Food

Have another Hertzoggie!

Hertzoggies

As always in South Africa there are many sides and versions of the same thing. Today we look at one of our favorite sweets, the Hertzoggie. A delightful little confection of buttery pastry, sweet apricot jam and a coconut meringue topping. It is impossible to eat just one. They were named after a prime minister of South Africa (1924 -1939), J.B.M. Hertzog. Must have been his favourite teatime snack and his many supporters baked and served these little tarts like crazy. Hertzog was a direct opponent to Genl Jan Smuts whose supporters immediately developed their own favorite baked item and called...

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The Big Cook-off

pan grilled beef & pomegranate products

In a mere short weeks we are hosting the first in a series of dinner evenings as part of the launch of Passionate Pomegranate Co's range of products which we had quite a hand in developing. Charlene and Lena from Old Gaol restaurant here in Swellendam were on hand in the kitchen to help and bring with some of their vast experience with delicious food. On todays test list was a great little beetroot and pomegranate soup which we shall henceforth call The Bonnievale Borscht and also a most amazing Beef Fillet with Pomegranate Jus as well as simple roasted Rosemary Roasted Vegetables. It was all just...

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Going North

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In preparation for summer we are experimenting with some new spice mixes and while we will never abandon our trusted homemade Malay masala & Moroccan Ras-el-hanout, we are also looking at more North African spice mixes. One of these, Bahārāt, which simply means "spice" in Arabic, is a all-purpose seasoning used in North African cuisine. Although the particular blend varies by region and household, it always includes black pepper and typically has cumin, cinnamon, and cloves, among other spices. Aromatic, warm, and sweet, a pinch of bahārāt can add depth and flavor to soups, tomato...

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Out of the mouths of babes

breakfast face

As most people know, well behaved children are most welcome at Augusta de Mist. In fact, we love hearing the cheerful shrieks of kids in the pool or playing croquet and the delight they display when meeting the dogs. It is also a pleasure to cook for kids, because the kind of food we do elicits some kind of acceptance response in children and they become eager fans of the kind of items they would otherwise never eat back home. Parents approve and everyone is happy. This morning though we were totally bowled over by the little food-art message created for us by the youngest member of a German...

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The Bunny gets it…

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Earlier this year, when in Durban at Indaba and introducing the concept of the Republic of Swellendam to interested parties, we were again reminded how much we love spicy South African food. And when it comes to spice, Durban brings it. One of the many unusual dishes to found here at the bottom of Africa is this novel way of having some fresh bread and a strong curry. Bunny chows, a proudly South African meal, is a 1/4 or 1/2 loaf bread, hollowed out with curry in the center. Bunny chows are probably one of my all-time favourite ways to eat curry. The origins of Bunny Chow are not quite...

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Sunday at Christina’s

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For a great Sunday afternoon, or any afternoon really, we recommend a short stop at Christina's at the lovely Van Loveren wine estate in Robertson. Pizza's are of the adventurous kind with a thin crust and the burgers are loaded with great options like bacon or blue cheese. Of course the wine is quite quaffable and extremely well priced which means that there are worse ways to spend a lazy afternoon than this. Speak to us about directions to get to Christinas at Van Loveren from Augusta. From Swellendam, it is a most picturesque short drive through Bonnievale, past our favorite local...

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Organic in Paradise

Greg in his restaurant

Suurbraak is a quaint village situated 19km east of Swellendam, also known by the ancient San as 'Xairu' meaning beautiful or paradise. One of the villages charms is its isolation, being situated off the Wine Route R62 and busy N2, but this is not without its pitfall as this limits the financial resources for its residents. For this reason there are many people working hard to put Suurbraak on the map, hoping to make Xairu a place to stay and enjoy the sights, rather than a passing place. Found at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains, the village has a lot to offer the discerning traveller, including...

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Ladies who Lunch

Classic Retreat lunch May 2012

We are extremely fortunate to be the Swellendam member of Classic Retreat, which with Classic Representation makes up the much admired Classic Portfolio. Other clients include the Singita collection, The Alphen, Delaire Graff, Le Quartier Francais, Kurland, Makweti, Mount Camdeboo, Prana and the Islands of Siankaba. As part of their post-Indaba road trip they spent some time with us here in Swellendam and we treated them to lunch at Augusta's African Kitchen. Here is the team, with Michel, enjoying their bobotie and sharing some information on the 2012 Indaba, with the eye on the next season.

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Breaking bread

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We do get the best guests. Jason Lilley is about to hit the even-bigger time as his bakery is becoming more and more famous and quite deservedly known as the kind of shop which is redefining the way South Africans think about their daily bread. Part of living or working in Cape Town is familiarising yourself with the many different coffee shops, deli’s and cozy corner spots around town. There are two ways of appreciating this sidewalk culture: Either you take the explorer approach and try to have coffee and a sandwich at every one of these or you have you favourite spot (or closest spot)...

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Persian Ice Cream

Pomegranate Ice cream - Augusta style

Having friends with a pomegranate farm in Bonnievale really helps when it comes to inventing and developing recipes. When those friends are in the process of introducing a whole range of products which we are helping to develop and brand, the recipes just flow. So. We love ice-cream all year round, not just during summer. I have made the custard base here simply with milk, rather than a combination of milk and cream; the end result is lighter, cleaner and more refreshing – almost Middle Eastern in flavour. For the custard base: 1 litre whole milk 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise 120g...

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