You are browsing the archive for 2010 March.

Food Poisoning! Name and Shame ?

March 31, 2010 in Uncategorized

I have so much to share with all of you, that i am finding it difficult to actually focus and get off the mark – time is extremely limited at the moment, so i shall be brief.  As you all know i was lucky enough to attend the Cape Town Food Bloggers Conference – what a GOB-SMACKINGLY AWESOME EVENT – load to share about this…. later.   My husband met me down in Cape Town and we spent a fab long weekend together at that Grande Dame of a hotel, namely The Table Bay!!!  OH me oh my … beautiful!!!

 

 

We were also celebrating our sons graduation – FINALLY – into the world of Film Making he goes with a great qualification and loads of practical experience under his belt.  Good luck my darling Daniele – we are so proud of you and cannot wait to celebrate your future successes one by fabulous one!!!  ANYWAY – we celebrated this event at an expensive – upmarket V&A Waterfront restaurant as we always do.  We have eaten in this restaurant on many occasions – mostly in celebration of some event or other – which justifies spending an awful lot of money on a meal for 3 people. 

 

Riccardo and I – shared a lunch at a different restaurant on this particular day, with no side effects other than the glow that one takes on after REALLY enjoying a meal in a good restaurant.  We booked a late dinner – knowing full well that graduation ceremony are just not a quick affair.  We ordered – enjoyed the amazing view – food, wine and all in all had a great evening and off Daniele toddled to “go BIG” with his friends at a local club. 

 

Not three hours later – i had to re-locate from my wonderful comfy bed – to the “loo” – where I spent the rest of the evening and early morning.  Wow – I felt like I had my stomach pumped by the engine room of the Queen Mary …. which was docked in the harbour.  Not nice – my very first encounter with food “poisoning” and let me tell you – I WAS POISONED – i say this because the whole of the next 24 hours is suffered aching joints!  One side effect of being a blogger and foodie, as you will all know, is that when having a meal, you taste everyones meal at the table – and generally discuss the dishes with each other.  We analysed our food swapping – etc. and narrowed it down to the liver in my meal of Veal Escallopes with Fois Gras.  This was the only ingredient – that ONLY I ate and I shall admit that it did taste a bit “stronge” but – seeing as it was my first ever taste of this delicacy I assumed that the general rawness of the liver and “unusual” taste was, well, just the norm.  NO WAY JOSE ……. say no more!!!!

 

I phoned the restaurant in question and spoke to a “manager” telling him my tale of woe.  Now – the reason for my call was merely to advise the restaurant of my experience and ask the manager to notify his chef, as clearly, something was amiss.   I did not ask for any form of compensation at all.  To be honest, I am not sure what response I expected, but I can say that I was totally “underwhelmed” by the response that I got.   I worked as a telephone counsellor for ten years – I trained many counsellors in the art of active listening skills and let me tell you – you cannot tell me a lie on the telephone even – for I WILL KNOW …. and this person had absolutely no interest in my call – to the point of actually loudly ‘SIGHING”  directly into the mouth piece of the telephone ….. as I say, what should we, the paying public, expect to hear from a restaurant in this situation?  The manager said he was sorry – in a tone of voice that had the empathy of ROADKILL …. and that was the end of it.  He ended the conversation.

 

My question – to all of you is – is there a protocol in a situation like this?  What kind of response should we expect when reporting such a serious matter to a restaurant and, should we have a name and shame reporting system?  Do we not have the right to expect fresh – unspoilt meals in restaurants???

 

Has anyone else out there had a similar experience?

 

 

Pasta in 5 minutes … Aglio Olio Peperoncino ….. Defcon 1 Secret Weapon Recipe

March 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

This recipe is for bachelor blogger Lefty – he goes where no bachelor dare go before – straight into the kitchen.  Lefty darling, as promised this is the pasta recipe that kicks A!!** …… this takes a Salticrack Month-End situation by the scruff of the neck and kicks to touch!  If you have some spaghetti – a few chillis, some onion and garlic brother you are IN SERIOUS CHEFFIE BUSINESS ……… my home was often the first stop of my friend Mikey when he worked for the United Nations in Kosovo – he absolutely loves this simplest of simple pasta recipes.  It’s the Italian flag on a plate …..

