This has been a very expensive last week of the month as we had to replace our WiFi router, our fridge water filter and a few other random items. We also ran out of electricity so had to top that up. All relatively small things which added up. As a result we have been on a very tight budget for the last few weeks.
I have to ask does everyone who has a fridge with a built in water dispenser in the door know that you have to change the filters? If not, prepare yourself as they are bloody expensive! But in the long run it is cheaper than buying bottled water and it is better for the environment to not be disposing of all of those bottles, so I guess that it is the best of the possible evils of water consumption.
To try and keep our expenditures down, Norm did a small shop last week and he cooked for us several nights.
He grilled fillet steak and halloumi cheese and served it with stir fried vegetables and mushrooms fried in butter on Monday.
I made a big pot of chilli con carne when I got home on Tuesday and we left it overnight to let the flavors develop. For that night’s dinner Norm made chicken sausage, mashed sweet potato and gravy with steamed veggies. It was really cold outside and it was a yummy homely meal which we ate in front of the fire.
On Tuesday night we had my chilli over nacho chips. We topped it with grated cheddar cheese and a big dollop of fromage frais.
The next night I boiled some rice and we had the last of the chilli with rice, cheese and fromage frais.
I love chilli con carne so I was happy!
On Friday we dusted off the credit card for burgers from The Kitchen Takeaway. I have my limits, I prefer to not cook on a Friday if I have been working that week.
On Saturday Norm was at a conference and Josh was out all day at the track. I had an early appointment to take Pixie to the doggy Chiro in Noordhoek.
It was raining on and off on the journey across the mountain and it was really dreary out. The wind was howling.
I came back home starving & freezing cold.
We had bare cupboards but we had some bread in the freezer so I took out two pieces to thaw while I made a big fire to warm up the house. Once the fire was on the go I went to sort something to eat.
I had a couple of eggs in the fridge so I beat them til smooth and dipped the thawed slices of bread into the eggs and then fried the eggy bread in butter.
I topped the French toast with a bit of honey and cinnamon and it was delicious.
I snuggled up in front of the fire and played games on my iPad while waiting for the house to warm up.
Eventually all 5 animals were clustered round me. Panda was not impressed that Pixie was in my lap as he thinks that is his exclusive territory.
Norm got home about 4.30 in the afternoon and he quickly took the dogs out for a walk as the intermittent downpours had stopped for a bit.
I put together a few bits from the fridge and freezer for mine and Norm’s dinner while he was out with the dogs. I chopped a large carrot, a baby red cabbage, a Birdseye chili, an onion and some spices and fried them in coconut oil. Once the veg was cooked I chucked in some left over rice and made a stir fried rice type of concoction. I baked some breaded prawns which I had in the freezer from Woolies. I made a sweet & sour sauce and drizzled it over the prawns. We had a bit of left over salad from our take away on Friday which we added to our bounty. Put all together it was very tasty even if it did not look so amazing.
I love the challenge of creating a meal when ‘we have no food’.
Sunday morning I had to be at drumming at 10am so I was up and out and off to Constantia. There was a massive roadblock going out of our village with many police stopping and searching cars and checking for paperwork. Luckily I did not get stopped as I was really late. I assumed they were stopping the taxis to check their documentation and road worthiness (road worthiness is not a concept they have in South Africa, you see cars on the road which appear to be held together with bubble gum and glue and about every 5th car does not have both headlights functioning, some have none.)
At drumming we had a great turn out in attendance and we sang our entire repertoire from our song list and my voice was a bit croaky afterwards. We are drumming for a dance in a few weeks and needed the practice. It was lovely seeing everyone. I always feel so in touch with the universe after singing our prayer songs, I feel it is my church, my place of worship.
After I came home I collected Norm and we went off to Hout Bay village for something to eat and to do a shop. We popped into the German restaurant Zur Holzbucht. The England game was on but it was quiet, but they had all of the doors open and it was freezing!
To cope with the cold we both ordered the Pork Goulash which was on special.
The waiter brought a huge bowl of steaming goulash to me and said, “Enjoy”.
Norm and I looked at each other a bit confused and said “But we both ordered this dish” and the waiter said that was the last portion.
How odd! Why did he not say that when we ordered? Now we each had to eat on our own and we had to wait for them to cook Norm’s food.
Norm chose the frikkadels with spatzle and slaw. A frikkadel is a meatball for those who do not know. Spatzle is a sort of home made noodle. He said his lunch was very nice. I could only eat half of mine and he had the rest the next day for his lunch. Waste not, starve not. He enjoyed it too, it was really rich and delicious.
