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Wild at Heart

I get my yoghurt from the farm next door. Struen and Carol-Lynn Law have been making yoghurt for years and supplying local restaurants. A few years ago they also started making cheese and their Mozzarella is one of the finest I have ever tasted. Currently they are also delivering fresh salad packs and home grown vegies to customers around Knysna.

The yoghurts are Full Cream, Low Fat and Greek packaged in 1L or 3L glass jars and cost R30 per litre.

Hopefully Carol-Lynn will start up her weekend cheese making course again this summer.

Contact Struen 0767650098 or to place orders.

Veal with onion sauce & polenta

While foraging at Fruit & Veg City on Friday afternoon, I found veal at R29.99 per kilo(YUM!) yes, I love veal. My husband says “Dont send a boy to fight a Mans war” but, hey it’s veal (I draw the line at tiny baby veg). The great thing about veal is that you don’t have to cook it……….till the cows come home?
It wasn’t the greatest cuts, mostly shin but this is what I did:

2kg Veal – Take it off the bone but keep it in large pieces. The bones can be used to make veal stock which is delicious – white stock’- more about that later.

In a large heavy based saucepan – that has a lid and can go into the oven – chop up and saute the following in a generous glug of olive oil:
3 large onions sliced & diced
4 cloves garlis
3 pieces of back bacon – sliced
(Always cook onions on low heat so that they sweat and release the sweet aromatics of onion & garlic)
1 1/2 large carrots – cubed
3 small celery stems and leaves – one if shop bought
2 stems of fresh fennel (available from Woolies – real good value at R7.99)
2 bay leaves

Stir from time to time. Cut up the meat while the onions are sweating down.
When meat is ready – pull out a frying pan or wok, small glug of olive oil, get it really hot and start dropping in pieces of veal. Don’t put in to much otherwise it will boil. You just want to seal the veal and put a light colour onto it.
Layer the meat on top of the onion mixture. Do not at any time stir together.
Add enough water to just cover onion mix
Crumble fresh time and rosemary over the top.
Thinly slice a lemon and randomly layer over meat.

Cover with the lid and put into the oven at 180 for 1 1/2 hours – check it every half hour to make sure that it is not drying out.

For the polenta:

Bring 1L water to a gentle boil and sprinkle in 2 cups of polenta stirring all the time and making sure it doesn’t clump (a whisk is good for this).

Add a blob of butter and some parmesan or grano padana. Ina Paarman does a Pasta Spice that has herbs and faux cheese in it and it actually works really well to add a bit of flavour. (I have no idea how this landed up in my spice cupboard it’s not something I would normally buy)

Keep stirring that Polenta! It should be much like a ‘stywe pap’.

After 5 minutes of stirring, or until your arms are starting to feel the burn – turn out into a buttered baking dish and smooth out. The polenta need to be about an inch thick. Sprinkle, herbs, cheese, black pepper on top and pop into the oven next to your cooking veal for 20 min or the bottom has cooked a crust. Finish off under the grill to get the top golden.

When veal is tender, carefully remove all of it from the top of veg mix and keep warm along with lemons.
Put all onion-veg mix into a blender and blend into creamy sauce. Remove the bay leaves!

Cut a generous wedge of  polenta, put it in a bowl, cover with onion sauce then with pieces of veal and garnish with cooked lemons.

Pour a glass of wine, stoke up the fire and enjoy!


Winter News

Yes, I know my blogging is erratic, but bare with me- it’s all about the journey, right?

The best Food Find for the week was veal at Fruit and Veg City, tucked into the shelves, lovely cuts of pale pink veal at R29.99 per kl (when last was anything R29.99 per kilo!). So what is the deal with veal?

Veal is the meat of a calf up to one years old that has only been fed exclusively on it’s mothers milk (the oldest and most natural method) and if the mother has been grass fed and free ranged the meat is a pale pink with satiny white fat having no tinge of red. It is extremely tender and delicate meat, highly prized in cooking. You do get ‘grey’ veal but that usually means the poor thing has been fed reconstituted milk and, even worse, hormones. This is not good meat.

So my veal was lovely and pale pink and I made a delicious winter casserole with onion sauce and polenta. Find it in the Recipe Book.

Weekend Tipple


The Weekend Tipple: I don’t drink beer at all anymore, but I do enjoy an occasional craft beer and Saturday afternoon was warm and we were pottering around the garden so I treated myself to Darling Brew Slow Brew. Slow Brew is the flagship beer of Darling Brew and it’s biggest seller. It taste crisp but dry and doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste in your mouth.





So whats new on the Farm? Well, it’s not that new because we have been working on it for a few     months but the front garden has been transformed into a veggie and herb garden. Out with the lawn and in with food. The plants that survived the drought and neglect, like the roses, agapanthus and some fynbos got to stay, we just planted around them. It really makes sense to have the kitchen garden right up at the house. And I have a box – Yay! That’s planted full of lettuces, coriander and rocket, dill & celery.



Seasons Harvest: Harvesting lovely kale and mustard. Super healthy food and I will be posting recipes on what to do with kale and mustard greens. The butter lettuce is also ready to have leaves taken for salad. Unfortunately the chickens wrecked  most of the fennel and radish beds, but we saved a bit. We’ve had good rain in the last 2 weeks, so roll on spring and get the growing on!

