Friday, December 27, 2013

The house of men and cats

We drove out to Koringberg today.

Karel Kat met us there.

His stoep was a bit hot, so we ate inside.

Karel polishes this floor every day.

Hopefully Karel's minders, Peter and Johan, will remind us what was in that punch. I remember red currants and limes and apples and mint and Tequila and after that it was a bit blurry.

Karel suggested I check out the garlic.

And the chiles. 

And the olives from his orchard.

Whose lids are labeled with precision.

He showed us the other animals:

And then he said we should sit down again.

An inoquous-looking yet stinging and singing tomato consomme was served. Hot with chile, laced with vodka and witblits, and infused with tomato leaves. Super-good.

Was the goat panna cotta before or after the consomme? Around it was olive oil from the young orchard, and cherries and cranberries, and toasted pine nuts. Shiver.

A brief turn in the hot garden, seared tenderloin, aioli, mashed cauliflower with frizzled sage and a multi-layered (pistachio, meringue, strawbery curd) dessert later...

...and in spite of Karel's bedroom eyes, I  hustled my crew out just after 4pm, rather breaking up the party, I fear. 

But tomorrow I have a plane or two to catch.

The southern summer will be behind me again soon, as I head north into a chilly New York City, to be met by a warm Frenchman and a furry black cat. There is the prospect of cold days in which to start compiling an impressive To Do list. I have no idea yet what will be on it.  

But Karel told me I could do anything I wanted to do. And he looks like he knows what he is talking about. 

He said, If you sit still long enough and listen, it comes to you. And then he added, But it helps if you purr. 


  1. Yes, it does help if you purr...

  2. You can do the first bit, and will have help with the second, I am sure. Travel safely, Marie, from your loved ones to your loved ones.

  3. Those last two lines seem straight from Sophia. I'm going to work on my listening and my purring.

  4. Wonderful post. Karel Kat presides over a beautiful, bounteous place. Safe travels!

  5. Enjoyed! Cats are so wise!

  6. What an absolutely gorgeous place. I love the indoor dining room with the wonderful bench and art on the walls. What a wonderful adventure you have had. Safe travels back to the states.

  7. Am sure the handsome green-eyed Karl has the listening stance honed to perfection! Lovely photos...wonderful post! Happy 2014!

  8. No wonder you can't remember Miems De Bruin!!!!

  9. What a fantastic white house! Love it

  10. The outdoors, however, remind me of Midnight Oil's Too Much Sunshine...

  11. I love what Karel told you. And I love your writing, your thoughts, your style.....all of it. Thank you for sharing.


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