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eat. cook. write.

February 19, 2011

House of Gimp

Living in digs on a low budget comes with its challenges. The biggest issue is one of household appliances. All four girls bought their own kettle to the party, and there was one resident when we arrived. The big question is: Which one to use? Nemo proposed a kettle race.We’ll line them all up (in separate rooms so as not to trip the power) then:  ready, steady go.

Since then we have decided on hosting an Appliance Olympics.

Fish: “My kettle will definitely lose, it doesn’t switch itself off.”
Nemo: “Yeah but it will cross the line ahead of the all- burning toaster”
Whale: “But wait! The gimpy vacuum cleaner might be a strong contender.”
Squid: (me) “And in the left corner we have the retarded oven with only one rack and no concept of constant temperature.”
Whale: “Limping in last is the fridge.”
Squid: (groans) “The non- sealing fridge.”
Nemo: “The fridge rounds the corner…it’s sweating, no wait- it’s actually leaking.”
Squid: “Actually, we need to have a separate paraplegic Olympics for the oven and the fridge. Also the telkom line that got cut off, with the double handicap of a hazardous cross-passage extension cord…”
Fish( interruping): “What about my bleeding bed?”

Wait. Bleeding bed?

Well: “The mattress is red. So it got wet, I think I drooled on it; and it made a red puddle on the floor.”

February 13, 2011

Digg this

And… she’s back. Things have changed.

Gone are the joys of living in a seaside town, of fresh fish, Woolworths food stores, and drinking cappucinos in between shopping missions. Gone is Mrs X’s purse; which granted me the opportunity to flit from store to store to store like Robert Mugabe’s wife (just buying veggies- not diamonds.)

Gone is my kitchen with a million baking trays, a functional oven, and the stove that boiled water in two minutes.  Gone is the German electric slicer, three fridges and two freezers that I used to fill to the brim.

Most sadly, I am removed from the three people who used to wash my dishes as fast as I could fill the sink.

It’s time to start varsity again and I am back in Grahamstown. Lectures start tomorrow (gnnnnn gnnn gnashing teeth).

I’ve moved myself into our house. We call student communes diggs, and mine is an old wooden-floored, high- ceilinged relic that I share with three other girls. Allow me to introduce Fish, Whale and Nemo: Tenants of The Respectable House.

We arrived to find mould covered walls, and boxes of useless junk left by the last tenants who were clearly not concerned with hygiene. It’s been a deep- scrubbing, box- heaving week that sucked up the last days of vacation in a blur of happy reunions and new discoveries.

The weather has lived up to Grahamstown expectations; it’s been murky, a little rainy and generally mad hot. Nemo and I were wilting so we made some iced tea. (i. e. heaven)

Refreshing Iced Tea

February 04, 2011

Wakka wakka. Cook on holiday

So, Mrs X normally likes to extend her stay in Hermanus to escape the grossly cold weather in th UK.

For a period last week the weather on our fair coast became ghastly. Howling winds, rain, the works. Consequently she cut her visit short prematurely. Of course I'm sad because well, I love my job and still had loads of recipes I wanted to try. But people always leave and thats ok. I just pack my bags and go squat with friends and family in Cape Town (squat in the informal settling sense of the word).

I made cupcakes and veg for my Aunts 60th Birthday. I love these family affairs. We all bring salad and men braai and wine flows, and tears too, (if its something as special as a 60th where the best stories get told).

Yes, for those who live in Grahamstown, these bad boys will soon be on sale from Black Pepper Plum catering. 
I've helped to move my little sis into her flat, and dropped her off at things like the UCT freshers braai.  Oh my word it's fun to be a student. But you don't care what I've been doing. What, you may ask, has she been eating?

Memorable meals include last night's wrap. My friend A reckons he has solved the admin of buying fresh chicken, he just marinades it out the freezer and then slow cooks them- semi- defrosted breasts. Surprisingly yum. Have decided that coriander is pivotal to wraps; and Woolworths red pepper pesto also does it's bit in perking things up. 

Dinner at the Ocean Basket in town ( the original one where the test kitchen is) was disappointing. The food took more than an hour to get to the table and the calamari wasn't that sha-na-na. In their defence I was down with some serious sinusitis at this point (sorry, I know; a word that shouldn't appear on a food blog but hey that's how it goes). Sometimes one has to taste with your eyes and pile on the fresh chilli in an attempt to coax your tastebuds into function by burning them into oblivion. 

I went for lunch in Camp's Bay at The Pepper Club. Very average food but lovely wine and a lovely view. I had some Sinful Ice- cream for dessert however and that made my day. Honeycomb ice- cream certainly does like to be studded with chunks of dark chocolate. The passion fruit sorbet, I reckon, cured my sore throat and gave me back my voice which was disappearing into a haggard cough at that stage. It makes sense doesn't it? You ice your hamstrings when they hurt, why not ice that throat when it's itchy and sore and sick?

If you're worried that that the back of Mrs X means no more foodie posts: never fear. The cook is just on holiday. I'll be stopping off in Herms on the way to Grahamstown, where from I shall continue to post news of my cookings. 

In the meantime I'm just absorbing some sunshine and enjoying the view.