Ice, baby

So it’s been a while, but it’s not my fault. I was in Swaziland, where my mother lives happily in a beautiful spot, but unhappily 2km short of the radius that would give her access to broadband. I had a good time there, quiet and lively as always – quiet because not much happens (good for writing most of a chapter of a book), and lively because the same people that nothing happens to lead amazingly dramatic lives, and give up much good gossip about it.

Anyway, I was going to write some dispatches from the Times of Swaziland, which is generally good for a laugh. Like the public apology they printed one day reporting, in an earlier article, that the Attorney General made a ‘rare appearance in court.’ The editor was sorry to have suggested that the AG is hardly ever there. (Turns out he had been in recovery from a car accident, so he actually hadn’t been there much. But you gotta keep people happy).

There was another great(ly depressing) story about an ongoing sex probe into some sexual probing by a schoolteacher – sadly a regular affair in Swaziland. I had to keep this one: ‘The name of the school and the investigated teacher are deliberately withheld as the probe is still going on. It is also alleged that the probed teacher is not the only culprit at the school whose conduct amongst female students ought to be probed.’ And so it went.

But that’s all over now, and I’m back in the chilly waters of Cape Town. The sun shines today, but we have felt ice, and know the big winter is imminent. (Thank goodness for the philosophe’s foresight to stock up on a functioning heater and plenty of gas in my absence. He knows there is nothing fun about a cold doctor).

These are times for big pots of warming meals. For a two-person household, that means freezer-space (ever tried making two servings of bolognese?). My problem is that the freezer was already pretty full, so it’s time for cleanout. Yesterday we enjoyed some chicken mole – the mole had been in there for a couple of months (talk about slow food), and was just as delicious last night on some freshly cooked chicken, scooped into home-made tortillas. The philosophe did what he could with leftovers at lunch today, but two tortillas remain. They are now in the freezer, and will become nachos one day when I have a pot of hot oil on the stove.

Then there was the portion of ragu “bolognese ” I took out this morning. But I didn’t feel like pasta, so with a teaspoon of cinnamon, two brinjals, and a righteous cheese sauce, it has just been transformed into a beef moussaka. The wonders of cinnamon, I tell you. You’d hardly even notice the lack of lambekins. It’ll be lovely after a day in the fridge, and I even hope for the cold to return so we can get to that bottle of Shiraz.

But tonight, we braai. A beloved country, indeed.

2 Replies to “Ice, baby”

  1. i used to put cinnamon in my large pot of oatmeal almost every morning while a semi-recluse/poet/truth seeker high up the Nkhaba mountains of swaziland; it seemed to me that it embued the said pot with some esoteric quality. nolstalgic i bought a few sticks a while back but they sit untouched in the corner of a quiet space in a kitchen cupboard, seeming esoteric even in neglect – i miss that big pot of oat meal, ate sitting above the clouds somehow..

  2. Try this for a gourmet version, Phophonyane’s signature breakfast (at least waht we were fed, and happily ate, back in the day): meilie meal porridge plus cinnamon, raisins, sugar, and KLIM milk powder. I forget if it featured a blob of butter too, but who cares – there was fake milk in it. Pretty delicious actually, and look what happened to Nolwazi – she’s a doctor!!

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