During my visit to Cape Town I showed the girls that it was possible to have a superior result from home baking chocolate chunk pecan cookies, carrot and beetroot cake with cream cheese frosting and caramelized garlic tart , as well as perfect buttermilk scones, raisin bran muffins and caramelized onion, fig and brie tart.
A measure of how much South Africans like Milk tart are the three beautiful tarts with silky filling and buttery pastry that were brought for tea by different aunts on the day I arrived.
The weather was mild on most days with scattered thunder showers on one or two days and a few cold nights thrown in. The electricity supply is a continual problem that affects all communities with daily load shedding.
On the very first 2 hour lights out event, I was reminded of a Facebook post that I saw a while back: ‘Cape Town is the most romantic city in the world… The people have dinner by candlelight every night’.
At the time it gave rise to a giggle, but the reality of the situation is no joke. Two to two and a half hours without electricity a few times a week across the city is the norm. Most households have a stockpile of candles or have invested in battery operated, gas or paraffin lamps or small generators.
It has not been easy without a reliable internet connection and my first task will be to ensure that it is remedied as soon as possible, in she ALLAH. Most of my week was spent running errands and spending time with family. In addition to the baking with the girls, I even managed to squeeze in a morning tea with cousins and aunts.
The girls have come to realize that home baking is not as hard as they had imagined and that for less than half the cost of a similar item from a store, they can produce a superior product and know exactly what they put into it. Hopefully they will put the lessons into practise and start experimenting themselves.
This was my first visit home since my mother passed away and it was very hard to walk in the door and not see her sitting in her favorite chair…