Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

Seven Passes road to Wilderness makes for a fabulous 75km morning ride. Twisting down through the gorges, the light filtered through the indigenous Forest. Didn’t see any elephants, although that could have been due to the sweat staining my glasses. Legs finished. Bum, complaining.

Flava restaurant the meeting point for the support crew that assembled the bits of cyclists, gear and bicycles for the trip home. Despite being confronted by a hord of hungry, dirty cyclists, our food was amazing, and the cappuccino perfect.

Quick trip to see Lesa and Mark in Kommetjie.

Harbour House at the Waterfront. The menu, for a diabetic, a list of impossible, delicious sounding food. Settled on the starters as they had the most manageable, but still exotic, options. The Seafood Stack with salmon tartare, crushed avo, tomato bits, prawn tempura and caviar with pea shoots tasted as amazing as it looked. Spicy grilled calamari with olives, lemon and capers a tad less exciting.

Walk out to the wreck of the Kakopo, which ran aground on Long Beach in May 1900 en route from New Zealand to Cape Town. It mistook Chapman’s Peak for Cape Point in poor visibility. Lots of warning signs about muggings. The beach, stunning.

The pizza quest that is tasty, diabetic friendly and can be done in the Kamado Jan. A tad more challenging than the holy-grail. A galette recipe the inspiration for a trial dinner. Tasty. The fire too hot. Cooked too long. Still, much better than any commercial alternative we have experienced. Definitely, to be repeated!

Just in time for Christmas, the new silk scarves arrived. Orders couriered to their new homes and the studio display, luxuriantly decadent.

Low-carb spinach mushroom galette

Have you ever made pizza dough out of mozzarella cheese? Made famous by the people behind the Fathead movie, it really is quite revolutionary. Try your hand at my magic mozzarella dough and make this spinach mushroom galette. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients

Crust

• 170 grams grated mozzarella cheese

• 1 tbsp butter

• ½ cup fine almond flour

• ¼ cup coconut flour

• 1 tsp baking powder

• ½ tsp garlic powder

• ¼ tsp salt

• 1 large egg

Filling

• 3 oz. cream cheese, softened

• 1 garlic clove, finely minced

• salt and pepper

• 8 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained

• 2 oz. mushrooms, sliced

• 2 oz. grated mozzarella cheese

• 1 oz. grated parmesan cheese

• 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten

Nutrition

by Carolyn Ketchum (Recipe, Photo)

.RecipesAppetizersLow-carb spinach mushroom galette

Instructions

Crust

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Lightly grease the liner.

3. 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, garlic powder and salt.

4. 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.

5. 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.

Filling

1. Spread the dough with the softened cream cheese, leaving a 2-inch (5 cm) border around the outside. Sprinkle with the garlic and salt and pepper.

2. Squeeze as much moisture as possible from the spinach and layer over the cream cheese, then add a layer of mushrooms. Sprinkle with the grated cheeses.

3. Fold the edges of the crust over the filling and brush with the beaten egg yolk. Bake the galette for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

4. Remove and let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Carolyn’s tips and tricks

Because the cheese creates a flexible dough that stretches like pizza dough, it’s useful for so many other things. Consider it for stromboli, calzones, and even sweet pastries. It can be rolled out thinly and used for crackers or even pie crusts.

I modified the basic Fathead dough, which is just simply grated cheese, cream cheese, almond flour, and an egg, to be a little sturdier. A combination of almond flour and coconut flour means it holds up better and doesn’t spread as much during baking. A little baking powder gives it a bit more of a rise, and some garlic powder gives it a great savory flavor.

A galette is tart or a pie that isn’t baked in a pan, but formed by hand with the crust folded partway over the fillings. Fathead dough makes a perfect galette crust because of its flexibility. This savory galette is filled with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese and makes a nice alternative to meat based keto recipes. It can be the whole meal or served as a side dish or appetizer. It

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 Adventures

Air reverberating with the sounds of helicopters heading to the fire front, the news that one of my collectors homes had burnt down. 3 generations of memories lost, and my paintings.