 

Wack this on the table and you will have housemates, girlfriends, boyfriends  or your boss literally eating out of your hands.  This is my DEFCON-1 secret weapon Lefty!!  Your black Amex doesn’t even need to be drawn from its holster…. this is cheaper than a box of Salticrax bro. 

 

When you have made this pasta and eaten it  ………. you will probably want to donate limbs, organs, or your first born child  to me as a small gesture of gratitude…. poems and song lyrics will be written about this one brother …..enjoy!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

4 chopped red chillis – pips and all

8 chopped spring onions – if you dont have use one medium sized normal onion or red onion

10 chopped cloves of garlic

a good handfull of finely chopped parsley

1 chicken stock cube

1 cup of olive oil

1 packet of spaghetti

 

This will serve 4 hungry people

 

 

 

Boil a large pot of salted water – bring it to a rolling boil

when it’s boiling its head off – add the packet of spaghetti and stir

Every minute or two – give the spags a stir – this will prevent the pasta

from sticking – don’t neglect pasta by not stirring it ….

 

In a nice large frying pan or pot – heat the olive oil to nice and hot

add the garlic – chili – spring onions and chicken stock cube and fry

until the garlic is starting to go a pale golden colour

 

 

by this time the pasta is ready – don’t drain in a colander like you would normally do

literally lift out forkfull of pasta – which is wet with the water and place it into

the frying pan with the garlic chili and onion int

Stir it well – coating all the pasta with the spicy olive oil

 

The pasta should be wet and saucy enough if you follow the above but

if you like you can take out a cup full of the pasta water and keep it handy

should anyones pasta be too dry for their liking.

 

Sprinkle with liberal lashings of parmesan cheese and

serve with loads of hot crusty bread

 

 

 

 

 

Buon Appetito!!!

 

 

xxx

jan

 

 

Caponata Sbriciolata ……. Caponata with Parmesan Crumble …… heaven!

March 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

I must second Caro of Food24 – brinjals are in season now and are as cheap as chips and  the key ingredient in a caponata.  My love affair with lamb continues and this meal is a  combo made in heaven.  Roasted rack of lamb with Caponata Sbriciolata!! Simply put – the caponata, which is a medly of peppers, brinjals, olives, zucchini, capers and onion – all cooked in tomato BUT IT IS ……  topped with a parmesan crumble!!!!  Can you ever – PARMESAN CRUMBLE is like any crumble – you just can’t stop.  I am off to review another Durban restaurant in less than  an hour – and every time I pass the kitchen, I just can’t help myself, i just have a spoonful … hehehe ….. Hi my name is Janice and I am a foodaholic!!! 

 

Max has just eaten the leftover lamb – well, let me put it this way, I made two racks so that Max could have some for lunch today.  To my UTTER AMAZEMENT he ate the caponata as well!  He saw me loading up about 500g of it onto a dessert spoon to shove in my gob – oohing and ah-ing about how the person who invented “crumble” should have been knighted, sainted and given a Nobel food prize or something and 10 Michelin stars and and and!  With a quizzicle look on his face his words were,” Let me try this”  and get your brollies and wellies out peopl, it’s either gonna rain or snow or both.  Max ate veggies!

I hear choirs of angels as I type this. 

 

Caponata

 

Cut 3 peppers, 6 zucchini, 10 baby brinjals (or 2 large normal brinjals) and 2 onions into

chunks

6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

2 tins of Woolies tinned cherry tomatoes

fresh thyme and rosemary

3 dessert spoons of baby capers (or the large ones)

2 chicken stock cubes

lots of pepper

1 cup of dry white wine

 

 

 

In a pot – in some olive oil, fry the onion with some garlic until slightly caramelised

add the white wine and cook out all of the alcohol

add the chicken cubes, pepper, rosemary and thyme and give a good stir

throw in all the chopped chunks of veggies

add the 2 cans of cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer

and leave it to cook for about 40 minutes

Check for seasoning.