As it was so cold there we finished our lunch and headed off to the shops. We bought enough food for 3 meals, each of which would also provide me and Norm with lunch the day after.
On Sunday evening we had a ready made roast chicken that we bought that afternoon and Norm made cole slaw to go with it. As we had a big lunch we just needed a few nibbles that evening and that did us just fine. I made a chicken and cole slaw sandwich for my lunch on Monday too.
When I got to work on Monday I received a message from Norm asking if I was safe and telling me that Hout Bay Police held an operation early that morning to arrest a wanted man in Imizamo Yethu (the township next to our house). The 28 year old suspect resisted arrest and tried to stab the police officers and the police fired 2 warning shots. The suspect has been charged for 4 robbery cases, possession of ammunition & a dangerous weapon as well as resisting arrest.
Apparently I drove right through the midst of this shootout as it occurred near the graveyard by my house the same time that I was on the way to work. I was oblivious! However when I drove in on Tuesday there were loads of vans and police cars near the township entrance so I wondered if there was another raid or police operation in place. Then I read on social media that from Sunday, 24 May to Tuesday, 26 of May from 05:00 daily taxi operations were conducted in the Hout Bay area. Members of the Wynberg Cluster, Hout Bay SAPS, Law Enforcement and Metro Police held several vehicle check points where more than 100 vehicles were checked. A total of 459 Traffic fines to the value of more than R100 000 were issued.
However when we read reports about the city scrapping R854million in traffic fines you wonder why they bother.
On Monday evening when I got home Norm was heading out to assist with directing traffic as a large truck had broken down on the side of the Main road into the village. He was away for hours and so I built a big fire and started dinner. I put some chicken breasts in a pan, chopped up a pepper and some mushrooms and made some chicken stock. I mixed the chicken stock with some coconut milk and covered the chicken and vegetables and baked it. To go with it I steamed some gem squash and stir fried some baby spinach and roasted some butternut in coconut oil. I added a bit of the sauce from the chicken into the gem squash.
It was all rather delicious if I say so myself. It also gave me and Norm enough leftovers for our lunches on Tuesday.
We had also bought some minced beef as that is great for stretching for a few meals. The plan was that Norm would cook the mince during the day and then we just had to sort the veggies but the electricity was off in our neighbourhood for the entire day so he went to a cafe to work and our best laid plans were derailed.
Instead when I got home I started dinner and then when Norm got home he took over. We fried a whole chopped onion, a carrot and a red pepper with the rest of the mushrooms left over from the previous night. Once they were browned we removed from the pan and fried the mince. Then we added in some spices, a tin of beans, tomato paste and a container of beef stock. We just let it condense down while I roasted some chopped butternut and sweet potato in coconut oil. To give a bit of green we sauteed the remainder of the baby spinach from the previous night.
It was very tasty and nutritious.
Later that night it started raining a bit and this morning I woke to torrential rainfall. When I left home the roads from my house to the coast road were all flooded with deep rivers of flowing water. As it is pitch black at 6:30am and we have no street lights over most of our village it was so hazardous. Visibility was very poor as it was raining down in sheets. I was so worried my car would flood. There was little traffic at that time as the school kids are off on holiday this week so luckily I could drive on the other side of the road to avoid most of the flooding without risking a head on collision.
But do not get me wrong, we are thrilled with the rain! We desperately need it, however all of the construction in our area has destroyed the natural paths of rainfall off of the mountain and the scarcity of rain has meant that the ground is very dry and the rain just scoots overland and pools into the roads, taking dirt and debris with it. Tomorrow the roads will be full of sand, dirt and rocks.
Today Patricia De Lille, our Mayor of Cape Town is in court. Her party are desperate to get her out of office. There have been ongoing claims of misuse of funds, collusion with criminals and negligence of her duties. The way that the drought has been handled has been incredibly ham-fisted and blundering. We hear that she is involved with the darker elements of our village and that payments have been made to the elders & illegal slumlords to allow her to subvert the planning regulations. She cares not for the law, she is a mini dictator. I do hope that they manage to remove her or the DA has no chance to maintain their hold in the Western Cape in the next elections. Patricia is like an abusive husband, unwilling to let his victim escape from his grasp, preferring to see his victim decimated than to survive without being under his domination and control.
And we all know how I feel about abusive relationships, especially when my beloved Mother City is the one being victimised.
I will update you on the outcome on my next blog. Until then, Kisses from the Kitten x0x0x0