Welcome!

Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Braais...

Well the glorious holiday is over, our family have returned to the UK and we are left with a quiet house and wonderful memories. A three week visit that was over in a flash but during which we had some fantasic times and lots of great food, both out at restaurants and also in our own backyard which most say were the best.
I taught my (then future) son in law Andy how to braai back in 1997 and since then he has mastered the gentlemanly art superbly, he did a braai for us shortly after their arrival.
What a great braai that was! Lamb chops, green and yellow peppers and garlic bread. Our daughter Christie did the potato bake, we just relaxed.
Not to be outdone my next contribution was smoked Angel fish, (I have a small smoker and use oak wine barrel sawdust) with prawns and garlic potatoes.
Then on the Saturday we had friends over, carnivores like us and I bought some serious tee bones, 700g each which I started on the braai over hot coals bone side down, they stayed like that for quite a while, cooking up through the bone.
 
It was a huge plate of food, the three guys finished theirs but the ladies after a galant attempt left quite a bit on their plates which went down extremely well as leftovers later in the week.
On Thursday our daughter requested a "skottel" breakfast so that is what we did;
I do the food but Janet does the eggs, I'm hopeless at eggs. Sausage, bacon, gammon, mushrooms, tomato, egg and toast - what a breakfast!
The last braai we had was after returning from an overnight trip to Sutherland, the coldest part of the western cape and the site of the S.A.L.T (Southern African Large Telescope), I bought some wonderful Karoo lamb up there and that made up the main part of our final braai;
First the vegetables, chicken is a South African braai vegetable - then the Karoo lamb chops and the red and green peppers. I made sadza a traditional Rhodesian miellie meal accompaniment and Janet made a delicious tomato relish, I have to say it was a fantastic meal.
We sat out late enjoying the fire, the ladies huddled up in blankets against the cold night air, well aware that this lovely holiday would be over in a couple of days and our family would leave again for England.
I should perhaps remind you that these braais took place over a period of three weeks, interspersed with visits to local eateries so although it looks like we did nothing but "pig out", we .....okay I don't really know where I'm going with this, suffice it to say it was a great holiday of gourmand proportions!
As has become a tradition we ended the final night of drinking with "Springbokkies", a shooter known to all South Africans; half peppermint liqueur covered with Amarula creme. Another great holiday, over too soon and unfortunately our son was not able to come this time but all being well we will be going over there next year.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Holidays, no biking at the moment but lots of food.

We are on holiday with our family; our daughter, son in law and two grandsons who are visiting from the UK so as you can imagine there is not much biking going on. There is however much braaiing, drinking of beer and general jolity (an adaptation of a South African word "jol" meaning party.)
Food, the preparation and the enjoyment thereof plays a major roll in our lives, such as the "potjie" which actually refers to the cast iron pot in which the food is cooked. This one was a lamb stew, traditionally done over live, hot coals many people now use gas for the sheer convenience. This was our lunch on Saturday with friends.
Seafood is big in South Africa, the prawns are imported but the fresh Kob Argyrosomus hololepidotus was caught on the South East coast by a friend of ours and was truly delicious.
We are spoilt for choice with restaurants and wine estates within a 150km radius of our little town so day trips are easy and interesting.
Lamb rib starters with my butternut squash on the side.
For the next two weeks at least there will be much more of this, especially since the weather is improving as we move into Spring,
Chicken thighs and potatoes.
and this is also a foodie blog!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Berg River Marathon, seafood lunch and a Monday ride.

It has been a busy couple of days, the famous "Berg River Canoe Marathon" took place last week and was due to end in Velddrif on Saturday afternoon. Every year the townsfolk organise a festival to coincide with this internationally supported event and local bikers were invited to do a mass ride with the classic car club on the Saturday morning.
We all know that it doesn't take much to get bikers out on a ride and they came in from all directions in spite of the chilly weather, several of us were blasting along between Vredenburg and Velddrif at 170kmh with the temperature reading a bitter 8,5 celsius and I was wearing my cut-off gloves!
 There were a lot of bikes and several clubs represented, I didn't count them and I don't know if there was any official count but it was great to see such a good turnout.