 

 

 

This is what the caponata looks like.

 

For the Parmesan Crumble

 

In a food processor -

Put in 1 1/2 cups of white flour

Cut 200g of butter into cubes and throw them in

some pepper

a tiny sprinkle of nutmet

100g of grated parmesan

 

And pulse them to a fine crumb texture. 

Place the caponata into an oven proof dish

and sprinkle the crumble over the top

flick ice cold water over the crumble (to ensure that it crisps up)

and bake at 180d for about 30 – 35 minutes or until golden brown.

 

 

 

I shall warn you that the aroma of the caponata baking – buttery parmesan-y

delicious smells from your kitchen – is sooooooooo good that the smell makes you

incredible hungry!!!

 

 

I have run out of space AGAIN !@!###

I will post the roasted rack of lamb at a later date.

 

Buon Appetito!

 

xx

Jan

 

 

 

Roasted Fig, Asparagus, Butternut and Fillet Salad for Saturday Lunch!

March 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

This i s one of those meal-on-a-plate recipes that i am tremendously fond of.  This salad is measure by the square meter!  I prepare it on my largest platter, plonk it in the middle of the table with only grissini and crusty hot ciabatta to mop up the juices with.    With summer slowly ebbing into autumn, Durban has turned the corner, all be it one month early this year, the mornings have a little crispy edge on them already.  Mrs Sun has moved in the sky and the light has changed too.  Yes, it’s still very hot, but this beautiful weather is what we Durban-ites wait all year for.  Throughout summer, as we battle the torrents of “sweat”, bravely keeping our heads barely above water – we count the months if not weeks until we see the end of that dreaded and feared F – Month !  In March we emerge like little social butterflies from our summer cocoon into  – smiling and relieved Durban-ites smug in the knowledge that April and May are the champagne months of good ol’ Durbs. 

Suddenly, we can actually enjoy the joys of Al Fresco dining – groups of friends gather, still able to walk at the end of a “sweatless” day!  You actually have enough energy left to socialise, congregate and communicate.   Wine flows and board games come out of the cupboard, get dusted off and ready for action!  This is Monopoly time, this is Backgammon time, this is 30 Seconds time and along with any form of board game comes lots of drinking, laughing and fooling around.  Hence, the wall to wall food – that’s communal and easy to prepare.

 

Ingredients

 

Roasted Butternut

 

1 small butternut diced into 1,5cm cubes

3 crushed garlic cloves

salt & pepper

sugar and cinammon

 

 

Roasted Figs

Figs – as many as you like

a few small sprigs of fresh rosemary

balsamic vinegar reduction

honey

salt and pepper

 

Poached Asparagus

 

Take about 1inch off the ends of the nice thick asparagus

and gently poach in a little salted water

when they are tender – remove and using the same pan – toss them in a little

garlic butter salt and pepper

 

 

2 ripe avocado pears

1 fillet at room temperature or 4 rib-eye beef steaks also at room temperature

black papper

rocket

butter lettuce

basil leaves

the juice of 2 lemons

olive oil

basil leaves

pecorino shavings

 

 

 Roast the butternut in olive oil and a few knobs of butter with rosemary, a few crushed cloves of garlic,

salt, pepper, cinamon and sugar until nicely soft and caramelised.  Drain any excess oil.

 

Figs – cut off the stalk and make a cross on the top of each fig  and squeeze them a little

to open the fig up – push a small sprig of rosemary into the centre, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar reduction

and honey, season with salt and pepper.  Roast in a moderate 180 degree oven for 5 minutes.

