Monday, November 30, 2009

Travel Diary: Noordhoek, Cape Town

Hubby and I recently spent an awesome week planned around the Johnny Clegg concert (pics to come) in our favourite South African city (and ex-home town), Cape Town.

One of the guest houses we stayed at was Bazara in Noordhoek - a funky, reasonably-priced place with a fabulous view and a lovely resident golden retriever. It's close to both Long Beach and Chapman's Peak Drive, both of which deserve a chunk of your time.

Feast your eyeballs on...
...the suite...
...the view from the deck...
...a delightfully friendly dog named Bungo...
...the sunset...
...the beach the next morning...
...and a view from Chapman's Peak Drive.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blog link love....

When I can understand its content (you'll see what I mean),
I love this blog.
Most importantly, I love the man who writes it :-)

The lastest post has a personal touch to it which saw
us on the balcony using lots of masking tape to fix
the damage, and to try and prevent some more of the same
to whatever was left of our internet connection!

"The Shredder"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Coz sometimes...'s like that.
(Painting courtesy of the study
room at school, artist unknown)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gluten-free bread recipe version 1

I made this recipe up as I went along (the benefits of a having been a chef...written recipes are optional).

If there were ever a bread that TASTED like french toast, this is it - it's very eggy, so be warned if that's not your thing in terms of flavours...

Red pepper and feta loaf

62.5g butter (melted)
2 eggs
1 cup rice flour (Entice Rice Flour works well)
1 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp creme of tartar
pinch of salt
1 small red pepper
1 round of feta

- Mix together and put in a buttered loaf tin.
- Bake for 25 mins at 180 degrees celsius.

Born-up-a-gluten-free-tree! For those of you wondering why this is my oft-used key phrase, it's just a silly play on bon appetit :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crumble Cravings

I had only two pieces of fruit left in the fridge the other day, one apple and one nectarine, which I was planning on virtuously eating raw as part of lunch when I realised with glee that I also had the makings of a crumble topping.

Below is the recipe for the two-serving gluten-free crumble which resulted, and I have to say, it was one of the best I've ever made.

Apple-Nectarine Crumble (as pictured above)
(Serves 2)

- 70g butter (just over 1/8 of a 500g block of unsalted butter)
- 6 Tbsp rice flour (I use Entice rice flour, available from most Super Spars)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp medium desiccated coconut

- Use a food processor to make the crumble

- 1 apple
- 1 nectarine
- 1/2 tsp cane sugar
- 50g flaked almonds
- juice of 1 lemon

- Butter the base of a baking dish.
- Add base.
- Put over crumble as topping.
- Bake for 10 mins at 200 degrees celsius, shuffle crumble lightly using a fork, and then bake for another 10 mins at 175 degrees celsius.

As Isadora Duncan said:
"Virtuous people are simply those who have not been tempted sufficiently..."

Well, I was tempted, and my resistance crumbled :-)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Lovely wezza we are 'aving!

It's a beautiful, clear Saturday morning on the South African highveld. Purrfect braai weather!

Irene radar 50km - 2009/11/14 - 08:22:31
(Updated images available at

Friday, November 13, 2009

When stuff's not easy

If there were ever a little person wearing a fur suit that I wish I could meet in the flesh, it would be this handsome little fellow. Alas, he lives on a continent far, far away.

Buster and his mom, Lisa, are going through a very tough time at the moment, and they've got a special place in my thoughts and prayers.

L and B, I want you both to know that if feel-better-keep-strong-hugs could be sent via the post, you'd both be receiving stacks of mail from me!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sometimes... just need to let sleeping dogs lie.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Interesting dairy products

I am not generally a fan of dairy, or rather, dairy is not a fan of mine. However, as the years tick by on a strict gluten-free eating plan, my intestines have begun to welcome a select few dairy items without distress.

Enter my new favourite: Goat's milk kefir.

This unique and tasty gem is brought to us by Mooiland (South Africa), and is available from a few Super Spar outlets for R12.95.

For the benefits of kefir versus yoghurt, see

Now, onto my hubby's favourite bovine product: Bulgarian yoghurt.

