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eG Foodblog: GSquared - An Innkeeper in Eden


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... I should report that jackal10 was so upset about my inability to bake decent bread that he has offered to take me under his wing and rehabilitate me. ....

If 5am is the wee hours of the morning, does that make 4:30am the wee wee hours?

From what I've read, you can assume you will begin to make good bread or die trying. Enjoy, you lucky guy!

[straight face] 4:30 vs 5, its a piddlin' difference. [/straight face]. Wee wee indeed. sheesh! :raz:

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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[straight face] 4:30 vs 5, its a piddlin' difference. [/straight face].

No more of that, Kouign :smile: I'll desist if you will - this could get out of hand.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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[straight face] 4:30 vs 5, its a piddlin' difference. [/straight face].

No more of that, Kouign :smile: I'll desist if you will - this could get out of hand.

Agreed. (Tho' it would be fun). Cheerio.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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One of the warthog loins:

gallery_7837_2715_6701.jpg

Sliced up:

gallery_7837_2715_14634.jpg

Table laid. I am not too keen on the furled napkin, but the girls like it.

gallery_7837_2715_10187.jpg

I even remembered to turn on the pie warmer we use as a plate warmer.

gallery_7837_2715_7208.jpg

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I should report that jackal10 was so upset about my inability to bake decent bread that he has offered to take me under his wing and rehabilitate me. So, all future Mes Amis guests, there may still be hope beyond muffins and scones. 

I would think these lessons will take place on Jackal10's estate? :biggrin:

I really love the fact that you have included the staff in profit sharing and the idea of the frozen dinners is excellent. It's always nice to see people really interested in the local economy.

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Better add a starter of Wors'doeuvres, though.

S.A. lurking somewhere in your background, Jamie?

Nothing like a convivial morning banger. Although, as you pointed out, they can lead to false nocturnal alarms.

But yes, I believe I visited. Not entirely sure as I was unconcious most of the time: biltong-hard rugby pitches, harder men, hardest of all - the boozers. I'm pretty sure that I (involuntarily) donated blood, though. Go 'Boks.

Edited by jamiemaw (log)

from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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Racheld mentioned upthread that she would like to see the staff at work. Here is Veronica doing scrambled eggs for the first guest this morning:

gallery_7837_2715_16369.jpg

We offered watermelon today:

gallery_7837_2715_8033.jpg

Scrambled eggs with warthog, mustard sauce, cinnamon butter apple and an onion bhaji. The bhaji was not as big as it appears - foreshortening or something....

gallery_7837_2715_13704.jpg

The Mes Amis croque madame:

gallery_7837_2715_386.jpg

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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I should report that jackal10 was so upset about my inability to bake decent bread that he has offered to take me under his wing and rehabilitate me. So, all future Mes Amis guests, there may still be hope beyond muffins and scones. 

You know, if all else fails, you could invest in a bread-making machine. I suppose one could manage to make even a bread machine screw up, but it is damn difficult. :smile: I owned a second-hand older-model bread machine once, and it really turned out an excellent loaf. And I understand that there are now bread machines available that make traditional-shaped loaves (as opposed to the tall cylindrical or square loaves typical of the first generation or so of the gizmos).

However, I do hope jackal10 does succeed in his lessons with you. IMO There is nothing quite so satisfying as kneading and punching down bread dough. Extremely theraputic--and much more yummy than going to a shrink. :biggrin:

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And I understand that there are now bread machines available that make traditional-shaped loaves (as opposed to the tall cylindrical or square loaves typical of the first generation or so of the gizmos).

By coincidence, I ordered one of those, i.e. the traditional shape one, two days ago. I will, of course, not allow that to dilute my steely determination to win back Jackal10's regard.....

IMO There is nothing quite so satisfying as kneading and punching down bread dough. Extremely theraputic--and much more yummy than going to a shrink. :biggrin:

I completely agree - that is the only part of breadmaking that I enjoyed. The therapy is, however, undone if you have to chuck the product away :biggrin:

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Gerhard, this is a great blog.. I love your writing and your sense of humour, and the way you describe your life.

The ocean views are spectacular and just what you need after a disappointing piece of monkfish!

I confess I had to do a Google Image search for warthog.. that's a scary looking beast!

I also loved the story about your staff, and how you trained them. The fact that they are so committed to your business says a lot about your qualities as their employer, I think.. they are lucky to have you..

There's a pretty good South African restaurant here in Amsterdam, I've eaten there a couple of times, crocodile, impala and springbok.. and bobotie ofcourse.. and melktaart, mmm...

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Gerhard, this is a great blog.. I love your writing and your sense of humour, and the way you describe your life.

...snip

There's a pretty good South African restaurant here in Amsterdam, I've eaten there a couple of times, crocodile, impala and springbok..  and bobotie ofcourse.. and melktaart, mmm...

Dankie, Klary.

