I don’t know why I bothered to go to bed really. I hardly slept a wink, switching the television off and on several times in an effort to hypnotise myself into Lalla Land with some benign late night news. I must have nodded off from sheer exhaustion at around 3.30 am and at 4.00am was awake again. I dragged myself to the kitchen and made some tea, as I boiled the kettle I was I was giving myself a jolly good talking to. I needed to get my nerves in check and I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.
You know that all is not well when your own reflection in the bathroom mirror frightens you and I was arriving at the grim realisation that the situation had become critical. My eyes looked like two profiteroles glued to my face and cucumber slices were all I could think of. I lay down on the couch and closed my eyes to think about it all and examine my feeling. My ‘light bulb’ moment struck like lightning and I sat bolt upright, energy coursing through my whole body.
This was not Fear I was feeling – it was Excitement! In a moment I realised that this was the excitement that nine year old Janice felt the night before her birthday. Excitement! That’s what it was, pure and utter nine year old excitement and joyous anticipation. Suddenly the day that had loomed like a spectre rolled out like a red carpet at my feet. I was up bathing, shaving, coiffing and Polyfillering the cracks. I donned my Dorothy shoes, clicked my heels together and was off on a wondrous adventure.
Anne Meyers’s beautiful home in the Strand is all but surrounded by the most magnificent beach. The sea was gentle and sparkled in the early morning sun. I was aware that the Two Blondes of Two Blondes and a Redhead were doing their utmost to keep me calm and relaxed. The lighting, sound and camera crew moved silently and in unison as they weaved an intricate web of cables. I refused breakfast, preferring to cook on an empty tummy thus ensuring plates of delicious and desirable food that I would definitely want to eat. My questions were answered by Michelle, my face freshened up with some make-up and before I knew it I heard Anne’s “do as I tell you or I will vliksem you’ confident and commanding voice deliver the iconic phrase, “Lights, camera and Action!”
Anne warned me that an adrenalin rush would render me paralysed and it did! I stood staring at the cameras like a stunned mullet but in no time, in the safety of my sanctuary, the kitchen, I was off like a Springbok winger. With her encouragement and direction I soon relaxed and felt safe. I had the most fantastic day cooking and feeding the incredibly patient and kind crew who were very keen to learn some Italian cooking tricks and recipes with which to impress girlfriends and who woofed down some taglietelle with a prawn and chorizo sauce with such gusto.
It’s not easy to watch yourself in action and I know that if I get a second chance I will be 100% improved in both delivery and confidence. We cooked and cooked and cooked until 6pm at which time a glass of wine was placed in my hand by Michelle as I flopped into a comfy armchair and we all relaxed and had a good laugh at my many faux pas!
I have never won any first prizes for my blog or for my cooking but on that hot summer’s day in Cape Town did I ever feel like a winner. I realise that not everyone will ‘get’ me or my blogging style and content and I am completely comfortable with that. Being in the public spotlight is both challenging and ‘interesting’ and I am way more comfortable championing other people’s blogs or causes than my own. But, I guess that I have chosen to put myself out there by blogging publically and must take the praise with the criticism, stand steadfast and stay true to myself. As they say, and in this case never a truer word was spoken, “If you can’t take the heat then stay out of the kitchen.”
Click on any of these links below to see me in action and get the recipes for these Italian favourites.
There are just so many Italian dishes that you can use a good Basil Pesto in.
Do you have a pasta machine gathering dust in your kitchen – making fresh pasta is incredibly easy, cost effective and tastes wonderful!
This is an easy to make Italian favourite. Chicken Breast Stuffed with Parma ham, tangy and easy melting Fontina cheese and Asparagus, cooked in a creamy Marsala Wine sauce.
This is the standard Tripepi hangover cure – a crusty bread roll baked with and egg and pancetta or bacon filling with herbs.
A weekend favourite, a fresh tomato based pasta sauce bursting with the flavours of succulent prawns and spicy chorizo sausage.
Dreamy peaches poached in a spiced Red Lambrusco Sparkling wine served with vanilla mascarpone and crushed amaretti.
I hope you try some of these delish Italian dishes this beautiful autumn weekend.
My heartfelt thanks to you again and your incredible crew Anne & Michelle, for the faith you have shown in both my blog and my cooking.
Thanks to the editors who have done a superb job and I am only too glad they didn’t include all my bloopers!!! Hehehe ….
I loved every minute of it!