Host A Cuppa For CANSA 2014

I consider myself very blessed for so many reasons. My life has been touched by friends and family who have suffered and lost their lives because of cancer, and some who have suffered and survived cancer. I can remember clearly back to one of my closest friends being told she had cancer and needed immediate treatment. There were no options for her, she had to have chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy. She shares this story and offers support in such an amazing way and she is always an inspiration. A scare a few years ago that the cancer may have returned seemed harder news to bear than the actual cancer itself. But now, we can count the years together since the all clear was given. She has had her breast reconstructed and even though her cancer has shaped her future, it has not defined her. Being a survivor of life is what defines my friend. I am sure everyone who is reading this has a story to share. What I would like you to do is share a tea party! Simple. Invite your friends around and ask each person to make a donation to CANSA just by clicking the link from this blog post. The objective is to spread the word, and help raise funds and the website contains all the details on how you can do this. If you want to do even more then head on down to your local Le Creuset store and buy a few rose pink cappuccino mugs – Le Creuset will donate 30% of the sale to CANSA.

Host A Cuppa For CANSA 2014 Host A Cuppa For CANSA 2014

Host A Cuppa For CANSA 2014

How to enter to win a Le Creuset Hamper:

  • host a tea party with your friends and take a photograph / photographs of your tea party
  • tweet the photograph with the following: @tandysinclair @lecreusetsa I am hosting a #cuppaforcansa. You too can win a super prize by entering here http://wp.me/p2zhgq-4l9
  • each tweet will be considered a separate entry and you can enter via twitter as many times as you like
  • if you are not on twitter then you can email me one photograph to enter: tandy(AT)tandysinclair(DOT)com

Conditions of entry:

  • your prize will be sent to you by Nicola Pain Communications. I will not be responsible for the quality of the prize you receive
  • the prize is one Le Creuset Whistling Tea Kettle (Pink) and 2 Le Creuset 200ml Cappuccino Mugs (Pale Rose) and may not be exchanged for cash
  • entries close at midnight on the 31st of October
  • I will choose one winner at my own discretion and my decision will be final
  • the person with the most interesting tea party will ‘take the cake’
  • I will inform the winner by email. I will send one email only and if the winner does not respond within 24 hours, I will choose another winner. The winner will have to email me their winning photograph
  • The value of the prize is R900
  • Entries are open to all readers of this blog who reside in South Africa

Extra Entry:

  • All entrants to this competition will automatically be entered into the main Le Creuset customer competition, running at the same time. Three of the most inspiring tea parties will each receive a Le Creuset gift card of R1000.00, while the most inspirational tea party win a R10 000 Le Creuset shopping spree.
cuppaforcansa Host A Cuppa For CANSA 2014

#cuppaforcansa

Disclaimer: I was given a whistling tea kettle and 2 cappuccino mugs to host this give away by Nicola Pain Communications on behalf of Le Creuset. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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 Tandy

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Recipe For Quince Compote

It’s not often that I can scroll through my twitter timeline without interruption. I like to go onto it a few times a day and hopefully be inspired or be able to offer inspiration to someone. This quote from @merentia instantly caught my eye: inhale love exhale gratitude. I wonder if we all followed it, would the world be a better place? Gratitude is something I try and practice every day. It makes life a beautiful thing. This saying resonates with me on so many levels and makes me think of sitting quietly in a yoga asana and being at peace with the world. These quinces formed part of my gratitude crate and it was the first time I had ever worked with them. I decided to make a quince compote. I was given an abundance of quinces and they are not easy to work with, so patience is required. You need to ensure that you get the pips and the hard flesh surrounding the pips out of the centre. If you have never had quince compote before I can only tell you that it is similar in texture to a guava, but tastes a whole lot better. You have to poach them for a long time in order to get them nice and soft and edible. This is so worth it, and if like me you have an abundance of quinces, place them into glass jars for hostess gifts. I sent a bottle home with my parents and I hope they enjoyed the quince compote as much as we did. Here I have shown them served with yoghurt, but the majority of them were enjoyed with custard.

