Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘At the Beach’

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Small paintings from our Wilderness beach visit using Charvin colours that I haven’t managed to use before. Tropical Green, deep Turquoise Blue, Bluish Parma, Provence Blue.

Additional CCTV camera installed in the studio to cover all the access points, with motion alerts linked to my phone and computer. Relieved that the insurance are going to replace my MacBook and iPad.
Clair’s gourmet birthday dinner at White Washed, with dishes altered to cater for my diabetic constraints. Wine pairings with each dish, with the Oak Valley Beneath the Clouds Chardonnay scrumptious. Not that there was anything wrong with the Edgebaston Pinot, or the Perdeberg Drylands Cabernet. Thank goodness there was a taxi home and having a cutoff at 11 meant that I could kind-of function for a jog at sunrise.
Owls out, book ending the day in the quiet stillness after the builders leave.

Dogs Life

Oil on canvas 20cmx20vm

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

Fishing

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Painting of Peter ‘Come Along’ received a Special Recognition Award for ‘Outstanding Art’ at the LST 2019 Figurative Online Exhibition. Amongst the top 15 paintings chosen from 845 entries, from 35 countries.

This is the fifth year in a row that my portraits have received international recognition.

Baked cheesy brinjals, from the latest Taste magazine, must be the most flavoursome brinjal dish imaginable. The fire adds smokiness that transforms the bitter flavours of brinjals, while the cheese filling adds pure deliciousness. Didn’t manage to get the grilled colour on the cheese from the Kamado Jan, and might need to get one of those flame torch things.

Painting of the dueling elephants at Ruha sold and heading to its new home in Ireland. A painting that was originally damaged on the trip back from Tanzania, and one that highlighted the tension of being in Tanzania. Incredible scenery and an impossible work environment. Only a couple of the paintings from that period still available. Another trip needed?

Police here for the break into the studio. Our security guys with CCTV footage identifying the alleged thief. A tad more vigilance needed on my part.

In the novel I’m reading, Stromboli were mentioned. According to google, it’s an Italian-American dish that can have all manner of fillings rolled into a rectangle of pizza dough. Using the mozzarella diabetic base, I did the broccoli as well as a ham and broccoli version. Couldn’t find Provolone so the cheese balance wasn’t quiet correct, but still delicious.

After a few requests recently to package paintings that weren’t my work for shipping, I’m putting together a Professional Painting Packaging Service for both local and international destinations. While styrofoam is recommended as additional protection for the paintings, I’m searching for an environmentally friendly alternative.

Broccoli & Cheese Stromboli

Makes one 12-inch stuffed roll; serves 4-6
From Pizza by Brigit Binns

salt

1 1/2 cups (3 oz) broccoli florets

2/3 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 oz sliced provolone cheese, torn into small pieces

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves

1 ball thin-crust pizza dough (recipe follows), at room temperature

all-purpose flour for dusting

salt & freshly ground black pepper

olive oil for brushing

coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Let the pan stone heat for 45-60 minutes.

Fill a saucepan with one inch of water and bring to a simmer. Place broccoli in a mesh strainer or steamer basket and place over the simmering water, not letting the broccoli touch the water. Cover and steam for 5-7 minutes until crisp tender. Remove strainer or basket from saucepan and let cool. Coarsely chop the broccoli and set aside. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, provolone, and basil. Mix well.

Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet and place the ball of dough in the center. Dust the top of the dough with flour and, using a rolling pin, roll out to a 9-by-12-inch rectangle of even thickness. If the dough springs back, let it rest, uncovered, for a few minutes then continue. This video by Peter Reinhart demonstrates how to shape pizza dough for stromboli. Cover the dough rectangle with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 10 minutes.

With the long side of the dough facing you, spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border uncovered on all sides. Scatter the broccoli evenly over the cheese and season generously with salt and pepper. Starting with the long edge nearest you, gently roll up the dough, lightly compressing the filling. Crimp firmly to seal, but avoid pressing down too hard. Turn the stuffed roll seam side down, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 5 minutes. Brush the roll lightly with olive oil, cut a few small steam vents in the top, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Carefully slide the roll-topped parchment onto the hot pizza stone. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.

Using the pizza peel or a rimless baking sheet, remove the stromboli from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let the stromboli stand for 15 minutes then use a serrated knife to slice it crosswise into rounds.

https://www.handletheheat.com/brocco

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures 

Oyster CatchersAcrylic on canvas 200x70cm
Struggling to get my blood sugars up with the cooler weather. Fingers searching for the warming of a tea mug and its almost time to take out my shoes. As I’m making confused dabbing motions on the canvas in some sort of wild attempt at the movement of the sea, having cold fingers isn’t making that much of a difference.
Finished my painting of the Oyster Pickers at Wilderness, who search for wild oysters in the sand between the rock pools at low tide. 
From a photo by Rose Blogger, we walked down the gazillion stairs to the beach to get a feel for the movement of the sea and the reflections. 
I’m pleased with the abstract ‘scratching’ technique I first used in Vietnam with acrylic paints. 
A break into the studio while we were out to breakfast a tad irritating. My laptop and iPad stolen. This after a few weeks of dodgy individuals in and around the studio. The building site next door not helping. Security fantastic and responsive. Still irritating and expensive.

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

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

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