 

Cut the fillet or rib-eye into nice thick steaks and rub them in

black pepper – or mixed pepper corns if you have

heat a griddle pan and cook the meat as you like it – for me – rare!!! yum yum

 

 

Remove them from the pan and place on a plate – salt them and let

them rest losely covered with some tin foil

you are going to pour the meat juices over your salad so don’t

throw them away !!!

 

 

 

Arrange the butter lettuce and rocket leaves to cover the entire platter

sprinkle over the roast butternut nuggets

dot the platter with the nice juicy dark burgundy figs

artistically arrange the poached asparagus

rip over the basil leaves

then slice the meat into goujons or thick slices of juicy meat and put

on the platter

Season the whole platter with a little black pepper and salt

a drizzle of olive oil

squeeze over the juice of the two lemons

using a potato peeler – cover the whole bang shoot with shavings of

pecorino!!!!

 

 

 

(You could add some goats milk cheese or some roasted –  peppers or brinjals

to this salad if you like – nothing is cast in stone – a sprinkle of toasted almonds

would be fab !!!  Have fun!)

 

Serve with grissini and hot crusty bread such as ciabbata!

 

 

 

Buon Appetito

 

xx

jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An African Queen … Prune and Venison Pie

March 10, 2010 in Uncategorized

This is an African Queen of a pie and in fact, if the humble pie can be raised up to royal heights, this is the one. I have been hunting around looking for a fabulous recipe to use the kudu fillet that I bought at the Food Market two weeks ago –  and I found a gem of a jewel of a recipe in the appropriately named book “A Kitchen Safari” by Yvonne Short – Stories and Recipes From The African Wilderness.  I absolutely loved every moment in the kitchen making it ………….

 

We are so very blessed to live in a country that has a landscape that stretches from ocean to ocean, studded with majestic scenery and vibrant cultures.  Mother nature rains down her sunshine on us day in and day out which, which in turn coaxes so many delicasies from the hot african soil.   From the cold mountains in the north to the heavily laden vines almost dipping their juicy bounty into the Atlantic Ocean – I find myself so spoilt for choice.  One rogue dropping from any number of our beautiful indigenous birds could give rise to anything – from a little bulbine plant to a mighty marula tree. 

 

Three years ago hubby and I celebrated our 25th Wedding Anniversary in true African style.  We were extremely fortunate enough to spend an incredible weekend at Phinda Private Game Reserve.  We witnessed a leopard kill and watched while a pride of lions gorged themselves on a nyala at night …. steam rising from the cadaver and the smell of fresh blood hanging ominously in the air.  The area had recently been strangled by a wicked drought – just one week before our arrival the rain came.  In only seven days – the acacia was budding – beautiful little indigenous flowers were popping up here and there  – the air was clear and the animals all looked clean as if having been to the parlour.  Absolutely everything seemed vibrant, alive and revived by the energy that only a good shower can bring. 

 

We felt embraced in African love at Phinda, with the staff all flashing brilliant white smiles, we heard much laughter among them.  Everything seems to happen out of sight – bush dinners are magically conjured out of thin air, exotic african dishes of smokiness and frangrance bedecked large dark wood stout legged tables, that  themselves seem to whisper “welcome”.  Conservation Corporation Africa – the owners of Phinda and 37 other african lodges – have reclaimed commercial land previously indentured into labour!  They have set the land free, fully restoring all the indigenous fauna and flora while practicing environmentally sound eco tourism that partners with and benefits local communities.  I just adore stories with happy endings like these.

 

The cookbook is exquisite – sporting photographs of Africa that bring tears of joy to your eyes.  You recognise faces within faces and laugh out loud at the stories told in the book.  Every so often you get a note from one of the staff such as this one from Dumi Ndlovu which simply reads,

From Dumi

To the Security Team

Last night we had a great Bush dinner very-very nice one.  But the Hyena ran away with the leg of Lamb.  So the plan is

to bring extra security to the Bush in future.

