Monday, April 23, 2012

A tribute to my mentor!

I do not have a recipe today, as I am mourning the passing of my second Mother! I felt the need to come here today, to grieve and just to talk!

Farewell Tietie, as you embark on the most important journey of your life! May the Almighty God forever bless your soul!

…..It was on the morning of 4/14/12, when I received an e-mail from my aunt Mona, from sunny South Africa, stating that my beloved Aunt (Tietie) was gravely ill in hospital! Her words were, " Tietie gravely ill in hospital, things do not look good; I am at her side! Please say a little prayer for her!"
My heart skipped a beat and I immediately felt an uncontrollable pang of apprehension! Oh no, I started to sob, this is like losing my Mom all over again! The cessation of a loved-one's life, once more, felt so surreally palpable and there was nothing anyone could do!  Please God, I said, do not make her leave us, make her whole again.... but deep down I knew that Tietie was ready to obey the call of the Almighty!

 ....And so my tribute begins:

To Tietie, our second mother, the hospital cook, the day-care teacher, and mentor of my love for food and who has also taught my siblings, my cousins, even her siblings and all her friends,  the fundamentals of some really flavorful cuisine. Her motto was never to skimp, but only to splurge on the very best of ingredients. Her fastidious nature commanded that every aspect of dining reflect that of a traditionalist and that every meal, be delicious, yet unforgettable. She lovingly prepared meals from scratch and to even dare open up a can, was taboo. In fact all my elders displayed these types of anal dining antics and the one thing they all agreed upon was, whatever the numbers, giving your guests a good time was by far the most important thing to do.

As you can denote from this blog, I always try to put into practice, the food lessons learned from her . I must confess though, that sometimes,  I do tend to seek an easier way out of her classic recipes, but the one thing I would never do is to sacrifice, flavor! She insisted upon it and I would never dream of disgracing her!

To all that has had the honor of her teachings in food, let us all try just a little bit harder to keep her atavistic legacy in food alive.

For Tietie

This is a poem I wrote, mainly for me and to let "her" go with dignity and grace!

"Sabr, is thy virtue" Nazarina A

Do not ridicule her passing,
do not ponder upon her death,
instead, let her take her place -
amongst the pious and the pardoned,
enjoy the bounty of God's Garden.

All praises be to our Creator
for choosing her, the patient and the pure,
where suffering could no longer lure,
an innocent and tolerant child,
to an underworld gone wild!

I thought it only prudent to include this poem as well, as it is a poem about the Prophet, (S.A.W),  (Peace be upon Him).  I wrote it while still at college.

The Prophet and the NazarinaA

Spider, spider on the wall,
jointed legs and very tall,
protected by your magical web
free from harm and free from dread.

Spider, spider on the wall,
widowed, black and very bold,
king of the animals of  the underworld
protected the Prophet, while on the road
evading hatred and the sword.

Spider, spider on the wall,
creeping, stalking, on the crawl -
we dare not ignore those watchful eyes
It was you who heard the Prophet's cries,
gave him sanctuary, when no one else could,
 instilling solace on a broken feud.

Spider, spider on the wall
always proud, you never fall,
gave the Prophet a second chance,
to live, to love and just to dance
to smell the emerald sea and ruby night,
He soon forgot this teary song
and urgent plight!

I love you Tietie,” were my last words to her and to this she murmured, “I love you too!”  Thank you, Sister Michaels, ( And Victoria Hospital, Wynberg, South Africa) for giving me the opportunity to find closure and what may have been her final farewell to me!

Thank you Oegtie and Beit-Ul-Aman, (Home for the Aged in Wynberg, South Africa) for being her home away from home. Words cannot even begin to convey my eternal gratitude for loving her so!

Thank you to my brother A, for being there to endure her “sweet scolding” on behalf of us all!

Thank you to my family here and most importantly, in South Africa,  for being there for her, Shukran from the bottom of my heart, for you there really is no bottom!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Scones, Red Rocks, Colorado & Usher's new song!

Tahitian vanilla powder, is my little twist on
my Late Mom's recipe of this delectable brunch confection!

Absolutely no pectin or loads of sugar in my
homemade preserves! Just lavish amounts
of sun-ripened berries & a modest amount
of honey!