Blood sugars suddenly trampolining all over the place (7.8 mmol/L -3.8 mmol/L) after a month of being stable. Averaging 6.0 mmol/L with a standard deviation of 0,7. Diabetic carbs at 23grams, well within the 50 gram range. Particularly noticeable an hour after exercise, with cycling creating the biggest swings. Dehydration with the onset of warmer weather?

‘A Pair of Kings’. A small painting of the King Protea on the studio table that reminded me of Van Gogh’s ‘Still Life with Two Sunflowers’ painted in Paris, 1887.

After the contortions to create the small works my shoulders and hands are straining with the demands of covering the large surface for my painting of dolphins. The rough canvas blistering fingers already a tad sensitive from not concentrating when changing hot braai grids on the Kamado Jan for the slow cooked fillet.

The Forest. Full of magic. Roses of every hue, perfuming the world. Ghost tendrils. Air plants in the setting sun. Timeless laughter with excellent wine and an exquisite dinner under a star filled sky. Woodcutters Cottages, another gem in our part of paradise.

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

Greyton Adventures

Oak trees, lavender, roses, birds. Mist, sunshine and butterflies. Horses, aimlessly wondering along the main road in the early morning.

A surreal world beneath the mountain. Immaculate and cared for.

‘Linda’s Breasts’, not on the menu. Definitely worth asking for at Via’s. A hint of warmth in the spices used on the chicken breast, transformative. While the chips looked impossibly tempting, there was nothing wrong with my roast veggies. Except, they were veggies! The aromas from the coffee roaster, intoxicating.

I did a morning painting demonstration. A floral painting of a lily, orchid sort of flower in my Mums garden. White flowers adding that touch of mystery as to the approach. The painting was influenced by the ‘Wearable Art’ range of silk scarves I’m focusing on, which influenced the colours. The influence of Van Gogh’s almond blossoms in the turquoise background.

“My work was going well,” he informed his brother, “the last canvas of branches in blossom – you will see that it is perhaps the best, the most patiently worked thing I had done, painted with calm and with greater firmness of touch. And the next day, down like a brute.”

Interesting to have artists painting their own pictures during the demonstration. I did get tied down a tad by the delicate fingers of the flowers.

Prince still struggling with the effects of ‘salt poisoning’ from our play on the beach, chasing stones into the surf and ingesting too much salt water. Will need to carry grease water to hydrate him and keep his playing along the sand, rather than in the water.

Diary of an Adventure

Cape Town Adventure

The fire at Jakes on the Common welcome on a rainy Cape Town day. Books, wine, good food (grateful for the diabetic sensitive menu option) and easy company, insulated from the stormy weather. Energized, tranquility, looking through the fresh spring leaves of the ancient oak trees.

The building of the Norval Foundation is as impressive as expected. Vast gallery spaces for the large works of art. Most of which I found, disturbing.

They were changing exhibitions which was a tad disappointing as we could only access two of the galleries. The sculpture garden, impressive. My red face the proof to heed the warning about protecting yourself against sunburn. Even on a chilly spring day.

Prince still didn’t manage the crashing sea noise. Full moon. Spring tides. Howling winds. Beach not inviting. He did manage to walk to the Green Door. An achievement in itself.

The wind blew us back to Knysna. Roads busy with holiday traffic. Green, golden and yellow after the rains. We passed the ‘solar challenge’ cars – struggling into the wind – sandwiched between the hurtling steel of impatient road users.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

‘At the Zeitz MOCAA’

Oil on canvas 90cmx60cm.

A random moment. ‘Tell me your story. My name is magic fused with life purpose…” Story telling by Vusumuzi Mpofu amongst the bricks of Kendell Geers’ ‘Hanging Piece’.

Poetry transcending the horror of the hangman’s noose. Red ropes made ordinary by the red of clothing. Bricks, of terror fading into life, with purpose.

One of those evenings when I have managed to break, mess, and destroy. Nothing I can blame on crazy blood sugars. Or even too much wine.

Temperature regulation quite an issue on my Kamado Jan. Once that machine gets hot, it’s kind of impossible to get the temperature down. The monster chicken, while full of flavour was heading towards the charcoal side.