Now there's a thought - bobotie for breakfast. For those who do not know, it as basically a cottage pie with a lot more spices and an egg custard substituting the mash topping. It is already leaning towards breakfast with the egg custard. Maybe increase the "eggyness" on top. And make it in ramekins. I have a moleskin that I use for jotting ideas down. This goes in immediately.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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What a lovely blog! I've wanted to visit S.A. for a while and this ups the temptation considerably. Earlier than 5 am is always known as O' Dark Hundred, or in your case O' Dark Thirty, in our household.

Sorry you lost the Cricket. :raz:

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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All our groceries are supplied by The Grocery Express, started last year by a young enterprising couple, Chis and Natasha. They operate from George and focus on supplying the hospitality industry. Natasha also set a small baking industry. She bakes and packages the complimentary biscuits we place in each room. Peanut, chocolate cream and a biscotti:

gallery_7837_2715_10422.jpg

In-room coffee was a bone of contention from the word go. I tried and rejected just about every small coffee making gadget and appliance known to man. Some because they simply did not work well and others because they are not suitable in the context of a guest house room. An example of the latter is the french press. It works well, but repeated testing showed that every now and then it seems to "stick". This happens when air gets trapped beneath the sieve. The reaction is to press hard and the result is a spout of water squirted into the air. Dangerous and messy. In the end Natasha found a supplier of pretty decent ground coffee packed into small teabag-like bags. You use it like a tea bag and if you allow about 2 minutes for infusion, you get an acceptable cup of coffee. If anybody out there has a better solotion, let me know. I have been playing with the idea of buying the new pod machines for the rooms. Maybe I should buy one to test.

gallery_7837_2715_17756.jpg

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Earlier than 5 am is always known as O' Dark Hundred, or in your case O' Dark Thirty, in our household.

Military background, then, fou?

Sorry you lost the Cricket.  :raz:

Yeah, right! Do I detect a smidgen of smugness?

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Military brat, yes. Smug? Almost never.

We went through the same coffee problem for a staffroom and finally settled on a brand of coffee bags my husband deemed acceptable( he's a coffee freak). I'll see if I can find a box and pm you the brand. The pods were apparently too complicated, hmmm.

If only Jack Nicholson could have narrated my dinner, it would have been perfect.

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It is 5am. The first batch of muffins (sweet corn) is in. I think I'll make scones today. I should report that jackal10 was so upset about my inability to bake decent bread that he has offered to take me under his wing and rehabilitate me. So, all future Mes Amis guests, there may still be hope beyond muffins and scones. 

If 5am is the wee hours of the morning, does that make 4:30am the wee wee hours? I'll report back after breakfast.

Scones - good lord do we make scones. We've found that making a batch, cutting them into wedges and then freezing works best. In the morning, we can take individual pieces out of the freezer and bake them.

All our groceries are supplied by The Grocery Express, started last year by a young enterprising couple, Chis and Natasha. They operate from George and focus on supplying the hospitality industry. Natasha also set a small baking industry. She bakes and packages the complimentary biscuits we place in each room. Peanut, chocolate cream and a biscotti:

gallery_7837_2715_10422.jpg

In-room coffee was a bone of contention from the word go. I tried and rejected just about every small coffee making gadget and appliance known to man. Some because they simply did not work well and others because they are not suitable in the context of a guest house room. An example of the latter is the french press. It works well, but repeated testing showed that every now and then it seems to "stick". This happens when air gets trapped beneath the sieve. The reaction is to press hard and the result is a spout of water squirted into the air. Dangerous and messy. In the end Natasha found a supplier of pretty decent ground coffee packed into small teabag-like bags. You use it like a tea bag and if you allow about 2 minutes for infusion, you get an acceptable cup of coffee. If anybody out there has a better solotion, let me know. I have been playing with the idea of buying the new pod machines for the rooms. Maybe I should buy one to test.

gallery_7837_2715_17756.jpg

Senseo actually gave us a free coffee-pod gadget for the guest quarters. They're hoping it will work as free advertising for them. The guests seem to enjoy it - and it didn't cost us a dime. Perhaps it's something you could look into.

Edited by gini (log)
Eating pizza with a fork and knife is like making love through an interpreter.
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Scones - good lord do we make scones.  We've found that making a batch, cutting them into wedges and then freezing works best.  In the morning, we can take individual pieces out of the freezer and bake them.

Hmmm....The only problem I would have with that is that I would either have to do the scones the previous day, which might leave too little time for other important tasks such as my siesta, or make more on the morning that I do bake scones in any event. I will think on this. Thanks.

Senseo actually gave us a free coffee-pod gadget for the guest quarters.  They're hoping it will work as free advertising for them.  The guests seem to enjoy it - and it didn't cost us a dime.  Perhaps it's something you could look into.

Good idea. The costing is good - I'll look into it. Thanks again.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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Loved the "in the kitchen" pics. More, more!!

