Friday, September 22, 2017

This Week's MENU. Zenzero, Amorim MCC, Darling Flowers, Lunch at the Homestead, Tea with Leeu, Muratie Du ToitsKloof cook off, Veal Piccata, Simonsig Cuvée Royale

Cymbidiums or boat orchids at the Duckitt orchid nursery near Darling
We wish all our Jewish readers a blessed Rosh Hashanah and well over the Fast

A Happy Islamic New Year to our Moslem readers

A long weekend awaits. We will enjoy it with friends in the Hemel en Aarde Valley, after which we'll rush back onto the treadmill of the exciting things that fill our life ... and give us more stories to relate to you. We hope that you will enjoy yourselves as much as we intend to, whether you celebrate Heritage Day or National Braai Day
Dining at Zenzero in trendy Camps Bay    
We were invited to review this beach front restaurant in Camps Bay last week. The website says, "Robust with the full flavours of Italy" which pays " ... homage to Italy ... encapsulates ‘La dolce Vita’". And it is undoubtedly popular with its impressive full frontage with great views of Camps Bay beach and the sea. We passed it twice more that week and the double fronted terrace was filled with people enjoying the view with some drinks, and soaking up those views. Inside is much bigger than one expects.....
A Pop up Lunch at The Homestead    
Elaine Rousseau is one of our best caterers in Cape Town, she has 18 years of experience. Her company, Food Fanatics is very successful. She has a lovely venue on Constantia Road in Wynberg which you can book for events, and we were invited to come and join her and some of her family, customers and friends for lunch last weekend. She has an amazing garden.....
Amorim Cap Classique Challenge    
This is the 16th year this prestigious Cap Classique Challenge has been held. Run by the Mèthode Cap Classique Association and sponsored by Amorim Cork, it lauds the best MCCs in the land. You know it is Spring when.....
Afternoon tea with friends at the Leeu Estates in Franschhoek    
How can one refuse an invitation to take tea with friends? We were invited to try the afternoon tea at the Leeu Estates this week with other members of the media and they kindly arranged transport from Cape Town to get us there and back. Should you wish to partake of this lovely experience, the tea costs R190 per person and includes a pot of tea. Afternoon Tea will be served from 2pm to 5pm every day of the week. The Leeu Estate is the 17-room country house retreat and boutique winery in the Franschhoek valley and it is part of the Leeu Collection owned by Mr Analjit Singh. It was a lovely day, the gardens are looking splendid.....
The Annual Cook-Off between Muratie and Du Toitskloof Wine Cellars    
It was time again for the annual cook off between these two wine producers (one a family-owned Stellenbosch estate, the other a huge consortium of wine producers on the other side of the Du Toitskloof Pass in Rawsonville); both renowned not only for their wines but their good cooking. They take turns in hosting this fun competition. The object is to each braai the same meat, prepared in two different ways and then have the attending guests taste them, and vote for their favourites. This year, the sixth time the cook off has happened, it was at Muratie in Stellenbosch and the theme was pork. They were to cook two different cuts each, they could choose which....
The Darling Wildflower Show    
In our spring, the Cape is a showcase of wild flowers. To see the best, you have to go up the West Coast and this year we were invited to one of the oldest flower festivals, Darling which was celebrating its 100th year. It was held at the Darling Golf Club
Lynne loves this dish and ate it a lot when she lived in London, where there are many good authentic Italian restaurants. She has not ever cooked it but found this recipe by Donna Hay that she wants to try soon and thought you might also like it. Veal production nowadays is strictly controlled, the calves are not tightly penned as in the past. That means the veal is not white but pale pink and very delicious. So don't let history put you off eating it. You can of course also use pork escalopes.
Donna Hay's recipe for Veal Piccante
8 veal cutlets, pounded thin - 1 cup of flour for dredging - ¼ tsp salt - ¼ tsp of fresh ground black pepper - 3 Tbls of butter - 1 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil - ½ cup of chicken broth - ¼ cup of dry vermouth or white wine - ¼ cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice - cup of capers, drained and rinsed - cup of fresh parsley, chopped
Prepare the veal by pounding thin between two sheets of wax paper. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of veal in the flour making sure you coat both sides. In a large skillet heat the butter and the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the veal for around 2 minutes on each side, add more butter if needed. When all the veal is done remove from the skillet and set aside. Turn up the heat deglaze the pan with the broth, lemon juice, vermouth and capers. Scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan and reduce. Return the veal to the pan for 2 more minutes. Plate the veal and pour the sauce all over the top. Garnish with parsley
This has had good lees contact. Made from 100% chardonnay, it is exactly the style of MCC that we love and drink as often as we can. Lean and crisp citrus, very elegant, fine mousse, no dosage. Very French in style. Heavenly. A deserved winner of the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge Award for Blancs de Blanc and a Gold medal at the 2017 Concours Mondial in Brussels

