The Thai-ny Miracle

Before you start reading, please take note that I wrote this on the evening of 23 May 2016. The photos I took were so bad, I had to bring them to work to see if I could tart them up in Photoshop before posting. In the end, I managed to make them pretty on my phone. Go figure. Anyway, here’s the story.

It seems that the rainy weather in Cape Town brings out my inner cook. Tonight it’s been proper blustery and stormy, and my patio has been noisy. Leaves blowing about, branches creaking, creatures scurrying, and the frogs … well, they’re silent for a change.

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How to Eat a Coach

Remember this post? Where I wrote about my planting progress? Well, this post is about how I ate what I planted.

It turns out the pumpkin (my potential coach) was butternut (butternut squash, for those in the UK) and it needs hardly any attention to grow. In fact, it grew right there on the bricks on my patio. The plant ranged up the inside if the wine barrel, over the edge and down towards the ground. The main stem is now about 3-4 meters long and goes around the front corner of my house.

I only managed to grow one butternut off this stem so far, but one was enough for this tasty recipe.

Hot Butternut and Chicken Salad

1 medium-sized (say 15 cm tall) home-grown butternut
2 free-range chicken breasts
salad leaves
1 handful of sprouts
1-2 rounds of feta, broken up
1 tablespoon sunflower and pumpkin seeds each
Ina Paarman’s garlic and herb spice (if you can get it)
salad dressing – I used lemon juice, olive oil and balsamic, in proportion of a third each

Cut the butternut into one-inch blocks and boil/steam until almost done, drain and leave to cool down. Cut the chicken into similar size. Fry in butter, add peri-peri and salt, cool down in a bowl. Fry up the seeds in some butter (be careful not to burn them!) and add to the chicken to cool down. Place the salad leaves in a bowl, add the sprouts, chicken, seeds and feta. Mix it all up. Fry the butternut in butter with a bit of peri-peri sprinkled over until slightly browned. Don’t handle too much or you’ll have butternut mash. (Unless you like it that way. But it’s hugely impractical for a salad.) Leave to cool and then add these to the rest of the salad. Add the salad dressing and mix it all up.

Have it for dinner with a loved one or a stranger, or take some to work and give your colleagues food envy.