AFRICAN VILLA GUEST DIARY
This is a page dedicated to our visitors. We welcome stories and pictures from our past guests with something to share of their experiences in our part of the world.
SOME INTERESTING FRIENDS WE HAVE MADE THIS WEEK:
Karen Tennyson and Lynn Landers yet more fun folks from Seattle came to us via our favourite U.S.A agents Mills Tours and Travel. They were very taken with the flavours of our local Cape Malay culture having eaten BOBOTIE (a spiced mince bake which is subtle while being flavourful (talk of an Irishism!). I promised to le them have a recipe and here it is:
A couple of onions (chopped and browned in a some oil/butter)
Add some curry powder – according to taste (maybe a tablespoon?)
Add enough minced beef (originally lamb but no-one does that now!) and brown a little in the oil
Soak a slice of white bread with crusts removed in a cup of milk.
Squeeze out the milk and reserve.
Mix the crumbled bread into the browned meat with a spoon.
Throw in a half a cup of seedless raisins or sultanas and a desert spoon of vinegar and a desert spoon of sugar (brown?).
Add a cup of beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
Toast a half a cup of shaved almonds over a medium heat in a pan and add to the mince (keep a few to decorate).
Remove the Mince mixture from the heat.
Add 2 eggs to the reserved milk should be about 1 cup or so.
Put the mince into an oven-proof dish and stick three bay leaves into it.
Pour over the egg/milk mixture and float the almonds on top. Bake for about 30 minutes in a medium oven – don’t burn the custard topping .
Serve with rice to which has been added some Turmeric in the cooking (to colour it yellow) and some seedless rains (‘Graveyard Rice’). Also have a variety of sambals in separate small dishes (chopped tomato, banana, cucumber, green peppers, chutney, desiccated coconut, etc)
Joanne and Janey from Seattle stayed last month and took a lot of pictures of the house. Great to have you here! Here is a pic of you guys and also of the lovely bif Kusu head in the library – no animals were harmed in the taking of the latter photo!
Mikael Söderström became European Champion in the Trophèe Ruinart in 1990. The rest of this Swedish group who stayed with us wine enthusiasts travelling with with Mikael. This has been an association going back some 20 years. Mikael is now working with IT business and still has contacts with many wine producers around the world as well as with Swedish wine importers. He now writes articles in a Swedish magazine for cuisine and wine.
Per and Yvonne Unege Had a great time with us – Yvonne is in the PR department of one of the largest Funfirs in the world – and it’s in Sweden! Liseberg Amusement Park – see www.liseberg.com/
Actress LAURA CANAVAN her husband RONAN HAYES visited from the UK .
TEDI MARSH was with us for a few days and kindly gave us a ‘pre-Christmas’ gift of 2 of her latest CDs ‘Journey of My Heart’ and ‘With Me Again’- they are now played and loved regularly in the lounge of the Villa – easy-listening jazz. Tedi’s a US-based singer/songwriter who really deserves to be better known in SA. Thanks Tedi! Take a look at her website www.tedimarsh.com.
Honor May Eldrige and Maria Hayden stayed for 4 nights and then came back again – YAY!
The Gokhales: We are in love with S. Africa. This is one beautiful country with breathtaking landscapes and scenic drives. Not only the country….but also its people are befittingly lovely, lively and out there for you. We were particularly touched by the staff and owner of Col ‘Cacchio Pizzeria at Cavendish Square which served us some delicious wood fired pizzas and very interesting salad as well.
Like this was not enough, we just happened to inquire of a particular desert wine Boplas Muscadel which we wanted to carry back home. As soon as the owner got to know that he spun into action. He first called up several stores in the mall and when he found out that the wine was out of stock he never gave up!!. He then started calling up wine stores in the vicinity and came back to us with the exact name and location of the wine store which stocked the wine. All this while we enjoyed a sumptuous meal at his restaurant!! One of his staff had told us if anyone can find you this wine its this man and he did it with ease for two strangers !!. Please convey our special thanks to him if possible. Hirawati & Amol Gokhale (Mumbai) – THANKS GUYS (FOR LOVING OUR COUNTRY!)
It was great to have Ryan Phillips (DJ on the Irish Radio Station SPIN1038) and girlfriend Orla staying with us this week! – You can read on their website http://www.spin1038.com/ that Ryan ‘doesn’t enjoy baths’ but this was not noticeable during his stay at the Villa!!! ….“Ryan is built like a kangaroo, with freakishly small hands, but big feet (no pouch), he can play many musical instruments (none of them well) and he doesn’t enjoy baths. His favourite food is a plain burger and chips, and he doesn’t like when people judge plain burger eaters, saying “we are real people, we have feelings too”.”
Guido and Thera Stein (Rubgy lovers from the Netherlands – how unusual is THAT? – see the S.A. Springbok badge on his T-shirt). They had a noisy and fun time watching the Province/Lions Match at Rafiki’s Restaurantbar http://rafikis.co.za/find-us/ just a few blocks from the Villa. Pleased to say that the local team managed to win in the last seconds of the match!
DHL Western Province 9 Golden Lions 22 – September 29, 2012 DHL Western Province went down 9-22 to the defending champion MTN Golden Lions in their Absa Currie Cup encounter at DHL Newlands.
Jose Sotto-Mayer: from Portugal gave me lessons in Port wine- he enjoyed the complimentary Port which we put out in the evenings for guests to drink but, being from the area in Portugal after which the original wine is named, he filled in some of the gaps for us about ‘the real thing’ – thanks for offering to send us a bottle of your favourite sometime, Jose!
As you can see, Jose’s city is just as gorgeous as Cape Town! He visits often to offer products for shoe manufacture so he knows our city well. See you again soon, Jose!
Cathy Groenendijk is one of our recent clients (she and her husband Morten are from Norway and have bought land in Simons Town where they are building a holiday house for their family). Like many of our visitors she is a lady with a purpose. She has established an organisation called Confident Children of Conflict (www.confidentchidren.org) whose mission is to “create an enabling environment for orphans and vulnerable children and young adults, to emerge from conflict and give them the opportunity to develop confidence in their own capabilities to have a meaningful future and contribute to a peaceful South Sudan.”
The stories she tells are typically heartrending but the work she is doing is clearly uplifting.
Many of our guests are involved in work with deprived communities in our country. And many are the parents of young people who have elected to come to our continent to help with house building, schooling, health care and numerous other urgently needed services. These young people clearly grow from their experiences and do a tremendous amount of good.
We have a regular visit, for example, from a group of Post Graduate students from the Rutgers University under the tutorship of Dr. Darren Clarke and colleagues such as Barbara Trueger in the division of Continuing Education and Global Outreach http://gse.rutgers.edu/southafrica) . These young people demonstrate inspiring leadership qualities and it is a privilege to be associated with them.