FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

DAMYANTI GAJJAR'S MINDFUL MEAL

     
RECENT EVENTS   LUNCH AT CASA MORI
     
LUNCH AND WINE TASTING AT LAZANOU   SUMMER SCHOOL COURSE
     

 

 

FORTHCOMING EVENTS

 

Sunday 3 February:
Annual spit braai and fundraiser at the home of Stephen and Pat Flesch, at ZeekoeVlei.
   
Saturday 16 March: (provisional)
Grape harvest and brunch.
   
Saturday 4 May: (provisional)
Wild Mushroom feast at Casa Mori.
  
Wednesday 29 May: (provisional)
AGM at Silwood.


 

RECENT EVENTS


Sunday, 30 September, 2012:
Visit to Lazanou Farm, Wellington.
   
Sunday 21 October 2012:
Mindful meal at the home of the Romyns in Bergvliet.
    
Saturday 24 November 2012:
Artichoke lunch at Casa Mori, Stellenbosch. 

 

LUNCH AND WINE TASTING AT LAZANOU

   
Report by Wilna Meanly
  

Lazanou is very much a family affair, with Josef Lazarus and Candice Stephanou leading the cast, respective and combined children in very supportive roles. In fact, it is an extended family affair – here the farmyard animals have names and are very much part of the show.
   

As one enters the grounds via the inspiring vegetable garden, the love and care is evident. Across the lawn on the left is the tasting facility and homestead, with an inviting pool twinkling across a hedge. On the right, is the sight of a long table set on the bank of the dam, colourful cushions on the chairs and lovely posies of garden flowers on the tables, pristine white umbrellas shading it all. A really lovely setting.

 

No time is wasted, the wine tasting commences and shortly we are lured to the tables by a veritable feast, simply referred to as a ‘farm platter’. What an understatement! Home made bread, locally produced cheeses and charcuterie, olive paste and more. And do we tuck in - no shy members here.

 

However, we are commanded by Josef to follow him and we are treated to a unique wine tasting all along a circular route around the dam, stopping at each block of a particular cultivar. Josef, perched on a bale of straw, gives a short and informative talk – and we taste.
  
The first stop, however, introduces us to the resident merino, Rosemary and her offspring Lambert. Gazing at us with soulful eyes is Gertrude the cow, and her handsome calf Stretch. She had a brief dalliance with the prize Limousin bull down the road.
   
So, round the dam we move, tasting and enjoying a beautiful-weather day. Back at the tables we are now invited to the buffet table in the tasting room. Another feast! Beef fillet roasted over the coals, and wonderful vegetables and salads – the produce of the farm. And just as we mutter ‘this is really all too much’ (not that we deny ourselves), we are confronted with a delectable dessert table. And the wine keeps flowing.
  
The Lazanou brochure describes the Open Days on the farm as a unique and memorable experience. Indeed. The numerous Gold and Silver medals at local and international wine shows are well-earned. Lazanou is well worth a second visit!

 
 

DAMYANTI GAJJAR'S MINDFUL MEAL

Report by Patty Kolbe

The meal we attended on Sunday 21 October was a refreshing reminder of what matters! Jackie Leone set the scene by showing us the way into silence, and Ayurvedic chef, Damyanti Gajjar talked about the medicinal value of the ingredients, giving us lots to think about while we made our way through the first course of savoury squares served with apple coriander chutney and a red chutney.
 

It was fun eating with our hands, and very pleasant reflecting on the fact that in the Ayurvedic practice each digit symbolises one of the five elements. It made carrying food to the mouth quite a spiritual experience. Few of us eat normally at the slow pace of silence. We were made super-aware of the hands that tilled the soil and conveyed the produce from the fields to the markets, and everyone in between. Reflecting on this made it difficult to bolt the food, and strangely enough, everything on our very beautifully arranged plates, tasted delicious. It was also very satisfying to eat slowly and really focus on what we were putting into our mouths. I felt that I had eaten an entire meal by the time I had licked the last drop of sauce from that plate.

  
The main course of basmati rice, was served with Gujerati dhal, peas, potato and brinjal curry, accompanied by chapattis and cucumber raita. Both the apple and coriander chutney and the cucumber raita are in her cookbook, Conscious Cuisine:aVegetarian Adventure. There was also a unusually flavoured water for the table, made by steeping fennel seeds and lemon grass from her garden. It was woody and aromatic and an excellent digestif.