Quince Compote Recipe For Quince Compote

Quince Compote

Quince Compote

Adapted from Larousse Gastronomique page 286

Ingredients:

  • 12 quinces
  • 1200mls water
  • 700g vanilla sugar - I used fructose

Method:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil, and prepare a bowl of chilled water
  • Peel once quince at a time and quarter
  • Remove the entire core and cut each slice in half
  • Blanch for one minute in the boiling water
  • Refresh in the ice water and remove and set aside
  • Repeat until you have done this with all of the quinces
  • Place the water and the sugar into a large pot and bring to a simmer
  • Once the sugar has dissolved add the quinces
  • Cover with a cartouche and leave to poach
  • After 2 hours, remove the cartouche, give the quinces a mix and put the cartouche back on
  • Poach for a further 1 and a half hours until soft
  • Place into sterilized glass jars
  • Add the vanilla pods you used to make the vanilla sugar
  • Cover with the sugar syrup
  • Seal and leave to stand for 24 hours

Cooks Notes:

To make the cartouche cut baking paper into a circle to fit your pot. Cut a small hole in the middle to allow the steam to escape. For this recipe you want the liquid to simmer at 60° Celsius

http://tandysinclair.com/quince-compote/
 Recipe For Quince Compote

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In My Kitchen October 2014

Has another month just flown by? It is the 1st of October and it is time to share with you, and with Celia from Fig Jam And Lime Cordial what is new and exciting in my kitchen.

We ended up sleeping over at friends a few months ago, and when we woke up in the morning our hostess had a baking tray loaded with croissants for our breakfast. They come ready made and frozen before the second proving from a local bakery. I went out to buy a bag, and we have been enjoying these for breakfast over the weekends. I am going to perfect a recipe to make these at home, as the list of ingredients from the store bought croissants is not worth reading!

Croissants In My Kitchen October 2014

Croissants

In 2006 we were given a very second hand dish washer that has been slowly giving up its will to work. For the last 2 years we have had to turn the dial to advance it through various stages. A few Friday nights ago we had friends for dinner and I stayed up in bed reading waiting for the dishwasher to get stuck – it is quite audible. I did not hear anything and eventually fell asleep. On the Saturday morning I took the dishes out of the dish washer without really paying attention to where the dial was. It was only when I loaded the next lot of dishes in that I realized it had not quite finished the cycle. It did not get stuck but turned itself off. On the Saturday it switched itself off again without finishing the cycle and on the Tuesday it would not turn on. Not wanting to have to hand wash dishes over the weekend, Dave and I went to choose a new dish washer on the Thursday. I had two requirement – that the bottom level rungs could lie flat for pots and that it had a drawer for the cutlery. The Bosch met these requirements and have a few extra features that are fantastic, including a valve on the hose that will turn the water off if there is a leak!

Dish Washer In My Kitchen October 2014

Dish Washer

An exchange of gifts saw me taking home a dozen of this season’s duck eggs. I love them scrambled but I set 2 aside to make duck egg pasta when we had John and Dorothy over for supper. The duck eggs come from John’s farm so I thought it would be apt to feed him something made with the eggs.

Duck Eggs In My Kitchen October 2014

Duck Eggs

As part of the #MissionSamsung challenge I was sent a goody bag. This included a flask which I will make good use of when I travel to Hermanus to see customers. I can now have coffee on the go #bonus

Flask In My Kitchen October 2014

Flask

With much excitement I received my very own copy of Jerusalem. I made poached chicken the first night I got the book and the day after that I made chopped liver. This has to be the most amazing birthday present and it was sent from my dear friend Kim who lives in Perth. She shopped online with Yuppiechef and was most impressed with their service. This is why I think they rock!

Jerusalem In My Kitchen October 2014

Jerusalem

My obsession with vinegar continues and this month I got myself a bottle of raspberry vinegar – and as I opened it I could smell raspberries! I think there will be some raspberry pavlovas coming soon!

Raspberry Vinegar In My Kitchen October 2014

Raspberry Vinegar

At the recent media event I attended at Waterkloof I was given a block of Healey’s Slow Matured Cheddar. This is an exclusive, raw milk cheddar made in limited quantities and aged for 12 months in perfect conditions. There are only 700kg of this cheese available and so far I have made my way through three of these blocks. Dairy cows are pasture fed in a specific pasture for this seasonal cheese which has a strong nutty flavour. The 3 week season runs from the end of September and the cheese is hand made and retails from the estate at R46 per 200g wedge.