 

Thankx

Dumi Ndlovu

 

prune and venison pie

 

Prune and Venison Pan Pie

 

100ml vegetable Oil    –    3kg Venison Cubed (I used the kudu from Wild Meats)

2 L Veal stock (I used chicken stock)    –    4 carrots diced – (i used 8)

1 head table celery thickly sliced    –    15ml black peppercorns

4 bay leaves    –    10 juniper berries (I got mine from Giovanni’s in Green Point)

1 bouquet garni ( i made mine from rosemary – basil – sage – thyme and parsley)

 

 

prune and venison pie  prune and venison pie

 

250g prunes – halved and pitted    –    250 ml port (i bought some Allesverloren Port – Yummy)

250g pancetta cubed    –    4 cloves garlic    – 2 onions diced    –    ground black pepper    –   

500g frozen puff pastry – one egg beaten for egg wash

 

Heat oil in a heavy casserole and brown the venison well on all sides – Remove from the pot – saute the onions for 10 minutes – Add the stock, carrots, celery,peppercorns, bay leaves, juniper berries and bouquet garni.  Add the browned venison.  Cover the casserole and bake in preheated oven at 150C for at least 3 hours until tender. Strain stock off and reduce down to 2 cups and place meat and veg back into the stock.  Soak the prunes in the port and set aside.  In a hot frying pan saute the pancetta until lightly browned then add the onions and fry for a further 5 minutes – add the garlic prune and port mixture and season – bring to the boil.  Combine the venison and prune mixture in cast iron pot or pie dish and check for seasoning.

Cover with pastry – brush on an egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Africa.

 

Buon Appetito

 

xxx

 

Jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ama-Zing Hangover Special ………..

March 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Goooooooood morning bloggers one and all, I am positively full of beans and “snoek ” this morning.  Junior, our site manager, was very kind enough to share some smoked snoek from de Kaaaap,  with us.  This is the haddock of umAfrika i say, move over you wee wee haggis infested isle, Afrika is the flavour of my moment.  I have just returned from my morning swim this “Lie-on- ess” is raring to go.  There I was, swimming along when our beautiful, big golden African sun just illumnated the water!!!  I had just turned and gone underwater to start another lap when – true’s bob, golden shards of light turned my morning swim into the citrine flecked haven of a mermaid, the sunlit veins under the water supa-charged me with something …………. haibo!!!!!  ‘Twas truly a moment people, Eish !!!!! Ayooooooooooooooooba Eish!!!

“Snoek” was the title of one of my sons very first – pre Varsity – movie attempts.  A local commedy which gave me many a giggle.  But when it come to the combo of flaked snoek with herbs and gently “scrambled” egg, gently coaxed into salty – cheesy – snoeky blobs on a breakfast plate – THAT is enough to bring tears to my eyes.  The boys just loooved it!!!  Max was getting all misty eyed about not having had the time or opportunity to go fishing again. 

Wes Cruickshank of East Coast Radio – sorry, it’s taken me so long to invent a snoek recipe for you, but here it is brother.  I am not all that familiar with smoked snoek, but one doesn’t need to be Heston Blumenthal to put egg and smoked snoek together once you have tasted it’s awesome flavour.  This is all done in about – 3 minutes so it’s ideal for a quick breakfast that’s as tasty as it is nutricious.

Ingredients

 

 

In a bowl mix gently together the following -

2 free range eggs

flaked snoek

1/4 tsp red pepper or some chopped green chilli

ripped basil leaves

a good splodge of either creme fraiche – or mascarpone or sour cream or double thick cream or even

a good dollop of philadelphia cream cheese if you have any

black pepper and a “bietjan” little bit of salt.

 

Before we go any further – this really isn’t SCRAMBLED egg – it’s gently combined egg with smoked snoek and herbs!

 

In a frying pan melt a good sized knob of  butter over a medium heat and

pour in the egg mixture.

GENTLY -” scramble” ….. don’t bash the living daylights out of it,

you want to be able to see egg yolk and white -

This is GREAT HANGOVER food people – it’s cooked slowly and gently no banging and

crashing of pots ……

 

 

Served with piping hot toast and a slow sprinkle of

Lea & Perrins Pepper Sauce or Good old Tobasco …….

