Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I’m going on a Food Safari !  Not a real one with BBC Foods or anything fancy like that but one I have decided to undertake for myself.  My husband finally has some “semi-family” visiting from Germany and he wants to take them around the country.  With a sort of ho-hum, done that a few times attitude I thought I might give it an angle and came up a Food Safari – I mean how hard can it be .. After all Floyd did it?

In true Zimbabwean tradition, I have made Padkos … showing the German visitors how we do a road trip – delicious roast fillet rolls with Dijonnainse Mustard, fresh naartjies, trail-mix and ice cold bottles of water – which we ate on the side of the road in a rather smelly lay-by as my husband’s arse had gone to sleep from driving (his words not mine).  The fumes of the trucks and busses didn’t really affect the flavour too much

Another brief gastronome moment was dashed when we pulled into a delightful country retreat to enjoy a home baked pie that we had experienced on another occasion, only to find the country retreat was no more with not a pie to be seen, homemade or otherwise and lot of people giving us the evil eye as we swung in and out – dammit, but I mustn’t be despondent, there are still 9 more days to go.
We have arrived at Caribbean Bay and now ready for dinner – my husband and guests have discovered Savannah and started enjoying the trip.  I on the other hand am being a little more discerning with a Gin and Tonic.. (Floyd did this – talked about food and drink together, very clever) 

Overall Crit on the food – the Butternut soup was a little thin (note to self to email the Chef Tammy Crawford’s Butternut Soup recipe) The Kariba bream was outstanding and the Crème Caramel was delicious – I really am quite good at this

Breakfast was rather a greasy affair – lots of eggs, bacon, potatoes and baked beans.  I love baked beans, I know this isn’t very Floyd like but I like them anyway.  Mental pat on the back for remembering the “goodie food pack” with woollies biscuits, chips, gummy sweets etc, especially of the foods going to be like this all the way …  My husband played games with the Baboons by throwing the remains of my gourmet rolls out the window on the way to the Ferry – not quite what I had in mind when I made them

Arrived on the Ferry – it’s great, sauntered over towards the Galley and found Tea Coffee and lovely chocolate biscuits on the go.  Will try just a few.  Cars are loaded and we are off and bloody hell, it’s time for lunch.  I swear I can still taste the chocolate biscuits – never mind, I am here to try everything.    Lovely cold meats and salad (note to self to send the Captain Mrs Nels Three Bean Salad recipe as she doesn’t use so much vinegar)  Just finished the last mouthful of fruit salad and its tea time with those damn biscuits again.  My family have paid little attention to anything other than Savannahs
Chatted to the Captain for most of the evening over a bottle of wine I had to order and drink by myself.  Can’t quite remember all the dinner details but remember telling the waiter I didn’t eat Ice Cream which is true – sorry cant crit something if I really don’t like it – no point.  Husband and Guests having full on German party on board by themselves!


Another greasy breakfast – but necessary after all that wine so well received.  Eggs, Bacon, Baked Beans (thanks again) and toast.  Husband complained and guests ate a piece of toast.  I do wonder if I seem to be eating a lot but then remember that I am on a food safari so feel better

We are off the Ferry and heading for Botswana but Husband feels the need to stop in Vic Falls for lunch – not sure why as we have just had breakfast but will humour him as even toasted sandwiches deserve to be critiqued.  These took over an hour to make .. so instead they drank Savannahs and I ended up driving to Botswana. 
We have arrived at Mowana – stunning, fab, lovely place.  We had to go to dinner early as my husband says one bloody tomato sandwich is not a lunch and needs to eat Now !  Flipping Hell – the damn buffet stretches from one end of the restaurant to the other.  The waiter tries to tell us what’s on the menu but my husband fobs him off and makes for the food.  I decide that Floyd would start at one end and try a little of everything.  Getting strange looks from the lady on table 3 as I go back for the sixth time.  En-familie hasn’t noticed as they are all drinking bloody Savannahs.  I have ordered yet another bottle of wine ..  Just found out I have eaten Crocodile, Eland and Goat – not my normal diet and feel a little strange but that could be the wine