I also love my Senseo, but it takes a bit to get it just right, awaiting the blink to stop, placing the pod to get a good seal, heating the milk separately (micro), etc. And just this morning, I made the first pull with YESTERDAY'S yukky pod!!!. I'm not at my best at Oh Dark Thirty, and my clock runs FORWARD into WeeWee time, perky and goingoingoing into the late hours, but awakening to them is something else.

So, I think your personalized "pods" for your coffeemakers are just right. One of our favorite hotels has these in the rooms, and I like their taste.

And, speaking from a Deep South perspective, would the warthog be anything like a Wild Hog in flavor, do you think? We've been gifted occasionally with a roast or a loin, and it's like a game/pork, just as you would expect, though it does not require all the "traditional" vinegar soakings and salt baths so beloved of the Southern kitchen. I'm also trying to get my mind around a Warthog farm, if indeed they are farm-raised---or did I misunderstand that bit upthread?

Little corrals of the lusty beasts, snorting their way to the trough, stamping those pointy feet and marking their territory, gazing out onto the far horizons with their squinty, calculating eyes.

And I love your respect and consideration for your staff...some of mine were with me for twenty years, and we always fell right back into that easy comradeship and caring for the work.

Do you ever serve a cold bread---my Mom's banana loaf is in the fourth generation now...Granddaughter #1, now seven, has been measuring and mixing those wets and drys since she was three. It's a favorite here, and requested by all returning guests and family for brunch or breakfast. Little slices surrounding a small dish of cream cheese or mascarpone---a nice thing to have on the table til the "hots" arrive, or just waiting by the coffee and tea station to nibble whilst gazing out at that glorious horizon framed in your windows.

This is one of my favorite blogs of all time.

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And, speaking from a Deep South perspective, would the warthog be anything like a Wild Hog in flavor, do you think?  We've been gifted occasionally with a roast or a loin, and it's like a game/pork, just as you would expect, though it does not require all the "traditional" vinegar soakings and salt baths so beloved of the Southern kitchen.  I'm also trying to get my mind around a Warthog farm, if indeed they are farm-raised---or did I misunderstand that bit upthread?

Farming was a misnomer. Game farming in S.A. means that you have a farm or ranch where the animals roam freely - in the wild. The "farming" bit comes in by how you control the species you have by bringing in new breeding stock (there are a few large game auctions every year), by selectively culling and keeping predators out. If you want warthog on your farm, you bring in stock and allow them to breed. If you don't, you sell them off.

You are quite right that you can use warthog meat pretty much the way you would pork - the gamey taste is not very pronounced.

Little corrals of the lusty beasts, snorting their way to the trough, stamping those pointy feet and marking their territory, gazing out onto the far horizons with their squinty, calculating eyes.

:biggrin: Squinty, yes. Calculating I'm not so sure of.

Do you ever serve a cold bread---my Mom's banana loaf is in the fourth generation now...Granddaughter #1, now seven, has been measuring and mixing those wets and drys since she was three.  It's a favorite here, and requested by all returning guests and family for brunch or breakfast.  Little slices surrounding a small dish of cream cheese or mascarpone---a nice thing to have on the table til the "hots" arrive, or just waiting by the coffee and tea station to nibble whilst gazing out at that glorious horizon framed in your windows.

This is one of my favorite blogs of all time.

Sounds great. Please PM the recipe to me. My list of recipes resulting from this blog is growing apace. :smile:

Thanks for the kind words.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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If you are going to starting working with yeast again, then you should try sweet potato cinnamon rolls.

What kind of scones do you make?

I like the sound of that, Michelle. Recipe please.

Plain English scones, chive scones, buttermilk and lemon. I very seldom set out to make a specific scone. The important thing is to start rubbing the butter into the flour and then hunt around for inspiration. My methodology is somewhat slapdash. Maybe that has been my bread problem, the absence of rigorous discipline. Maybe I need to change my entire outlook on life to become a successful baker. Or perhaps I should shave in the mornings before dealing with yeast. And comb my hair.

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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The Western Cape has an abundance of proteas. We have a contract with Paul and Jeanette Engels, who farm proteas, to supply us on a weekly basis.

gallery_7837_2715_10785.jpg

We get bunches that we put in the breakfast lounge

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in the two foyers

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gallery_7837_2715_25344.jpg

and in the rooms

gallery_7837_2715_3488.jpg

Gerhard Groenewald

www.mesamis.co.za

Wilderness

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This blog is beautiful, just beautiful.

I'm really taken with your business philosophy. If it weren't for all the good you're doing in your community providing employment, I'd be begging you to take me on as an employee. :biggrin:

Seems like much more satisfying work than writing instuctional materials for a software company. :wacko:

Blog on, G, you've got my undivided attention.

"It is impossible not to love someone who makes toast for you."

-Nigel Slater

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