Monday, 18 June 2012

For my Father

My Father is not like earthly men. He's a giant, but not neccessarily in height, he's a hero, but not necessarily the caped kind and he is strong - but not too strong that he can't sit in my sorrow and cry with me. He has been a huge influencing factor in my life. He has kept me in check when my mouth has gotten me into trouble and my actions have been unforgiveable. He has continued to love me even when I have caused him and my mum great amounts of pain. And he has always kept a sense of humor when the world has struck him cruelly.

We are very much a like. We both sometimes forget to think before we speak. We can sometimes be un-empathic but we do love dishing out hugs and always want to find an instant fix to people's hurts. We laugh like we're going to wet our pants and we are a little too overzealous but I wouldn't have him, or even myself, any other way.

It's not very often that you find a Dad who challenges and motivates you and believes you are the bee's knees and whilst I am still growing, he's always got my back.

So, here's to you, Oh brave and wonderful warrier. You who have carried me without fail. I loves ya Pa.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Quick Quiche

1) Placing the browned onions on the blind-baked rolled pastry
2) Pouring the whisked egg, cream and Parmesan on to the pastry then topping with tomatoes, feta and rosemary.
3) The finished, delicious dish.

I had a wine pairing evening last week and for these occasions, I always like to try different recipes to further my repertoire....and my ever-increasing waistline. This time around, I went with a quiche and the recipe was so simple but so tasty, that I had to share it with you.

Ingredients: (They say it serves 4 but even with two guys involved, there was still plenty left over)

1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 sheets ready-rolled frozen shortcrust pastry, partially thawed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pure cream
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100g grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 50g feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, sugar, and 2 teaspoons rosemary, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Line base and sides of a 2.5cm-deep, 11.5cm x 34cm (base) rectangular loose-based flan tin with pastry. Trim excess. Place tin on a baking tray.
  3. Prick pastry base all over with a fork. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until base is light golden. Reduce oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  4. Whisk eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper together in a large jug. Place onion mixture over base. Pour in egg mixture. Scatter over tomatoes, feta and remaining rosemary. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until just set. Serve with a cold glass of Viognier.

Recipe taken (and slightly adapted) from here





Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Rainbow Nation


After yesterday's post I feel a wave of new positivity. I had so many comments from people who have and are experiencing the same turmoil as I am and who have a mixed cultural and racial family. What stood out for me was the united desire to see South Africa's youth be educated away from the misconceptions that are spread now. To see parents step up to teach and demonstrate a spirit of love and kindness of all races to their children. To start seeing the personality and individuality in people first before you see the skin tone.
Thank you for all the comments, let's keep it going and I shall leave you with this wonderful quote:

Racism is not about how you look,
it's about how people assign meaning to how you look.
Robin D.G. Kelley

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Us & Them


This is my Dad and my Mum. No, I am not adopted and neither am I from my Mum's first marriage (there wasn't one). My Dad just happens to be coloured, born in Umtata, Transkei and fleeing for his life to the UK during the Apartheid, and my Mum just happens to resemble fresh snow.

It was never a problem when I was growing up, I never saw him as different. I never asked about it. I do remember when I was 12ish, having an old farty man coming up to us both in the supermarket and telling my Dad that he should go back to his own country. I wonder how my Dad felt especially as I was standing next to him. He just shrugged the comments off and turned away. I thought the old guy was crazy.

Then I moved to South Africa following my parents who moved back in 2008. I thought I was coming to the rainbow nation where peace and love abounds. I was mistaken. Unfortunately, I have seen an acute sense of 'Us versus Them' and it is deeply saddening with no one seeming interested in patching relationships up.

Last year, I went with some friends to Stellenbosch to visit some wine farms. We were joined by a girl who was a friend of one of the people in our group. She unfortunately fitted into that annoyingly hard to squash 'stereotypical blonde' persona and she seriously began to grate on me. It got worse when over lunch, she started pointing at one of my best friends and asking her whether she was Chinese because she had small eyes. We laughed it off but then when she found out about my Dad she turned to me and asked if I didn't ever find that weird when I was a child? Her second question was:
"Didn't you ever think he was dirty and try to get him to wash?"
At that point I was imagining how well my glass of wine would look in her face but I remained composed as she continued to propose obscene questions about my Dad and my upbringing. It placed a cloud over the afternoon, I kept thinking about the word 'dirty' and I got so mad. My Dad is the most amazing man ever. He is defined by how brilliant, clever and funny he is, not by what colour he is. To be asked if I, because I am white, had a problem with my own Father, made me listen out more to the way people spoke around me.

There seems to be a lot of people with barriers up against colour. They treat 'Coloureds and Blacks' as though they are not human. I even got told by a white chick I once worked with that I had "no idea what my parents (whites) have to put up with and have been through over the decades". That is not an excuse to be degrading towards another human being.

Please don't get me wrong and think I'm ignoring the other side. I know that there is huge political unrest and that there are those in power who would mean to further separate people and are doing a 'great' job of pushing a divide between black and white but it does not mean we treat everyone harshly because of the ridiculousness of some. And it doesn't mean we throw around the Apartheid and use it as a baton for doing as one pleases - we should be confining it to history and learning from it (but that is a different story). My main point, is how can we expect to be treated well if we do not treat others with kindness and decency - as hard as it may be?

Perhaps some of you will believe I am naive and that I come from a completely different culture and do not understand the history that has taken place in South Africa. But I would rather die believing and hoping for unity and peace than settle for  bitterness and segregation.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.....this could spark something quite controversial.


Monday, 4 June 2012

No Girls please.


I'm a guy's girl. There I said it. Don't shoot me or look at me with disdain. I'm not the type who flirts uncontrollably with your boyfriend or the type who is just bitchy. I just happen to enjoy hanging around with guys because I'm not necessarily into talking about girly-girl stuff and maybe because I enjoy the occasional burping contest.
My husband puts it down to me being jealous of his friend's girlfriends and maybe I am a bit territorial but it's not jealousy. Crumpets, I'm almost too secure in myself.
When we have braais at the house or we go out for dinner, I always double check with Mr H over who is going to be there so that I can brush up on my Girly Lingo, should it be required and get my mind ready for female interaction (it's almost like a mission for me). However, Mr H likes to change and rearrange plans without me knowing.

Mr H: We going for dinner tonight?
Me: Oh that would be lovely. We haven't had a night out together for awhile.
Mr H: I thought we could go out with my brother too?
Me: Sounds like fun.
Mr H: And his friend?
Me: Er, okay. So just the four of us?
Mr H: Yeah.
A little while later
Me: I'm looking forward to seeing the guys.
Mr H: Yeah me too. Oh, and that chic *she will remain nameless* will be there too.
Freeze.

So, I know I shouldn't get mad and maybe it would be a different circumstance if this girl was anything like me but she isn't. She goes on about her ex boyfriends, her crazy nights out and how she's lost 3 kgs since breakfast. As the only other girl there, I am now obligated to sit and listen to her the whole night and guess what, Mr H, thinking that he is doing me a favour, will go and hang out with his mates. I get left alone. With her. The night dips into tragedy.
But for all that complaining (I'm sorry), those wonderful 'Lady' friends I have whose partners aren't in my guy circle, are amazing. I love being with them. So perhaps it's something about me feeling like a Mummy Lion and wanting to be the head of the pack? Perhaps I don't like sharing my space. Perhaps I know too many silly females. Perhaps I like being the only girl in the village....

Are you more into male company or a healthy mix?