Mention yoghurt and my DH's eyes light up with childhood tales of giant buckets of milk bought fresh from Irene Dairy by his Bulgarian father; cultured to make homemade yoghurt; and mixed with olive oil, garlic and cucumber (no less). Thus, I like to keep my eyes pealed for different incarnations of this breed of yoghurt.

And voila! This cutesy presented itself to me the other day in a charming little terracotta pot from Mr Yoghurt (South Africa), also available from select Super Spar stores for R16.95.

For a tasty gluten-free treat: slice in some bananas, stir in some honey and sprinkle over some almond nibs.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Chuckster

I've been enjoying the second season of Chuck lately. It's a lot more actioney than the first season, and where the plotline fails, the music makes up for it.

On that note, in Episode 13: Chuck versus The Suburbs, Chuck and Sarah pose as a married couple and move into the suburbs undercover. When they arrive at the "Carmichael residence", the scene is set to the song "Once in a lifetime" by the Talking Heads. The lyrics intrigued me (they're apt if you're having a rather existentialist moment), so I went to find the whole song...

Artist: Talking Heads
Song: Once In A Lifetime

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask did I get here?

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.

And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?
And you may ask yourself
Where is that large automobile?
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful wife!

Chorus 1

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...etc.

Water dissolving...and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Carry the water at the bottom of the ocean
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

Chorus 2:
Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Chorus 1

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!...what have I done?

Chorus 2

Chorus 1

Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...etc.

If you're keen to see the original music video, you can find it at:

But I found this really cute (and much shorter) version by Kermit:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Blog link love...

I love, love this blog. Life in pictures, so poetic.
Well worth a gander...

Friday, November 06, 2009

Pissed-off on pause

Perchance to vent....

A colleague closed the large school gate on my car the other day, scratching its pristine exterior. My little, well-kept car which has ALREADY been reversed into this year by some drunk idiot (who was, by the way, inhebriated on a Saturday morning at 08:30) whose insurance hasn't paid the R2400 excess on a R5000 damage claim.

Now, being the generally gracious person that I am, I was willing to let it slide with just a: "Ah well, what can you do?" BECAUSE he is older and "retired" (read: on pension) UNTIL, ironically, I heard his apology, which went something like: "I'm sorry about your car. I coudn't sleep thinking about it. But actually, it wasn't my fault. I kept pressing the button."

Sure, keep pressing the button on a gate which is: Press once to open, press once to close.

Now, if you're going to apologise, then please be sincere about it or just shut up. Don't blame it on gate malfunction when it is clearly your fault.

And, to make matters worse, he has turned into some chemistry lab nazi (projection due to his guilt?), chucking all, to quote, "Your Biology stuff" out "his" cupboards. Which I'm supposed to put where?

Physics, chemistry and biology share one lab. One. With one, count it, ONE set of equipment to go around between all of us. His tirade went on and on for a very uncomfortable forty-five minutes during which I sat in stunned silence while I just tried to clean up the mess from yesterday's Biology prac.

Good lord, I thought girls were supposed to get PMS, not 72 year old men. But I can understand now why he is on wife number three. Who would put up with his shit?

I felt like shouting (as Cartman from South Park would say): "Screw you guys. I'm going home!"


Hoe maak jy 'n stukkende wereld heel? Jy toor als reg met die Paljas.

Well, someone needs to "sit die Paljas" on his ass STAT!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Bio and beakers

So many colourful pretty :-)

Well, today was the day that my AS Bio students took their practical exam. For me, this involved a year of stressing about what they might ask in order to prep them adequately (there is no "set in stone" syllabus for the practical aspects of the course so you have to cover a wide variety of practical elements); five hours of making solutions, labelling beakers and testing microscopes yesterday; and a day spent mostly standing from 07:30 to 15:15 today.

BUT I pulled it off (Yay me!) AND the majority of them managed to finish within the required time span (Yay them!) SO now I just hope for the best for them.

Tomorrow is all about cleaning up the lab at work and tutoring any stragglers for their theory exam which is coming up. On that note, I cannot believe that the year is almost over. Total mind freak.

Now, I'll leave you with this thought:

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."
~Henry J. Tillman

Indeed :-)