Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Luxury, Food and the Zambezi, Pt. 5

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Like the Rust-en-Vrede waterfall close to Oudtshoorn, the Zambezi, and the soft idle of a catamaran, has been entered into my mind as a “happy place”. The beauty, silence and tranquillity of the whole experience is something I think of almost daily.

To catch up: last time we went around the Vic’ Falls, saw the markets and bought ingredients. Well, this brings us to the point of the whole trip: Cooking with Jenny Morris.

After a quick shower and a 30 minute return cruise to our cabin, the proceedings of the evening was upon us.

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Yup, this is what brought us here. The new book by Jenny. Liezl van der Westhuizen showing off her copy, and next to her is the publisher, Cery Prenter. Each guest also received a delightful apron already on arrival at the airport, and now everyone could don theirs. I find aprons are much like T-shirts, in that they really carry way more sentimental appeal than fashion appeal. Very few of my t-shirts are in any way fashionable, but most have some sort of memory. Except the red one I’m currently wearing. My wife says I look hot in it. That’s all the sentiment I need. I digress.

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Carmen Niehaus from Huisgenoot got handy early on with Jenny’s green mangos, that we had picked up at the market, and from some trees in the Shoprite parking lot. Mango trees grow everywhere in Livingstone.

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Jenny not only supplied aprons, but also, spice!

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Jenny and John Maytham gets tight with the Royal Chundu chefs. They were very gracious in allowing a bunch of raucus media people into their sanctuary, but they did so, and with big smiles to boot.

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As the ingredients came together with the skill and vigour of food lovers, chefs and eaters alike, culinary art was being created.

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Marga and the local chef exchange tips, I assume on cooking, but John’s expression suggests that he just had something witty to add to the conversation, so it might be that they were talking about something wholly different, like men.

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I don’t like seafood much, but it sure does make for great pictures. I might also add that at this point I had managed not to do a single stitch of work. I justified my presence with bothering everyone for a pic, or just by sticking an L-series lens in their face.

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Ceri and JP doing their thing. You can see JP getting jiggy at this juncture, but viewing the video.

Cooking with Jenny Morris, Royal Chundu Lodge, Zambia

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Alan spreading the cheer.

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While the others were finishing up their dishes, I relented from my quest to annoy all with my camera, and retired to a glass of Blaauwklippen Zinfandel. They were kind enough to send us a case of wine along.

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And herewith the culmination of all the effort. I had a thoroughly good time photographing the whole trip, but I might add, that I had an even better time stuffing my face. These dishes were again served to us in the beautiful outdoor dining area as we had the previous evening.

I must confess, it is difficult for me to eat beautiful food when I have my camera ready. I keep wanting to take just another shot before I destroy it. Carmen and I had a great time playing with our food before we finally assimilated it.

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It’s all about atmosphere.

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Team Jenny Morris & Team Royal Chundu River Lodge, Zambia, November 2011.

Afterwards we each had a quick Blaauwklippen Potstill 8-year brandy as a nightcap, and then we took the gorgeous trip back to our island, winding down with the soft murmur of the boat’s engin.

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