Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Cornflower’

Oil on canvas 76cmx102cm

A grey of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna, lightened with Zinc White and then mixed with French Ultramarine Blue for the cornflower colour. The striking architectural forms of the leaves, Green Oxide with the grey and white against the Magenta Grey background colour of the painting.

I used a different technique to keep the petals from becoming heavy blocks of paint, wiping the paint from the canvas with tissues. A tad messy.

After far too long nursing my troublesome Achilles , a run to East Head. Fabulous. Grumpy with my throat closing and a head full of cold.

The mozzarella ‘pastry’ proving versatile for a chocolate French tart crust, as well as an upside down tomato tart. The tarte-au-chocolate, simply scrumptious. Although diabetic-sensitive, seriously good French food, even in small portions.

Opening of the new Philemon Hlungwani exhibition at Knysna Fine Art underwhelming, which made me take a harder look at my paintings. While his craftsmanship has improved over the years, from the raw, hostile charcoal marks on paper, to assured, crafted works, everything looks the same. Same subject. Same technique. Still unique and instantly recognisable, it’s less honest and more contrived. To please the market?

TARTE AU CHOCOLAT

Chocolate Tart, a crisp buttery tart shell made with the mozzarella cheese ‘pastry’, filled with a velvety-smooth dark chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

For the base

170 grams grated mozzarella cheese

1 tbsp butter

½ cup fine almond flour

¼ cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 large egg

Ganache filling

225 grams (8 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup (160 grams) heavy cream

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

2 tablespoons (30 grams; 1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ moist, plump vanilla bean, split lengthwise

For the crust

· Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

· In a large saucepan, melt the cheese and butter together over low heat until they are melted and can be stirred together. Remove from heat and add almond flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt.

· Add the egg and stir everything together until a cohesive dough forms. Use a rubber spatula to really knead it up against the sides of the pan. It may still contain some streaks of cheese.

· Transfer to the prepared pan and knead a few more times until uniform. If your dough is very sticky, work in another tablespoon or two of almond flour. Cover the dough with another piece of parchment and roll out to a 12-inch (30 cm) circle.

· Line the pie dish with parchment paper underneath the crust to keep it from sticking.

· Cooking time for the crust 7-10minutes.

· Rest in the fridge overnight if possible.

For the filling and assembly

· Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl and set it aside.

· Ensure that the butter is soft but not oily and set it aside in a small bowl. If necessary, work it with a spatula or the back of a spoon to soften it some more.

· In a small bowl beat 1 tablespoon of the heavy cream with the egg yolks until the mixture is just smooth.

· Place the rest of the cream into a saucepan along with the split vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces. Let sit for 30 seconds. Using a whisk, delicately blend the cream into the chocolate. Allow the mixture to cool for another minute or so. Add the egg yolks, followed by the butter.

· Pour the mixture into the baked tart shell. Jiggle the crust lightly to even out the filling and leave on counter until mixture is set. This should take around 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can place the tart in the refrigerator for no longer than 20 minutes, then keep it at room temperature after it has set.

· Serve the chocolate tart at room temperature. If you plan to serve it the next day, store it overnight in the refrigerator and remember to let it stand at room temperature for two hours before serving.

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https://www.thespruceeats.com/chocolate-tart-recipe-1375153

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

Our part of paradise being transformed with building next to us undergoing a massive rebuild. A modern update to what has, to-date, been constrained architecture along strict low-impact guidelines. As with the rebuild of Ile de Pain, the building itself is set to become a destination. A year of chaos and noise ahead!

Not the best, for a sensitive Border Collie.

Stopped playing with the portrait of ‘Ben’, the racehorse. The muscles of the horse a guide for the direction of my finger strokes to add power and breath life into the painting. Constrained by the small 50cmx60cm canvas.

Ben is beautiful mixture of dark brown, gold and red. Indigo (Ferrario No.57) for the iris of the eyes with Mineral Violet Light (Ferrario No.46) highlights. Raw Umber (Ferrario No.76) for the dark brown. Cerulean Blue and Cadmium Orange for that touch of sparkle.

A gap before a world turned crazy. Storms ripping across the estuary. Insides turned to mush on Homtini Pass cycle. Not much time to enjoy the stunning indigenous Forest, as keeping going forward was all consuming.

