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Birthday Adventures to Berry NSW

14 Oct

So Miss Wallflower turned 30 a little while ago. How does a Legal Tart celebrate the birthday of a friend. By taking a road trip to Berry and seeing a palm reader.

A friend of mine had raved about the uncanny insights of Ric, a palm reader who operated on weekends out of a shop in Berry. I have to admit that I tend to regard such things as hocus pocus. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one to claim no belief in the psychic world, I have no doubt that some people do possess a gift, but I am really hard to convince.

I had come home and retold the story about Ric to Miss Wallflower and she decided we should definitely go, so I said I would take her for her birthday. A road trip was born to one of my favourite places with a progressive dining plan to be followed by a palm reading for Miss Wallflower and I.

We started off nice and early and made our first stop after arrival at the Berry Sourdough Cafe. I have to confess that I have no photos here as the service was a bit slow, so by the time my macadamia tart arrived I was salivating and simply inhaled it. It was good…very good. I hadn’t realised before arriving that the café now did lunch which looked lovely and involved a wine list…very important 🙂 After we finally got our coffee and tea we departed buying a lovely sourdough loaf on our way out.

Next stop after a brief walk about was the Savannah Cafe and Bar. The café is licensed and serves South African inspired food. I had booked a table fearing that I would be unable to get a table during the busy lunch period, but we were the only diner besides one other couple. The restaurant is located down one of the arcades and I can only guess that this is the reason the restaurant is not very busy, because the food was certainly good and the service friendly.

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I had the bobotie with rice and a salad. The bobotie was arranged nicely with the sides on a plate and came out with a bubbling top just calling for a spoon to break through to the curried meat beneath. The sauce as well seasoned with a perfect mix of sweet and spice. The salad was lightly dressed and a nice fresh accompaniment. Wine was served by way of a piccolo bottle.

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Miss Wallflower had the gnocchi with boar sausage. This was generously proportioned and the gnocchi was clearly hand made and was light as a feather. It was topped with a persian style fetta.

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Before our palm reading we had some time to walk around and see the sights. First stop was Miss Pompadours. A fabulous little chocolate shop, where I bought some dark chocolate bark and a dried raspberry and milk chocolate bark. I have been very good with it and there is still some left…not much though 😦

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Then a little visit to the Berry Tea shop. A lovely little place with great gift ideas and quirky teapots.

Our final visit for the day was to Ric who was doing readings at Global Contact.

Ric is a lovely man in his seventies, who learnt the art of palm reading as a child from his grandmother who also had the gift. I don’t want to give all of my future away, because lets be honest I am not sure I can live up to the promise of my palms, but I will say this..boys… only those with potential waterfront property in their future need apply. Ric tells me my lunar crescent means I simply have to live near water 😉

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Have you ever seen a psychic

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The Constant Gardener and African Chicken and Peanut Curry

19 Feb

Have you seen the film the Constant Gardener. It stars Rachel Weiss and Ralph Fiennes and is part mystery thriller, part love story. I love this movie. I have seen it more times than I can count and I have also read the book.

There are a few reasons I love this movie, firstly it helps keep at bay my desire to see the world. I love to travel but unfortunately can’t do it as often as I would like. Watching movies set in different places around the globe helps satiate my desire to travel for a little while at least. The story is set largely in Africa and the cinematography is beautiful. It showcases the beauty of the continent in all of its rugged an often poverty stricken complexity. Secondly, I absolutely love the character of Tessa. She is a woman I really admire. Passionate and fearless she searches for and takes on the challenges of new experiences and does so without losing her warmth. Her ability to act with integrity in the face of moral difficulties I find inspiring. She doesn’t appear to fear failure nearly as much as she fears not living fully and with empathy. While I like to think I share some of Tessa’s characteristics, I know that often I am constrained by making sure I appear polite and not too demanding. I try to tone down those passionate responses for fear of judgement or being accused of being judgemental. Every time I see the movie I vow to live more like Tessa, passionately and with vigour and unrestrained love.

While I struggle with trying to live my life less concerned about the perceptions of others I also have to keep at bay my desire to travel, at least until my studies are complete. So I use cooking to allow me to access parts of the world I can’t get to right away. As I have said before I can not claim any real authenticity with some of my more exotic recipes, but what I can assure you is that even if the recipe is only inspired by the exotic location you dream of, it can act as a brief sensory trip into another culture and world. Beware this curry does have a little chilli kick!

What country/continent would you like to visit? Do you cook as a substitute for travel?

 

African Chicken and Peanut Curry

Serves 4-6

Adapted from a recipe found at West African Chicken Curry

  • 4-6 chicken thighs diced
  • Canned cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ can of coconut milk
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 apple peeled and cored and diced
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and diced
  • 70 gms of raisins
  • 1/12 tbsp of crunch peanut butter
  • 2 tsp of curry powder
  • 2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp of honey

 

1. Brown onion and chicken together. Remove from pan.

2. Add the sweet potato and apple and cook for a further 2 minutes

3. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant

4. Add the cherry tomatoes with juice and half the can of coconut milk. This may be all you need but you can add some more later if taste or consistency requires it

5. Add the chicken back to the curry and allow to simmer gently. For about 20 mins

6. Add the peanut butter and raisins, stir until peanut butter is incorporated

7. If you think it needs more coconut milk you should add it now.

8. Add the honey and allow to simmers for a further 10 mins.

9. Serve with rice or cous cous

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