Sure there are many recipes of this time-honored
tradition of the "Brits" around, but I have many
little twists in mine! Click here for recipe! & scroll
all the way down. I love my scones flaky, with a
"little give" in the center

Mascarpone mousse, lightened with whipped cream!


This fruit fondant Madeira cake, that I developed here, is featured in this British magazine below, the Fall issue #114 on page 114. Originally, I contacted them to thank them for the safe arrival of my package with the delectable fruit fondant powders, I purchased from them and much to my delight, they emailed me, asking for a head shot of myself & the pictures of this cake and publishing my little article in the ” forum” section on pg 114-115. Anyway, this cake was indescribably delicious, this fruit fondant powder turns into a rich fruit coolie when mixed with water!

This magazine is sold at Barnes & Noble.

Red Rocks, Colorado, is my escape from this sometimes
frenetic world!..........more here

Thanks for your visit, hope you enjoy my version of the scone!


Monday, October 10, 2011

A trip to Telluride, Ouray & Durango, south west part of Colorado.

I live in Colorado, so this trip to the south western part was
imminent, sooner rather than later!

Hooray for Ouray, Colorado!

Hayden Trail head, Ouray, Colorado


More about this trip here......

Thank you for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunflower sprouts, pine nuts, roasted tomatoes, dried fruits & a sour fig dressing.

This sour fig dressing is actually the star of this dish!
See the ingredient list & "how to" here

The sour figs are from South Africa! recipe here

Pine nuts should be toasted, tomatoes should be roasted.....etc


This is our old guest bathroom, I can assure you that it
was"dislike" at first sight.....
see the complete new transformation done by my Sweetie


I love making soaps for kids & I really do not mind
when they take them home!

Thank you,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pina colada thumbprints, Easter & sea soaps & more!

click on picture

Dessicated coconut rocks & the occasional pure-white
coconut flesh toasts perfectly into a delicious toasted

These Easter soaps were a cumbersome project but
what can I say, perseverance prevails every time!

More here

Soaps that make munchkins want to live in the bathroom!

These molds for the sea creatures above and terrestrial "monsters"
below were not meant for soap but I used them anyway!

I love the unexpected twists & turns in this recipe, it made the diners at this baby shower wish for more! They all wanted to know how I achieved this delicately balanced recipe & not sweet at all! What can I say freeze dried fruit does wonders!

Summer is here & I am stagnant no more!

I made the cookies & the soaps for a friend's baby shower here

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Digestive biscuits & another pumpkin pie

To be chocolaty or cheesy? that is the question!

This biscuit had a "malty" overtone with a light crisp
& shortbread-like taste.....Mmmm! must be the barley malt
syrup & just the yolk I
added! Absolutely Yum! A nazarina special.

A mousse-like pumpkin pie....vanilla bean whipped
double cream! Stop me please, how m
any more times
am I going to revamp this gift that keeps on giving? LOL!


I developed my rendition of this digestive biscuit with my Mom in my mind, recollecting all those wonderful moments, when we had them for high tea! This pumpkin pie is another rendition of an older pumpkin pie I made last year where I just "Jackson Pollocked" the dark chocolate over the swirled vanilla bean whipped double cream! See all the recipes & pictures of foxes in my backyard......... HERE!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Thomas", the train made from chocolate gingerbread!

All my cherished bake ware is at the brunt of his rambunctious baking demeanor!

Recipe: Use organic ingredients whenever possible!

  • 1/4 cup Valrhona French dark chocolate powder 64% ( Grand Cru de Terroire, “Tainori” Dominican Republic. I am now using this in almost all of my chocolate creations!
Click here for the template & the rest of the ingredients & pictures!

Have fun making this train!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet potato recipes, "Lays style" potato chips & a sushi napkin fold

I have all the instructions on my new blog

The "how to" of these sushi napkins are extremely easy & will dazzle your guests!

A childhood favorite, tomato chips! Yes, that is a dried tomato spice blend and toasted pink peppercorns in the little container.
The sweet potato chips has my Chinese 5 spice & cinnamon blend sprinkled all over the warm , crispy chips!

See the "How to" & more pictures of a baked panko sweet potato salad

on my other domain by clicking HERE!