04 February 2007

- 2/3/4 February 2007
I still cannot believe that we are into the second month of 2007. Where was January? I am sure January comes before February - this was what I was taught in Grade 1. If someone out there has been so cruel as to keeping January for themselves, please come forward and rescue our deprived soles.
The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with chefs in training at GECKO Culinary Adventures. Melanie Townsend the owner and Chief Chef took the ex Pick-of-the Crop girls and their other halves on a hands-on training course preparing a four course meal. I must say, and I am sure the girls would agree, the men were tops when it came to the 'hands-on' moments. Bruce kneaded up a storm (focaccia) which had everyone drooling. Mannie proved to be outstanding when it came to rolling out Bruce's kneaded focaccia dough with a rolling pin. Fortunately, Gail was on her best behaviour and Mannie had no need to use the rolling pin for any other purpose. Conroy whipped up Gecko's Sublime Chocolate Mousse (under the watchful eye of all the girls) and made sure that enough brandy was added. Murray and Duncan on the other hand made sure that quality control measures were in place at all times. The girls however, were masters at the chopping, slicing and cutting game with Jenny and Sophia slicing up crispy potatoe wedges and Ellie, Gail and Charmain slicing up gigantic juicy mushrooms. Melanie demonstrated how to prepare and pan fry Haloumi Cheese which was served with a sweet berrie preserve sauce. Everyone found the squeakiness of the Haloumi cheese whilst chewing it, an odd culinary experience. For those of you who don't know Haloumi cheese, it is a much drier version of feta cheese, from where the squeakiness. It should always be pan fried first. It is quite salty, but a sweet sauce compliments it very well.
The main course was Fiery Fillet of Beef with onion, Parmesan and red wine sauce served with roasted potatoe wedges, roasted butternut, butter steamed broccoli and cabbage and mushrooms.
One of Melanie's tips was that we usually don't put our ovens higher than 180 degrees. This means that it takes much longer to cook our food. She recommends putting an oven as high as it can go and thus shorten the cooking time.
Melanie demonstrated how to serve the main course attractively by creating a stack in the middle of a plate with everything. Check out the pic of Bruce below dashing to the main table with his stacked pile of food, which was the stack created by Melanie in her demonstration. Needless to say that Bruce is an opportunist. Whilst he was tucking away at his mouth watering stack of goodness, the rest of us had to create our own stacks before we could tuck away!
All in all it was a dinner with a hands-on difference! Thanks to everyone for good company and good food!

Necklace & Bracelet Set: R400

Another jewellery set created over the weekend. Libby eat your heart out!

This is another layout based on one of the designs I presented at my scrapbook day at Makaranga on 27 Jan. This was of Augrabies Waterfall where we overnighted before the start of our orange river expedition.

- Off to brave another work week without my dear friend Thanusha (the real TP) who has left AlexanderCox to do her articles at Mooney Ford. Thanusha you are truly missed - please don't forget your ex colleagues at AlexanderCox


  1. Hi Desire

    Is Augrabies not the most amazing place? We spent a week there the beginning of JANUARY that yes has come and gone in a flash - your layouts are LOVELY! Looking forward to meeting you soon - claire

  2. I must say that the dinner on Friday night was fun, don't you agree...

  3. Anonymous10:06 PM

    I now have so much inspiration for my Orange River photos.

    Your dinner evening really sounds like you had a lot of fun. Any chance of the Mousse recipe??!!

    Keep churning out those layouts!!


    (The OW and MoBHG who is a TPGC and is the MFV the DLA and also DLEWotN)


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