I don’t believe it – breakfast is another room long buffet meal.  Visitors eat more toast… (Note to self, must eat Toast tomorrow as you will have sampled the buffet today)  Exceptionally tasty, not greasy at all and the chef knew how to cook two fried eggs with the yolk only – I hate the white of an egg!  Guests and Husband decide lunch is just going to be Savannahs and I grudgingly relent but end up drinking Hunters just because I am not becoming addicted to Savannahs like them

Dinner again back at the Buffet – don’t they ever just serve a flipping peanut butter sandwich ???  Whole new menu so once again have to try everything .  Husband points out that I don’t eat Ice Cream and I snottily reply that I needed something to try the chocolate sauce with.  What does he know, all they do is eat toast and drink Savannah

S**t I honestly didn’t think it would be this hard (note to self, eat toast tomorrow as well, but try and not eat everything else with it)  Now feeling slightly full and glad that car is packed and we are on the way to Falls – couldn’t keep pecking at the Buffet again !  Thank Goodness I am wearing my Magic Jeans from Woolies – the ones that make you lose 10kgs the minute you put them on !

Visit to the falls where I am now too full to walk so end up sitting in the Rainforest Restaurant while the Savannah addicts make their way round the falls.  Sneak in a piece of caramel and coffee cake as they are going to be ages and no sooner wiped away the crumbs and they bloody well came back – what one earth is wrong with these people.  They order lunch and I can’t say no otherwise the cake episode will come out so end up eating a giant wrap filled with warthog, hummus, avo and salad.  It was delicious but I am now too full to enjoy it and trousers starting to pinch.

We head straight off on a River Cruise and walk in to trays of snacks on the tables – No way can I look at them, so sit upright as trousers are now getting tight, with my back to the table.  Don’t dare turn round which is a good thing as family are now cracking the Savannahs and disgracing themselves once again!

I don’t believe it, we are heading off to the Boma for a full on 26 course menu and I have to do the job I have given myself justice – barff in the toilet might work but just can’t bear the thought of it so grin and bear it, wriggling uncomfortably in my chair.  I managed to force down eland, warthog (again) ostrich, buffalo, croc (again only this time I knew) lamb but drew the line at Rabbit.  Guests finally decided to eat something – no wonder as they have only eaten toast for five days !  I can’t face local beer so chugging down G & T’s – only way to get through this food fest !
Woke up in the middle of the night with the realisation that Floyd was a flipping fraud just like my bloody magic jeans – he never ate a damm thing – he just drank everything !!!!!!!!

Breakfast at Gorges Lodge – drank far too many G & T’s so threw down the greasy omelette with ultra-crispy bacon – my choice, not the Chefs – and mentally prepared myself for another day.  I have the day with husband alone as guests canoeing – ha let’s see if their muscles have benefited from all the Savannah bottles being lifted up and down

I want to vomit – my husband wants to go back and eat another wrap at the Rainforest Restaurant – shit has this man not eaten enough !!!  Force down yet another Wrap, this time chicken and try to look enthusiastic when he starts raving about the food – that’s my job actually !
Back to the Lodge and on to dinner which is served at breakneck speed – apparently the barman feels my group is an asset in the bar as they are very festive and he wants them back.  I want to curl up on the couch and go to sleep as so full I can’t walk to my room – I am NOT partying with that crowd !  End up partying with that crowd and branch out onto Amarula !

I had to wait for Husband to go to the bathroom before I could get dressed – more magic jeans only this time I had to lie on the bed to zip them up.  Haven’t done that since I was 19, a size 6 and it was cool to wear skin tight jeans – now the jeans are holding my skin together in case I burst !!!

Guests riding elephants and we dash into the restaurant for a piece of toast before we leave – chef arrives with identical breakfast from yesterday and it would have been rude to refuse – ended up with toast, pancakes, omelette crispy bacon and cheese

Head down to Elephant Camp on our way to Hwange and almost stop breathing in in admiration – what a beautiful place.  Could feel myself reeling towards the breakfast buffet and became afraid I might fall face first into the corn flakes – F**K – I think I might be the one with a problem here !
Husband does it again – he wants to eat lunch !!!!!!!!  Does he not realise that he could end up having a foodaholic on his hands .. f**k Floyd, f**k everything !   He seems oblivious that Hwange Safari Lodge serves the biggest toasted sandwiches in the world – who do they think they are serving, Bloody Giants from Lord of the Bloody Rings !!  I choose chicken nuggets with chips and smother them with Rabroy tomato sauce – Guests look like throwing up – I eat the lot ! 

