Thursday, 27 January 2011

End of Leafroll?

It seems an end is in site for South Africa's other big virus problem. By 2013 - assuming the Mayan calender does not come to pass - some producers including Stellenzicht will be planting leafroll virus resistant vines. However this has not occured through technology (but dont tell Thabo & Manto) but rather through good old fashioned foot slog and natural selection (no beetroot juice involved either).

Not yet Autumn

By observing infected vineyards over two seasons, consulting viticulturalist Eben Archer identified naturally resistant vines in heavily infected blocks and has propagated these for replanting of vineyards. Although these came up clean in local tests - and in the USA and France - Archer will only let time reveal if he has been successful.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Best braai improv of the summer

So I felt like some Tandoori chicken on Friday night but did not start the marinating on Thursday and since I haven’t yet mastered time travel I decided to try a short cut. (you do need a small flying saucer tho or a kettle braai will do).

While the coals are cooling, mix some dried ground ginger, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric (or saffron if its pay-day), fresh chilli and garlic (don’t be shy if you want added richness), paprika and garam masala into some double cream yoghurt (no need to feel guilty – in yoghurt it means about 5-7% fat) and some tomato puree (I was also inspired by butter chicken) and ja I know duplication of ingredients.

it kinda looked liked this but....

Thursday, 20 January 2011

5 best health foods

Pat yourself on the back if you guessed more than 2 of them AND mixed news for chololate lovers - it has to be dark.

There are approximately 90 minerals identified in modern nutrition and ALL of them are represented in seaweed. Gram for gram, they are higher in vitamins and minerals than every other food on the plant containing 20-200% more minerals than land-based vegetables. Seaweed holds high levels of Vitamins C, D, K and B and has more Vitamin A than carrots.
Seaweed is also very rich in protein and strengthens the kidneys and nervous system. When eaten consistently, sea vegetables calm hyperactivity, reduce stress and are excellent for the thyroid gland. People complain about the taste and the general rule of thumb with seaweed is this: the worse it tastes for you, the more you need it. Dulse, Kelp and Nori are excellent types. And you dont need a licence.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Home cured Parma-style ham

If ever you doubted pork being fashionable consider that Miss Piggy is to play the role of a French Vogue editor in the next Muppet movie ‘The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time’.  Although bacon is surely it’s most popular type, one of pork’s strength is it’s versatility - just ask Kermit.

Pork Pageant

And if it weren’t so expensive, pukka Parma ham would be more popular than bacon me thinks. This meat – from slowly air-dried salted legs of ham – seemingly melts in your mouth with a sweet salty tang and an unctuous, velvety texture.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

World's Oldest Winery is in.....

Archaeologists have unearthed the oldest wine-making facility ever found, using biochemical techniques to identify a dry red vintage made about 6,000 years ago in what is now southern Armenia, researchers reported this week in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

"This is the world's oldest known installation to make wine," said Gregory Areshian, of the University of California, Los Angeles, who helped lead the study. The rich, red wines produced there are Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignons, he said.

The press and vat!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Olde World Country Feeling on your Stoep

Knorhoek Country Guesthouse is only 10 minutes from Stellenbosch yet you feel you are much deeper than that – and I don’t just mean the honesty bar.

Simonsberg mountains and mature trees provide the setting. And habitat for varied and abundant birdlife - not to mention the best possible white noise substitute for city slickers – with Piet-my-vrou calls punctuating the gentle clip of the leaves in the breeze while the owls here do give a hoot.

The view from our room (Pics by Georgie Prout)