Sad news: Lesleys Health Shop, a Knysna institution closed down and this week a Sale In Execution Notice was published in the Knysna-Plett Herald. The auction is on 11 September. Yet another owner run shop closes down in Knysna, another shop standing empty – the sad reality of irresponsible town management that has allowed to many malls to be built, with only the Big Corporate being able to afford the rent and offer debt shopping to the public.



Good News: The Ross Taylor Surf Competition raised a total of R152,451.00 for Knysna-Sedgefield Hospice. Amazing what community spirit can do.





Stay warm, eat well and love always.

Community Food

Our Community Food Swop on Wednesday afternoons is going from strength to strength. I am amazed and delighted at the quality of produce and goods that are being traded. Dinner on Wednesday nights have become the highlight of the week.

I’ve called this dish Community Salad – lightly stir-fried spinach (Northern Lights variety); pan fried Oyster mushrooms; marinated Tempeh; sauteed cherry tomatos; fresh rocket and baby asparagus.




This is the first time that I have cooked with Tempeh and I am an instant fan. It is not as silky as Tofu rather more nutty and absolutely delicious. To find out more go to or Google for recipes and local suppliers.


A bunch of fresh spinach sliced (not to thin, you dont want to cook it to a soggy mess)

3 large oyster mushrooms

A handfull  or two of cherry tomatos

3 or 4 slices of Tempeh per person (you can substitute with Tofu if you cant get Tempeh)

Some fresh rocket and asparagus – the thinner variety

1 Tblspoon Basil Pesto

A few glugs of olive oil

A bit of Sesame oil

Fresh or dried marjorma & thyme

First marinade the slices of Tempeh in a puddle of light soy sauce with a pinch of cumin, paprika & cayenne pepper.

Get the tomatos going in a pot with a glug of olive oil and sprinkle liberally with thyme and marjoram, black pepper and pinch of salt. Sautee on low heat so that the tomatos release their juice and mingle with the olive oil but keep their shape.

Tear the oyster mushrooms into strips. Put a bit of olive oil into a wok, add the oyster mushrooms with a pinch of salt and sautee till golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Sprinkle some sesame oil into the wok and fry the tempeh till golden brown. No need to add salt – the soy sauce is salty enough. Remove tempeh slices and set aside.

Wipe out the wok with paper towel and re-oil the wok with olive oil. Add the spinach and stir-fry quickly. Add a tablespoon of basil pesto and toss into the spinach. You dont want the spinach to get to cooked and limp. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Dish a mound of spinach onto each plate – try a create height. Scatter the cherry tomatos on and around the spinach, drizzling any left over tomato-oil over the dish. Then add the oyster mushrooms (if they have gotten a bit cold, toss back into the wok while you are dishing up the tomatos). Toss up the rocket and baby asparagus and put a bunch on top of the stack. Then add the tempeh strips.

I love food that makes every cell in your body tingle with nutritious goodness! But the true hero’s of this dish are:

Ronel – who grew the spinach. This is her first foray into growing food. Ronel has an award winning guest lodge in Bibbyshoek – Forest Edge.

Brett – made the basil pesto. Brett owns a small, intimate vegetarian restaurant just down the Rheenendal road called  Veg-Table. It is open on Wednesday and Friday evenings. Bookings are essential. viagra sans ordonnance Contact Brett 074 833 9516

The incredible Tempeh is handmade by Jesaya another Bibbyshoek resident.

Oyster mushrooms – grown right here on the farm by Bert.

Rocket and baby asparagus came from the back garden.

The blessing of real, earth-grown cherry tomatos came from Deborah. Yes, pictured is my tomato loot – which has subsequesntly been turned into tomato chutney and tomato chilli sauce – more on that next time.








Rheenendal Produce Swop – Best Retail Therapy Ever!

I attended my first produce swop this afternoon. A few members of the community decided to stop trying to plan it and just do it – so there we were today, outside the Portland Mini Mark, with our vegies, fruit, yoghurt, honey, eggs etc. displayed on the back of Brett Garvies’ bakkie, negotiating trades.

For example, I took a few kilos of our Golden Delicious apples, some packets of sundried Oyster mushrooms and a few jars of Fig Conserve. I didn’t swop it all out – the apples were all snapped up though (When was the last time anyone ate a totally pesticide free apple?). I came home with cialis : generiques homemade linguini pasta, a jar of local raw honey, two 80% pure chocolate brownies, a small bunch of spinach and 2 jars of homemade yoghurt.

A monetary value is placed on each product and you negotiate a fair trade of your produce for produce that you want. No cash. But you must return glass bottles to the producer, fair enough, jam jars have become stupidly expensive!

And best of all – I now know the names of two people that I have been greeting at the store for the last two years, I met two people for the first time and had the time to really catch up with friends who I seldom see, even though we live in the same community.

A big Thank You to Debbie Henley and Brett Garvie for getting us together – may this be the start of wonderful times, great local food and bringing a community together.

The Rheenendal community produce swop happens every Wednesday afternoon from 4 – 5 o’clock. Cash sales permitted to non-producers after the main trading.