15 December 2010

Lorraine se oondfrikkadelle

I came home thinking that I really need to research some of my favourite foods—specifically the ones that are recipeless and simply reside in the minds of great cooks.

Turns out this involves following them around the kitchen and taking notes. But here is the result! My mother mixed up the sauce and our domestic worker, Lorraine, made her fantastic oondfrikkadelle (oven-baked meat balls).

250 ml hot water
1 cube beef stock (about 15 ml)
2 tbsp honey
125 ml red wine
3 tsp Bisto (a kind of gravy powder)
1 tsp mezzina (corn flour)

Dissolve the beef stock and the honey in the water. Mix the wine, Bisto and mezzina together. Add the mixtures together.

butter for frying
1 tsp crushed garlic (one or two cloves of fresh garlic, chopped)
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
some sugar
1 medium-sized carrot, grated
1 slice of bread
some milk
500 g beef mince
80 ml instant oats
nutmeg, coriander, cloves (all in powder form)
1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste
bunch of parsley, stems discarded, chopped
1 big tbsp Mrs Ball’s chutney
braai sauce
BBQ sauce
tomato sauce (ketchup) or a small sachet of purée
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 180°C. (That’s 350°F.)

Melt the butter in a pan. Get the garlic and the onion frying. After a while add the carrots, then later the tomato and a sprinkle of sugar. Once it’s all softened up a bit you can turn off the heat. Fill the time in between with the steps below.

Pour some milk over the slice of bread—just enough to soak it.

Put the meat in a bowl and add the spices to taste, basically a good shake or two of each. Add the salt and pepper, then the parsley. Add the chutney and a dash of each of the sauces. (Braai sauce is used to season meat for barbequing. You can probably substitute and meat-related sauces. These aren’t essential ingredients, they just add some flavour.) Add the egg and mix everything well.

Add the soaked slice of bread to the meat mixture and mix well, then add the vegetables from the frying pan and mix again.

Shape the meat balls and pack them in an oven dish. Pour the sauce over. Bake them for about 30 minutes. Enjoy with mashed potato and greens!


My latest layout joy from the person we’re housesitting for’s things-on-war collection, pictured here with dodgy bedspread photography and early morning window light.

14 December 2010


I dropped by my doctor’s office yesterday for his favourite thing—a mole removal. He just really likes cutting people or something.

Anyway, gory details aside, I couldn’t help but drop in on Verbatim books at 158 Dorp street across the road.

More about the books I actually bought later, but here are some pictures of the gorgeous ones I was happy just to photograph.

Music, movement and the young child by Heather Gell, Australasian Publishing
Sea magic by Cyril W. Beaumont and illustrated by Wyndham Payne
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Four quartets by T.S. Eliot (great typography—and of course it’s nonchalantly propped up by an old typewriter!)

P.S. The illustrations of Sea magic remind me of a copy of Oscar Wilde’s short stories for children that I own… and I’m having a really hard time finding the specific editions of any of these books online so more about that some other time, too.

13 December 2010

McGregor morning

Today (also my birthday!) we head out to the sleepy, dusty, charming McGregor. The drive was beautiful and we stopped to appreciate the windy view from the Franschoek pass.

Once in McGregor I of course couldn’t get enough of the countryside buildings. It’s also a true testament to the popular local architect Bruno de Robillard’s work that his restorations and designs fit into the town so seamlessly.

We stopped at some cellars on the way back so my dad could stock up on some delicious, affordable wine and lunch in Robertson included a fruit shake adorned with a bougainvillea blossom. Adorable!

12 December 2010

New eyes on Stellenbosch

I’ve been strolling around town, meeting friends for coffee and such, but more importantly, I’ve rediscovered the beauty of this place. I suppose I look at it now thinking “what can I introduce to my friends, students, and teachers back in Japan” and I notice many things—some that even seem completely new to me.

So here are a few random shots. There are some from around home and dropping in on the Gradex exhibition at the department I studied at. We also saw the damage caused by a fire that took the roof and gutted the top floor of the Willcocks building. And I just found a video where my husband's friend Grant talks about helping a woman from the burning building. Nice work!

Then you’ll see some buildings from around Van Rheede street, Church street, Plein street and on campus. More surely to come!

11 December 2010

Paarl wedding

Soon after arriving back home we attended a wedding of some friends in Paarl. The ceremony was held at the Strooidak church and the reception was at Val de Vie. I already started looking at our region with new eyes. Included below are some shots of the church’s gable, a feature of Cape Dutch architecture.

08 December 2010


Another one of those things that'll make you long for a cycle. Especially when you're sitting, waiting, for your late night international departure from Kansai airport. The Sakura lounge's cheesy Christmas music is also not helping, by the way.

03 December 2010

Cycling in Tokyo

CNNGo.com has a hard time actually producing good content, but here's one of those times it actually worked out. Great article!

Two wheels better than four in Tokyo

Why the Japanese capital is the world's best city for cycling