 

Walla …………. end of hangover.

 

Buon Appetito!

 

xx

jan

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Boar Ragu …. Linguine al Cinghiale

March 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

I am very excited to post this yummy recipe.  Now that I have finished and done with the drama of the past few weeks  i must share this great pasta sauce recipe with all of you.  Keith and Elois Vienings of Wild Meats have a regular stall at The Food Market  in Durban North and i dash down every market to get something or other.  This last market i walked away with – Wild Boar, Kudu carpaccio, boerewors, Venison Fillet and Warthog –  very exciting and different cuts of meat.  I have been wanting to make a wild boar ragu (meat sauce for pasta) for ages. 

 

The Vienings imported the wild boar from The Black Forest, and farm them in Limpopo.  They are free range and enjoy a good life before they land up on our plates.  Wild Boar is a favourite in Italy and during hunting season the locals refrain from taking walks in the woods, as the hunters are out there every Wednesday and Sunday, the hunting days with their guns.   Wild Boar or Cinghiale (pronounced – chin- gee-aa-lay)  is found from the north to the south of Italy and even on the islands of Sardegna and Corsica.  The meat is rich and lean and extremely tasty. For those bloggers lucky enough to live in Durban – Wild Meats will deliver here in Durbs on a Friday.  The meat is incredibly reasonable too.  Contact either Keith or Elois on 082 622 8413 or emal them on elois@vienings.com and they will send you their price list and order form.

 

Ragu di Cinghiale

 

1 nice large piece of wild boar (i used the shoulder and it weighed about 2kg)

2 onions finely chopped

3 carrots finely chopped

6 short sticks of celery finely chopped

a bouqet garni – made up of sage, rosemary, bay leaf and thyme

6 large cloves of garlic

2 large tins of peeled tomatoes liquidised

1/2 a bottle of passata of tomato

1 chilli

4 chicken stock cubes

2/3 of a bottle of red wine

lots of freshly ground black pepper

 

This is saturday afternoon cooking – you need to leave this baby cooking for 6 hours or so.

Long and slow – the idea is that the meat falls off the bone and is broken up into chunks in the sauce.

 

 

In your large heavy pot – i hauled out my le creuset baby for this.

So, in some olive oil, brown the meat on all sides and set aside

In the same pot – brown the garlic and onion and then add in the chilli, carrots, celery and herbs.

Give this a good stir – coating the onion, celery and carrots with the olive oil and meat juices.

 

Now, pour over the bottle of red wine – the best wine you can possibly afford – and bring

it up to the boil.  Add the liquidised tomatoes and half a bottle of tomato passata, the chicken stock cubes and

the pepper and bring to the boil.

 

Return the wild boar to the pan and cook on a high heat for about 1 hour and then reduce to a

very slow simmer …….. for a long long time.

As long as you can …. let it just plop ……….plop until the meat surrenders and falls right off the bone.

 

Finally – remove the meat and bone and reduce the sauce down by about one third -

break up the chunks of meat and return them to their tomato bath.

 

Boil a pot of water and cook your favourite pasta …. some like short pasta like penne or rigatone, some like

long pasta like spaghetti or linguine.

 

We made this pasta with linguine – and it went down like a treat.

 

 

 

Buon Appetito!!

Jan

xx

 

 

 

Check out http://www.thefoodmarket.co.za/Recipes/tabid/60/Default.aspx

 

and have a look at my Summer Sunday Diva Fillet of Beef Platter – i shall be using my

beautifu Venison fillet in this recipe.

 

Now all i need do is find an awesome Warthog recipe … i am thinking Cointreau and …..

 

 

 

Christenings, Weddings, Funerals and Pasta!