Slow Matured Cheddar In My Kitchen October 2014

Slow Matured Cheddar

Dave and I are due back from France today. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

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Recipe For Sweet Moravian Buns

I sometimes fail to understand the mindset of a company or organization. After more than 20 years of purchasing products from The Victorian Garden, my account was closed as I do not spend enough with them. They were quite convinced that my customers would continue buying product from them directly, or through another supplier and for all but one of my customers, this has not been the case. And as for me, well I have been buying the products from other suppliers. So, my money is still being rotated in the economy, but this company is no longer the beneficiary of it. Another company I have loyally supported for more than 20 years is The Body Shop. I bought their make-up when ever I travelled overseas and eventually they opened a store in Sandton City. Once we moved here I would buy product when I went up to Johannesburg and so of course I was quite excited when they opened a store in Somerset West. The store revamped two years ago, and with the new look came with a new manager who is most condescending. A few weeks ago I went into the store and enquired from the sales staff member who was standing next to me whether the BB cream had SPF in it and whether I needed to use a moisturiser with the ‘moisturising foundation’. She did not know the answers and told me she would ask the make-up artist. The make-up artist then came and gave me an answer totally unrelated to my question. This of course upset me as the sales staff member had not listened to my question. Once I had re-asked the questions and received the answer I continued to look at products. I then turned round to the same sales staff member who was still standing next to me and told her I had another question. Her response was to turn her back to me and call out to the store manager to come and help me. This is so rude! I made it quite clear to the store manager just how rude I thought it was – she had been hovering the entire time. And her response was to tell me exactly what type of training the staff get. Well, she clearly needs training in being polite, humble and apologetic. I interrupted her to tell her I would rather leave the store and come back when the staff were willing to help and she carried on with her rude attempt at justifying the staff behaviour telling me my questions were wrong! If this had been the first time she had been so rude to me I would have left it, but it has happened on more than one occasion where she has talked to me in a manner unbecoming a senior member of a store. It is as if she would rather not have customers. So, I headed to twitter to complain and eventually the regional manager and I resolved the issue. I had been shopping to take advantage of the buy 2 get one 1 free offer and when I went back, the staff knew I could still get the special and I was treated with the utmost respect and by friendly staff, willing to assist. The one issue here is why does it have to take a tweet to get decent service and, will I get the same service next time I go into the shop? Whenever I have a day like this one, I turn to baking for some comfort. The preciseness of baking means I have to concentrate, and it takes my mind off of the situation and helps put me in a better mood. As Moravian Cakes were next on the list of things to bake, I set my hand, and my mind to making them. I have called them buns as they do not resemble a cake in my mind.

Sweet Moravian Buns With Streusel Topping Recipe For Sweet Moravian Buns

Sweet Moravian Buns With Streusel Topping

Sweet Moravian Buns

Makes: 11

These sweet Moravian buns are amazing, with just the right amount of nuts and sweetness and a delicious crumble topping.

Ingredients:

    for the dough
  • 500g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g icing sugar - I used fructose
  • 250mls warm milk
  • 75g butter, melted
  • 15g yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • for the streusel topping (crumble)
  • 20g flour
  • 2g ground cinnamon
  • 20g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 20g butter, cubed
  • for the nut filling
  • 45g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • for the jam filling
  • 27.5mls fruit jam
  • for the buns
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Method:

    for the dough
  • Place the flour, sugar, milk, butter, yeast, salt and egg yolk into the bowl of a stand mixer
  • Knead with the dough hook on low speed for about 10 minutes
  • Cover with cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size
  • for the streusel topping
  • Place the flour, cinnamon and sugar into a bowl and mix
  • Add the butter and rub together until it resembles bread crumbs
  • for the cake
  • Preheat the oven to 170° Celsius
  • Once the dough has proved, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface
  • Roll out to 2cm thick
  • Cut using a glass or round dough cutter
  • Roll out slightly
  • Place 5mls nuts into the centre of each round
  • Fold the edges up to make a parcel
  • Shape into rounds
  • Place the parcels onto a lined baking tray, seam side down
  • Make a deep indentation in the middle of each parcel with your thumbs
  • Brush the top with the egg wash
  • Add 2.5mls jam to each indentation
  • Sprinkle 5mls of the streusel on top of each cake
  • Bake for 20 minutes
  • Leave to cool slightly in the pan before separating
  • Enjoy warm
http://tandysinclair.com/sweet-moravian-buns/
 Recipe For Sweet Moravian Buns

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Blog-checking lines: 
The September Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to us by Lucie from ChezLucie. She challenged us to make a true Czech treat –Kolaches!

