Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

Cooling morning mist lifting, sun already hot. A dramatic change to the apocalypse skies with fires again burning through the Forests. Blankets of ash carried by the winds.

While it would be good to use these crazy times to account for my laboured running, it’s probably more a result of too much red wine and the overpowering scent of the star jasmine seizing my sinuses.

Hands cramping with the small paintings I’m busy doing. A series based on the King Protea flowering on Thesen and the stunning display of Pincushion Protea at Pezula.

A gazillion delays in getting the latest scarf order cleared through customs. Unexpected, frustrating and expensive. A good response to them with only a couple left from the first order. Hopefully the next bunch will arrive before the holiday season.

Ceviche with avo Cote de boeuf and the sweet potato gratin all cooked on the Kamado Jan. Some of the beef was tough Dissapointing.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Calf muscle a tad unhappy. Singed fingers from a super hot braai grill that was engulfed in flames from the burning duck fat. This cooking is dangerous stuff.

Beach walk with Prince at the Wild Side. The sea rough with deep pools that kept him out of the water for most of the walk. Probably not as much fun, but at least he hasn’t been ill.

Crusted lamb ribs with anchovy and parsley salsa. 2 hours on the Big Red Egg in a tinfoil bath, before letting them cool (another 3 hours) and then grilling them over the fire on a Teflon sheet with their crust of Parmesan cheese, rather than the flour and bread crumbs of the recipe. Rosemary rather than celery, as I don’t like celery. And it’s lamb after all.

‘Reading’ my painting of a woman sitting at the ‘Reflections Seed Pod’, in Steenbok Park. Under blue skies, summer flowers amongst the new green grass. The Reflections Seed Pod statue commemorates the June 17 fires that swept through Knysna. A sacred space for remembrance, gratitude and reflection.

http://www.steenboknaturereserve.org.za/news/

Despite the early hour, it was already warm on the a ride up Phantom Pass. My legs fatigued from running. Lungs gasping, which only resulted in a mouthful of bugs! Fortunately our breakfast stop, at the newly opened Knysna Hollow, was much tastier.

The hotel burnt down in the fires and has been transformed in its reconstruction. Elegant, clean, light-filled and comfortable. One of those places where a morning. Or a day?, will disappear. A tad sad that they haven’t managed to bring in any large trees to soften the harsh lines of the new buildings. Envious that my paintings aren’t on the walls.

The studio has had a busy month, after a quiet winter. Hopefully a good indication of the months ahead. Still waiting for the next bunch of sample silk scarves to arrive. Holidays, customs and the unexpected have delayed things by a few weeks and I’m starting to wonder if I will get the next order sorted in time for Christmas? Guess it’s all a learning curve, and there will be next Christmas. I have decided to do a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge to make sure I have enough small paintings, for those ‘unique Christmas gifts’ as this week has seen a bunch leaving the studio.

The smell of salt on the air. Entwined with the heady scent of the star jasmine flowering on the patio.

CRUSTED LAMB RIBS WITH ANCHOVY-AND-PARSLEY SALSA

Woolworths TASTE1 Oct 2018

Serves 6 to 8

EASY

Preparation: 30 minutes, plus cooling time (another 3 hours)

Cooking: 2 hours 20 minutes

Woolworths free-range farm-style lamb ribs 1.2 kg

carrots 2, peeled and cut into chunks

celery 2 sticks, cut into chunks (I used rosemary as I don’t like celery. And it’s lamb after all)

leeks 2, cut into chunks

Woolworths organic beef stock 2 litres

sunflower oil, for deep-frying

flour 120 g

free-range eggs 3, beaten

panko breadcrumbs 200 g

For the anchovy-and-parsley salsa:

anchovy fillets 12

garlic 2 cloves,

chopped lemons 2, juiced

extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup

Italian parsley 30 g, roughly chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the ribs into a deep ovenproof dish with the carrots, celery and leeks. Pour over the beef stock making sure that everything is covered.

2 Cover the dish with foil and braise in the oven for 2 hours, until soft.

3 Remove the dish from the oven, set aside and allow the ribs to cool completely in the liquid. (another 3 hours)

4 Once the meat is cold, remove it from the liquid and portion into individual ribs. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan.

