Oh Scrumptious friends, one and all, please forgive me for not having posted new recipes recently. Our entire family - kids, dogs, furniture, plants - is moving to Hout Bay,
Cape Town, in a week's time, and I have had neither the time nor inclination to cook. My batterie de cuisine (apart from a few spoons, cups, plates, and an electric frying pan) has been boxed and taped shut, and I'm spending most of my days teetering on a ladder turfing out the contents of my shelves and cupboards.
Packing up a house is spine-crunching work (I'm not the spring chicken I used to be) but at the same time it's wonderfully cathartic, and I feel fizzily invigorated after dumping a third of my books, and many boxes of junk (or what my local, fund-starved library eagerly calls 'brick-a-brack'.)
I cannot tell you how dizzily delighted I am at the thought of moving back to Cape Town, where I lived with my husband for nine years BK (Before Kids). I feel so lucky to be going back to a city I love, and one that is surely among the most astonishingly beautiful places on Earth.
What's more, I have two sisters who live in Hout Bay (they inconsiderately moved there some years back, the shameless trollops, leaving me with no babysitting support, no chance to really get to know my nieces and nephews, and no opportunity for regular family jollifications). My lovely mum, who also joined this reverse Great Trek, lives an hour away from Cape Town, in Franschhoek, right next door to my dear uncle, aunt and cousins. And then, oh, delight, there are many old friends, some of them recently settled in Cape Town, others I got to know during the Eighties, and all of whom I have sorely missed. And then, of course, there are my virtual friends, the food bloggers of Cape Town, who have so enthusiastically supported this blog.
But there's another reason I can't wait to get to Cape Town: the restaurants, the markets, and the beautiful fresh produce that flows into the city from farms and smallholdings on its outskirts, and further afield.
And, please excuse me while I faint at the thought: fresh fish whenever I want (and can afford!) it. Our new house is ten minutes away from Hout Bay harbour which, despite attracting gazillions of tourists in summer, is as delightful and authentic a fishing harbour as you are likely to find anywhere in the world: it remains a working harbour, with many of its fishing boats worked or owned by fisher-people who've lived in Hout Bay for generations.
I'm not very experienced at cooking seafood (good, fresh fish is just so expensive in Johannesburg) and I really look forward to sharing my cooking adventures with you. There'll be a silence on this blog for two weeks or so, while I drag our travelling circus southwards, and when January comes, I'll be diving into my tiny (but perfectly formed) new kitchen to try out some new recipes.