Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

If bending trees weren’t enough of a warning, kite-surfers screaming across the Estuary were. Only hardened cyclists braved the roaring winds for the Oyster Festival races. The Ultimate Fitness Festival?.

Sling keeping my shoulder from moving, too crazily. The blessing of a Mungo, superb woven towel, easing the chaffing. Blood sugars back into their normal range after the trauma, and a couple of coffee walks easing bruised muscles.

Cable ties my new friend holding the canvas against the easel, as ‘wingless’ I can’t catch the canvas as it does it’s bit to escape the abuse of my fingers smearing paint about. The large number of straight lines a tad challenging for my painting of the Norval Foundation exhibition.

While we we had to eliminate the beans from the Pork and Cannellini Bean casserole recipe, the sauce of the dish was sensational. The pork a tad on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, the Eastern flavours worked fabulously with the seared Bok-Choy.

Harbour Town full of athletes as it’s Forest Marathon time. Studio busy with the registration traffic generating its own energy.

Bartinney wine dinner at the Turbine. The lamb bredie, paired with their Cabernet Sauvignon, scrumptious.

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Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Great live music, seafood platter, a free glass of wine in the sunshine at Dry Dock. Incredible value.

A couple of rapid runs that were probably not the most sensible given my Achilles weakness. Still, it was great to be out in the beautiful winter sunshine.

Long stints in the studio on the rhino commission taking its toll on hands and elbows. Something magical as it starts to gather its own force. Will see if the comments about the too ‘human’ eye needs correction. For now, the painting is at that point where I need to decide to step-away, and let it breath, it’s own life, or mess it-up, by doing too much.

Winter is not a bad time to have a diabetic in the house as they seek out dish washing opportunities as the hot water relieves cold fingers (peripheral neuropathy).

Rain against the windows. Fire heating the apartment, aromas of slow cooked garlic infused lamb, with that magical ingredient of laughter from friends who are happy to experiment with taste, texture and the unknown.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

A dunking in the estuary, on a beautiful autumn evening, not the greatest thing to do to your iPhone. There was, one of those moments, where I had one leg caught on the boat while one tried valiantly to find solid ground. Failed dismally.

Studio after the holiday. A bunch of admin sorted. A bit of blood on a shin that lost a bunch of skin on the step-stool reorganizing paintings. Plasters to protect the linen.

Achilles seemingly content with its gentle jog, bum less sure about being back on the bicycle. At least I didn’t fall off!

Initial stages of the rhino commission, with an under painting of Indian Yellow for the sky of the painting. I’m trying to get the rhino skin texture different to the sky, by using the under painting to add luminescence. Also using Venice Red for one shade of grey and Burnt Sienna for the other. Naples yellow, rather than white for the grey tones. I have a couple of differ turquoise options with the Van Dyk Turquoise Blue (No. 80) completely different to the Charvin Intense Turquoise. Will need to see which works better with the deeper grey’s of the painting.

First outing of a recipe from ‘Plate’, by Marlene van Der Westhuizen. Steak with Gorgonzola sauce, with bok choi the surprise. Scrumptious.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Rose stopped past the studio to see the painting of the Oyster Collectors that I painted from her photograph

Erica’s in purple and pinks between banks of grey salt-bush alongside the paths through the Forest. Enough rain to turn trails into rivers that extra element of fun.

Colours swirling on the canvas for my painting of the Heads. Getting a tad lost in the water of the estuary.

Easter treat damage limitation with a run to the bottom of Phantom Pass. Ile de Pain, hot-cross bun with its apricot jam glaze and icing sugar crust (52grams of carbs) probably wasn’t sensible.

Bunch of people visiting which gave us the opportunity to try a couple of different places in our part of paradise. The late afternoon ferry out to the rebuilt Featherbed restaurant for their forest dinner. The building spectacular, and while the food might not be memorable there was plenty of variety, even for a diabetic.

Parmesan crusted kingklip, with a chilly/butter stuffing at Fatfish, looked amazing and was delicious. No less so than the tempura-prawn salad, with a great selection of wines by-the-glass.

Sold

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

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.