Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Irises and Foxgloves 1’

Oil on canvas 76cmx104cm

Stopped fiddling with the first painting of Irises and Foxgloves. Wiped some of the paint from the canvas where it felt too heavy, and darkened some of the edges of the various shapes creating the journey through the composition.

Sounds of Spring while out jogging. Burchell’s Coucal calling from the bushes, and Fish Eagle’s against blue skies. Not that the rain has forgotten us, the wind continually trying to tear the doors from the studio.

A dash up to PE to deliver the painting of the Montagu Wild Garden. Stopped at Brioche for breakfast, which was every bit as good as the recommendation. A pulsating atmosphere that has you feeling as though you are in the heart of the kitchen, surrounded by happy, smiling faces. My shoulder not particularly happy with the five hour road trip and I was glad that Craig was with me to drive.

With the new work Terry has taken on for Madison, our days are starting much earlier, which Prince isn’t that thrilled about.

A serious J9 dinner

Eben Sadie Skerpion (Chenin) served with chili salmon, grilled halumi and spek boom

Grilled rashers with hand selected wild rocket, bocconcini and cherry tomatoes with Eben Sadie Pofadder (Cinsaut) 2015

Grilled fillet steak, sweet potato gratin and green salad with Black Oyster Catcher Triton

Almond and orange diabetic chocolates with Black Forest 2014

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Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A bouquet of blue irises and maroon fox gloves to commemorate the life of my sister, the subject of a small painting. Didn’t quite get the blue-purple of the irises correct, but pleased with the movement in the still-life painting ‘The lines remind me of Kandinsky without becoming completely abstract.’ Kirsten

The Kammado Jan out of hibernation. A hunk of pork loin on the bone, from Chelmsford Farm, simply grilled for three hours with fresh rosemary and blue-organic salt. Crispy skin, tender meat and mouthfuls of yumminess.

Inspired by the paintings of Thomas Baines and his travel sketchbook’s, an elephant in the shelter ‘(protection?) of a large iron wood tree. The trees In the Tuli Block, Botswana – particularly next to the Limpopo River – are magnificent.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A Precious Life

Oil on canvas 50cmx50cm

In the stormy, chilly weather. My smashed clavicle aches. As do my diabetic toes. Yet, this seems trivial. Compared, to the unfathomable, concept. Reality. That my sister Is gone. From, this world. Impossible.

The paintings from Pringle Bay are back after being put onto stretchers. Grouped together, they create a wall of tumbling energy. Radiating heat from sun warmed beach sand. Hip, knees and elbows employed in holding the canvases against the wall easels for one handed securing.

East Head Cafe, on a stunning day the best spot imaginable to reflect on the privilege of having had an angle amongst us, even if she has gone too soon. Sunset champagne to celebrate her life.

Ortho still not thrilled with the healing of my shoulder. Antibiotics for the infection and more time for the bones to knit. Blood sugars adding complexity.

‘Where Travel and Trade Meet’. A frenetic, 6 minute, speed collision. The challenge, ‘I’m not done yet!’. The opportunity to engage with tour operators and destinations in, this, our part of paradise.

It’s Iris time of the year, and although I can’t manage the large canvas I have in my head for a painting, I’ve settled for a manageable size. A touch of inspiration from the magnificent Irises from our trip to Japan. The purple-blue petal colours, elusive.

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.

.

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

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.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Crown for a King

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Prince’s second birthday. All his friends, including Licorice and Popcorn visiting. Benji and Hobo for a beach play. A boereworse braai with new squeaky toys. Chaos.

‘Craig’s and Coreta’s Charity Challenge’, a team run, and MTB jaunt out to Brenton. For the runners, across the iconic Train Bridge, while the cyclists went around over the historic Red Bridge. The climb up the Brenton nights, negotiated by all. My bothersome Achilles reducing me to an ambling shuffle.

A fisherman has been wondering about outside the studio, followed by his corgi type companion, called ‘Come Along’. They have been homeless around Knysna for awhile, having come from Cape Town. The little dog, a ‘Yoda’ personality, and it’s just possible that Obi-Wan lurked behind the facade of the fisherman. After all, the mists on the water could hide any number of worlds.