Sweet Moravian Buns Recipe For Sweet Moravian Buns

Sweet Moravian Buns

What I blogged:

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

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Recipe For Olive Oil Cake

B-well sent me a bottle of their extra virgin olive oil and canola oil mix to try out. I use olive oil every day for my cooking and canola oil for my mayonnaise and salad dressing. I tried the oil in my mayonnaise but the olive oil taste is far too distinct for my palate. However, I have been using it for my cooking and it is perfect. This therefore is a great addition to my pantry and a product I know I will use more often. Given the high smoke point of the oil it can be used when cooking stir fry’s, and it is healthy to boot. When looking at how good an oil is for you, take a look at the saturated fat value as well as the monounsaturated fat value. B-well oil has a combined value of 64% monounsaturated fats.

Given that I was asked to use the oil in a recipe, and that I have wanted to make an olive oil cake for some time, this seemed like the great way to try out the oil. I could not find a recipe in any of my numerous books and so I turned to the web and found Nigella Lawson’s recipe. I could not imagine that her recipe would be anything but perfect and so I set myself the task of baking this cake at the weekend. It was amazing and you would not know that it had used oil instead of butter in the batter. In fact, I might make more cakes with oil in the future.

Olive Oil Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe For Olive Oil Cake

Olive Oil Cake with a Cream Cheese Frosting

Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients:

  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 125mls boiling water
  • 10mls vanilla extract
  • 135g flour
  • 2.5mls bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 160mls olive oil
  • 185g caster sugar - I used fructose
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 170° Celsius
  • Grease and line a springform baking tin
  • Sift the cocoa into a small bowl and whisk in the water until smooth
  • Add the vanilla and whisk to mix
  • Set aside to cool
  • Place the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix
  • Place the olive oil, sugar and eggs into the bowl of your stand mixer
  • Using the paddle attachment, cream the mixture until pale and thick
  • Start off on a slow speed and increase to a medium to high setting after 1 minute
  • Lower the speed and pour in the cocoa mixture
  • Mix until completely combined
  • Add the flour a tablespoon at a time, making sure it is completely mixed in after each addition
  • Pour the mixture into your cake tin and bake for 40 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and cool on a cake rack, in the tin for 10 minutes
  • Remove from the tin and carefully remove the baking paper
  • Leave to cool completely before icing

Cooks Notes:

This cake lasted us 4 days and was perfectly moist. I topped it with a cream cheese frosting

http://tandysinclair.com/olive-oil-cake/
 Recipe For Olive Oil Cake

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Disclaimer: I was sent a bottle of B-well oil to use in a recipe. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

What I blogged:

Tandy

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Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Nadia Barnard is the wine maker and cellar master at Waterkloof Wines and she is enthusiastic about what she does. She started in the vineyards at Waterkloof in 2008, and explained to us how Waterkloof has gone back to basics. They farm bio-dynamically and use horses in the vineyards as their hooves do no damage to the soil. Waterkloof uses natural methods of controlling ‘issues’ that arise in the vineyard and to this end have their own earthworm farm, use horse and cow manure for fertilizer and even have rabbits roaming around. Chickens are used to control the weevils and sheep keep the cover crops short.

Nadia Winemaker at Waterkloof Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Nadia, Winemaker at Waterkloof

When Paul Boutinot purchased the land, plenty of Bluegum trees were cleared to make way for the vineyards. There were a few existing vines and in 2005 a block of Sauvignon Blanc was the first to be converted to bio-dynamic principles of farming. Grapes are picked by hand and placed into crates that take 16 kilograms. These are then brought to the cellar by the horses and placed into a cooling room and left to cool overnight for freshness. This also inhibits the growth of bacteria. The grapes are then sorted by hand, with only the best grapes being chosen to make wine. The berries are placed into a tank and then dropped into a fermenter. The aim is to avoid any bitterness on the wines. The grapes are gently ‘stomped’ by machine to break the berries. Some of the grapes will be stomped the ‘old fashioned’ way by foot and Nadia encourages anyone to come along and assist with the chaos that is harvest.

