Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Archive for Food


…so last night went off well!

Starters was a garlic, ginger noodle soup with bok choi. This was so easy and so tasty! Loved it! And I will definitely have a crack at it again. Mains was Hainanese Chicken rice, which is just sooooo delicious and simple, I could eat it weekly! First you poach a chicken in stock which is flavoured with ginger and spring onions, You then plunge your chicken into ice water, and then massage some sesame oil lovingly into the chicken skin. Then you prepare some  jasmine rice, using that same stock; and then you make sauces – a soya sauce based one, one with spring onions and ginger and a fiery chilli sauce. All so yum. And for dessert I made a matcha chiffon cake with a pomegranate icing, which I really enjoyed. So light and delicate in flavour.



…I am tired of being a Moaning Myrtle, so until further notice, assume things with Pops are as before. He’s grumpy, resistant and angry, and irrational. But physically fine

The weekend was fine, one baby on Friday evening, one in the early hours of Sunday morning, so not too awful. We had supper with friends on Friday (delicious tuna fillets seared on the break with a divine asian salsa), and on Sunday Thandi (with some help from her sous chefs, aka Mom and Dad) made chicken curry and rotis for lunch. It was delicious! A real triumph! I am so pleased she is learning about cooking and loves being in the kitchen, long may it last! And all praise to Lou, the PA who taught her how to make it.

 (I was worried about the rotis, wasn’t sure they would work out as well as were hoped, they were perfect, better than I have done in the past!)


Birthday weekend!

While I’m not convinced of the wisdom of 2 birthdays so close together, I know this weekend was amazing!

Thandi’s party on Friday evening was amazing! And surprisingly less work than I anticipated. The kids had a blast, and I’ve had lots of moms telling me their kids insisted they cook some of the recipes with them. So success! They children stared by making a dinner roll, decorated with poppy and sesame seeds; then the red team made meatballs in tomato sauce; and the blue team Parmesan chicken. (I cooked a big vowel of spaghetti with it all) and for dessert, both teams made chocolate mousse. (a quick setting Nigella one with mini marshmallows) While supper was in the oven, the kids had a taste test which was hysterical! Between broccoli, gherkins, cheese and chocolate, they laughed like drains! A really successful party in the end.

There you have it, the cake, the party and the goodie bag.

The rest of the weekend was all fun and games. Other birthday parties, a family picnic and lots of baking!

And today we vaguely remember my birthday.

Fun Times

…the weekend was quite a full one, well, except for yesterday, when I had a bout if gastro, but the less said about that the better.

Friday night saw friends of ours bring us supper – what a treat, to be able to kick back, make sure wine glasses were filled and eat a delicious curry prepared for us. I think this may become my go to gift for friends in the future. A treat of note. I was tired, so I was really appreciative of the spoil. Shortly after they left I had to shoot back to work to do a delivery. Yes, I wasn’t on call, but this patient was labouring before the end of the day, so I had to head back in and see her labor through… A sweet little girl was born around 10pm!

Saturday was one of those chokka block days – but it was all so good! It started with me doing my regular run, with Thandi on her bike with me – she is really starting to enjoy this cycling thing with me while I run, and I am loving it too. We didn’t this week, but we finish our run/ride, dabble our toes in the sea, and then get a cappuccino/milkshake at the local beach cafe. So nice to spend some good time with my girl. This week we didn’t stick around, because we were heading off to a friend’s farm – we arrived around 9, indulged in coffee and rusks, then headed out to the lands to feed their prize bulls, and admire them – they are really gorgeous, although grumpy, Brahmans. Thandi had so much fun with her buddies – after a cool down swim, it was off for a quick lunchtime picnic, before we headed back into town for Thandi to attend a birthday party. (I did say it was busy!) As that ended, the wether started to turn, and we headed home and all collapsed in a heap!  All our energy all used up! A great day

My trouble started here with a dodgy tummy – ugh, it did put paid to my planned long run on Sunday, and left me rather grumpy and miserable. By last night, my body was super sore, which made me think this was a little tummy virus. I’m feeling better this morning, long may it last!

The week ahead is also going to be busy – school starts again tomorrow, and I am now 3 short weeks away from 2 Oceans – eek! (I am seriously tempted to find someone to run the relay they’re launching this year with me, but as a friend mentioned, we’d kick ourselves for not trying anyway!)


… so I hosted my annual Valentine’s dinner on Saturday night. I do love it all – thinking up a theme, designing a menu and then bringing it all together on the day. This year was no exception!

Introducing the Royal Affair – a meal fit for a king and queen.

On that menu…

  • CanapĂ© – fish and chips, with a pea sorbet
  • Starter – bangers and truffle mash with a yorkshire pud and caramelized onions
  • Palate cleanser – a G&T sorbet
  • Mains – a lamb crown roast, with steamed green veggies and fondant potatoes
  • Dessert – sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream
  • Petit four platter – miniature toffee apples, port and Stilton truffles, elderflower jellies and tiara biscuits.

It seemed to all go down well, and I think my friends may want to come again next year!


…no, not out there with rave music! Last night was “bookclub” – although I am not sure that we can call it that anymore. We are more of a stokvel. We all read, but mostly on our kindles now, so we don’t buy books as a group anymore; instead, we save our money for a really nice end of year weekend away with our families.

I was the hostess lat night. I was quite pleased that a theatre case which I suspect may be a complicated one postponed because she had developed ‘flu; so after watching Thandi swim in the local city wide trials*, I got home to cook and prep.

On the menu

  • roasted garlic and goats cheese tart
  • Mushroom and tender stem broccoli pasta, with gremolata
  • brown butter ice cream sandwiches (with florentines)


*Thandi swam well, I missed Tuesday’s trials (where she swam 2nd in her backstroke heat and 4th in her freestyle heat) so I was pleased to make yesterdays. She took 3rd place in the breaststroke heat and won the (only) butterfly heat. that’s my little fish!

Christmas Cookies

…so in attempt to assuage some working mom guilt and to compensate for the many missed play dates because I keep her so busy, I arranged a Christmas cookie decorating party for Thandi yesterday. Extra-murals are done for the year, and so we could have a good afternoon of fun!

I spent Sunday, between electricity outages, baking up a storm. Gingerbread men, gingerbread ninjas, and some Christmas shaped sugar biscuits. I prepped various colors of icing, collected multiple sprinkles and also made some T-shirt’s for the little girls.

Once everyone has arrived, we got going. Each girl also had the chance to bake a batch of choc chip cookies (they were a simple mix – so easy to do!) and they all baked and iced to their heart’s content.

Then there was some swimming and some testing of the produce!

I was nervous, 12 girls felt overwhelming, but they were awesome. Either I have underestimated the girls, or else my daughter has really awesome friends! They sat and decorated quietly, there was peace and harmony and sharing of colors and sprinkles around the table. They were polite and kind. Such a pleasure

And I really hope I made some good memories for my girl. I had the warm fuzzies all afternoon.