22 March 2012

attachment / non attachment

I am a materialist. I believe in attachment. I believe people should fight for breathtaking art, furniture with form surpassing function, elegant buildings with the patina of centuries, and most of all, diverse, intact natural ecosystems in which every element was crafted by hundreds of millions of years of infinitesimal change.

Buddhist non-attachment; so much more satisfying when practised on a picturesque and ancient hand-carved stone walkway (young monks, Angkor Wat complex, Cambodia).

11 March 2012

figs and prosciutto

For the last ten days, my most arduous choice was between surveying endless sea from a wooden deck suspended over lush vegetation, or rolling five minutes down the hill to wallow in perfect Southern Cape seawater. I actually read a couple of books for the first time in forever. Extended family gatherings are rarer than unicorns and as charming, and I count myself privileged to have been absorbed into Rosie's delightful and generous clan. But after nearly two weeks of shared spaces, other people's kitchens and communal holiday food liberally doused in braai sauce*, coming home felt like a rare treat indeed.

This morning we found cheap late summer figs and excellent prosciutto at Raith Gourmet in Constantia, and while tens of thousands chose to spend this perfect, still, hot summer day sweating their way toward the Argus Cycle Tour finish line, we sat down to feast.

Prosciutto, figs with blue cheese and a tiny bit of mint, perfectly soft goatsmilk camembert

Steenberg Sauvignon Blanc Reserve from the other side of that mountain inverted by the lens of the wine glass.

My burgundy dahlia with orange marigolds and basil flowers in a jam jar. Classy nê?

* For the non-South Africans, braai sauce is commercial steak restaurant chain barbecue marinade. It might be acceptable if cooked hot enough to caramelise. However, since the (utterly deluded) slow-and-long school generally holds sway, and interfering in another man's braaing is entirely out of the question, said sauce typically provides a sugary syrup coating on a tough grey lamb chop.