Grape Stomping By Machine Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Grape Stomping By Machine

Energy is used to ferment the grapes naturally, with no yeast being added to the process and the lees are left in suspension. For example, Chenin Blanc will take 4 months to ferment naturally. The grapes will be left on the skin for about a month which leads to a longer alcoholic fermentation. This means that there will be no need to batonage. It also builds on the palate structure of the wine. By using natural fermentation the process can take up to 15 months and we saw this first hand last year with the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. The red grapes will be placed into wooden fermenters which come from France, and these give off heat. Rhone varietals such as the Cinsualt, which is a bush vine, are taken off the stem and fermented in whole bunches.

Wine Fermentation Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Wine Fermentation

Pressing is done very gently to ensure the best wine. White grapes are pressed with a drum press in whole bunches and the basket press is used for red grapes. The juice will be tasted at this stage and then left to settle in a barrel or tank. Older vines have a lower yield as the berries are smaller and the fruit more concentrated.

Wine Pressing Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Wine Pressing

The Cinsault is barrel fermented in 600 litre barrels and then barrel aged for 9 months. Other Rhone varietals will be left in the barrel for between 15 and 16 months. The Bordeaux wines will be placed into 225 litre barrels and 20 – 30% is aged in new oak.

Good Wine Takes Time Wine Making At Waterkloof Wines

Good Wine Takes Time

As Nadia says “the wines from Waterkloof express what is in the vineyard”, and in my opinion that is the most important reason why these wines are some of the ones of choice at my table.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the media lunch by Random Hat Communications as a guest of Waterkloof Wine Estate. I was not asked to blog about my experience. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

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Tandy

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Recipe For Braised Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is slowly cooked in white wine with a hint of ginger, making it the perfect accompaniment to winter dinners.

What type of drunk are you? And by that, I don’t mean what type of alcoholic are you, I mean, what are you like after one sip too many? I want to go straight to sleep after I have had one too many sips of red wine. In fact, one night I bid goodnight to Dave and Alex and went upstairs and left them to chat. Dave is completely different from me and gets quite chatty. We have a few friends who get loud and fun and then we have a friend who gets violent when she has had too much to drink. A few weeks ago we were at a whisky vs wine evening and I had far too much to drink. Each of the 4 courses were accompanied by a generous tot of whisky and a decent glass of wine. Sadly for me, the tiredness kicked in, I don’t remember what the last whisky tasted like and I was asleep in the car quite soon after we left. It has made me quite resolved to never drink over my limit again and so far I am proud of achieving this. I usually don’t drink a lot in any case, but drinking less when socialising is not that easy to do. I have to convince those people around us that I am quite happy making one glass of wine last me and entire meal.

Another thing that lasted quite long was this braised red cabbage. Part of my crate included one very large red cabbage and I decided to try something new and braise the cabbage. It loses its vibrant colour a bit but the taste is amazing and we enjoyed the cabbage with several meals.

Braised Red Cabbage Recipe For Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is slowly cooked in white wine with a hint of ginger, making it the perfect accompaniment to winter dinners.

Ingredients:

  • 15mls olive oil
  • 10g butter
  • 1 onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 5cm root ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 250mls white wine

Method:

  • Place the oil and the butter into a large frying pan and heat until the butter has melted
  • Add the onion and ginger and sauté until soft
  • Add the cabbage and season generously
  • Add the wine, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 45 minutes
http://tandysinclair.com/braised-red-cabbage/
 Recipe For Braised Red Cabbage

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

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Tandy

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Thursday’s Children, Nicci French

Thursday’s Children opening line: It started with a reunion and it ended with a reunion and Frieda Klein hated reunions.

