Sunday, March 11, 2007

Autumn Avo Feast

I know Autumn is on its way, when the avocados in the shops are suddenly affordable again. All through summer I’ve been turning my nose up at the over-priced facsimiles of avos that have probably been traumatised by cold storage to keep them going out of season. Yesterday the price had finally plummeted to its winter level, at last they are in season again. Now for licensed avo over-indulgence. Bread and cheeses lunches are transformed by generous quantities of creamy pale green ripe avo splurged onto fresh bread, maybe with the last summer tomatoes from our veggie garden sliced on top and the merest sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavour.

When winter is truly here and the tomatoes lose their flavour, an explosive taste combination can be had by spreading a thin layer of tangy black olive paste on the bread first before enveloping it in a mountain of avocado. One special jar from Kloovenberg, a wine estate, that does wonderful things with olives, lasted an entire winter by judicious application and jealous hoarding but now it is gone.
This tapenade for me is streets ahead of caviar, which just doesn't do it for me. A visit to Riebeeck Kasteel is on the cards for when my mother visits soon! There are also the most exquisite green olives in a lime infused brine, from the Olive Boutique in Riebeeck Kasteel.

Another sign that summer is waning, is the sudden swan-song burst of heat theat often grabs us in March. It’s as if the unusually cool February we’ve just had, has frustrated the sun into a last outpouring of heat, just to keep us on our toes:

‘No relaxing into leaving windows open all day, going without suncream, leaving off the mozzie nets, thinking you don’t need to regas the car aircon, I’m still high in the sky calling the shots, we’re not at the autumn equinox yet.’

So we switch the ceiling fans on once more, put the fleeces and blankets away again, forget our ideas of getting back into cooking stews, pies and casseroles for a few weeks longer. Braais and salads are still on the menu for a while longer.


  1. Ok ok ok... I am now drooling for that creamy green flesh and the tapenade... I have this pathetic avo from Waitrose that just will not get ripe even though it was bought as a "ripe and ready to eat"...and I have tried all the usual things and now have resorted to putting it in my drying cupboard!

  2. We have two pathetic avos on our kitchen window. What's most frustrating about them here is that often they go off before they go ripe. Oh, for an SA avo!

  3. Avos and bananas were a revelation for me when we came here - they do actually ripen without going black and they taste of something.

  4. Tanya, I trie dto comment on your blog but some Typepad blogs aren't letting me comment, I ended up in Charlotte's spam folder for a few weeks..just to let you know I am reading though.

  5. You're going into autumn, we're just entering Spring. What a world. The Avos sound wonderful.

  6. Every time I go past avo's I stand there for a while, drooling a little, hoping that maybe, this time, the price will have come down to something resembling reasonable... after a while I stopped looking - it was too painful! But this is good news - that they are coming closer to costing something less than two arms, an ear and a leg.

    Given your love for olives, will you be going to the Riebeeck Valley Olive Festival? I've not been, as yet, but I am most definitely going to check it out this year.

  7. Hope that avo enriched your lunch table Charlotte.

    I haven't made it to the Riebeeck Olive festival yet, Pia, more from a cowardly avoidance of crowded events with three young children in tow than from not wanting to. Maybe this year I'll make it too.


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