Today, on the Culinary Calendar, is ‘Setsubun’ in Japan; National Bean Throwing Festival. I’m not entirely sure that bean throwing will go down well with my colleagues, or – for that matter – what bean throwing entails. Is there a target, I wonder; or are the beans just tossed about willy-nilly? I’ll have to do some research and get back to you.

Yesterday’s calendar delivered a more happy event: Jan van Riebeeck, the first governor of the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, planted a vineyard back in 1655. On February 2, 1659 he made the first wine from grapes grown at the Cape. On Feb 2 1852 the first public lavatory opened in London.

Glad SA had priorities right and made wine 200 years before they worried about loos!

And, on the subject of lavatories, my stomach was frightfully cross with me last night; in the interests of research, I sampled the local street food from one of the informal vendors, whose little carts are dotted all over the city. The one I visited was owned by a lovely lady named Primrose. Primrose’s offerings yesterday were chicken feet in a tomato gravy or chicken curry, served with pap; our indigenous staple of stiff maize porridge. I opted for the curry.

This dish is not something for the faint-hearted; my head was almost blown off. The meat is boiled in a fiery concoction consisting mainly of chakalaka. I declined the pap, but perhaps this would have gone some way to diffusing the spiciness. At under R20, it was a very filling meal, but I’ve done it now and doubt I’ll do it again.

Have a wonderful Wednesday, I’m off to phone my friend, Liz Windsor, who’s having a perfectly torrid time over in London. She called in a complete state last night; says this Egypt business is making her have copious stiff gins. Says the Pope keeps emailing her saying “what’s the news, Doll?” and it’s irritating her …



  1. My dear day has been like your meal rather frightful..and so now I’m finishing my wine…then heading off to bed…hoping for a better day tomorrow or at least one filled with less anger on my part…have a wonderful day and I shall try to do the same myself tomorrow. Cheers!

  2. Maybe gin is not quite the stiff that Lizzie needs?! 😀 I’m heading to SA tomorrow and your post has me looking forward to one of those ear-steaming Durban Indian curries whch I haven’t had in a long while…

  3. so brave! fiery could have put you out of action?

    Poor Lissie, that boykie in the Vatican doesn’t really have enough spies there, or maybe he watched Lawrence of Arabia too many times? Now he maybe has a fantasy of trotting around in a bedsheet and dishcloth?

  4. Chicken! If you’d been really brave, you would have opted for chicken feet. 🙂

    We had a fab dinner tonight at Freedom Village ~ wine and cheese reception followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner and a decadent dessert. My appetites are sated.

    Have a Terrific Thursday!

  5. Primrose’s cart/stall if very smart compared to the vendors here in Mauritius – some only qualify for a box on the back of their mo-peds with an umbrella.
    Well done on not being feint-hearted – I would probably pass out!
    🙂 Mandy

  6. Man…., you gotta love Jan van Riebeeck’s priorities huh 😉 But I’m guessing those old vines are paying off big time if they’re still around.
    Tsk, Tsk!!!! – nothing worse than the Pope bugging you, you go through way too much gin that way 😉 😉

  7. You were brave to try the spicy dish of chicken feet. My hubby and I went to a restaurant that serves spicy Thai food. We ordered a spicy dish with the privilege of picking 1 to 5 for spiciness. We both ordered 2. My hubby did fine with his, while I felt my whole body was on fire. I think they must have served me a 5. Sounds like you were served a 5 also. Blessings to you, Cindy…

  8. I do love me a good curry, but I think I’ll stay away from anything based mainly on chakalala; thanks for the warning (and for the link – I swear my knowledge base grows by leaps and bounds whenever I visit your blog).

  9. I take my hat off to you trying that meal; I’m a little less adventurous 😉 The pap might have been my preference instead; however, that leaves me with a ‘gagged’ stomach anyway 🙂 🙂 Someone, give me a raw carrot! 😉

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