May G-d give you...For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”
Wishing you all a Wonderful Festive Season filled with love.
A while back on one of our TV channels there was an advert.I cannot remember what the advert was actually for but I loved it.It began with a large family around the dinner table.All generations, Grannies, Grandads, Moms,Dads,children.
One of the grandchildren says to the Grandmothers, " Granny ,what did you do when you were young?"
The Granny says ...." Ve cooked".
The Grandson then says..." but what did you do for fun ...?"
The two Grandmothers look at each other and reply ,in unison,....
" Ve baked!!!"
I bake for fun too.I bake because it gives me such pleasure following the stages of a recipe.I love watching the golden egg yolks turn pale yellow and creamy after a long whisking with my Kenwood hand mixer.I love rolling the batter of a Cranberry,dark chocolate and white chocolate mixture into little walnut sized lumps,knowing that after 20 minutes in the oven they will be melt in the mouth cookies. I love whisking egg whites and castor sugar into a snowy froth and feel a sense of satisfaction when the soft ,feathery mounds turn into a crisp, crackly merangue!
But most of all I love sharing what I have baked with those I love......
Sometimes in my wanderings around this never ending internet of images one or two will just appeal.These bunny girls do.They are not the bunny girls ol' Hugh would like .But I love them.They remind me of dressing up with my friend Hilary.Hilary did ballet and I was in awe of her ballet pumps and frothy tulle tutus.
I wanted to do ballet .I begged to be able to take ballet lessons .But, my Dad in his Banker's wisdom decided that ballet was not going to be a secure career choice and therefore ballet lessons were not on the cards.
So Hilary became my ballet teacher.We practised at her house ,or mine.Then performed 'concerts' .My mother would have to watch as we danced out from behind our blue velvet lounge curtains, draped in one of her old petticoats ! She always clapped and made a huge fuss of the flurry of fat little legs and breathless twirls.
Hilary presented me with a pair of red ballet shoes ,and said I could keep them.I was beyond thrilled .Sadly ,Hilary moved away and my 'ballet lessons' ended. But the love of dancing never did .So bunnies in ballet gowns and little girl dreams .........
The day before Alan passed he had a special date with Emma.She was four years old then.They went with her playgroup to The World of Birds in Hout Bay.A Daddy and his Girl outing.The next morning he was gone.
A few weeks later in a lonely,sad moment I sat in his closet.It was a comfort to be surrounded by his clothes and still sense the scent of him there.His warmest jacket was closest to me and I put my hand in the deep pocket.I felt the feather ,tucked in there for safekeeping.I gave it to Emma as a special momento of that day.
A few weeks later Emma was playing on the verandah with a piece of luminous chalk her Uncle John had brought her from America.She drew an enormous circle on the paving.
"I am just marking a place so my Dad knows where to look for me" , she said wisely.
Months later we were in the garden.Emma was playing on the lawn.It was an airless day with a very blue sky.A feather gently wafted down, just whispering past Emma's little face.
"Look Mom,Dad got my message and he has replied!!!" She still has both the feathers.Safely tucked away.
I bought this book because I had little red shoes just like the ones on the cover.I also bought this book as I am a serial cook book buyer.Tessa Kiros " Apples for Jam" is now my all time favourite family cookery book.I was thrilled to discover she grew up in South Africa and I regulary make her Tomato sauce for pasta, fish pie, and because we do not eat red meat,have adapted her Lamb and Green bean stew ,using Ostrich.I also make the Bolognese sauce substituting the beef mince with ostrich !
Recently we had dinner with friends and met a couple who had just arrived in Cape Town after living in London.I got chatting to Mr M and the subject turned to cooking.Of course I mention my favourite Cookbook and Tessa Kiros and he says,..."Tessa ...I have known her for years,she grew up with me in Johannesburg".He went on to say he would call her and tell her she has a fan in Cape Town and promised that if she visits SA ,I will meet her. I am tickled pink! I am waiting Tessa !!
This is the Chosen Teacup.It has pride of place amongst my many,many teacups.I give this one to myself when setting places for a Tea.I steer people away from this teacup if they appear to want to choose it for their tea.I love this teacup and I have difficulty sharing it with anyone.Tea tastes better in this cup .It has its own portrait which Emma painted as it is the Chosen Teacup.
If you come to my house and stay for tea I will say," choose a cup", but I mean choose any cup ,just not this one.
How blessed I am to have my Mom in my life. This past week she celebrated her 80th Birthday.She is so well,has such a positive attitude to life and remains independent and mobile.How blessed I was to have her here when my children were tiny and Nanna was the only other caregiver.Her sense of humour never fails her and unconditional love is all I have ever known from her.Happy Birthday Mom!
I have lived in this house for 16 years.Alan and I found this house when Emma was almost two and when we looked at it two chameleons crept over the lawn and climbed the trellis which has Honeysuckle on it now.I knew we had to live here and Alan said ," I am never leaving this house". He is still here.He is in the creak of the wooden floorboards, he is in the scent of the jasmine which twirls over the trellis. I know he is watching us from high up in the branches of the White Stinkwood tree he loved.I hear him laugh when I wake up in the middle of the night after a heavy downpour and the gutters have overflowed.I can't leave this house.He is here.
I have Mr B now and he loves this house too,he understands about Alan.He understands I love this house.
Last Saturday I packed my little cream Mini Cooper with all my treasures and drove to Stellenbosch. Nicola had invited me to come to her tea room in Morkel Street and show off my jewels.She would tempt people to come with offers of soft pink macaroons, red velvet cake, lemon cupcakes,marshmallow cupcakes and cucumber sandwiches. Her tea room is a delight, overflowing with chintzy teacups and polka dot teapots, velvet cushions and tea cup printed tablecloths.Nicola herself is as sweet as the icing on all the fairy cakes. She is the dearest person and her positive energy and enthusiasm draws her clients through the glass doors and into La Fete.
I hung my handmade trinkets over teacups and cakestands and the girls chatted ,sampled the towers of treats and tried on earrings.