We drive down to Hwange Main Camp and are collected by the Guide from The Hide who informs us that he has bought a packed lunch in case we are hungry.  Guests start retching – bloody show offs !  I am fixated by large white cake box on the seat. Somehow end up with a handful of oat cookies and a lump of cheese.  Sat for 2 hours in awkward upright position as trousers no longer moveable.  Leap into stretchy gym trousers (who was I kidding), the minute we arrive in camp.  Bloody bloody hell – they feel tight as well.  Might have to resort to loose pyjama pants tomorrow !
Not in camp for five minutes before the drums start for dinner –  is everyone nuts !!!!!! - do these people not realise you need at least 5 hours between meals for your food to digest properly. Have heard you can fill up on liquid before a meal and it stops you eating so drink bottle of red wine.   Am the first at dinner table (note to self, check chair dimensions, theirs feel really tight).   Relief as small starter served but almost caught myself licking the plate as delicious. Drink more wine.

 First in queue for Roast Lamb.  Now life and soul of the party.  Family giving me dark looks but don’t care, wine is part of my new weight loss programme.  Waiter hands me a side plate with extra lamb on it – how did he know !  Gulp down delicious dessert and Husband hands his to me – is he trying to make a point here???  I graciously decline but waiter has to prize my fingers off the glass when he tries to take it away – drink Husbands wine instead…  Vaguely remember Amarulas being handed around in coffee !  Family is abstaining which I find very rude as Savannah sales have now plummeted

Thank goodness for early morning coffee – drop hot water all over the biscuits which I eat anyway with a teaspoon.  Breakfast again – how on earth are you expected to eat three meals a day – it’s bloody impossible.  Gamely manage to force down fruit and muesli, eggs, bacon, toast, tomato and sausage.  Family eats Muesli – what’s wrong with their bloody toast ??? Huh ???  Am last person at the breakfast table.  Husband has gone off with Guests for game drive.  I end up lying comatose on the pool lounger as can no longer sit upright.  Have torn out page in camp magazine about an online diet club – might be interested !
Praise the Lord – we are just having a hamburger for lunch.  Husband offers me his roll.  I have mad desire to shove it up his nose.  No one else comes for tea and the cook looks disappointed so I eat some of his banana loaf.  Just licking lips when I am offered a glass of wine – none too soon if you ask me.  Savanna Detox victims are refusing to drink anything..  Dinner is superb affair.  I do toasts with two glasses of wine, one red and one white, then realise I am drinking  the man’s wine sitting next to me.  Husband thinks its water.    Fairly excitable at dinner but feel I am really starting to understand this food thing and good food deserves praise and glory..  Also discover that the more Amarula you put in coffee, the nicer it tastes


Look in the mirror and recoil in total horror – my eyelids have put on weight…  They are so fat I can hardly open my eyes and end up jabbing myself with the mascara.  Go to breakfast wearing sunglasses and eat Museli.  Germans sit down to TWO pieces of toast, two eggs, bacon, baked beans, tomato, and corn fritters!  Now they decide to bloody well eat??????  Just to make a point, I  go back and eat eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans (place went up a notch or two in my estimation) and tomato.  Drew the line at corn fritters as highly allergic.  Husband makes snide remarks about throwing up !  Keep bumping into things as glasses a bit dark but don’t care.

Now in the comfort of our own transport and can remove glasses – no one seems to notice fat eyelids.  Not five minutes later Husband suggests stopping at Halfway House for – wait for it – another BLOODY sandwich.  He offers to share half with me – we are going to have to have a very serious talk when we get home.  I eat it anyway.  We finally get in the car and head for home. Will be writing to BBC food to complain – Floyd was definitely travelling with wardrobe, hair and make up crew who are as round as Telly Tubbies as he made them eat all the food.  I am totally dishevelled, bruised from banging into things, breathing heavily as the sloppy pyjama pants I am travelling in are too tight and wishing the coke in my hand is red wine. ( Note to self, make sure I book an appointment to have my jaw wired  as soon as possible)

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Ok - so this is a tough one!  Is it fair to say that say that exotic sounding menus attract a higher price than something with traditional wording like good old bangers and mash - even if they cost out at the same price?  

