Monday, January 31, 2011

Swimming Elephants!

Going green with our own vegetable gardens

Samuel Vena works as a chef at Longhope Villa. He has taken it upon himself to start an organic Vegetable and herb garden for RiverBend Lodge. Several areas around the RiverBend gardens have been transformed into little vegetable patches that guests can wonder through. We also started our own compost heap using organic/vegetable waste from the kitchen and garden, aiding us with our organic ‘farming’.

Organic produce has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years as consumers have become more aware of the health benefits of eating organic foods.A major concern has been the pervasive use of pesticides in farming and the hazardous presence of the pesticides residue in food.

Having our own organic vegetable garden is not only healthy, but it is also very satisfying picking your own vegetables and herbs and using it in the kitchen, knowing that it is the best quality product. To name but a few of our home grown treats: turnips, leeks, celery, spinach, rocket, lettuce, cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsley, mint, spring onion, and many more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

European Roller (Coracias spatulatus)

Most of our migrant birds have arrived in larger numbers than the previous year due to the good feeding conditions. Along with the butterflies, the insects have also become numerous and they have attracted the attention of many of our summer visitors. This is most apparent in the European Rollers (Coracias spatulatus) that have been especially abundant this summer. These stunning birds tend mainly to hunt by still-hunting from a perch and then pouncing on their prey on the ground. This species is also a non-breeding Palearctic migrant which means this bird comes from as far away as North Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. These birds make for fantastic photo opportunities and are yet another beautiful species to look forward to when heading out on game drive into the magnificent scenery that is RiverBend Lodge.

Smoked Paprika baked Kingklip with sautéed butter beans, parmesan dusted aubergine, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and caper cream.

Smoked Paprika baked Kingklip with sautéed butter beans, parmesan dusted aubergine, slow roasted cherry tomatoes and caper cream.

200g Kingklip fillet
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp live oil
Season the fish, rub with oil and bake in the oven till cooked.

Butter Beans:
½ cup of cooked butter beans
1tablespoon diced onion
2 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon butter
Add all the ingredients in a pan and sauté for 4minutes.

1 slice aubergine (2.5cm thick)
Dried herbs
Season the aubergine with the salt, pepper and dried herbs.
Dust in flour, dip in beaten egg and roll in breadcrumb parmesan cheese mixture.
Shallow fry on both sides over medium heat until cooked.

Caper cream:
1 tablespoon capers
1teaspoon butter
100ml cream
Salt pepper
Fresh thyme
Place all the ingredients in a pan and cook for 5minutes.