Order placed for the first batch of silk scarves. Time now an issue to finalise designs, sort pricing (exchange rate more erratic than my blood sugars) and get delivery before the holiday season.

Sold. South Sudan. Exhausting.

Stunning cheese cake that is diabetic sensitive. Tasty, and indulgent. A taste sensation amongst the week of amazing food indulgence. Chicken livers (which I don’t eat) at Chef Hirsch. Subtly tangy and perfect with the Newton Johnson Pinot Reserve, as well as the Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon blend. Beef fillet curry at Chef Coreta with a Delheim Vaaldrei Cab Franc that was better than my favourite Raats Cab Franc.

Remarkably privileged to have my painting of the migration ‘On the Plains’, hanging in its new rebuilt home after the fires. Particularly after an evening visiting a home that proudly shows its scars of the fires that tore through Knysna.

Lemon Cheese Cake

This banting friendly lemon cheesecake from Jump on the Bant Wagon, by Nick Charlie Key, R265, (Human & Rousseau), is the ultimate indulgence, without the guilt

INGREDIENTS

For the crust

1 cup almond flour

2T melted butter

3T xylitol

For the filling

680g cream cheese, at room temperature

310ml xylitol

1t vanilla extract

A pinch salt

4 eggs, at room temperature

60ml lemon juice

1T lemon zest

60ml whipping cream

Topping

250ml sour cream

30ml lemon juice

1T lemon zest

4T xylitol

1/2t vanilla extract

Try this dark chocolate cheesecake recipe

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

2. Prepare a springform cake pan. Put some baking paper over the bottom of the pan

1/3

and snap it into place when you tighten the sides of the pan.

3. Grease the sides and bottom of the pan (and the baking paper) using butter.

4. Mix all the crust ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Once it’s a

doughy, crumbly and moist texture, press it into the bottom of the prepared pan.

5. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C.

7. For the filling, beat the cream cheese until it becomes fluffy, making sure to scrape

the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the xylitol, vanilla, salt and two of the eggs. Beat

well, then scrape the sides of the bowl again.

8. Add the remaining two eggs. Beat well and scrape once again. Add the lemon juice,

zest and cream. Beat well, scrape and pour the filling mixture over the pre-baked

crust.

9. Place the springform pan into a bigger pan that has been pre-filled halfway with

boiling water, and then place into the oven to bake for roughly 1 hour. The

cheesecake should still be a little wobbly in the centre when it comes out.

10. While the cheesecake is in the oven, mix all the topping ingredients together in a

mixing bowl.Get the recipe for the cheesecake topped with frilled honey buttered

peaches

11. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, spread the topping evenly over the

cheesecake and then return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

12. Take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool. Once at room temperature, pop

it into the fridge for a few hours to chill properly.

Serves 10–12 people

Diary of an Adventure

Calitzdorp Cycle Adventure

First time I have spent so long on a bicycle, with three days of cycling into the red mountains. Groenfontein. Kruisrivier and Seweweekspoort.

Beautifully restored houses from the days of the Ostrich Barron’s. Blue skies. Green valleys. Dust. Gut wrenching climbs. Legs turned to mush. Bruised bum. Exhilarating decents. Demanding terrain that challenged yet left you excited for the next day.

Soeterus guest farm. Roaring fire under the stars. Space for Prince to run. Warm showers. Comfortable beds. Breakfasts to fuel the starving and close enough to the wine cellars of Boplaas and De Kraans, an incentive at days end.

A new technique for cooking fillet from Coreta. 80 degrees for 4 min per 100 grams of the largest fillet. Stand for an hour. Then cooked over a hot fire for ten minutes, turning continuously. Delicious.

Terry, Coreta and Clair, with careful menu planning, ensured that my blood sugars over the demanding days didn’t spiral out of control. A touch of hyperglycemia as I waited too long before refueling with blueberries. Particularly on the afternoon rides when my sugar levels seem to fall quicker. Carrot cake very tempting!