Chilled Moroccan Carrot salad, fresh garlic and cilantro flavoured with traditional Moroccan spices

Delicate Lamb Kebabs infused with ginger and layered fresh Mango slices

Jasmine scented Couscous, infused with Jasmine tea leaves

Green bean twists


Fresh fruit cocktail

Roast Lamb and Mint Sauce
Slow Roasted Potatoes and Garden Fresh vegetables

It really doesn't have the same ring to it and yet if you were to cost it out item for item, you would find that the top menu is probably less expensive than the bottom one, but I can guarantee that pricewise, you would pay considerably more for the first one !   So does this mean that our taste buds have become snob orientated...??  Exotic menus, infused with Chef-Speak = higher prices !!! 

What on earth have we done ?


Sunday, May 27, 2012

What time does Breakfast become Lunch ?

True to form, I was out and about this morning, restaurant hopping ... Not a hard thing to do in Bulawayo as there are only 3 restaurants that actually open on Sunday. First off was a farewell Champagne Breakfast for Paula who has succumbed to the lure of London rather than our little office at 26 on Park, I mean, what is she thinking !!!

Apart from our group, there were pockets of people huddled in the garden, braving the winter sun and the howling gale that decided to blow up in minutes. We had the customary champs, fruit juice and eggs benedict and around us we could see various plates of pseudo-breakfasts being carried backwards and forwards as the latest thing is to design your own breakfast!

Next up was my weekly rendezvous with The River Cafe to get it all dressed up and ready for Sunday Lunch and what a bun flight it turned out to be ... I arrived around 11.30, thinking the egg and bacon boys would be well fed and on their way home, only to find them drumming on the table waiting for breakfast... with the last cheese omelette going out the kitchen at 12.45.

When did breakfast become an all-day meal and when did we feel it was acceptable to crawl out of bed at 12 and go down to our “local Caff" for a bang up Full English with a side serving of Attitude if the poor waitress tries to suggest Roast Beef instead. So maybe next week I will design my own breakfast - quite fancy softly fried eggs, some sautéed carrots, a portion of chicken curry on toast, topped with mushrooms ...

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and has also appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Feb 1996).


1 quantity Hollandaise Sauce  (we buy ours from the Fake Woolies shop)
6 large, very fresh eggs
12 slices pancetta, grilled until crisp
3 English muffins, split in half horizontally
a little butter
Pre-heat the grill to its highest temperature
Make the Hollandaise Sauce. Poach the eggs (see How to poach an egg, below). When the pancetta is cooked, keep it on a warm plate while you lightly toast the split muffins on both sides.
Now butter the muffins and place them on the baking tray, then top each half with two slices of pancetta. Put a poached egg on top of each muffin half and then spoon over the hollandaise, covering the egg (there should be a little over 1 tablespoon of sauce for each egg).
Now flash the Eggs Benedict under the grill for just 25-30 seconds, as close to the heat as possible, but don't take your eyes off them – they need to be tinged golden and no more. This should just glaze the surface of the hollandaise. Serve straight away on hot plates.

Good Old Delia !!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Its 2012 - already !

Its a fact of life and the internet that the more you sign up for to be "in the know" the less likely you are to remember the passwords you have used ... hence the reason it is now halfway through 2012, well after midnight with the cartoon Rio playing on the telly.  Yes - I have finally managed to get onto my Blog after trying password no 73 !  I know, I know, smart people use the same password, but words of wisdom from the spotty guy who taught me how to access the net are still ringing in my ears some years later ...

Its a bit like being Rip Van Winkle ... what has happened since my last post ?  Well lots of closed restaurants, new restaurants, new menus, old menus, new food websites, new Chefs, old Chefs, people who arent Chefs, new prices, high prices and so it goes on and on.  Watch this space.

Right now I am going to bed, but not before I have added the new password to the list - now where the hell did I put it ...