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

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

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

‘Come-Along’

Oil on canvas 76cmx104cm

The latest painting in my ‘Humanising the Homeless’ series of portraits. Peter and his constant companion, ‘come-along’. He is rough sleeping street dog, so I used the crumpled finger ends of the gloves to produce a rough texture for his fur. His eyes, full of his ‘Yoda’ like wisdom. The magical Monaco Madder colour adding depth and richness to the painting.

Amazing that strangers are stopping Peter in the street to ask him if he is the man in the portrait bring painted by the ‘finger-painter’!

Terry’s Terrine de campagne and an impromptu dinner with friends. Scrupdellicious. A memorable evening. Fortunately, that one extra glass of red wine, rye bread with the terrine, followed by bûche de Noël didn’t blow my blood sugar out of the water.

Beach play with Prince and Rico. The pure joy of summer madness.

Slow jog to test my bothersome Achilles. Nothing seemingly problematical, other than legs that were still a tad wobbly after their ride through the forest to the Italian church.

A simplification of Heston’s roast chicken in brine. Slow cooked (4 hours @ 90 degrees), after it had sat overnight in brine. A melted butter topping during the cooking. I struggled to keep the temperature of the Kamado Jan that low and took the chicken off after 3 hours, basting it every 40 minutes or so. Succulent, tasty and definitely morish. The only downside, being that you eat far more than you would normally eat!

https://tenplay.com.au/channel-ten/masterchef/recipes/heston-s-roast-chicken

Town buzzing with holiday makers. The seasonal traffic chaos eased by traffic officers at the major intersections, with their white gloves doing Michael Jackson type impersonations.

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

Kommetjie Adventures

‘Surfers’, my painting of dolphin taken from a photo out along Brenton beach. Movement to capture their joyful play the essence of the painting on a large canvas (2mx0,7m) that allowed me to indulge in the different colours of the sea.

I used the high translucency of phthalo blue and green as the primary colours in the water, adding lemon yellow to get a turquoise tint that was still transparent. Smudges of permanent magenta and cobalt blue gave a grayish tinge for to assist in the contrast of the sea spray.

The Forager in Scarborough our lunch stop after struggling to find shade parking for Prince and wanting to be out of the weekend afternoon traffic chaos that Cape Town ties itself up in. Pleasantly surprised that it was dog friendly. A Rosé from Steenberg, with a fillet wrap of some description. A tad dissapointing that the coconut wrap described on the menu is no longer available, which meant most of the meal had to be discarded.

Surrounded by a group of cyclists on the last stage of their Cape tour. All done on ebikes! We noticed that a couple of them were wearing nifty mirrors on their glasses to keep track of what was happening behind them. When I queried as to where they are available, the guy unclipped it and handed it to me. Amazing.

Beach walk in the sunshine. Prince still terribly afraid of the crashing surf. Border Collie mayhem once he was coaxed onto the beach, into a world of dog craziness. Watching the flow of the sea and surfers for my painting of the dolphins.

Live Bait at Muizenberg, simply fabulous. Distracted by the changing light on the sea. Gentle flavours from the ‘92 Boschendal Lanoy from somewhere in Alan’s stash, with the yellowtail, which was grilled to perfection. A quick trip through the village that continues its transformation from the rundown, shambolic, to quirky, interesting.

Blue tape making a reappearance on my leg as I seem to have strained my Achilles at some point. Nothing crazy in my daily running or cycling. Still, a nuisance.

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