Blood sugars

Day 1

Before ride 6,7 mmol/L (target 4 – 7.8 mmol/L)

After 47,9 km 3,8 (2h 11m)

2 hour after ride 5,3

Daily carbs 31 grams

Day 2

Before ride 4,8 mmol/L (target 4 – 7.8 mmol/L)

After 32 km 4,1

After 64 km 4,3 (3h 18m)

1 hour after ride 6,4

2 hour after ride 4,4

Daily carbs 30grams

Day 3

Before ride 4,9 mmol/L (target 4 – 7.8 mmol/L)

After 22 km 4,1

After 42 km 5,4 (2h 17m)

1 hour after ride 5,2

Daily carbs 30grams

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

First ‘Wearable Art’ 100% silk scarves with my paintings sold and heading to new homes. Orders for the next batch received with a few adjustments made to the art work. ‘Irises’ design painting finished, adding an additional option to the range. Working on an elephant painting that is also designed to be used as a scarf painting. The link to the website sorted and the international purchase pricing adjusted to include free shipping.

https://janraats.com/wearable-art/

Running with my shadow in the early morning before the storm made being in front of the fire the more sensible option. Getting Prince out that much more challenging, as he didn’t see the need to move from his warm bed before the birds were awake.

The painting of ‘Irises’, a simple, abstract approach. Colours clean and vibrant. The long rectangular format, challenging. Working in acrylics allowing for a fast application of paint. The course canvas trashing a couple of layers of skin on my fingers.

Bicycle cleaned, ready for the 3 day Karoo Tour in Calitzdorp. First, birthday weekend lies ahead. One of those life milestones.

Diary of an Adventure

Harbour Town Adventures

The sample silk scarves of my ‘Wearable Art’ have arrived. Quality much better than expected and the colour saturation extraordinary. Perhaps a tad too much.

Not sure where the ‘edge’ is between a cycle that allows one to enjoy the waves, sunshine and incredible privilege of being in this part of paradise, and the blood-pumping, muscle straining, ambition to go that slight bit faster that has sweat streaming into eyes. An oblivious focus on numbers. A bit of both??

Sautéed foie-gras. Generally, I find foie gras too rich, however this slightly seared way of serving slices was delicious. As was our dinner at Le Marquis. The calamari tube starter was stunning. I might even get to like the stuff! The house speciality, duck confit lived up to its reputation, even if the cranberry sauce was too much for my diabetic constraints. Remy brought the table a duck breast in Lagrange that I hope finds its way into the menu, as it was outstanding.

Nothing Impressionistic about the top 40 Sanlam Portrait Award exhibition. I actually preferred the other portraits in the gallery to those of the competition. The quality, particularly of the draughtsmanship in the charcoal works was outstanding, and in general the exhibition wasn’t morbid or soul stealing, but rather well executed portraits. I didn’t come away inspired or with new techniques, or radical insights into composition. Grateful that the exhibition has been in Knysna, uplifting portrait painting.

Long narrow canvas (200cmx70cm) for a painting of irises based in a couple of the iris paintings I have done and the wild irises that are flowering along the route we walk Prince. Acrylics, for a minimalist, sketch style that I’m also hoping will work well as a silk scarf painting.

Hot off the easel

Oil on canvas 20cmx20cm

Sautéed Foie Gras Recipie

Sautéeing duck foie gras is not hard to do, but be careful; otherwise, you’ll end up with a puddle of very expensive melted fat.

INGREDIENTS

• 1/2 lb piece raw Grade A duck foie gras at room temperature, cleaned and deveined

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 2 tsp canola oil

• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

. Special Equipment

• a 10-inch heavy skillet

PREPARATION

. After deveining, cut the foie gras crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, then season with salt and pepper.

. Heat 1 teaspoon of the canola oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking.

. Sauté half the foie gras until golden, 45 to 60 seconds on each side (it will be pink inside). Quickly transfer to a paper towel to drain and discard fat in skillet.

. Sauté the rest of the foie gras the same way, then discard all all but 1 tablespoon of remaining fat in skillet. Add 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil. Serve foie gras with sauce.

. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/v