22nd September 2017
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2017
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MENU’s Wine of the Week - Simonsig Cuvée Royale Blanc de Blancs 2012

This has had good lees contact. Made from 100% chardonnay, it is exactly the style of MCC that we love and drink as often as we can. Lean and crisp citrus, very elegant, fine mousse, no dosage. Very French in style. Heavenly
A deserved winner of the 2017 Amorim Cap Classique Challenge Award for Blancs de Blanc and a gold medal at the 2017 Concours Mondial in Brussels  

The 100th Darling Wild Flower Show

In our spring, the Cape is a showcase of wild flowers. To see the best, you have to go up the West Coast and this year we were invited to one of the oldest flower festivals, Darling which was celebrating its 100th year. It was held at the Darling Golf Club
We had been invited for the media day on Thursday and could not make it as we were at the Amorim MCC Challenge Awards, but we did drive up on Friday. Sadly, it was a rather grey day and when the sun hides itself, so do the daisies which grow everywhere
This is a very refreshing country festival, people are friendly and helpful, they have not modernised too radically, there is no blaring music and the stalls actually have things you want to buy. We loved it.
Food is interspersed with things for sale and there was a variety of food trucks
There is quite a lot of art for sale
We went to visit the Ormonde stand first in the wine tent, where we found Berinda Basson, Ormonde owner Theo’s wife, organising things
 She gave us a taste of Ormonde's Ondine Grenache and one of those lovely chocolate and strawberry cupcakes which are made with the Grenache
and then she took us to the flower show in the Hall. Hanging decorations of wild freesias
The flowers are all picked the day before and put into small water phials which are buried in the ground to look natural . Even the reeds have last year's weaver bird nests on them
A beautifully maintained veteran Triumph motorbike in a field of Arum lilies and fynbos. a 100 year old bike at a show celebrating its centenary
The flowers are so delicate and beautiful. Many have been hybridised and commercialised by the bulb and other flower industry, and are sold as bulbs or corms for you to plant in your own gardens, worldwide. Like Freesias, Ixias, gladiolas, gerberas, ericas and heath, they all originate from this area
Some guinea fowl in their natural habitat amongst the flax, heath and the wild rosemary (kapokbos)
Even some rare orchids
which only the experts know how to find. They are protected, as are all of our wild flowers
You can view individual specimens, which are replaced as they need to be
The modern world has reached the festival. Scan with your phone for information
Duckitt’s orchid farm is just outside Darling- this was their display
Time for lunch. The golf club was doing a braai and we really fancied some chops and boerewors but, sadly, we could not buy them with the vouchers which the show’s organisers had been kind enough to give us
So John went to find a German stand and had a lovely Bratwurst roll. Lynne had some ribs from a food truck and Loraine had some chips
You could lose yourself in the many alleys of stands
The weather was getting chillier and rain was threatening, so we found a table in the wine tent
and went to have a taste of Groote Post wines with Wimpie Borman
wonderful wood carvings
Bags and cushions and a German sausage stand
What a wonderful display of proteas and all for sale
So many different varieties
These very tall gum trees, which must be at least a century old, were planted along the roads to give the ox wagons some shade as they travelled along in the summer. The gums were imported from Australia; the Cape does not have many tall indigenous trees
We left the show and went to visit Duckitt’s Orchid farm just outside Darling, which is open to the public only on the first Saturday of the month from May to November, from 9 to 12 and always at festival time. The last open house will be on November 4th this year. It is a wonderful sight. We saw mostly cymbidium orchids but they do have other species as well. Delicate white and pink?
Or Yellow with red in the centre
Or a stem of bright pink with white centres
They are grown en masse in huge shade houses
So many different colours and variations
Lovely for a wedding
They make such great decorations
So delicate
Even green with purple and white centres

We bought a huge orange orchid with two stems and one spray of these delicate white orchids to put in a vase. We will definitely be back next year