How to make food soar! How to make soap whimsical!
There is a certain question that almost invariably comes up at my gatherings of friends at the dinner table, “What besides gastronomy and saponification make you tick?” My answer, even though not etched in stone, but almost always is, “Cooking is after all, just an ephemeral art, just as soon as you create a delicious dish, it is consumed within no time & is gone, so I would always want for my sweetie and I to rather love life deliciously in more ways than one, ( so to answer the question, Romance!”
I swear, I could just as easily survive on love alone!), share life’s pleasures with others and to always laugh at our idiosyncrasies! There is just no room for disconsolation in our life.
Sunflower sprout salad with a sour fig dressing
Everything I do is always with my Mom in mind, she could take any mundane dish & magically make it so delicious! There was magic in that lady’s hands!
Organic baby sunflower sprouts, roasted yellow & red cherry tomatoes ( from our garden), reconstituted dried fruit & toasted pine nuts with a sour fig dressing, also a bathroom makeover is on the agenda today.
I bought the sunflower greens from Paradise Farms in Redvale, Colorado. The sunflower sprouts are nutty & crispy, so pairs exceptionally well with the rest of the ingredients in my recipe.
I received some dried sour figs from a friend in Cape Town, South Africa, so I thought that a sour fig vinaigrette would be perfect for this crisp salad with all its tasty textures! Sour figs were my Mom’s favorite & her family would always make a sour fig” konfyt” ( I would eat loads of this), but I decided to be a bit more innovative & make a kick-ass dressing out of them to coat this delicious salad. If you want to know more about these succulent & tart fruits just read HERE & also HERE. These wrinkled brown sour figs are a Cape Malay favorite!
Recipe: Please use organic ingredients when possible!
- 3 X 5oz Organic baby sunflower sprouts or substitute baby spinach, if you cannot find them!
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts with a little of my home-made spice mix or smoked paprika in your case & kosher salt, just do this in a hot pan on the stove top, let cool.
- 1/2 cup reconstituted dried fruit, viz…dried apples, apricots, prunes & pears. Just soak in boiling H2O to make it supple & then cut into small pieces
- 1 lb roasted cherry, yellow & red tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half, place all on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with olive oil & kosher salt & roast @ 250 degrees for an hour, cool & set aside. Garden grown is by far the superior & our garden is no exception!
Sour Fig dressing: ( Dit is my wending vir ‘n Suid Afrikaanse suurvye slaai sous)
- 1 lb sour figs/ I guess you can subst. regular figs here but it will not be the same! Scratch that!…..It will definitely, not be the same! Simply because the figs are sweet & these sour figs have a tart pulp that makes your taste buds, prematurely salivate while squeezing the pulp into your mouth!
- wild, unfiltered & raw honey
- pinch kosher salt/ or sea salt
- stick cinnamon
- vanilla bean, scrape using the seeds & the bean too
- Brown rice vinegar or Aged Balsamic, I cook with both
- Grape seed oil or safflower oil here, would not do extra virgin o. o. here, too overpowering in this instance!
- my home-made spice, this toasted mix has elements of sweet & savory in it (optional)
First wash the sour figs. Soak the dry wrinkled or ( even the freshly picked), sour figs in boiling H2O (about 1 & 1/2 cups of H2o) just to soften. Do not discard this soaking liquid but do strain it! Remove the figs & squeeze out the delicious sour pulp from each into a small saucepan, (painstaking to say the least), but so freakin worth it! Add 2 or more T of wild organic honey, depending on the amount of sweetness you would like, 1 stick cinnamon & vanilla, a little kosher salt, a little bit of the soaking liquid, ( 1/2 cup), and cook for about 15-20 mins until this liquid has reduced in volume & is concentrated. Add 1-2 T of the vinegar you could even use malt v. to the mixture & cook further for 2 mins. I normally add a little bit of my home-made spice to give it that extra kick. Last but not least add the remainder of the cooled, strained soaking liquid & cook for another 5 mins. Cool this liquid & pour into a jar with 2 T oil, 1 more T of the vinegar, pinch of salt to taste & more cold water if this liquid is too thick, shake like the dickens & you are done! Decant into a glass jar with cinnamon & vanilla.
You know what happens next…..just toss all these crisp greens with all the roasted & toasted nuts & fruits & drizzle with the star of this recipe, the SOUR FIG dressing & enjoy! Trust me you will!
“Lekker light” in more ways than one!!
What I did was, serve the salad in tiny bowls with the dressing on the bottom of the bowl & then just had everyone toss their own salad, so it was like a tasty surprise.
This guest bathroom took 9 months in the making……It was like conceiving & giving birth to a son! Yes, my husband took 9 months to revamp this eye sore & by Jove he is still not done yet! He does all the renovations on our home by himself with no help. He is truly, the creative genius in our family!!! After you read below, you too will agree!
Before.…the original 70’s style when we bought the house….out dated & so yesterday! It was dislike at first sight!
…….Ta Da! enter the luxurious spa bath…….., be sure to pick up your jaw on the way in! The transformation is stupendous! He actually outlined the pattern on the wall & on the floor first, before laying the tiles…a step that saves you lots of stone tile in the end.
……….complete with a tub & more jets, your sore a.. can handle! LOL!
I requested little hidden nooks for all my nik naks, ask & thou shalt receive, even if it does mean that you will definitely be getting the silent treatment for a day or two or vice versa when the request was met with a reverberating He.. NO! In this instance, a good old pouting helps!
He! he! I always get my way. Anyway, let’s be realistic the little Paris nik nak has to go & make way for shampoos & other bathroom accoutrements. I do have more shelves on the side for the girly crap.
I love how the light just “spills ” over the walls! I also requested the river rock inlay that surrounds the perimeter of the bathroom. I painted this vivid picture in my mind & my husband solely obliged, but not without the added bullsh…..that follows a renovation!
The faucets & all the other fixtures boast that same bronze hue! My husband struggled a bit with the stone that frames the mirror but in the end with his temper in check, finally achieved this fabulous result. Sweetie, let me put it in writing here now……“I am sorry for giving you all that crap while you were trying to get this project done, but you must admit my nagging or should I say seemingly reasonable requests, kept your creative juices flowing & you magically made them come to life!
When a referred Turkish stone quarrier, now a dear friend, learned that I shared the same religion & that I was into “decent cookery”, he simply gave us the Limestone (counter-top) for free in exchange for some computer help from my husband & decent grub from me. Life has all sorts of perks.
Yep, the old crapper is gone, who would not want to park their rear here now & enjoy the view!
This sweet, little floor register below will keep us, ( or rather our guests), warm during the winter! This bathroom looks better than the other renovated bathrooms in our home! Hence the proverbial saying,” you get better with age.”
This bathroom is upstairs just off a dark hallway, so now I really want him to install a skylight to bring in some natural light, what do you think?
I love making new soaps for my guests, especially for the kids…I really do not mind when they take them home!
Hope you are all keeping your cool!