Christmas. Food shelves and magazines packed with delicacies I can’t touch. Particularly with my current blood sugars that are too high for comfort.

Decided to try and make a diabetic sensitive bûche de Noël. Whipping the egg whites proved to be quite a chore, while separating the egg whites still proved challenging, even with the special separator gadget. I didn’t want to use the cranberry jam that was in the recipe as it has too many sugars. Rather I opted for slow cooked blueberries with a few bits of fresh thyme.

It tasted surprisingly good, needed more cream filling and Im not sure that the 20min cooking time wasn’t a tad long, as it felt too firm which meant i struggled to roll the warm cake. I also used a tea towel as the wax paper was too complicated.

bûche de Noël (CHOCOLATE YULE LOG)

AUTHOR: ANGELA COLEBY

Makes 8 slices

Nutritional Info per slice:

272 Calories,

24g Fat,

8g Protein,

9.6g Total Carbs,

4.3g Fibre,

5.3g Net Carbs

INGREDIENTS

SPONGE

• 6 eggs separated

• 1/3 cup 38g coconut flour

• ½ cup 107g erythritol (or sugar substitute)

• 1/3 cup 28g cocoa powder, unsweetened

• ½ teaspoon baking powder

• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

• ½ teaspoon salt

FILLING

• ½ cup 60g heavy/whipped cream, (whipped into stiff peaks)

• 2 tablespoons cranberry chia jamoptional

TOPPING

• 4 oz 112g butter unsalted, softened

• ¼ cup erythritol or sugar substitute

• 6 oz 168g cream cheese, softened

• ¼ cup 22g cocoa powder, unsweetened

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F degrees.

2. Grease and line a long rectangle baking tin with parchment paper. My tin is about 8 inches by 12 inches.

3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff.

4. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks and erythritol together.

5. Add the remaining cake ingredients to the egg yolk mixture and combine well.

6. Fold in the egg whites to the cake mixture.

7. Spoon into the baking tin and smooth evenly.

8. Bake for 20 minutes until firm.

9. Remove from the oven and place a piece of parchment paper over the cake whilst still warm (be careful not to burn yourself!).

10. Remove the cake from the tin, keeping the parchment paper on the bottom of the tin so that the cake has parchment paper either side of it.

11. Gently roll the cake from the smaller edge into a swiss roll shape. This will make it easier to unroll and fill later.

12. Set aside to cool.

13. Once the cake is cool, gently unroll the cake from the parchment paper and spread with the cranberry chia jam. Add an even layer of the whipped cream.

14. Gently roll the cake back into the swiss roll shape.

15. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to help keep its shape.

16. Make the topping by blending the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.

17. Add the erythritol and cocoa powder and beat until smooth and blended.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

The panorama outside the window shifts daily with visiting yacht arrivals and departures. Fleur de Passion of the The Ocean Mapping Expedition, our new neighbour on the estuary.(http://www.omexpedition.ch/index.php/en/)

King Protea on the easel. Small canvases as I sort different approaches from the crazy, to the abstract.

Doing my best to look after my Achilles that thankfully has eased after a painful few days. My running shoes growing mould and my bicycle rusty as a coffee walk the extent of my activities. This does mean, with all the fabulous food and wine I have enjoyed with visiting friends that my new, super slick, high vis cycling top has a distinct ‘silk-worm’ snugness!

Silk scarf craziness as the borders seem to have changed with the file transfer of the updated images to the manufacturer. The option of including a tag that indicates that the scarves are 100% silk, and a card the tells the story of the painting, to be considered. Even for the glamorous French woman who was so thrilled with her scarf that she wore it out from the studio to dinner.

Lunch menu on the Kamado Jan. Herb crusted rack of lamb, with roasted cauliflower in browned butter. Grilled aubergine and Caprese salad. Radfordale Chardonnay. Piekenierskloof Grenache with the Colmant MCC Rose, the star. A starter of Courgette Bellini with cream cheese and salmon.

A second night of storms. The rain welcome. If not by the tourists who are having their expected sun filled holiday turned to mush.