Thursdays Children Thursdays Children, Nicci French

Thursday’s Children

If you had read my review for Waiting For Wednesday you would probably wonder why I chose a second Nicci French book, but it was not until after I read Thursday’s Children that I went back to read my review of Waiting For Wednesday. Having read the book that preceded Thursday’s Children made it much easier to read. I understood the story better and I understood Frieda better.

This book took me two days to read and it delved into Frieda’s past and explains what makes her so intimidating in her present. It is about how our lives always connect with people we once knew, and how dangerous people are lurking amongst the shadows. Frieda is given the chance to heal her past, and solve a crime that should have been taken seriously when she was 16.

If you want to read this book then do yourself a favour and get the ones before it to better understand all the characters.

First published in Great Britain by the Penguin Group in 2014

ISBN number 978-0-718-15700-5

Paperback – 421 pages

Disclaimer: I was sent the book to review by Penguin Books South Africa. I was not required to write a positive review. This disclaimer is in line with my blogging policy.

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

What I blogged:

 
Tandy

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Recipe For Oregano Oil

Many people think that taking a tortoise out of the wild and bringing them home is a great idea. What they do not know is that these tortoises cannot be re-introduced into the wild in most circumstances. In 2007 Cape Nature gave me two tortoises to home. They had been taken out of the wild and kept in captivity by someone who had ‘lost interest’ in looking after them. She had five tortoises and all five needed to be rehomed. One of the conditions of rehoming them is that we do not allow them to breed. You cannot stop them from mating, but Cape Nature asked that we destroy the eggs. We took home two females, one of which had already been ‘covered’ by the male. Unfortunately, I did not know she had laid a clutch of eggs, and I only discovered this when I found a baby tortoise. We had really bad rain storms and she drowned as a result of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as a part of my garden flooded.

Stanley Recipe For Oregano Oil

Stanley

A few years ago a friend told me they had found 4 tortoises on her father-in-law’s farm. He had brought them back from the West Coast over a period of time. My friend had plans to just return them into the wild but I told her this was not a good idea. I took 3 of them to keep but nature has intervened here. We had devastating wild fires in our area and the eagles moved closer to the village to catch their prey, and the very small tortoises became an easy target for them.

Now, the purpose of this post is not about my tortoises but on why they need to be left where they are – or kept in captivity. Tortoises can only be released into the wild into the region they originate from. Ordinarily, if a tortoise is to be released, it needs to be released into the exact region they come from as determined by genetic testing. Tortoises cannot be released into the wild if they are ill, or are suffering from an incurable disease or terminal illness. They cannot be released into the wild if they carry a transmittable disease, have parasites or are injured. Furthermore, if a tortoise has been kept in captivity – even if free to roam in your garden – for more than two months, it cannot be released into the wild. If you know for a fact that the tortoise has been out of its own environment for less than two months it still needs to be quarantined before being released. And, an expert needs to determine the best area for release so that the tortoise is released into a friendly, safe, and healthy environment.

If you find a tortoise in your garden and do not know what to do with it, please contact your local Nature Conservation Society. The most important factor here is to rather leave the tortoise where it belongs, in the wild. As I want my tortoises to be as close to their natural environment as possible I grow herbs and plants in my garden that they would find in the wild. I have a lot of indigenous plants and I know that this will provide enough food for them. I do however keep a bird bath at ground level full of water so that they have ready access to it.

One of my most prolific herbs is oregano and so as to not share all of it with the tortoise, I used some up to flavour extra virgin olive oil. You can use any herb of your choice here so let your imagination run wild!

Oregano Oil Recipe For Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil

Oregano Oil

Herb oils are easy to make and so versatile to use. Here I provide you with a recipe using fresh oregano but you can use any herb that you have growing in your garden.

Ingredients:

  • 5g oregano leaves
  • 150mls olive oil

Method:

  • Place the oregano leaves into a mortar
  • Add 15mls olive oil and bash the leaves with the pestle
  • Add a further 45mls of olive oil and mix in
  • Pour into a sterilized glass bottle
  • Top with the rest of the olive oil
  • Leave to stand for 24 hours before using
http://tandysinclair.com/oregano-oil/
 Recipe For Oregano Oil

Click on the links for conversions and notes.

Dave and I are away in France and we will be back at work on the 1st of October. I will start replying to blog comments then. You can read our daily diary of our trip by clicking here.

