Heritage Day 2013: Braaivleis and sunny skies… no rugby or Chevrolet though

Confused by the title of this blogpost? Clearly you don’t remember this jingle for General Motors South Africa from the 1970s!

On the topic of songs, “Wake me up, when September ends”, sings Green Day about the end of Summer in the US of A (if you just skim the surface of the song, that is. It’s actually very deep and tear-inducing, especially if you watch the official music video). Well you can wake up now, boys. Not only has September almost bitten the dust, but it looks like Spring is finally (FINALLY) on its way to the Cape! 🙂

Fittingly, we had the Heritage Day public holiday this past Tuesday. Some call it Braai Day, as that’s how most of us end up spending the day. Few realise it was originally called Shaka Day.

But, Braai Day it is, and any braai worth its braai salt has a few standards to live up to. For it to be seen as a truly successful South African braai by all attendees, there are certain rules to follow. (Confused? See here for an excellent cartoony explanation by one of my favourite SA expat bloggers.)

So, you’re wondering how we celebrated Heritage Day in the Andrews household? With a braai, of course! While we’ve lived in our housie for a good long while, we’ve not had much chance to braai here yet. And while there were only 4 of us in attendance – six, if you count the dogs, even though Bertie escaped all the photos – it was still a really lovely day.

Alas I took no pics of the food, so you’ll have to take my word for what we ate…

There was potato salad (Mum’s potato salad is the best), a green salad brimming with avo and mini tomatoes, wors rolls, ribs, chops. And for dessert? We had strawberries drizzled with toffee yoghurt. A bit healthier than the choc-dipped strawberries I made for last year’s Braai Day!

The only pic to show Clifton (my husband, not the beach) - he was the Braai master this time around, and also held the title of Chief Photo Taker
The only pic to show Clifton (my husband, not the beach) – he was the Braai master this time around, and also held the title of Chief Photo Taker
Mom and Bassie enjoying the sunshine - we soaked it up all afternoon!
Mom and Bassie enjoying the sunshine – we soaked it up all afternoon!
Some of the interesting drinks - craft beers Dad received for his recent-ish birthday, as well as a bottle of white (green?) Laid Back wine
Some of the interesting drinks – craft beers Dad received for his recent-ish birthday, as well as a bottle of white (green?) Laid Back wine
Bassie, Mum and me, with Dad's arm photobombing the shot
Bassie, Mum and me, with Dad’s arm photobombing the shot
Me, mum and dad with my birthday swing chair in the background
Me, mum and dad with my birthday swing chair in the background

And… that’s all, folks! Hope you’re having a great weekend 🙂

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Paarl Rock day trip and the Muscadel discovery

Ahoy there, me mateys!

For some reason I am in a pirate state of mind today, as my above greeting suggests, even though I am a bit late off the mark as Speak Like a Pirate Day was last week.

Anyhoo, it’s been a wonderfully relaxed Heritage Day thus far (now known as Braai Day in most of the land – more on how we spent it in my next post). For now, I wanted to let you know about the fun day trip we had on Sunday. There’s been renewed focus on ‘exploring your hometown’ by many of my favourite bloggers lately, and we’ve just joined the pack.

While Paarl isn’t exactly home, it’s just a 45-minute or so drive away. Hubby had been wanting to show me Paarl Rock for ages as he climbed it with his dad when he was just a little lad, so we set off for the ‘light walk’ as we’d heard there was also snow to be seen in the area on the day. All the makings of a great day out, and a great day it was! 🙂

Below are a few photos from the ‘gentle hike’ for you to scroll through…

Not such a great shot but it shows the 8km of dirt road we travelled up to reach the start of the climb up Paarl Rock - entry is R32 per vehicle and R8 per person
Not such a great shot but it shows the 8km of dirt road we travelled up to reach the start of the climb up Paarl Rock – entry is R32 per vehicle and R8 per person
Lots of deep rock puddles near the top of Paarl Rock
Lots of deep rock puddles near the top of Paarl Rock
Snow on the mountains behind me, near the top of Paarl Rock - not such an easy climb as it was wet and slippery, luckily there were chain ladders to hold onto!
Snow on the mountains behind me, near the top of Paarl Rock – not such an easy climb as it was wet and slippery, luckily there were chain ladders to hold onto!
Hair was blowing all over the place as I didn't dress properly for a hike, I had pictured a nice drive through the country!
Hair was blowing all over the place as I didn’t dress properly for a hike, I had pictured a nice drive through the country!
That would be Paarl Rock's twin, behind us
That would be Paarl Rock’s twin, behind us
Big smiles once we were back at the base after a successful climb - rain made the rock extra slippery, you can see it caught in our hair and dripping down our sunglasses
Big smiles once we were back at the base after a successful climb – rain made the rock extra slippery, you can see it caught in our hair and dripping down our sunglasses

Once the exhausting part of the day was done, we were tired, more than a little hungry and slightly wet as it had started to drizzle, so we decided to treat ourselves to a wine-pairing. There are so many wine farms in the Paarl area that we turned into the first one, and what a great choice it was!

See how tired I look, arriving at Under Oaks
See how tired I look, arriving at Under Oaks

Called Under Oaks, there’s a great pizza restaurant on site as well as a cosy tasting room complete with fireplace. The best part? For just R50 you get to try 5 wines paired with 5 different snacks – either nuts, droewors, chilli snap sticks and dessert or a purely chocolate pairing – we went for the first option this time around and loved it – will definitely go for the chocolate pairing next time we’re in the area!

