My official leave began yesterday, with the kids returning to school and my month’s sabbatical starting. To celebrate, I cranked up the Sinead O’ Connor and danced in the kitchen while making some soup, zinging on freshly squeezed carrot, orange and ginger juice.

It’s amazing how evocative music can be. I might as well have been 19 and in Le Club, dancing next to Trisha Lansom. I belted out¬†Emperor’s New Clothes without any fear of embarrassment or criticism from my children because of my inability to pitch (they’re both brilliant musically, inherited from the other side of the family ūüėČ ).¬†I swear, they were tears of Joy pouring down my face as I chopped onions and sang¬†Nothing Compares 2 U.¬†

Butternut Bonanza

What I produced is¬†a delicious (but I think too spicy for you, Sharona), strangely sweetish spicy butternut soup. It’s fantastic with a twirl of fresh cream or full fat yogurt. I secured the last bowl for myself (there was a bit of a bun fight for it in my house after everyone tasted it)(ok, most of us!) but I managed to¬†freeze a few¬†batches. R60 for 800g or R45 for 600g. You can order it here.

Mood Food

Soup’s up!

The shadows lengthen and autumn throws out her gorgeous golden light.

Because the last few days in Joburg have reminded us that autumn is definitely here, and that the winter is going to be a cold and harsh one, I prepared some soulful soup.

One thing I love about soup is that you can put all the vegetables you like in, and the kids will never know! (The only problem is my younger child doesn’t eat soup. Won’t even try it without the greatest of performances. Sigh. I’ll try again this winter.) I find soup to be so comforting, and nourishing. Add a crusty bread, freshly baked, and it’s groans of joy all round.

Anyway, this week’s soups are both quite chunky, thoroughly hearty vegetable soups. A couple of differences: One has a teeny bit of tomato in, and kidney beans. It’s a little less dense than the other. The other has ginger, chilies and garam masala in. It’s decidedly thicker, and deliciously spicier. I’m afraid neither of them are Banting-friendly – that’s next week’s project. They’re frozen in 800g batches, ready to be delivered/collected. The cost is R60 for 800g. I listened to Tom Waits Nighthawks at the Diner¬†while I cooked. He always makes me laugh. And cry a little.

I’m going to make soup my mission over the next few weeks. I saw a recipe for a tumeric and coconut soup, which sound so healthy and tasty. I also have a pumpkin just waiting to be turned into something beautiful. Watch this space. I’ll also be cooking some stews and curries, just in time for the bite. Feel free to drop me a line with any specific requests or suggestions.

For orders in the central Johannesburg regions and the West Rand, please click here.


Loving my aloes at the moment!

Marinated vegetables

A delicious accompaniment to any cheese platter and to many meals is a side of marinated veggies. It’s a decadent and delicious flavor, which I love to have with a little feta cheese on a cracker.

IMG_2274I whipped up a batch based on¬†the Noakes recipe, using aubergines, mushrooms, courgettes and peppers. They’re grilled on the griddle, and then doused in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, thyme and red wine vinegar. These can’t be frozen, but¬†they keep quite well in the fridge for about 10 days, if you manage not to finish them by then. Small jars cost R35 and large jars R50.

To place your order in the Johannesburg Central and West Rand areas, click here.


Pickled onions

One thing I remember as a regular addition to our meals when I was growing up was pickled onions. (There was also the eternal beetroot, but I can’t iamgine¬†myself pressure-cooking beetroot, never mind making sure it never runs out! I wasn’t all that fond of it!)

Luckily my late mother taught me her secrets about making pickled onions. It’s one of those strangely compelling things to add to your plate. I love to eat them with cheese and crackers (or on a sandwich with cheese, lettuce, tomato and a little chutney) or as a side to a charred piece of meat fresh off the braai.

My onions can be rather hot, so please let me know when you place your order if you have an aversion to hot food. A jar of delicious pickled onions costs R50. To order, please click here.

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