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Tandy

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Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Situated 11 kilometres from our house, The Restaurant at Waterkloof Wines is our destination of choice when dining out. This year we have enjoyed Greg’s food on 6 occasions at the restaurant as customers and once as members of their wine club. The wine club event was hosted by Paul Boutinot who refers to himself as the custodian of the estate. Paul explained how he wanted specific factors when choosing where in the world to grow his grapes and make his wines, and I for one am extremely grateful he chose the slopes of the Schapenberg Mountains. These are the mountains I gaze upon from our balcony at home.

Welcome To Waterkloof Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Welcome To Waterkloof

I was invited to a media lunch and it is the first time I have been to Waterkloof as a blogger. This offered up a unique experience for me as part of the day included a cellar tour, something I have not done before. While waiting for everyone to arrive we sat on the balcony overlooking False Bay on the new couches designed by Greg. We were offered the Circumstance Cape Coral 2014 to sip on. This rosé wine is made from Mouvèdre grapes and is naturally acidic with hints of strawberry and a very floral nose, hinting at the fynbos that grows all over the estate. I am currently savouring the 2011 vintage at home, often using it to marinade venison.

Circumstance Cape Coral Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Circumstance Cape Coral

The next wine we were offered was the Seriously Cool Cinsault 2013. The term seriously cool relates to the wind and climate at Waterkloof, but to me this is a seriously cool wine and one of my favourites. It is dry with spices and licourice on the palate. Accompanying the wine were ploughman’s platters. These platters are served in the tasting room which is open from 10h00 to 16h30. Wine tastings start from R30 and the platter costs R130 and will easily satisfy two people. It comes with pork terrine, a variety of cheeses including Healey’s Cheddar, chutney, pickles, preserves and olives. Chat to Zandri in the tasting room for more information.

Seriously Cool Cinsault Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Seriously Cool Cinsault

Nadia Barnard, the winemaker and cellar master at Waterkloof, loves the diversity of her work and it shows in her enthusiasm when she talks about what she does at the estate. Nadia showed us around the cellar, explaining in detail the ethos of wine making at Waterkloof. At Waterkloof, each block is separately fermented before blending. About 30% of the wines are barrel fermented and the Rhone varietals are treated differently to the Bordeaux wines. I will go into this in more detail in a separate post as the entire process is extremely interesting.

Nadia Barnard Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Nadia Barnard

In the cellar we tasted the Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc 2014 which is grown on the south facing, slightly warmer slope of the Schapenberg. The wine has a very mineral nose and peach on the palate. Our first wine with lunch was the Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc 2014. I love that the label states that this is a wine of circumstance which ties it in to the Circumstance wines. This wine has excellent stone fruit on the nose and a crisp finish and is my second favourite of the whites from the estate. My first being the Viognier which has a lovely lemon hint to it, which we tasted at the One & Only dinner where Ruben collaborated with Greg to showcase Waterkloof.

Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc and Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Circumstance Sauvignon Blanc and Seriously Cool Chenin Blanc

Lunch was to showcase the spring menu that we can expect from Greg in the coming months, but as it is still not quite spring I expect that some of these dishes will change. Our amuse bouche was seared duck with an Asian broth and radish.

seared duck with an Asian broth and radish Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

seared duck with an Asian broth and radish

This was then followed by poached marron and langoustine served with a very light fennel panna cotta.

poached marron and langoustine Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

poached marron and langoustine

We were then given the maiden vintage of the Circumstance Cabernet Franc 2012 to accompany braised lamb with a hint of Moroccan spices. This varietal is grown on a site which has moderate temperatures and is picked early and then barrel aged for 15 to 18 months. It is full of black pepper on the nose.

Circumstance Cabernet Franc Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Circumstance Cabernet Franc

This course was followed by a pre dessert and then dessert was served. A pineapple curd with guava foam and avocado ice cream. I ended my afternoon with a single espresso and some petit fours.

Sweet Endings Wine Tasting At Waterkloof

Sweet Endings

I hope that this will encourage you to take a drive to Waterkloof and sample some if not all that they have to offer.

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend the media lunch by Random Hat Communications as a guest of Waterkloof Wine Estate. I was not asked to blog about my experience. This post is in line with my blogging policy.

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Tandy

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