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Local travels: Hermanus

thelocalbag.co.za

It had been 15 years since our last reunion, a bunch of old varsity friends getting together for a major catch up to fill in the blanks left untold on Facebook. All we had were three days in Hermanus and we needed to make them count!

thelocalbag.co.za

Day 1: The Sisterhood gathers at La Vierge (the virgin) in the Hemel-en-Aarde valley – an irony not entirely lost on this bunch of middle-aged broads!

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Nuts about chocolate mousse

thelocalbag.co.za

My favourite chocolate mousse was the one my big sister used to make. It was sugary, chewy and lumpy – exactly the type of mousse you’d buy in those frosted metal parfait cups from any café or restaurant in every Portuguese town. She’d pried the recipe from a waitress many years ago by vowing to take it to her grave which sadly (but to her credit), she did.

thelocalbag.co.za

I’ve been experimenting with a chocolate mousse recipe of my own and being a banting babe, I use severely dark chocolate and xylitol rather than sugar. But the choice is yours, it’s delectable either way.

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Banting basics

Garlic and rosemary lamb with cauliflower and black pepper puree

To date, Banting has taken a pounding and those of us who have stuck by it have had to endure the countless jibes and derision from skeptics who have backed the food pyramid. A few months have passed and Banters have started to visibly shrink, now many of these self-same health-conscious individuals just want to know three things: ‘How much, how soon and with how little effort? ‘

There’s more to it than just that, and so for those interested in learning about a Banting lifestyle, what follows is a list of questions I am frequently asked.

Home cooked cottage pie with wilted baby spinach and cauli-mash topping

Cottage pie with wilted baby spinach and cauli-mash topping

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The Foodbarn

Food Barn's 50% off winter lunch special

Food Barn’s winter special*

I’d grown tired of hearing about The Foodbarn without having experienced it myself. My friend Julie Carter once invited me to join her there for lunch – then took her husband instead. A year on and I’d arranged to meet another friend, Clare Yeowell, for lunch in Noordhoek. I was finally going to try Franck Dangereux’s famous food and at half the price, no less. Cape Town winter specials are a beautiful thing, they’re the local’s reward for sharing the city with tourists for the other 8 months of the year.

Clare Yeowell from Classic Marmalade

Clare Yeowell from Classic Marmalade

As with most of my Cape Town friends, I’d met Clare via the food markets, City Bowl Market on Hope to be exact,  where I regularly buy her delectable Classic marmalade, jams and preserves. Back then she’d agreed to let me spend a day with her to write about her product (which I did here) and that was all the time it took for the two of us to click. We’ve been buds ever since, despite her transcendence to the giddy heights of international acclaim for her marmalade. Clare has a palate of note and I knew she’d be the perfect companion on my maiden Foodbarn voyage.

The cosy interior

The cosy interior

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Gardener’s Glory Honey

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The simple honeybee: not only responsible for the pollination of many of our food crops, but for most of our cattle grazing as well. Without the honeybee and its flight of fertility, our diet would be sparse and seriously lacking in nutrition. With the demise of honeybees and humans reduced to bread and water, the irony is that honey is so filled with nutrients it alone could sustain human life. The role of the honeybee in the food chain is grossly under-estimated and under appreciated in society and it’s time we acknowledged our reliance upon the humble bee.

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Richard and Marjolijn are urban beekeepers and every bit as genuine as the raw, local honey they harvest. What started as a mild interest in beekeeping has blossomed into a major passion; the result is their beautifully pure Gardener’s Glory raw honey. Get to know this charming couple and listen as they wax eloquent about the importance of bees in nature, the benefits of honey and the downright deliciousness of their product. As Richard says: “Our honey has already taken us on so many adventures and brought so many kindred spirits our way…

 

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