Friday, March 26, 2010

Delving Into the Goodie Bag

The Cape Town Food Bloggers Conference on Sunday is nearly a week gone, but the flavours are lingering. Some in the memory, like Jenny Morris’ wonderful pear and blue cheese tart which has outlived all the other wonderful lunch dishes in my taste bud memory bank, and my first ever sushi from Saul's (I’ve lived on a farm with small kids for a long time now!). Other flavours brought home in the hefty goodie bag to peruse at leisure or inhale rapidly (like the Lindt chocolate bar).

I got lucky and won a whole box of Kara’s Original Greek herb and spice mix. I decided to try it out as a marinade for some beef strips, which I was briefly stir frying to go in tortillas, along with some extra garlic and olive oil. Mixing culinary metaphors de luxe here I know, but I couldn’t see any reason why tortillas shouldn’t have a Greek flavour once in a while. The verdict from my family was positive and I really liked the simplicity of the Greek herbs, transporting me straight to a Mediterranean shore and a dry scrubby island hillside scratchy with wild herbs. Oregano, rosemary, garlic, mustard and black pepper are listed as ingredients and I can see them going wonderfully with chunks of lamb char-grilled over the coals of our next braai. So thanks Kara, I've never yet been to Greece, but now I can waft there on an aroma of herby freshness!

The other thing I’ve sampled was the Verlaque balsamic reduction with Persian pomegranate. It’s a sweet fruity vinegar infusion, gentle in flavour and perfect for salads where you don’t want too aggressive a dressing. I tried it drizzled over sliced avocado and tomatoes and it mellowed nicely to a background note of fruit.

The Lindt chocolate bar is long gone. Mine was a crème brulée version, really rich and sweet, more like a pudding than a bar of chocolate and I swore it was too sweet for me… yet the packet is empty and I alone am responsible!

Non-food memories of the event are the fun of meeting fellow South African bloggers for the first time, listening to some excellent talks by Cooksister, Juno, Sam and Nina, and gathering new impetus to add life to my nearly four year old blog. My blogiversary is next week and the old lady (borrowing from Charlotte’s imagery on her 4th blog birthday) desperately needs a facelift, or at least a haircut and a new outfit.

I now intend to take the tripod into the kitchen more often and give myself more time to take photos before the food is devoured, find a new banner photo, who knows where the old one disappeared to, update my blog roll and post more consistently. My blog is unlikely to become a pure food blog, despite all the inspiration from the conference, as the family, farm and snippets of life here will always be jostling for room, but our life here does revolve around food, no day complete without it, and my blogging will always be a reflection of that.

So here's to another year of food and flavours. Now I need to figure out what to do with the organic coconut oil from Kapruka. Any ideas?


  1. So glad you're reinspired, by the flavours and talks of the foodbloggers. I always look forward to your posts, Kit, whether they are food or family, or both.

    Coconut oil! Lucky you. It's wonderful for cooking with and lends food a more delicate flavour than olive oil. I have to admit to eating it straight - it's full of lauric acid (which is also in breast milk) and so has a myriad health benefits including shiny skin and hair.

  2. What a lovely post, Kit. Your blog is always a pleasure to read.

  3. Yes! Yes! A new banner - maybe one with a PHOTO! Perhaps some color around the edges or a new background!

    Hit us with the works, Kit. We can take it.

  4. Fabulous reading. So enjoyed reliving through your mind the pleasures of that day. Thank you so much Kit. I am going to share your link on my facebook for Verlaque and Kara to see your blogpost. Don't change your posts. Reading about your family and life on the farm is soooo enjoyable and allows us townies to experience a little bit of what you do. Hugs for the new week xx

  5. The Lindt crème brulée was very good, I didn't share mine either!
    I think the best thing to do with coconut oil is chocolate cake (actually any cake). You substitute it for the butter and it works perfectly. A very healthy alternative to butter.
    Basically anything which uses butter you can use coconut oil - but be careful, it's addictive and the down side it is more expensive than butter!
    I have done lots of coconut oil baking, so you can check out my site if to start your search.

  6. You can't not love a goodie bag that includes a slab of Lindt!Yum!

  7. Kit -

    Here is a website dedicated to recipes that include organic coconut oil:

    Let us know if any of them work out!

    - M

  8. Lovely post, as always, Kit! It was great to see you again - juts a pity y oucould not join us for sushi the following Friday... The goodie bags were exceptional, weren't they??


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!