Corona Gratitude 🙏
#grateful for a fabulous day, warm at 22C; for having a morning meeting cancelled, which gave me uninterrupted time to do my client work today; for a walk to Woolworths to buy fruit; for meeting Gary Peterson at my house and driving through to Stonehurst Estate at Westlake, to the home of the Honorary Consul of Finland, Phillip Palmgren, to attend an evening of ‘Fancy Finnish Food’, hosted by the Ambassador to Finland Anne Lammila, based in Pretoria, and looked after by her staff, all extremely friendly and welcoming, and then we were spoilt with an eating and drinking feast; for a safe drive back home; and for being happy, healthy and free. 🙏💙
My Blogpost today was about the Gibson’s Gourmet Burger Summer pop-up Food Truck opening in Camps Bay.
The invitation to the Finnish Food evening came out of the blue, not having any Finnish connections. I was so happy that Gary could join me as my plus one, also for the drive back at night. The Nordic House venue was built with Finnish woods and other materials, from 20 Finnish suppliers, and furnished with Finnish furniture, the aim being to not freeze here in winter.
We knew no one except some chefs attending and the French mixologist. Chef Dion Ventagass used to be at the Mount Nelson but has his own cheffing company, and was the guest chef, together with Embassy Chef Jade Claassen. We were offered bubbly, and then introduced to Finnish gin and whisky, both made from rye, and a French mixologist made the most fabulous cocktails. Different persons spoke, and shared that they are marketing Finnish foods, and its culture, as so little is known about it in our country. We learnt that foraging of berries and mushrooms is huge in Finland, as is sustainability, authenticity, and purity. Dill is the most common herb used in food. . A long table was set up for 26 guests, beautifully decorated with pine branches, candles of different sizes, and mushrooms and cones, making me think nostalgically of Christmas. We were allocated seats, so we got to know the persons sitting near and next to us.
We were invited to start at the Harvest Table, where platters of THE most delicious Nordic rye and seed loaf breads were offered, with egg butter, herb butter, Crème Fraîche, pickled cucumbers, smoked salmon, and cured salmon. We were to build our own sandwiches with these ingredients, layering one ingredient over another. The best course of all! This was followed by a root vegetable broth, and pan-roasted quail, a dish which we felt was too salty. Dessert represented a Finnish walk in the forest, with berries, and a whipped berry ‘porridge’, very pretty.
What made the evening so special was sitting at the long table outside, later warmed by heaters, and having to introduce ourselves to each other, something I do at my guest tables, asking each one to say who one is, what you do, your favorite food (mine ice cream and chocolate), and a fun fact about oneself. When I shared that my fun fact is that I am the most feared Restaurant Reviewer in Cape Town it brought the house down. I handed out all my business cards after that. 😱😊
We had a fantastic evening, attending what felt like a very grown-up event! Gary and I had never been to an ambassadorial event before. We loved it. 👏👏👏👏👏👏
SA Corona Status: 2,968,052 cases 88843 deaths 25,619,891 vaccinations
FitBit 7000 steps 5 km 👣
The Corona Virus Lockdown (Level 5), announced by our President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier to commence on 27 March 2020 and to continue until 16 April, subsequently extended to 30 April, lowered to Level 4 from 1 May, lowered to Level 3 from 1 June, lowered to Level 2 from 18 August, lowered to Level 1 from 21 September, and moved back to Adjusted Level 3 from 29 December, extended to 15 February on 11 January 2021, extended but relaxed on 1 February, and relaxed back to Level 1 on 1 March 2021, moved back to Adjusted Level 2 on 31 May, moved back to level 3 on 16 June, and moved back to Adjusted Level 4 on 28 June, extended by two weeks on 11 July, returned to Level 3 on 26 July, returned to Level 2 on 13 September, and returned to Level 1 on 1 October is an unprecedented event in my lifetime. I am posting my daily Facebook post to journal this Corona Lockdown Journey, perhaps to serve as material for a future Book.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide