knocking sound every now and then. I hope it isn’t on it’s way out. Anyhow, I caught up some of the lost hours, with a delicious treat-coffee.

Given that I couldn’t work, I decided to go to the shop for the missing ingredients for the boozy mac and cheese that I keep seeing in my saved FB items.. Holy crap! Dinkum hard cheese is pricey. I’m talking R420 a kilo expensive. To add insult to injury, it is better travelled than I am! Made in Poland, matured in Italy. Pfffffffft!

As I stood with a mere 148 grams of it in my hand, uhm’ing and ah’ing about if I really wanted to try the recipe that much, the Cookery Goddess, Penelope (who has been on hiatus) emerged and said, “For crying in a pot of minestrone soup, you’re willing to toss half a cup of Old No.7 in this dish. Buy the effing cheese!” I knew best not to argue – people tend to look at me funny when I have a conversation with Pen in the middle of the dairy aisle.

I am going to make the mac and cheese tomorrow, assuming Eskom doesn’t put the power off in the early afternoon. Lord knows, this mac and cheese better live up to all the anticipation I have built up and the money I’ve spent on ingredients. Penelope had better come up with other recipes to use this cheese because I’ll be damned if I’m letting it turn into a penicillin-based science experiment in the (possibly retiring) fridge. On the flip-side I got paprika for almost R12 less than the local grocery shop here. The brown sugar was on special too. Penny best be clever there too. Last time she had me buy castor sugar for something and when I eventually wanted to use it, the ants had built slopes in the box and were donning skis.

It is less cold than yesterday, for which I am grateful. Even though there isn’t much warmth in the sun, the light is bright and the sky is blue. The alien tapeworm is also dormant – another thing for which I give thanks. I’ve only had a cup of coffee, my Herbalife shake, and two apples today. Tonight I shall most likely have some fish and roast vegetables.

I tried to wear my ankle boots that have a slight heel. I lasted all of ten minutes walking with them. My ankle did not appreciate being bent at an awkward angle. I very quickly put on the spare pair I had in the boot of my car. The Toppie is always on me about my car being like a travelling wardrobe, but today it was a blessing. My ankle is sore, but without a change of shoes the pain would be worse.

Before lockdown was implemented a hundred and whatever days ago, a few friends and I celebrated a friend’s birthday. There we joked about driving around ever weekend in search of the perfect carrot cake. We even joked about having a van, with WortelKoeke on the outside – the blokes being the wortels and the gals being the koeke. In this spirit, I want to do the same kind of thing, but for the perfect savoury pie, preferably pepper steak.

This may be #TMI, but after shitting through the eye of a needle for four days earlier this month thanks to a dodgy chicken mayo vetkoek sarmie, I’m averse to the idea of eating anything chickeny unless I’ve cooked it myself or seen it being prepared. I don’t wish diarrhoea for days on anyone.

Many South Africans are sad because Nestle is discontinuing Chocolate Log bars. They’ve been around since 1969, but in all my life if I’ve eaten one a year, it’s a lot.

I’m not big on marshmallowy chocolates, except Sweetie Pies; if it has peanut butter in it I will devour it, but failing that anything wafery is good, as is a Peppermint Crisp, Flake or anything by Cadbury. I swear I can taste the glass and a half of milk in every block. When I came back from my holiday to Singapore in 2004, I bought a Cadbury Black Forest slab at the airport. It was deliciously indulgent. I broke off a single block every so often and savoured it. That slab must have lasted at least three months which is a record for chocolate when I’m around.

While infections continue to rise, recoveries go unmentioned, and Eskom continues to freeze us out of the warmth and light many of us pay for, life is good – Rachel the Rocket continues to grow, work chugs along, and I’ve not yet acted on murderous impulses – but, it is only Wednesday…

Day One Hundred and Whatever! Who Cares? I’m Freezing!

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