The road to Santiago runs through villages, up hills, through forests and over farmland. The road to a man's heart runs through his stomach. So today I decided to prepare a meal that would put a big smile on the face of the man in my life.
Lamb shanks. Slow cooked in red wine, rosemary, cinnamon and a host of other delicious ingredients, accompanied by olive and parsley mashed potatoes, roasted veggies and a garden salad.
Blogger still has to design a widget for smells but I can tell you, if you were in my home this morning, you would have experienced what a million dollars smells like!
In all honesty, I am not a natural cook and if I never have to cook again, I'd be happy! So, I've discovered over the years that the secret lies in spotting good recipes. Hence, when I discovered the recipe for slow cooked lamb shanks in a magazine at a doctor's reception room a few days ago, I knew this was a winner.
Another one of my secret weapons in the kitchen is my black cast iron pot. It goes on the fire, on the gas and I even stick it in the oven, like today.
All in all, a lovely winters day in Cape Town. No hiking today because of the rain but a successful morning in the kitchen and a lovely lunch shared with my husband and parents.
As for the Camino - the South African ladies who I have been following online, have arrived in Santiago and another arrives tomorrow. I loved reading these day to day accounts of life on the road and I can't help but imagine what it must feel like for them all, right now.
I have about a year to go before I take off myself and as this is going to be the time of year that I am going to have to deal with albergues, the weather in Spain, finding the best place to eat etc., I'm reading all these blogs with particular attention as to how they are experiencing all these things.
Sometimes I think I should just forget about all the details and just head out when the time comes, but that's just not how I'm put together! I would like to experience the real heart of the Camino every single day without having to worry about too many details on a day to day basis. Hence I feel good about going about it the way I am - by the time I start my journey I'd like to feel as if the outline of the picture has been drawn, as it where, and the inside remains to be created spontaneously!
Until then, my road to Spain has quite a few detours to take and I hope that I will have many more special moments, like this experience today, to share with you.
I leave you with a picture of this lovely flower, one of four given to us today by my mom and dad - straight out of their garden. A gift given from the heart - and an even bigger gift to have had them here today.
Our Thursday hiking is definitely excellent preparation for the long walks that lie ahead on the Camino - I can't imagine it ever getting more strenuous than any of these full day adventures! The first of our real winter hikes have now started and I enjoyed every moment out there last week.
We spent 8 hours on the mountain just outside Franschoek, one of the most scenic towns on our winelands route close to Cape Town. To see our pics, click here.
A double rainbow graced our skies yesterday - if you look carefully, you'll see the second one to the right of the big one. I certainly hope that's a good omen!
I haven't blogged too much the past week but I've certainly followed my regular Camino blogs. Here is one that you might find interesting - a group of 15 women from South Africa are walking right now, if you'd like to follow their journey, click here.
As for myself, Thursday is hiking day and I'll be up at 5am tomorrow morning. We're spending the day in the Franschoek Mountains, situated in the Cape Winelands, about an hour's drive from Cape Town. Last week the group explored the front of Table Mountain, if you'd like to see some of their pictures, click here.
I'll be taking my camera with me tomorrow, hopefully the weather will play along and we'll have a glorious day! I guess I'd better pack in the extra gloves and hats just in case - winter has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it in our part of the world.
I guess by tomorrow evening I'll know if double rainbows are indeed good or bad omens!