Tryn, Tryn Again

We had booked a dinner months ago with some friends who live all over South Africa with 2 of the couples having homes in the UK and US so we had to coordinate with everyone being in the country at the same time and therefore had to book in advance. I had sort of forgotten about it until it popped up in my calendar and it was a pleasant surprise.

Our booking was for 6pm at Tryn Restaurant in Steenberg Wine Estate. It is a relatively short distance from our house which was great and we arrived spot on time. Bridget and Derick were already there when we arrived and Nigel and Lila arrived shortly thereafter, followed just after that by Nicola who had been stuck behind a truck coming over the pass. We were seated at a big table in the back.

We had not seen each other as a group in years but we all picked up as if it was yesterday. You know those friends you have had for decades who know pretty much everything about you but still love you anyway? This is that tribe. I have a lot of history that makes some people judge me, this group knows all of that history and seem to just accept me as the new me, not the old me, and that shit indeed happens.

We all first met when we lived in George (where Lily now lives) and our children were all babies or toddlers. Between us we have 11 kids, so you can imagine what playdates were like, they were hectic and we always had wine while the kids wreaked chaos on whosever house it was that day, filling up on sugar and getting filthy or swimming on suitable days. When we lived in LA there were some amazing public parks the mommy groups used to meet in so no one had to clean up afterwards, but in SA most people have domestic help so it is easier to cope with.

Out of the 4 original couples only 2 of the marriages have survived. However the 2 of us who are no longer married to our 1st husbands have very happy long term marriages now, so all’s well that ends well I guess? Destiny puts us where we are meant to be.

Tryn is a bit different than many of the other restaurants with tasting menus in that the entire table did not have to order the same set menu, each person could order as many (or as few) courses from the ala carte menu as they wished and they just served the three courses normally, with whomever did not have something for that course just sitting it out. Their set menu consists of: amuse bouche, starter, main, dessert, a chocolate truffle.

Norm and I were the only 2 who had saved our appetites all day for that meal and so he and I both went for the set menu.

The amuse bouche was delightful and full of texture and flavour but I have no idea what it was! But I liked it. It was crunchy and creamy and yum.

Next came the starters for those of us who ordered them. I ordered the Tempura Prawns and they were hot and the tempura was crispy and the sauces had a nice zing. I give them 4.5 Kitten Stars as they were, after all, just tempura prawns. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

Norm ordered the fish mille feuille. You know those men who like to order ‘for the little lady’? Thank goodness he did not order that for me as it was the least appealing thing on the menu but Norm loved this dish and he scored it 4.5 Kitten Stars.

For my main I ordered the fillet steak. I also ordered a portion of chips when the steak arrived as it looked just a bit too meaty. The meat was so tender and it was perfectly cooked and the serving was generous, especially for a tasting menu. The sauce was rich and gorgeous. I give it 4 Kitten Stars as the dish needed a bit of veg or carbs or something other than just the slabs of meat. (Gorgeous meat but still, too much of the same thing is never good, even if it is a good thing.) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Norm, Nigel, Derick and Bridget all ordered the Herb and Dijon crusted rack of lamb and they were all gnawing delightedly at the bones so it appeared that they all loved it. #MissedPhotoOp Norm gave it a 5 Kitten Stars rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Several of us had ordered dessert. I chose the Amarula Crème Brulée which came with a white chocolate biscotti and a slice of that preserved lemon they kept shoving onto a few of their dishes. I chucked that off and dug in. It was beautifully creamy and almost made me think of drinking condensed milk. Sweet, rich and creamy. I was grateful for the biscotti which gave a bit of crunch. It was divine and I give it 5 Kitten Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Afterwards Norm and I were given a truffle each. I again regretted being blind as a bat because it was only when I saw my pics after I got home that I noticed that one of the swans has her head up the others arse. How rude. I am not a huge truffle fan and it was OK but I would not have been keen on paying R25 for it. I loved the honeycomb part as I am mad on honeycomb #DoNotCallMePoohBreath

We finished our meals and then stayed and chatted and tried to master the complicated math to divide the bill when we all had different things and Nic had paid a deposit since we were such a big group, but as Norm and I collectively paid very little, I think that we definitely did not succeed in doing it correctly. It was a lovely night full of lots of catching up, gossip and laughter. I feel very blessed to have these people in my life 30 years after we all met. Pretty special stuff!

