Sunday, July 8, 2012

This week ~ bargains, recipes, thoughts and ramblings

The second week of our school break has flown by and leaves me feeling slightly panicked about what still needs to happen in this last week of holiday before we hit the books again. Time seems to slip through my fingers even though I am careful not to waste it.

I have been pondering how I spend my time for a while now in light of this scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:10
"For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing]."

There are so many good things that I can do but are they the best?

Our week has been a good one...starting off on Sunday with my oldest daughter cooking us a fabulous meal from Jamie's 30 minute meals. This young lady is a little kitchen shy due to an unfortunate episode when she set our oven alight at 13 when she forgot to take mini pizzas out of the oven! Bravely, she has overcome this fright and presented to us a delicious meal of beef fillet, dressed baby potatoes, Asian leaf salad, fragrant baby carrots and Yorshire puddings to boot....give the girl a round of applause...she is a star!

Glorious Food!

Monday saw us using our first bargain of the week...a visit to Ratanga Junction theme park for R50 per rider as versus the normal R135! The kids had a blast as it was so quiet there they could do their favourite rides over and over and over and over and over again without having to wait in a queue.

4 pairs of feet are my precious children somewhere up there.

Only children would do water rides in the middle of a Cape Town winter!
It is only in Africa would you see roosters and chickens wandering around a theme park...isn't he beautiful?

He struts his stuff with his little flock following.

When grocery shopping this week I found Kingklip on special. We all love fish but since Superman sold his boat a couple of years back we just don't eat it like we used too. Our two sons are also allergic to seafood so it always means cooking two seperate meals and making sure no knives, chopping boards etc come into contact with each other.

I couldn't resist the Kingklip though and as our current comfort food is curry I made a delicious fish curry with it. Recipe follows at the end of the post.

I also pop into Woolworths once a week to buy our drinking milk and always check out their specials. Their hard cheeses, baby potatoes and onions, butternut and sweet potatoes were on special this week. This called for some onion marmalade. The recipe is from here.

We all make mistakes some times, don't we? I made a big one when planting out fruit trees in December 2010. This week was time to correct this mistake now that winter is settled in. On Thursday we moved the fig tree to the back yard after removing a tree that we have left for climbing which the children have outgrown. We also moved the grafted avo tree to a new sunny spot and transplanted the lemon verbena to the old avo spot.
Grafted Avo tree

Leafless Fig

Verbena cut back and about to be transplanted

Goodbye "three trees"

These choices will result in more space for the fig tree as well as constant sun for both fig and avo and at the same time stop them from casting shade in summer on the vegetable garden.

I picked up some fennel plants at the market and made my mum's delicious fennel soup. Here's how:
Fennel Soup
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with a glug of olive oil.
Brown 2 bunches of washed chopped leeks
Add 4 cleaned chopped fennel bulbs and soften by sweating.
Add 1 liter chicken stock and cook until everything is very soft.
Allow to reduce a little then add 250ml cream.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Sprinkle over some fennel fronds and enjoy.

On Friday we left home early at 8a.m. to drive over to the Palmiet Hydro Electic Station to learn more about the station and power supply in South Africa. It was throroughly entertaining and Superman kept the presenter on her toes with questions on the Kyoto Protocol, Fracking in the Karoo and others. We then stopped for lunch at a little farm stall and went on to Hermanus to visit his folks for the night.

A lovely walk on the cliff path, no whales yet sadly, and then home to a delicious dinner cooked by Granny. The next morning was the mandatory visit to the Hermanus market for breakfast and then home again to Cape Town. A delightful little interlude in the week.

Here's that recipe I promised....

Fish curry recipe

You need a while to make this so take that into planning. It is made in 2 parts and is so worth it for the flavours.

Curry Tomato Paste
Cut up 6 tomatoes and place in a small pot with some curry leaves and a tablespoon of masala. Allow to simmer away slowly until soft then blend with a hand blender. While that is cooking make your...

Curry sauce
In a large skillet or pan fry up one chopped red onion, 2 red peppers, 4 cloves of pressed garlic and 2cm grated fresh ginger. Allow to soften.

Add 1 tablespoon of masala, curry leaves from 2 stalks, 1 stick of cinnamon, 4 cardamom pods, 1 heaped teaspoon of each ground cumin and coriander. Add one cup of water.

When the curry smell invades all your senses add 1 can of coconut milk. Allow this to reduce slowly while you prepare your chosen fish into chunks.

When the sauce is slightly thickened add your tomatoe paste and taste. You will need salt for sure but you may want to add a little sweetness in the form of a teaspoon of brown sugar.

I don't mind holes in my greens...but no slugs allowed!
Now add your fish and any leafy vegetable like pak choi or mustard greens or spinach. Put a lid on the pan and let it cook until the fish is tender....this happens quickly - no more than 7 - 10 minutes.

Serve with fresh coriander....Enjoy!


Cath said...

Oooh, kingklip curry. Yummy. Well done to your girl, that looked like a first class meal.

Elizabeth Jansen van Vuuren said...

I regularly read your blog for thoughtful inspiration and useful information. Thanks for keeping it coming and for the fennel soup recipe in particular, this week.

Shanka said...

I just read your reply on the Down to earth forum. Your words were beautiful, your son is very lucky to have a Mum like you.

Anonymous said...

Comfort food indeed! Love the sound of that fish curry and will make it very soon.