5 Dip the ribs into the flour, then into the egg and the breadcrumbs. Deep-fry each rib until golden brown.

6 To make the salsa, place all the ingredients into a blender and process until chunky.

Serve with the ribs Waterford Kevin Arnol

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Finally managed to regulate the fire in the Kamado Jan low enough to do a slow cook that didn’t incinerate the food. The ducks, after six hours of cooking, were crisp and succulent, although the recommended temperature of 120 C was still a tad high.

The duck is stuffed with grapefruit and lemons, then slow cooked until the meat is falling off the bones and the skin perfectly crisped. Instead of the cherries, Terry did blueberries in their own juices, which worked a treat. Served with Ceviche-style summer squash and fennel in butter.

Delicious starter, that also looked amazing, of Teriyaki salmon with cauliflower noodles.

‘Unicorn’ a painting of a rhino. Depicting uncertainty and vulnerability Heading for extinction as the scourge of poaching continues to decimate the rhino population.

Birthdays seemingly to merge into each other with care taken by everyone to ensure that my crazy diabetic restrictions were catered for. Burger patties with avo and a scrumptious chocolate mousse at the recently rebuilt Knysna Hollow Estate.

I certainly felt the effects of a tad too much Sarronsberg Shiraz on my run with Craig to East Head, in our scary ‘funky shorts’. The sea freezing. The run, a breather before his birthday and the superb J9 wine cellar.

Busy time in the studio, with paintings heading to their new homes. Amazing that hard earned money is paid for my smearing of paint.

Movement of light recalls impressionist and Seurat-like neo-impressionist landscaping in Trail Through the Woods as Jan Raats magnifies it handsomely with Forest Walk.

https://www.knysnaplettherald.com/News/Article/General/seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees-in-fine-forest-exhibit-201810101153

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Photo credit Elle Redman

Sunshine for a beach play at Buffels. Whales in the distance Prince not well. We can only guess that he ate something at the beach that made him so ill.

Defined by beauty, in the Forest, there is a world where imagination has no boundaries. ‘ForesTree’, the new exhibition at the Old Goal has beautiful works that captivate. Tranquil. Absorbing. Energizing. I didn’t find a flow through the curators hanging of the works. Something I will go back and search for. Thrilled that my paining ‘Forest Walk’ is part of the exhibition.

First sea swim after a run to East Head. Fingers a tad transparent from the less than warm water.

Stomach muscles pulverized by the ride through the forest. The bicycle doing its best to throw me off through the wash-always, and drifts of sand washed down by the storms. Tree blocks and stretches of water – of unknown depth – keeping us alert. Valleys of yellow flowers and gazillions of butterflies. Spoilt we are.

Coconut-chocolate fudge squares a winner. Terry’s has been searching for a fuel ‘fat bomb’ that is diabetic sensitive for the afternoon blood sugar slumps and during long rides. That they are tasty enough for a coffee desert an additional bonus. A dessert spoon of local honey in the mixture, cut into 1 cm squares, ensures only a nominal amount of natural sugar in each square.

Dairy Free Coconut Chocolate Fudge

A delicious dairy free coconut chocolate fudge made with coconut oil and almond or coconut milk. This low carb chocolate fudge makes a tasty fat bomb snack.

Course Snack

Cuisine American

Keyword low carb candy

Prep Time 5 minutes

Total Time 5 minutes

Servings 16 squares

Calories 77 kcal

Author Lisa | Low Carb Yum

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

• 1/2 cup coconut oil softened

• 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

• 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk. Can add 1/2 cup if you keep it in deep freeze. Don’t use coconut cream. Does not work.

• 1-2 tablespoons honey

• Depending on how sweet you like it

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

• Optional. A pinch of salt.

Instructions

0. Melt coconut oil and combine with cocoa powder. Blend well.

0. Add all other ingredients and use hand beater to blend well

0. Spread out into a small square or rectangular container lined with parchment paper.

0. Refrigerate until fudge is hardened.

0. Remove fudge from container and cut into squares.

0. Place in deep freeze

Recipe Notes

Makes 16 small squares

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

A dark, wet world with a power outage after a couple of days of water pouring from the skies. A tad bit more red wine than necessary, to accompany the Boeuf bourguignon. Prince, bouncing off the walls.

