Lockdown, memories of month one – April 2020.

April was all about food wasn’t it? My mood swings were off the charts. One minute I was convinced we would be up and running again in no time, like perhaps July. I envisaged winter tourists doing winter tourism – safaris up north where it doesn’t rain in winter and the lions roam far for food, walking the streets of Cape Town – where it does rain in winter, a lot – on my history city tours, sitting huddled in front of a fireplace at wineries tasting red wine and eating gourmet meals.

Normal life, in other words.

But it was not to be. Lockdown went on and on and on. The regulations and details changed, easing up a bit. We were allowed out for 3 hours every morning to exercise. No-one was impressed with that because it was from 6 to 9 am and the sun only rises at 7,30 in winter. Alcohol sales were forbidden for months. Even tobacco products were forbidden – smokers went nuts and landed up spending 10 times as much money on bootleg rubbish. Drug dealers changed product range overnight, who can blame them?

And we baked and baked and cooked and ate and braaied. That’s what we call a bbq in South Africa – a braai. We do it throughout the year, come rain or shine, and we do a fabulous job of it, too. We’re very proud of our braais and I don’t know any other country that does it as well as we do. We don’t use gas, that’s for sissies, we use an open fire with wood and charcoal, or just wood. And when the food is cooked the braai-master (because there can only be one person in charge, no-one interferes) might keep adding wood to the fire to keep everyone warm and lend a camping atmosphere.

We braai beef steak, lamb chops (especially Karoo lamb which is the best), pork chops, pork sausages, and the ultimate South African item: boerewors. It translates directly into ‘farmer’s sausage’. These are rather thick sausages, slightly spicy, and very juicy. Seriously, if you are ever invited to a bbq by a South Africa, especially IN South Africa, and you say no, then you are either a vegan or missing out on the treat of your life. Just do it! Read more here.

In the baking department we did not bake banana loaf – I have no idea why that became such a thing but we baked a host of other cakes – lemon meringue, carrot cake, sponge cake, chocolate cake and the family favourite clafoutis. I did buy yeast when it was finally available in the shops, and it’s still in the grocery cupboard waiting for me. It could wait a very long time.

In the meantime, here is the link to my crowdfunding campaign. I’ve set it up to save my business. Please note that even just 10 dollars is a lot of money when converted to my currency, South African Rands! Thank you so much in advance.

Clafoutis close up – can be made with any fruit but one of my favourites is apricot.
Lemon meringue cake
Pork chop braai – I love it when the fatty bits of the chop get a bit burnt.

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About Francoise Armour

I run a small touring company (Tours du Cap) at the bottom of Africa, to show visitors the beauty and vibrant culture of the country I have lived in since my parents brought me here from France as a child. I enjoy taking photos and wish I had learnt to do it properly. I enjoy writing but don't do enough of it. I enjoy walking in the mountains that surround me and I marvel over the views and the flowers and the amazing rock formations. I have a small, cute, clever, black dog of indeterminable breed, named Vida, who reminds me regularly that walking and getting out is not only for when tourists want it.

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A note to all accidental visitors:

I am not a photographer and do not claim to have any particular skills whatsoever in that department. I have enormous respect for those who can see the potential in a scene and can create a great photo. Good photography is an art, in my opinion.

I am just a happy snapper, I have no special lenses or accessories, my camera is very simple and it's usually best to leave the setting on auto.

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