The party decided that one silent course was enough as some had catching up to do and we had special visitors, a lively group from the Frankfurt Slow Food Convivium. So after the reflection of the first course, the meal was accompanied by lively chatter. Some members of the Cape Town Convivium had been entertaining the German visitors for the past week and friendships had been established. Spokesperson for the group offered hospitality to members of the Cape Town group very sincerely, so anyone able to take them up on the offer of escorted tours of worthy restaurants and other venues, should do so.

 

  

Dessert was the sweetest shock one could hope for. Two balls of dough saturated in a scented syrup, served with ice cream. The pungent tea that followed stung the tongue and helped get us off the ceiling and back in our seats, where we remained, chatting comfortably until late in the afternoon. Altogether it was a nutritious and highly digestible meal.

A big thank you to the Romyns for offering and preparing their spacious and tranquil home for this event. It was the perfect venue for a mindful meal.

 

LUNCH AT CASA MORI

   

Report by Wilna Meanly
   
The approach road to Casa Mori sets the Italian tone. A straight gravelly incline with a row of pines along the fence, the stone villa looming up ahead. We turn into an ample parking courtyard and immediately the surrounding line of buildings speaks of flowing functionality. The textures fit naturally into the surroundings and the architectural detail draws the eye. A thought comes to me: there is loving attention here, there is heart.

  

Bruno Eugene Mori bids us welcome with a glass of Moreson Miss Molly Bubbly. Platter 2011 gives it three stars and says simply: cheers to all-chard NV maiden fizz. The Afrikaans word 'wulps' could finish the description aptly. Someone at Moreson is having fun and I think a tasting trip is a tempting option - consider In My Bed cab merlot blend, or Hoity Toity chenin blanc, then descend to Kitchen Thief sav.blanc... But then I read that this range is named for their beloved Weimaraner, with a percentage of sales going to the SA Guide Dogs Association.

   

Eugene is an entertaining and genial host and soon we have an understanding of the concerted family effort it took to establish Casa Mori. With our bubbly we are served slices of delicate artichoke, fontina and olive tart. So the exciting artichoke journey begins. We jostle in good humour for a view seat at the long tables and find platters of fresh focaccia, with artichoke pate, Casa Mori olive oil and red wine vinegar, complemented by Waverley Hills 2012 pinot grigio.

The wine flows, conversation hums. For a brief moment there is a 'wow' silence as plates of whole steamed artichokes with homemade mayonnaise on the side, arrive. Talk now becomes nostalgic, of where and when last one enjoyed whole steamed artichokes, and of course, the best way not only to prepare them, but to eat them. 

      
So, can this get better? What more can be done with an artichoke? Our tastebuds are given a short rest as Marilyn Mori takes a break from the kitchen to introduce herself to the gathering and gives us a brief talk on her passion.
  
Bowls of mixed greens and marinated artichoke salad with a lemon dressing are placed on the tables and plates of fennel and garlic slow-roasted pork neck on a bed of artichoke risotto appear. We now go into hmm and aah overdrive and agree the dish has been faultlessly executed. By now we are well into the Casa Mori Bruno, a deliciously elegant blend of sangiovese and cab. Young Bruno Julian Mori proudly tells us about the family's quest to honour their heritage and century-old wine-growing legacy in this new venture.

  
The meal is beautifully rounded off with a zesty lemon tart.
  
Our approval is quite obvious judging by the speed with which empty bottles group up along the length of the tables, and we do not hesitate, placing our orders for the olive oil, red wine vinegar and Casa Mori Bruno
  
Visitors can also stay at Case Mori: there are several beautifully appointed en suite bedrooms.
  
All good things must come to an end, but Casa Mori has found a firm entry in the 'what-to-do-with-visitors’ list.

 
  

SUMMER SCHOOL COURSE

 

Members may be interested in a course being held at UCT’s Summer School. Entitled ‘What does it take to feed a city? Understanding the urban food system’, it runs from Monday 28 to Wednesday 30 January, at 5.30 pm.
  
Coordinated by Professor Gordon Pirie, deputy-director of the African Centre for Cities, lecturers Dr Jane Battersby and Gareth Haysom are involved in projects related to food security and ways of knowing.
  
For more information, telephone the UCT Department of Extra-mural Studies at 021 650 2888, or email ems@uct.ac.za.

   

 

 

 

       
   
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