Some of the snacks with the white glass
Some of the snacks with the white glass
Not making a rude sign at all - holding some of the sweet chilli-dusted cashews that were paired with his first white wine of the day
Not making a rude sign at all – holding some of the sweet chilli-dusted cashews that were paired with his first white wine of the day

On a final note, Muscadel – where have you been all our lives?! We’re new to wine, clearly, as we were only familiar with rich, bitter reds, chilled dry whites and sweet pink rose before, but what a surprise the Muscadel was as the final pairing of the afternoon, with a block of white Lindt chocolate. Tastes like honey to me 🙂

And after all that, we DID take a bit of a ‘drive through the country’ as we drove home through the Durbanville area, which is packed with staggeringly lovely scenes like this:

We stayed out until the cows came home (not so late as you can clearly see the blue sky behind 'em)
We stayed out until the cows came home (not so late as you can clearly see the blue sky behind ’em)

That’s all, folks 🙂

The pink sparkly August celebrations

Right, as promised, there are quite a few photos I’ve been meaning to share with y’all based on a few of the birthdays, anniversaries and other life events related to the Cape Andrews-Delaney clan that we celebrated in August.

‘Celebrate’ usually means a small family get-together with good food and sparkling wine – red, pink or peach is the best, we find 🙂 Proof? See below…

First up was Dad’s birthday on 10 August. As lots of the UK and Joburg rellies were in CT for the weekend, we had a combined get-together/birthday breakfast at On The Rocks in Blouberg

Birthday boy (non-hatted) enjoying something eggy at On The Rocks
Birthday boy (non-hatted) enjoying something eggy at On The Rocks
The UK/Cape family get-together at On The Rocks - the sea is just behind those windows
The UK/Cape family get-together at On The Rocks – the sea is just behind those windows
Here's how the photo was captured
Here’s how the photo was captured

Next, we went to my parents’ house for supper the night of my mom’s birthday, Tuesday 13 August…

Mom and granddogs celebrating mom's birthday
Mom and granddogs celebrating mom’s birthday
Family shot of the birthday meal - with hatted birthday girl
Family shot of the birthday meal – with hatted birthday girl
Proof that Clifton was there, and that he ate :)
Proof that Clifton was there, and that he ate 🙂

A week later we celebrated my half-birthday (click here for an explanation of why I have a half-birthday)…

Pink sparkling wine being poured to celebrate his new job, and my half-birthday
Pink sparkling wine being poured to celebrate his new job, and my half-birthday
Pink sparkling wine for my half-birthday
Pink sparkling wine for my half-birthday

Lastly, on to our 6th wedding anniversary on 25 August…

My FAVOURITE meal! Gnocchi Bolognese and a coffee milkshake from the Italian Club in Milnerton
My FAVOURITE meal! Gnocchi Bolognese and a coffee milkshake from the Italian Club in Milnerton

For proof that the gnocchi/coffee shake combo really is my favourite meal, click here to see what I chose as my final meal at Lucio’s in Joburg 😉

Happy 6th wedding anniversary to us! :)
Happy 6th wedding anniversary to us! 🙂

That’s all for now, folks. Looks like we may be seeing the first signs of Spring now that we’re nearing the end of September… at last! So there may well be a braai on the cards for Braai Day/Heritage Day – watch this space 🙂

Wine and rugby to soothe the wet weather woes

Suddenly we’re into September (it’s not Spring just yet in CT, I’m afraid, so we will just call it ‘September’ for now… not Spring. Not with gale force winds, days of rain and the mercury refusing to climb above 18’C.)

But it’s not worth fretting over, as this usually means Summer will simply last endlessly when it DOES show up one day – and it will, with a force, if last December was anything to go by.

And as time stops for no girl, I have so many things I need to catch up on and blog about. For example, August was a month of celebrations with it being my dad’s birthday, my mom’s birthday, my half birthday and our sixth wedding anniversary all in the space of a few days – along with other fun things! But I digress, ‘August celebrations’ are so plentiful that I feel they’re the topic for another blog post – coming soon, so watch this space.

In the mean time, here are a handful of (bad quality, sorry folks) pics of how we spent last Saturday – we couldn’t miss the rugby match everyone’s been talking about… whether you were for or against the red card rescinded decision. As kick off was at 9.30am, we started the day with breakfast at my parents:

Breakfast boys
Breakfast boys

The boys had ‘full English’, the girls had raisin French toast with berries 🙂

2013-09-14 09.11.24
Breakfast girls – I know it LOOKS like it’s all sunny and Spring-y outside, but trust me – it’s not

And what better way to round off the day than with a spot of wine tasting? Some insist you’re just not a true Capetonian until you’ve nonchalantly gone wine tasting.

Here we are aiming for nonchalance while at D’Aria in the Durbanville area – ever so pretty and just a few minutes down the road:

Dad swirling one of the white wines – you can taste 8 wines for the whopping sum of R10! Little wonder wine tasting is so popular
Getting the full flavour of the only rose-type on offer for tasting – our overall favourite of the day

To show you how cold it is – note the warm wooly cap I am wearing for tea and cake right by the sea:

Wooly cap worn for Sunday tea and cake by the seaside

But the cold, wet winter will end soon – until then, we have gorgeous sunsets like this one to keep us happy:

Lovely green hills in Durbanville

That’s all for now folks – I will update again soonest 🙂