What better way to bid winter farewell and welcome summer than to have one last binge with winter comfort food shared with family.
I have the perfect and easy recipe for just such an occasion. This recipe came to me from my sister whose children aptly named it the Coffee Toffee Pudding. I share this recipe and trust that others will also enjoy it as much as we do.
250 ml cake flour
15 ml baking powder
175 ml sugar
25 ml cocoa powder
175 ml milk
160 ml cooking oil
5 ml vanilla essence
For the topping :
250 ml brown sugar
25 ml cocoa powder
10 ml coffee powder
350 ml boiling water
Sift all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
Lightly beat the milk, oil and vanilla essence together and mix with the dry ingredients.
Pour the dough into an oven proof dish . The dish should big enough to allow space so that the sauce doesn’t bubble over in the oven.
Sift the brown sugar, cocoa powder, and coffee over the dough and pour boiling water over.
Bake in an oven at 180C for 35 minutes.
The sugar, coffee and cocoa forms a thick toffee like sauce during the baking process which lead to the name Coffee Toffee Pudding.
I trust that you will enjoy the three C’s of winter comfort as much as we do !
Five weeks ago I stared out on my walking project and I must confess I wondered whether I would make it to Chefane. Now here I am !!! I really did stick to the walking and I learnt a lot about this wonderful part of the South African coastline. One thing I learnt about myself is that I am generally physically a bit ( yes more than just a bit) lazy. I would much rather read a book or do something creative with my hands than exercise. However the idea of being able to research another destination to walk to, combined with my fear of failure motivated me and after five weeks I think I have established a pattern.
During the five weeks I covered a distance of 30 km as I made a slight detour inland in week 4. Now after having reached the first goal I decided to go to Morgan Bay and the Kei Mouth area as I saw that there are many wonderful and interesting places to visit.In the next few weeks I will slowly make my way along the coast. I am looking forward to my next few weeks and the adventures I will experience albeit only in my imagination.
One of the things on my living list is to learn to paint. I took the plunge a while ago keeping in mind the words of a wonderful older lady. At the age of 80 plus she still paints and says: ” If I am feeling out of sorts I paint. After transferring all the feelings onto the canvas, I throw it away as it has served its purpose” ( In Afrikaans she said: ” Ek verf al my geite weg en dan gooi ek dit weg!” )
I thought if she could approach painting in such a way so can I. After all it doesn’t matter if the painting isn’t perfect. So there I was, everything ready staring at a blank canvas! What an intimidating and scary feeling. No classes yet, just me, the paint, the canvas and the brushes.If I don’t try I will never know whether I can do it.
My youngest daughter had art as subject at school and she gave me basic ideas. The first few canvasses did indeed end in the trash! It looked horrible. Not only did I mix the wrong colours together, ending with sick looking greys and greeny browns but the perspectives were quite wrong. Nevertheless, I enjoyed messing around with the paint and brushes and resolved to try again.
After many trials and stops and starts, I at last painted something which was more or less acceptible, not yet hang on the wall acceptible but at least not the throw away immediately type.
I still think I need to attend art classes and it stays firmly on my to do living list
It is Wednesday again and time to report on week 2 of my walking project. I am happy to say that I kept to my schedule of walking 4 times per week for 15 minutes. I must confess that I am totally intimidated by the idea of having to report I didn’t make it. So the accountability seems to be working! Add to that the fact that 15 minutes is beginning to feel easier, with less heartpounding and aching legs. I will try to reach 20 minutes walking by next week and will report back here.
This week I reached the Kwelera River Mouth and found it to be such a beautiful place that I decided to take a short detour along the riverbanks to the various resorts and fishing spots. The Kwelera River is an untouched estuarine system that holds some very big Kob and Spotted Grunter and is a popular spot with fisherman.
I read that there is a 6km hiking trail between Sunrise-on -Sea and the Kwelera River Mouth. The trail leads along the banks of the river at low tide, so timing is of essence if one wants to walk along the beach. A footpath allows access up the western bank giving a full view of the landscape carved through the sandstone. I walked this trail on my treadmill keeping the beautiful pictures that I have seen on various websites in mind.
After much thought and research I decided to go to the Wildcoast for my first stretch of walking. I will walk the Jikeleza route from Gonubie in East London to Chefane a distance of about 25 km. Jikeleza means to wander or meander in Zulu and I intend to do just that, stopping at various places of interest along the way.
It was a bit difficult to determine the exact distances, and I worked with the above scaled map, following the red dotted line along the coast. I walked 4 times this week for 15 minutes @ 6km per hour,which means I walked 6 km. So little? you might think. For me it was quite an achievement.
So first stop was at theDriftwood Studios an artgalley and studio which offers accommodation and studio space to artists. It also offers accommodation for tourists.
The next stop was at the Albatros Studio, situated near to Sunrise Beach. In my mind’s eye, I spent time on the beautiful beach watching the sun shimmering on blue seas. Hope you enjoyed my adventure with me and will join me again next Wednesday.
You might remember I mentioned in a previous post that I have been dealt some very rocky and sticky chocolate days lately. My mother’s health has been steadily deteriorating and the physical and emotional stress that I experience because of this has been mounting.
To find a way to decompress the stress and relax at night before going to bed was a very big challenge for me. Then my sister unwittingly presented me with the solution. She gave me a pair of handknitted mittens as a present and also showed me how to knit them.
The very next day found me sitting in bed knitting away just before going to sleep. The steady clicking of the needles, the feeling of the soft wool in my hands, the beautiful colours and the concentration it took not to miss or loose the stitches, were so relaxing that I continued knitting. Now I am the owner of a mountain of mittens in various colours and sizes. Well, I thought, I have presents for next winter for everyone in my family and my sanity is intact!
Anthropologists think that early man gathered grain and stored it for later use. Wheat grew in Mesopotamia and Egypt. It was probably initially just chewed.The first breads were made from grains and seeds harvested from existing wild plants. Later it was discovered that the grains could be ground and the ensuing “flour” mixed with water. It was moulded into cakes, which were dried in the sun or baked in coals.
Around 1000 BC, it was thought that fermentation was discovered, probably by accident. It is believed that some bread was left outside long enough to attract wild yeast spores, causing fermentation. This caused the dough to trap gas bubbles and rise and the technique spread to all countries bordering the Mediterranean. (History of Bread. bread.com.au)
Today I am going to show you what can be done with the store bought dough of a loaf of bread. My family call it a breadbasket and it makes a wonderful Saturday night meal.
Use any vegetables of your choice, add chunks of chicken if preferred. Lightly stirfry the vegetables in olive oil and set aside.Don’t overcook as the vegetables will become too soft.
With a rolling pin roll the store bought dough to a thickness of about 2cm. Spread a thin layer of tomato paste on the base and add a little grated mozzarella cheese. Roughly form a basket with your hands on a baking tray, then fill the basket with stirfried vegetables. Sprinkle seasoning over the vegetables.If the dough does’nt stay in a basket form use toothpicks to secure the dough to some of the vegetables.
Bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated oven 180 C. Enjoy your daily bread.