Beach walk. Sun doing its best to heat the snow wind from the mountains. Not enough to stop frozen feet and hands. The hot-water bottles at East Head welcome after our run and toe-testing dip into the sea. Much too cold for me.

‘Family Outing’ finally finished. Grateful for the extra paint supplies that eased the constraints of my acrylic paint options.

‘Côte de Boeuf’. A monster – first – experimental dish for the Kamado Jan. As advised, I let the steaks sit for two hours to reach room temperature before starting the ‘Reverse Searing’. Which is basically doing a slow cure (based on 4min per 100gram of the largest piece of meat) at 150 degrees.

I struggled to get the temperature down, having added too much charcoal initially. The heavy bone of the cut, rescuing me, as I did the initial cook, bone side down over the high rack position.

The meat then rested for an hour before winding the Kamado Jan up to its steak searing 400 degrees temperature. The rested steaks, seared for 4 minutes on each side, plus an additional 4 minutes, or so, to render the fat.

At the high temperatures care needs to be taken to prevent combustion and that ‘charcoal’ state. Having Coreta watching the meat, a necessity, as the high temperatures also evaporated the wine in our glasses.

The grilled hunks of steak were rested off the grill for the ten minutes it took to cook the green beans. The steaks were separated from the bone and cut into slices. Bones, then grilled for an additional ten minutes, adding that last ‘curtain call’.

Sweet potato gratin. 2011 Grace Land and Black Rock, special on their own. With the Côte, spectacular.

Dad on a surprise visit for his 85th birthday. Very special.

September, ‘10-mile’ challenge, with the sunrise. Something conjured from nowhere definitive, on a beautiful early summer morning. Long time since I have run that far. That easily. That quickly.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

August, 10km running challenge sorted. While not quite as quick as my head thinks I should be running, it’s certainly quicker than I have run in 20 years.  Of course, perfect conditions, alongside the estuary, itself a dream.
Fortunate enough to attended the opening of an exhibition of hyper-realistic charcoal work that highlighted how much talent there is around Knysna. Brilliantly executed draughtsmanship at prices were a tad scary. Even for me. Exciting to see that the market for such staggering prices exists in our small town.
Prince has a cut in his front paw, which is a bother. Keeping him quite enough for it to heal assisted by the two days in the car heading down for dinner with Dad in Montagu.
Amongst the mountains, the air still with that winter crispness, even if the sun carries the promise of summer.
Sun on the crazy rock formations. A reminder of why I find them so amazing to paint. Colours and texture in a never ending series of folds and mystery that not only captivated me, but also Francois Krige in the decades he wondered, and painted, these mountains.
wines.jpg
Blossoms on the fruit trees, a touch of delicacy.
Bergsig, Mimosa and Prevoir Wines (Chardonnay and Shiraz) the gems from our stop at Platform 62 in Ashton. Johannes, the car guard whose portrait I painted still greeting us cheerfully. Although he isn’t sporting his red hat.
Stopped messing about with my painting of the girl on her bicycle, ‘Grl Pwr’. The vibrancy of youth. The freedom of the small Karoo town, Nieu-Bethesda.
image1.jpeg
Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm
Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Afternoon run in the sunshine along the red brick road next to the estuary. Passed a bunch of picnics, with holiday makers out reading in between watching the waters of the estuary. Sun perfectly positioned. Wind, holding its breath. Immaculate.

On the easel, a horse powers from the canvas. A strong vertical composition, full of youthful exuberance. Kids at play in Nieu-Bethesda.

I can’t paint horses without a reference to Sir Alfred J Munnings. His paintings filled with free brushstrokes and great blobs of paint. Less technique, than his inability to judge distance between canvas and brush as a result of an eye injury that left him blind in one eye. “What are pictures for?” he asked. “To fill a man’s soul with admiration and sheer joy, not to bewilder and daze him.”