When we got home I went upstairs to change out of my frock and when I put my shoes away in the cupboard, a fat little lizard was sitting on the inside door frame looking at me with utter shock.

Probably mirroring my own expression. I carefully closed the door so he could think I did not see him and left him to it. There must be a lot of insects in that cupboard because he was a right little fatty! *Note this is an internet facsimile of my own lizard*

I hope he continues to live in the house eating the mozzies.

Speaking of connection to the earth, this week I paid for my first month of studying the Path of the White Wolf which I will begin later in the month. I am so excited!!

I still go out to the hill as soon as I get up, whatever time that is. I do my prayers to the 7 Directions every morning. Many mornings the little birds all come and eat from the feeder hanging in the tree right next to me.

The electricity situation is still dire with the grid in our suburb being off for up to 8 or 10 hours a day and it is even worse in other areas and cities. Norm popped out to get some shopping and we managed to cook one evening. I know this dish is something you see a lot in my posts but it is one of our faves. Since we cook so seldom with the electricity issues, we like to squeeze this into our week when they have nice looking fillets at the shops. Norm cooked the steaks and the halloumi by the light of a lantern. I had made the salads while it was still a bit light and Norm was walking Finn. We decided to eat outside so that we could see. Finn was acting a fool as always. Norm had given him a Kong filled with frozen yogurt and he was throwing it around the garden and tossing it around with his paws like a juggler.

I am cooking today as we have Uncles Mark and Hunter coming to dinner. I am simmering a big pot of chili and will do some quesadillas and bits and pieces. I am boring or consistent, depending on which lens you prefer. Either way I yam who I yam #Popeye

The weather is a bit overcast and it may rain later. I hope not as I prefer sitting outside, especially with the 2 big dogs chasing and tackling each other as they inevitably do.

For my musical section this week, I discovered this little funky ditty somewhere or another but I love it. I think because of the FU aspect of the lyrics. The song is by Ashnikko, aka Ashton Nicole from North Carolina. Little Ashton ended up moving around a bit which is obviously where she either evolved her odd style to fit in or stand out I guess, depending on where she ended up when. Regardless, I think she is fabulous. It is the first time I saw her video.

She is wacky but I do love that song. It makes me happy.

In total contrast to the feisty frivolity and humour of Ashnikko, I watched the film ‘The Whale‘ this week which stars Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink and Hong Chau.

Wow. This film was really hard for me to watch. I am sure that you have all heard about it since the buzz around Brendan Fraser’s emergence from his own personal hidey hole back into the public eye. Brendan plays a man who is a 600lb shut in. He never leaves his tiny apartment and has a friend who comes to look in on him and bring him food. By the time we enter Charlie’s life he is in congestive heart failure and his blood pressure is unbelievably high. Charlie has crippled himself by eating himself into such a state that his body can no longer cope and we are basically watching him die.

As a daughter of a man who suffered from obesity (but nowhere near this scale) and who died of a stroke at the age of 49 I strongly identified with this character. Food can be an addiction the same as Heroin or Meth, it is just less of an accelerated timeline towards your inevitable death. There but for the grace of my creator go I. I have major issues with food and I could imagine me in a parallel universe sucking down pizza and tacos to soothe my shattered heart had I taken some of the alternative paths offered to me throughout my life. I already pretty much happily live the life of a shut in (by choice) so I am half way to Charlie on the isolation portion.

Brendan did an amazing job in this film as did all of the actors. However I found it incredibly sad and depressing. I do not know if that is because it plugs into my own issues with food and weight, or whether it was just sad and depressing to watch a sad obese man die, as one would expect it would be. But for the acting I will give it 4 Kitten Stars – the sadness kicked off one star. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Enjoy your weekend. Until next time, Kisses from the Kitten xoxoxox

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