For Prince, it’s a frightening time of noise in an energy charged atmosphere. Compounded by the storm driven high seas of the full moon. Hence, disturbed nights that have me a tad grumpy.

Roasted Cauliflower with Brown Butter

• 1 cauliflower

• 1 tablespoon canola oil

• 3 ounces/80 grams butter, at room temperature or softened

• kosher salt

1. Preheat your oven to 220˚C.

2. Cut the stem off the cauliflower as close to the base as possible and remove any leaves. Rub oil all over the cauliflower.

3. Put the cauliflower in an oven-proof skillet. Slide the pan into the oven and roast the cauliflower for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and smear the soft butter over the surface. Sprinkle with a four-finger pinch of salt. Roast the cauliflower for another 30 to 45 minutes, basting it several times with the butter, which will have browned. The cauliflower in the picture has about 15 more minutes of roasting. It’s done when you can insert a paring knife into it and feel no resistence. It should be completely tender.

4. delicious thing to do with the browned butter: whisk in lemon juice, minced anchovies, and whatever chopped herb you prefer

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Air reverberating with the sounds of helicopters heading to the fire front, the news that one of my collectors homes had burnt down. 3 generations of memories lost, and my paintings.

Blood sugars suddenly trampolining all over the place (7.8 mmol/L -3.8 mmol/L) after a month of being stable. Averaging 6.0 mmol/L with a standard deviation of 0,7. Diabetic carbs at 23grams, well within the 50 gram range. Particularly noticeable an hour after exercise, with cycling creating the biggest swings. Dehydration with the onset of warmer weather?

‘A Pair of Kings’. A small painting of the King Protea on the studio table that reminded me of Van Gogh’s ‘Still Life with Two Sunflowers’ painted in Paris, 1887.

After the contortions to create the small works my shoulders and hands are straining with the demands of covering the large surface for my painting of dolphins. The rough canvas blistering fingers already a tad sensitive from not concentrating when changing hot braai grids on the Kamado Jan for the slow cooked fillet.

The Forest. Full of magic. Roses of every hue, perfuming the world. Ghost tendrils. Air plants in the setting sun. Timeless laughter with excellent wine and an exquisite dinner under a star filled sky. Woodcutters Cottages, another gem in our part of paradise.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

First ‘Wearable Art’ 100% silk scarves with my paintings sold and heading to new homes. Orders for the next batch received with a few adjustments made to the art work. ‘Irises’ design painting finished, adding an additional option to the range. Working on an elephant painting that is also designed to be used as a scarf painting. The link to the website sorted and the international purchase pricing adjusted to include free shipping.

https://janraats.com/wearable-art/

Running with my shadow in the early morning before the storm made being in front of the fire the more sensible option. Getting Prince out that much more challenging, as he didn’t see the need to move from his warm bed before the birds were awake.

The painting of ‘Irises’, a simple, abstract approach. Colours clean and vibrant. The long rectangular format, challenging. Working in acrylics allowing for a fast application of paint. The course canvas trashing a couple of layers of skin on my fingers.

Bicycle cleaned, ready for the 3 day Karoo Tour in Calitzdorp. First, birthday weekend lies ahead. One of those life milestones.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘Agapanthus Blue’, my painting for the Knysna Arts Festival ‘Unblocked’ exhibition where each artist is given a 20cmx20cm block of wood on which anything can be created.

Studio packed up to allow the contractors to get in an start the changes that have been under discussion for ages. The wall cladding and fragmented space being opened up with the removal of the partition wall and closing up of the window spaces.

A wide open space to discover and enjoy the paintings, and provides the opportunity for innovative hanging and displaying my work.

Vietnamese Steak au Poivre sauce with fillet, without the blackened veggies, more balanced. Leftover sauce and steak, with cauli-rice, made a tasty stroganoff. Pho ga (Vietnamese chicken broth). The spinach noodles together with julienne zucchini a great alternative, and a diabetic option, to the traditional rice noodles. The bottom of the bowl a treasure trove of flavours.

Felt like I was pounding the earth on my jog. Huge effort without a great deal of forward momentum, my body temperature soaring without the cooling wind that was nearly as lazy as Prince first thing in the morning.