There were some lovely old cars and we followed them in a slow procession around the town, riding through the suburbs so that the folks could see (and hear) us.


 The bikers had a good time and the festival seemed to be a great success, a large variety of food stalls, craft stalls and a busy beer garden were all being well supported. I stayed for a couple of beers with my mates and then headed home.
Sunday the weather was much better, no wind and quite warm and we had a bunch of biker friends coming round for lunch; I did a big pot of fresh steamed mussels, Janet made her world famous oyster soup, then it was cheese and biscuits and dessert.
 Sooi and Gerrie were the first ones at the mussel pot but it didn't take long for the others to join in, we had a very pleasant afternoon with much banter and bullshit as there usually is with a bunch of bikers.

 Divi dished out his homemade "melktertjie" shots after the dessert and had no shortage of takers; Murray, Gerrie and Janet seen here.
Quite a while after everyone had left I had to use the "magic words" to get Frank to go home but what a lovely afternoon it had been, I really enjoy entertaining and will use any excuse to host a gathering.
Monday dawned calm and clear and as I said on my facebook page; the best thing about being retired is that I don't have to go to work after a party Saturday but I can go for a ride instead so that is what I did. At one point I stopped next to an Ostrich farm and the curious birds came walking up either to see what was going on or to check out the bike.

I cruised around for about an hour and a half, just enjoying the calmness and the solitude. The Spring flowers are starting to show and it won't be long before the area is carpetted in colour and full of tourists. (Click on the photos to see them full size.)

I should have given up working a long time ago!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Food glorious food - mussel and bacon bites

Again a post which has nothing at all to with braais, beers or bikes - well you could drink beer with it, I'm talking about food but not on a braai, mussel and bacon bites to be precise.
One of my favourite local restaurants has this on their starter menu and I have it whenever we go there, but I had always thought that I could do them myself, also having been in the mussel farming industry I had easy access to the main ingredient. On Wednesday I would try them out on my buddy Frank who was coming round for dinner, I've often used him as a guinea pig for my food experiments:
Take a piece of rindless streaky bacon and thin it out with the back of a knife,
carefully wrap the bacon around a pre cooked mussel, taking care to cover as much of the mussel as possible, and secure it with a toothpick, there were twelve pieces of bacon in the packet so I made up twelve bites,
 then roll the bites in flour, beaten egg and then seasoned breadcrumbs, I used Cayenne pepper and mixed herbs in the breadcrumbs,
place them in the fridge for an hour or so to set,
then deep fry and eat! We served with a "Thousand Island" type sauce to dip but you can use ordinary mayonnaise or sweet chili sauce, they were delicious and we will definitely make them again, easy to make just a bit "fiddly".

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uncle Frank's 75th birthday jol

The Phoenix Biker Pub in Vredenburg was the scene of a get together for bikers to help Uncle Frank celebrate his birthday, the event started at 16h00 and Frank arrived in style on the back of Gerrie's Super Tenere'.
Here he is in all his glory, the legend, the one and only etc., etc.
Anna had organised a birthday cake for him, no room for 75 candles though. There were a good few people there at the start but they kept flocking in as the evening progressed.
Frank was in his element, soon chatting with the young ladies and with his friends who all wanted a piece of him.
 Here with the same attractive young lady and Divi., the Meeulanders President.
With Alex the Mohicans President and First Lady Mercia, the Mohicans were very well represented as were the Gypsy Jokers, the Clique and several other local clubs.
One of Frank's special lady friends, Jenny rode pillion with him often.
Frank gets lots of kisses! He also got a big one planted on his forehead.
 Here with his friend who cooks dinner for him almost every Wednesday evening. It was a great party, the booze was cheap and there was plenty of good music, we spent about two hours or so there and then called it a night.
These two lovely ladies were kept busy behind the bar, Anna (left) the owner also did most of the organising to make sure that Frank had a good party, Gail has a ready smile and a quick comeback for rowdy bikers, thank you ladies, see you again soon.
Any of you Capetown and surrounding areas bikers who are up here on a weekend, especially those who might be travelling up over the flower season, the Phoenix Pub is well worth a visit, see you there.