‘Karoo Skies’, oil on canvas 1,0mx1,5m. Kuilfontein farm. Mesmerising. Startling light. Autumn trees. Brilliant yellows. Huge blue skies. Windmills. Clouds, freeing imagination. Carried with the wind. Dreams.
Dark and chilly for my run. The owl also thought it was a daft idea to be out rather than sitting next to the fire with an espresso.
A year ago, our world went mad. The strong wind carrying a hint of smoke an unpleasant reminder of the chaos caused by the fires.
The first draft of the Vietnam recipe book printed. The colour photos of my paintings and illustrations not the best and there are a gazillion glitches that need sorting. Still, something to work from.
Sweet potato gratin, with a rack of lamb on the Weber grill, served with green beans and asparagus the menu for Terry’s welcome home dinner. Cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg filling the kitchen with the scent of decadent goodness.
Sweet Potato Gratin
Makes 8 servings
◦ 2 cups heavy cream
◦ 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
◦ 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
◦ 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
◦ 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick on a mandoline
◦ Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
2. Whisk together the cream, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until smooth.
3. In a 10-inch square baking dish, arrange an even layer of sweet potatoes. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of the cream mixture and season with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining potatoes and cream, seasoning with salt and pepper, to form 8 to 10 layers. Press down on the layers to totally submerge the sweet potatoes in the cream mixture.
4. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and continue baking until the cream has been absorbed, the potatoes are cooked through, and the top is browned, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minut