March 3, 2010 in Uncategorized

Good evening my dear friends, how i have missed you all and your generous words of encouragement.  This year began with the most beautiful fireworks display on 31st December at the Wild Coast Sun  – and let me tell you – them crackers are still going off in my world.  January 13th saw my poor husband under the knife in a 7 hours operation to fix his broken heart – I cannot actually describe the depths of my fear as I could do absolutely nothing to alter the outcome of the operation he had – this rather frightening challenge was followed by the passing of my dear mother in law a.k.a Nonna Lilly from this world to the next.  We lay her gently to rest with her beloved Toto last week.

I have been up to my eye balls in Italians – food – hospitals – food and a funeral which, of course, means –  LOTS MORE FOOD .. and a wounded group of wonderful Italians, who – to cope with the loss of their dear mother – grandmother – great grandmother and great great grandmother –  (sounds like a movie doesn’t it)  needed to cling to each other for comfort whilst eating lots and lots of pasta. 

Pasta – for my group of Italians – and I would venture to say, ALL groups of Italians – is the glue that keeps them together.  When babies are born – and christened in their beautiful pristine white gowns – italians eat pasta – when the babies grow and receive Holy Communion for the first momentous time, all decked out in their pretty white veils and in the case of my boys – their handsome white outfits – they eat pasta – 16, 18 and 21st birthdays follow soon afterwards – all blessed with loads more pasta – and weddings are positively drowning in huge trays of canneloni or lasagne and white wedding dresses.  Quite literally, pasta can neither be separated nor excluded from “The Bread of Life” and its’ symbolism so deeply deeply ingrained into the very fabric of any Italians soul.

Nonna Lilly – our queen of the kitchen and indeed “queen of life” in general, gently slipped away from us in her sleep in Entabeni hospital on the 18th February 2010.   This is the amazing and inspiring cook, that I have spoken of in so many of my posts, who made Vitello Tonnato in the Form of a clock – the hands of which were crafted in black truffle!  When I met my husband – every Thursday evening I would catch the bus from central Durban – where I worked – to their home on the shady cool palmed Berea, upon my arrival i would be ushered into the kitchen to learn how to cook.  I absolutely loved and cherished every single moment that i spent with her in that tiny little lovely kitchen.  

Nonna did not just teach me how to cook countless italian dishes – each one better than the last – she taught me about food – pairing food – loving food – and gave me the knowledge of how and why we cook in the ways that we do – the understanding of using food to express love – loyalty and healing –  how to get home from a long day at work, cook a three course meal fit for kings and queens, lay a formal dinner table, present and serve that wonderful food without even breaking a sweat – and she taught me the joy of sharing your food  with  love.   Until I met my husband and his amazing mum – food, really only represented something perfunctory that happened 2 or 3 times a day.  My dear English mum’s version of pasta sauce contained mixed vegetables- those little coloured square cubes that we are led to believe grew out of the ground at some point. 

The whole Tripepi family and many other mourners gathered to celebrate the life of our dear Mamma at my home.  There were many people – family and friends who came together to pay their respects to Signora Tripepi – a lady of elegance and standing in the Durban Italian community.  She, together with her dear husband Salvatore Tripepi, created a dynasty.  At the time of her passing – Lilliana Tripepi was a living 5th generation – octegnarian.  At 89 years of age – she was still beautiful and elegant and adoring of her great great grand daughter, Sophia. 

And the food – well, I ordered mountains of hot snacks from Steven @ The G-Spot, which were delicious and received many complements – Thank You Steven darling …………. I chose to serve only two sandwiches.  Coronation Chicken Sandwiches (good enough for Queen Elizabeths Coronation! good enough for our queen nonna Lilly) and Prawn mayonnaise sandwiches – a favourite of Nonna’s.  Puckety’s in Underberg provided us with the best Carrot Cake that South Africa has to offer and ……. as evening fell,  when only her children and grandchildren remained – we ate pasta.  Lots and lots and lots of wonderful healing, comforting pasta.  And we were all happy again.

 

 

 

 

Buon Appetito!

 

It’s good to be back.

 

xx

jan

 

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