31 October 2009

Mini Harnas Reunion (...LEFTOVERS!!!)

Marina greeted me at the airport with a warm Harnas welcome -- although there were no banners and streamers -- whisked me away to my home for the next few nights with her and Anton. She described their cat on the way there: Devil Cat (a.k.a. Siam). I figured I had seen or known worse, so I was not concerned. When I arrived and met Anton and the alleged Devil Cat, they both gave me a friendly hello and the latter wound herself around my legs in a figure 8 before proceeding to investigate the bags I had put down in my room.

Apartheid Day (described in earlier post) filled the first portion of my stay. Let's not think about how I could justify leaving an area of town with so little only to cook and eat well for the next 28 hours, but the remainder of my stay in Jo'burg following the Apartheid retreat would be all about food and drink.

It was decided that I would make jambalaya for my hosts as a way of expressing gratitude for putting me up for a few nights and taking care of me. Obviously, finding andouille in South Africa is not straightforward, so we prepared improvised jambalaya. Incidentally, in retrospect, I'd like to try it with some smoked chicken breasts I saw at Woolworth's and karvanasi if I have the chance to prepare it again in ZA. It was delicious, if a tad on the bland side for my taste. What is most important is that my hosts appreciated it and enjoyed it, which seemed to be the case. Success!

The primary -- yes, this is true -- reason or excuse for my visit to Johannesburg was to attend the Good Food and Wine Expo I had read about in South African Airways' Sawubona in-flight magazine on the way to Africa at the end of August. Marina and I bonded at Harnas over our mutual "career gap" status, so it is fitting that we attended the expo on Friday morning with the pensioners and the unemployed. Our first wine tasting was probably at 10:15, since we arrived at the expo center ten minutes prior. For me, the rest of the day was spent nibbling and sipping everything from biltong to brandy.

Through fifteen minutes of torrential rain, we went to dinner at Moyo with some friends and relatives of my hosts. I had the most tender ostrich filets in berbere sauce. Although I have no recollection of the exact item, I remember that dessert was mighty good as well. This was a perfect, if foreshadowing, final day in Southern Africa before my departure to the Middle East the following day.

1 comment:

  1. The Devil Cat misses you! She keeps going into your room sniffing around. You will need to come back. Sporting a brand new elastic band from yesterday's injury!
    You definately underestimate your cooking ability - the meal was the BEST and we're all hooked now on cajun food. I even invested in my own bottle of chilli flakes (mild).
    Loving the posts! Come back soon