Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend of writing, socializing and birding

The weekend was rather packed with work, socializing and relaxing. Theresa, (mine manager, Borrie's wife) who's been visiting for a week, flew back to South Africa this morning. I decided to send high resolution photos for my two articles with her. She'll post them in Johannesburg this week. I spent Friday and the whole of Saturday copying, editing and captioning photos which I later burnt onto two seperate discs. I managed to finish at about 4.30 on Saturday afternoon, placed them in an envelope, attached South African currency for postage, and took it next door to Theresa .  

Hoping to ripen lemons which I pick from a tree in my garden, I have them lined up in an east-facing window in my kitchen. I love the different shades and textures of green and decided to photograph it

On Saturday night Nico and Sue invited the expats to the Guest House for a braai (South African barbeque). Chef Wheatcliffe and assistant-chef Caro put on a fine spread of salads, garlic bread, a vegetarian quiche and a selection of grilled meat. It was good to unwind with friends and for Theresa to get to know the other people on camp.

On Sunday morning, Grant and I went birding. We tried a different route and we weren't disappointed. 

Apart from a variety of birds, we spotted a lifer (more about these later this week) and learnt something new about the White-bellied Go-away-bird. We saw four of these birds in a tree above the road. One flew down to a muddy puddle in the road ahead of the vehicle. When I downloaded the photos, I noticed that the bird I'd photographed in the tree had a dark-coloured bill and the one on the road had a pea-green bill. Checking up on my Birds of Africa book, I read that the male has a black bill while the female's bill is green.
White-bellied Go-away-bird male (black bill) 
The White-bellied Go-away-bird, female (green bill)

A different photo
Back home I made lunch (roast and vegetables) and a dessert. I decided to make a different pudding from the previous few weeks. A Bread-and-butter pudding. Years ago I learnt to make this dish  from Grant's paternal grandmother, Nan. Four decades on I still use the same recipe although I added a sauce which makes this dessert dizzyingly sweet and rich.
Nan's Bread-and-butter pudding

Nan's Bread-and-butter Pudding
Serves 4 - 6
Spread 8-10 slices of stale white bread with butter and apricot jam (I leave the crusts on)
Place face-up in an oven proof baking dish
Sprinkle a handfull of raisins on top
Beat together 2 eggs and 2 cups of milk
Pour over the sliced bread
Bake at 180 for 35 - 40 minutes until crispy (It should rise up)

Meanwhile melt 250g butter and a cup of brown sugar
Add 2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Remove pudding from the oven and pour the sauce over it
Serve hot with cream or ice-cream

Enjoy your week, everyone!


  1. Sounds like you had a pleasant and productive weekend. :-)

  2. The White-bellied Go-away-bird is most unusual, Jo. I'm continuaally surprised at the variety of birds you see! Nan's Bread and Butter pudding looks mouth watering.

  3. I love the green beak of the female go-away bird.
    Grant's Nan's pudding looks wonderful, but I don't dare try it. I'd blow up like a balloon. :o)
    Luv — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  4. Oh my! What a busy lady you have been, trying to get everything ready to send to S.A. for mailing. I've wondered how you get your posts up. Surely you have broadband there at the mining camp?

  5. Another good weekend in the Hedge's home ;) Jo, you omitted to say how many eggs. In what magazines are your latest articles going to be published? I would love to get them :)


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