Small elephant painting sold, and the new silk scarf samples of the dolphins and King Protea have been shipped. While most are already pre-sold, it will be fascinating to see how they have turned out

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

The chance to do a commission of ‘Ben’, a beautiful retired racehorse, immediately making me think of the equestrian art of Alfred J Munnings. However, in portrait format, a contemporary composition for the painting rather than the landscape format that characterised his paintings.

Croustade de Canard with blueberries on the menu with eggplant and a herb and Parmesan flat bread starter.

Slow roasted the duck on the Kamado Jan for a 7 hours, which was a few hours too long. Fortunately it wasn’t dried to leather and fell apart which was perfect for the pie filling. Didn’t read the recipe correctly either, so had to cook and add the bacon at the end. The cheese-based flatbread made a great topping for the pie. Logistical juggling to get the chargrilled eggplant ready, made easier by crisping the duck pies in the oven.

The annual Art Society ‘Unblocked’ Exhibition opening. 20cmx20cm wooden blocks on which to create anything that used the Pantone colour of 2019 ‘Coral’. I used my silk scarf for my submission, which was displayed by Ricardo on a stand in the center of one of the galleries. As has become the norm, the curating was professional and the exhibition engaging.

When risotto is good, it’s delicious. A pea and mushroom risotto with lamb the highlight of the Baleia wine pairing evening at the Turbine. Served with their Pinot, it might not have been the best course for a diabetic, but at least it was delicious.

Croustade de Canard

INGREDIENTS

• 1 whole duck, deboned

• 45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil

• 1 red onion, sliced

• 6 strips rindless back bacon, chopped

• 250g portobellini mushrooms, sliced

• 15ml (1 tbsp) fresh thyme, chopped

• 500ml (2 cups) chicken stock

• 60ml (¼ cup) port (optional)

• 410g blueberries

• salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A preliminary painting of a rhino (30cmx30cm) for the larger commission piece I’m hoping to do. Permanent Magenta an odd colour to be using. The ‘extra-spectral’ (meaning it doesn’t exist in the visible spectrum) nature of the colour perhaps making it special in relation to the rhino on the edge of extinction?

Fabulous run along the mist covered beach, with Prince, from Brenton. Running on a silver mirror. My Achilles not happy with the run. Barefoot running?

Gurgling water running down gutters. Cars splashing along wet streets. Gentle rain, creating a magical world. For which. Good wine, friendships and laughter were created. Not forgetting, the vibrancy of a Border Collie!

The display book collection of my paintings from Vietnam finally sorted, and the draft of the Vietnamese diabetic sensitive recipe book compiled. Not sure the small format is the answer?

I seemed to ‘crash’ my way through the day. While coordination isn’t one of my skills, the effects of low blood sugars having an impact after a good cycle up Homtini Pass.

Exceptionally dusty with a bunch of motorcycles ensuring I rode in a cloud of the stuff. Fortunately Pete was having his bicycle washed so I did mine as well. I probably would have benefited from a similar hose down!

‘Johannes’ heading to his new home in Europe

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Princesses for a Day’, my painting of Lauren and Livy. Purple of royalty amongst the rich colours of the background, while butterflies lead them through the magical garden of their imagination. ‘The butterfly children play, dance and sing all day long with their little brothers and sisters’.

Master Chef final dinner at J9. Clare did a clever plate of tapas to start the evening. ‘Penguins’ from olives and feta, with salmon rolls and white anchovies. A beautiful presentation of tuna done two ways that tasted fabulous. A main dish of lamb with a clear sauce that was sent from the gods.

Dessert, the diabetic kind, our challenge. Crepes, with blueberries cooked in thyme with cream and lemon zest. definitely moreish.

Thunder storms, not Prince’s best. The rain welcome even if it did mean a bunch of running rather than being out on my bicycle. And that without my Achilles screaming at me! Fortunate to manage the ride through Homtini between the weather days.

Keto Crepes

Prep Time

10 mins

Cook Time

30 mins

Total Time

40 mins

 

Completely sugar-free and low carb, My Keto Crepes are rich and sweet with the added value of healthy fats and the best coconutty aroma!

