Saturday, June 1, 2013
The kitchen table today.
...while the rains came down outside, shooting white water from the gutters and from high on the cloud-shrouded mountain. As I write the water beats around the house. A clock ticks, I can smell wood smoke. Somewhere in the wet dark my dad and Vince are driving back from a rugby game at Newlands.
Earlier today the Frenchman and I squelched through the bumper to bumper parking lot at our local shopping centre, Constantia Village, and inside we shopped for a few last minute essential items for our trip. Duct tape (because you have to), raisin buns (see previous remark) and dry ice packs. In the enourmous fresh produce section of Pick 'n Pay I could not resist these guavas and the first waterblommetjies of the season.
Waterblommetjies? VAH-tuhr-blaw-mee-keys. In Afrikaans literally, little water flowers.
Aponogeton distachyos: an aquatic plant native to the Western Cape, and in season in winter when road side ditches fill with rain water and ponds overflow. Now their pretty little white flowers have begun to turn to fleshy seed capsules. Their flavour is lightly astringent and lemony, with a texture not dissimilar to artichoke heart. Traditionally eaten slow-cooked with pieces of lamb, in a bredie.
We will buy our lamb for our trip (it's South Africa, one travels with lamb) on the road, at the Travalia farmstall south of Three Sisters in the Great Karoo, recommended by my cousin Andrea, who must be one of the foremost road travel authorities in the country. We have benefited enourmously from her expertise.