Diary of an Adventure

Vineyard Adventures

An exhibition at the cottage of the paintings I did in the Thirty Day challenge. The curved, white bench seat making a perfect exhibition space.

Dinner with Mum at the Manor House, transformed with stunning black and white photographs on the walls of life on the Zevenwacht Estate. The high ceilings give them room to breath, and intrigue dinners.

Fermenting grape skins, discards from the harvest, the morning walk in the vineyards intoxicating.

‘Morning Walk’, a large (100cmx71cm), demanding canvas of the Cedeberg. A bit like a mixed up box of smarties! The painting changing in the light, as do the mountains. Vibrant, surreal colours that transform into moody, somber shadow. While the rock formations were central to the painting, it was the tonal aspects that were the most challenging. The hiker, almost immaterial. Somehow dominant.

The fist crop of figs from the trees in the cottage garden. Well the first we have been here to enjoy, and manage to compete with the birds and gardeners for. Rich red colours of Macedonia, exploding with flavour.

The fresh figs directing the dinner menu. Weber grilled duck breast in brandy with figs, chèvre and pomegranate pearls salad. Managed to avoid the singed eyebrows this time and did a better job or rendering out the fat. Could have cooked it slowly a tad longer.

The courtyard studio sweltering on a magnificent summers day in the vineyards.

‘Wash Day’ Oil on Canvas 100cmx50cm. The wide open skies of the Overberg on the Southern Cape coast. A workers cottage, with its washing, amongst the barren wheat fields.

Weber Grilled Duck Salad with Fresh Figs
serves 4
3 duck breast, finely sliced
1/4 cup of brandy
6 ripe figs, cut in half
8 slices of prosciutto, fried or baked until crisp or fresh goats cheese
200g mixed salad leaves
75 ml of aged balsamic
150ml olive oil
juice of one lemon
1. Score the duck breasts, salt and pepper before adding the brandy. Place in the fridge for 8 hours.
2. On a warm fire, grill the duck breast skin side down for 5minutes on a direct fire, with the lid removed, until brown taking care not to burn them. Cook for an additional 5 minutes on an indirect fire with the lid on. Turn over a grill over an indirect fire for 3 minutes with the lid closed. Remove and let them rest for 20 minutes
3. Toss all ingredients together and dress with lemon and olive oil
4. Thinly slice the duck breasts
5. Arrange in a bowl
6. Finish with balsamic and season to taste


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