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: French

Calories: 197 kcal

Author: Olivia Crouppen

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup (2oz/57g) coconut flour

• 1/4 cup (2oz/57g) Lakanto sugar substitute, or Swerve sugar substitute

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 6 eggs

• 1/4 cup (2floz/57ml) coconut oil, or butter, melted

• 3/4 cup (6floz/170ml) coconut milk, or another non-dairy milk

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Instructions

1. In a large bowl combine the coconut flour, Lakanto sugar substitute, baking powder, and salt.

2. In a separate bowl combine the eggs, oil, and coconut milk. Then, add the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Allow the batter to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, this will allow the coconut flour to fully absorb all the liquid. 

3. After 10 minutes, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. I allow my pan to separate dry for about 4 minutes.

4. Once the pan is hot, grease with a little bit of butter or coconut oil, then using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon the batter into the pan, gently swirling the medium in a circular motion until batter is evenly distributed across the pan. 

5. Allow the crepe to cook for about 3-4 minutes on the first side. When the medium is ready to flip there will be tiny bubbles all over and the edges of the crepe will be golden brown.

6. Using a large flat spatula, gently loosen the crepe from the pan then flip over. These crepes are actually more flexible than traditional ingredients so don’t worry about them breaking when flipping or folding over.

7. Allow the crepe to cook on the second side for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate. Repeat the process until you’ve used all the batter. 

8. To serve, fold 2-3 crepes into triangles and top with Lakanto Maple Flavored Syrup and fresh berries if desired. Enjoy!

9. Cover and store the crepes in the fridge for up to 2 days. They re-heat nicely in a pan over low heat or in the microwave.

Nutrition Facts

Easy Keto Crepes

Amount Per Serving (2 crepes)

Calories 197

Calories from Fat 144

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 16g

25%

Saturated Fat 11g

55%

Polyunsaturated Fat 2g

Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Cholesterol 186mg

62%

Sodium 113mg

5%

Potassium 69mg

2%

Total Carbohydrates 6g

2%

Dietary Fiber 3g

12%

Protein 8g

16%

Vitamin A

7%

Calcium

9%

Iron

12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/keto-crepes-easy/

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

In the studio, a mush of paintings. A small painting of the yacht opposite the studio, while the underpainting for the painting ‘Princesses for a Day’ dries and the wooden block gets its gesso primer.

Sugar levels too high. The Achilles reappearance cause? Wine season? Summer dehydration? The riding and running seeming to keep them from blowing into the stratosphere. Summer temperatures keeping the chilled fingers and frozen toes manageable. The higher levels also reducing the persistent headaches. However, the trend a concern. Eliminating the after insulin berries and yogurt and increasing the amount of water I drink during the day to see the impact on fasting blood sugars.

Despite the wind, a fabulous ride through the farmlands above Phantom Pass. The wind bringing a cooling, salt laden, boost of marvellousness.

Cola beach, Sedgefield with its weathered sandstone cliffs. Endless miles of blue seas, skies and soft sand. A play ground for dogs designed in heaven. An instant holiday vibe at Pilipili for breakfast, where it doesn’t matter that the coffee isn’t the best in the world, or that the service was a tad slow. Even the specks of sea-sand on the plate felt acceptable. Great service and we left with a smile.

Wind howling. Grated Parmesan spread across the four corners of the earth, as I tried to put the toppings onto the mozzarella focaccia on the Kamado Jan.

Border Collie with an upset stomach, in an apartment, not the easiest to manage.

Diary of an Adventure

Focaccia & no flour?

By Marielle | Published: 28th January 2019

Who’d believe that a flourless focaccia could taste so darn good? It was to pizzas we were heading but we were hijacked by our friend Jan, the Knysna artist who famously paints with his fingers (and manages to elicit the subtlest of effects like feathery eyelashes and delicate wisps of hair). Jan was fencing with his KamadoJan like a Don Quixote lancing at his windmill. (It launches a heat to rival Dante’s Inferno.)

I call it the Komodo Dragon — it’s got scales like one

Jan had just perfected his base, made purely with grated mozzarella and butter, almond and coconut flour, and an egg. Roller-flat, a smattering of basil, a sprinkle of Parmesan. We were the guinea pigs.

