Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. -Maya Angelou

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Home is Where the Heart is

A month since my last blog, a hectic time , no time to sit and write. A quick trip across the big pond back to P.E. to sort out business affairs and to hand over the keys of "Chocolat" to her new family ,the lovely Butlers. It was strange to walk into the empty house so full of memories but devoid of my essence, definitely no longer home in the truest sense. My heart is no longer in Africa, I felt it keenly when I landed at Perth and realized that my home is where my heart is, here with Tommy in Oz and where ever we find ourselves on our "groot trek".
 It was good though to catch up with friends I didn't have a chance to say goodbye too the first time. I spent a happy evening with the talented and inspiring Nina learning how to make an "affirmation mirror " Had a last walk on the beach with dear Toni and Nicolette,who showered me with love. A wonderful girlie lunch date with  Anita and Fundi to  Eat,Pray,Love which we very nearly didn't get to see .The projectionist had locked himself out of his room 20 minutes before the show. The management at Walmer Park eventually  had to call in a demolition expert to break down the door. He proceeded to try and drill out the lock which made for even more confusion with various patrons offering conflicting advice. Then in desperation brute sense prevailed and he kicked the door in.......Eishh.........only in Africa. A wonderful Sunday lunch with Brenda and the Gang, gracious friends, great food  good wine, the best recipe for happiness.  My last night at Schoenies with  Denise who even though she was sick made us some delicious soup, and as I walked back to the Tonnins under a starry sky  I glanced back at Chocolat to see it all lit up and filled with happy laughter. A good memory to end a chapter of my life.   

The week after I arrived back our cargo was delivered. Those damn brown boxes, we counted them out and now we had to count them back in!    By the time we were finished moving them around and trying to get the furniture under cover we were exhausted. I have no idea what is in them and haven't missed the contents...........why do we have all this stuff.? One of the best things about being on the road will be that we cant take too much with us .  Enforced minimalism, could take a bit of getting used too but liberating at best. We also  started sorting out the Intsimbi Beads  into colourways  and have a collection of fishing tackle boxes filled with different designs, one step closer to becoming itinerant hawkers, this will hopefully be our petrol money on the road.   Tom is busy getting signage  made up for the van  so can advertised as we travel.

Then came the call........the van was ready! It was off down south to Albany again and an overnight stay in a little town called Denmark, nothing fishy going on here, just the best croissants I have ever tasted from the local bakery which is famous for its cakes. As we drove into the forecourt of Cameron Caravans there she stood ,the little bewdy,our Ultima. A sight to brighten sore eyes. Once inside we had great fun discovering her hidden treasures. The cutest kitchen with all mod cons, the washing machine even has a steam cycle called "Refresh" Ten minutes in this baby and you can kiss your iron goodbye! A flat screen TV which pops up out of the desk at the touch of a button, another button to slide out the awning, and yet another button to slide out the side of the van for extra room. I was so overwhelmed all I wanted to do was slide into the queen size bed and test out the eco friendly mattress made from recycled soft drink bottles,not joking, maybe they are those famous ones that go ............ssshhhhh open happiness. Could make for some interesting bedtimes?.This is the ultimate "Green" caravan and we have gained major brownie points for lowering our carbon footprint , Tom says we are fast becoming what he calls "mung beans" grey nomadic hippies......................I like that!.

We had an eventful trip back ,our first time towing the van,  all went well until we tried to reverse it and the nose hit the rear windscreen  with an almighty crack.......the air was so blue even the blackboys blushed.  I learnt a few new Aussie sayings during the ride home as Tommy berated himself "made a bad blue there,reckon I haven't enough brains to give myself a headache" I'm that unlucky if it rained soup, everyone else would have a spoon and I would have a fork" "Strewth can you believe I can carry on like a pork chop"  We eventually got home and reversed it perfectly into the front drive with help from Craig ...........home sweet home.  At every opportunity I sneak back in to play house and am having fun filling the cupboards and putting out our few treasures to make it feel like our place.

I'm so happy I'm as mad as a cut snake...........a little crazy!


Best Spare Ribs by Julie Goodwin

 This is one of the nicest spare rib recipes I have found, needs a bit of cooking time so plan ahead and then break out a coldy  and relax.

Prep time: 15 minutes plus marinating time

Cooking time: 2 hours

4 kilos pork spare ribs

1 cup  hoi sin sauce

2/3 cup rice wine vinegar

½ cup honey

½ cup  soy sauce

6 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup grated fresh ginger

¼ cup vegetable or peanut oil

Cut the ribs into individual pieces.

Combine sauces, honey, garlic, ginger and ¼ cup water together in a large snap lock. Add the pork ribs and seal the bag well. Place it in a bowl in the fridge overnight. Turn the bag occasionally to make sure all the pork is marinated evenly.

Preheat oven 170° C/ 150° C (fan forced)

Remove the ribs from the marinade, and place onto large shallow baking trays. Reserve the marinade for later. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 ½ hours.

Meanwhile heat reserved marinade over medium high heat and boil until reduced to a syrupy consistency.

Remove the foil from the baking tray and brush the marinade generously over the ribs. Drizzle with oil. Return to the oven for a further half an hour, uncovered, until the marinade is dark and sticky.

Serve with rice and greens, or potato wedges and salad.

Cook’s note: For ribs with a bit of a kick, add 1/3 cup hot chilli sauce to the marinade.

NOT a dish for a dinner party! Make it for your mates and get stuck in!  You'll be messy but its worth it.


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