‘God’s little creatures’, the Figtree Blue butterfly in the garden at Ouland Royale, our lunch stop with Mum and Jenny on a glorious day. They were happy to accommodate my diabetic eating quirks, modifying their tzatziki lamb dish and adding extra avo at no additional charge! (The dressing was a tad sweetish for my taste) Chef Wilja orchestrates her dishes at the long table in the kitchen, conjuring magical dishes that have quirky twists.

My throat a scratchy mess. Not impressed. Extra grumpy.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Streets full of athletes as the Oyster festival gets underway. Days of sunshine between the storms ensuring challenging conditions without mayhem. Magnificent beach run for the Featherbed trail run. My bum a tad unhappy after the hills.

World peace must contain a distillation of good friends, laughter, the aroma of 3-day ox-tail dinner in the apartment, with a healthy jolt of good jazz and a smidgen of fabulous 3-Graces and Radford-Dale, simmered over the fire and tempered by the rain. Terry’s magic.

‘Angel Shadows and Sunbeams’. Oil on canvas 1,5mx1,0m. Nieu-Bethesda. Shadows from the ‘Owl House’ sculpture garden and the sun motive from the windows in the house woven into a typical street scene of a typical small Karoo town.

An underpainting of Naples Yellow. Peach tones, a mixture of Indian yellow and Quinacridone Rose. Permanent Magenta and Ultramarine Blue, the purple shades with the grey, a mix of Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. Lemon Yellow and Cobalt Blue for the green. Cadmium Yellow medium and Turquoise with a splashes of Raw Sienna and Cerulean Blue.

Hopefully, collectors who receive my paintings from the couriers are as thrilled as I was to get the book I ordered, wrapped in brown paper. ‘84 Charring Cross Road’ special.

Reading the list of Van Gogh’s colour demands from his brother, Theo, a tad intimidating as I wind down my paint supplies. Some of which I have had far too long and I become increasingly concerned that they will become hard and useless. Fabulous Provençal colours that haven’t been used. Scandalous!

‘My dear Theo,

Am obliged to write to you as I’m sending you an order for colours which, if you place it with Tasset & Lhote, rue Fontaine,1 you’ll do well — since they know me — to tell them that I expect a discount at least equivalent to the cost of carriage’


Urgent

10 Silver white large tubes

6 Veronese Green double tubes

3 Lemon chrome yellow

3 No2 chrome yellow double tubes

1 No3 chrome yellow

1 Vermilion double tube

3 Geranium lake, small tube

6 Ordinary lake

3 Prussian Blue

4 Emerald green

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘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

PREPARATION

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

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventure

My balance isn’t the best. My coordination nonexistent, and I tend to get lost a great deal of the time, yet cycling through the Forest, some thought it a good idea to let me find a path through the mud. The Forest, after the rain, breathtaking.

With the fire keeping the apartment cosy, the weather seemed to dictate a comforting salmon-pasta sort of meal. Pasta, of course, not an option. However, some genius has developed cauli-noodles that are simply fabulous. In a cream and wine sauce, the calorie count was probably off the charts. Scrumptious.

Low tide on a perfect morning for a beach run along Brenton. Prince less sure about why his normal beach play, turned into a 10km run, with minimal stone-chasing play time. The subject of a small painting, while I prepared the new larger canvases for my painting of the Karoo skies.

Diabetic, mohair socks, something special as temperatures head into the winter levels of uncomfortable.

Small elephant painting sold. Always special to have a painting head to its new home.

Creamy pasta (cauli-noodles) with salmon

INGREDIENTS

• 3 packets of cauli-noodles (pasta)

• Half an onion finely chopped

• 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter

• 1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine

• 2 tubs (500ml) cream

• 1/2 cup (125 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

• 1/2 cup (125 ml) mixed chopped fresh herbs (chives, basil, oregano)

• 2 cups (500 ml) salmon with chili flakes

PREPARATION

1. In the butter, cook the onions, stirring constantly, until transparent. Add the white wine and bring to a boil, stirring with a whisk. Add the cream and bring to boil.

2. Stir in the cheese, and herbs and add tons of ground pepper, add the salmon and reduce for 5 minutes until it thickens.

3. Switch off the heat, and add the cauli-noodles, to the pot and toss to coat with the sauce. Serve immediately.