Looks just like an Italian pizza-maker. Red apron, red-striped canvas, red KamadoJan. Pure class.

It was such fun sitting like royalty on the first-floor terrace, sipping bubbles and watching the hoi polloi pass below our feet. And Prince the border collie notified everyone in no uncertain terms Who. Was. Boss.

Wafer-thin, crunchy, lip-smackingly delicious, especially with rosemary or basil. And chilli.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A series of small paintings of various rowing boats, yachts and fishing boats against the backdrop of the Knysna Heads to replace those that have been sold.

A pleasant lunch under umbrellas, protected from the wind, at the Girls on the Square, in Wilderness, before taking Kirsten to start her long trip back to the States. The wine list takes a bit of time to sort through as it’s interesting and extensive. While many of the dishes aren’t suitable for a diabetic, we shared a bunch of stuff from different parts of the menu. Interesting flavour combinations and delicious.

New Year celebrations in China. The new sample designs from my paintings of the King Protea and dolphins now only expected towards March. A tad frustrating and something I will need to factor into our unpredictable tourist season.

Achilles sort of behaving. Zooty red Kinesiology Tape stripes up my leg that sort of mach my running shirt, holding things together. Bunches of overnight rain making for fresh, beautiful rides through the Forest. A gazillion shades of green between sweat, and mud stained glasses.

From Lucy’s kitchen, roasted nutmeg cauliflower from a Levi Roots cookbook, with a surprise delivered by the addition of chilli powder. Served with Filet Au Poivre (the bacon tied with nifty silicon ties) and oodles of wine. Mouthwatering

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Beach walk with wild seas to soothe battered souls. The graveside committal for Dad, simple and sensitive. He rests, overlooking the golf course and across Montagu.

The Kalkveld Lounge at Zandvliet. Stylish, comfortable, fabulous wines and a tasty cheese and charcuterie platter (the olives were frighteningly salty), with a view to the arched gables of the Cape Dutch Homestead. There is not much to criticize. Particularly, with the excellent service from Leslie, the Lounge Manager.

The gallery space, carved from long buried concrete wine tanks creates a heightened sense of anticipation. The discovery of the amazing. Confined, intimate contact with the artworks.

Marsanne, France. ‘French Door’, a small, acrylic and charcoal on 300gram paper SOLD, amongst a bunch of paintings and scarves on a busy week in the studio. The ‘Pushing out the oars’, scarf sold out.

Our introduction to the trendy ‘Poke’ (pronounced POH-keh), one of the main dishes in Hawaiian cuisine. Poke means “to slice or cut” in Hawaiian and refers to chunks of raw, marinated fish — usually tuna — which is then tossed over rice and topped with vegetables and umami-packed sauces.

Clare did tuna and salmon, with black rice (carb clever noodles for me), carrots, peas, mushrooms, peppers, onion flakes, spring onion, avocado, pineapple and toasted sesame seeds. A light cerviche of lime and soya for the tuna and salmon bits. Tasty and colourful on a fabulous summer evening. (Photo credit: Craig Smith)

Summer. Haviananas. Cracked heels. A diabetic nightmare. Particularly for one who hates shoes anyway.

French Door

Acrylic and charcoal on paper

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Terry’s dad, and my friend, passed away in the Montagu hospital he once was so passionate about and worked so hard to restore.

He was in such pain and the relief for him was prayed for.

He died, at a similar hour, in the same hospital, and on the same day, as Mum Sterley’s Birthday. I’m sure she called him home.

The number of lives he has impacted, almost impossible to imagine.

I remember when my Dad died and I was stuck amidst the evacuation of Jalalabad. Touched by the number of my Afghan staff who came into my office to pray for the soul of departed. Whom they had never, known, but still respected.

‘King’ acrylic on canvas 2mx0,7m A soft approach for the painting of a King Protea and Cape Sunbird

Summer visitors in the studio. Roger and Marie here from Switzerland. Kirsten here from the States and Aly heading back to France

One of my favourite paintings, ‘Dancing Zebra’s’ from Botswana sold and heading to its new home in Switzerland.