I remember vividly when and how I fell in love with Butter Chicken. The month was May, the year 2011 the place a small, ramshackle restaurant in New Delhi, India. I had been in Delhi studying since early March of that year and had months to go before heading back home to Cape Town to finish off my degree. Most of the food I had been exposed to in the city until then had not been to my liking, mainly because I did not at the time have much of a palette for hot and spicy food. One day when my friend and I went out as we often did to get out of the campus, I decided to try out Butter Chicken, which I was assured was the dish with the least heat on the menu. I was immediately hooked. For me it was the creamy texture and how the spices were tempered with yoghurt and tomatoes that made this meal a winner. Fast-forward to 2021, I’ve been enjoying this meal for a decade. The recipe below is my take on this delicious meal and I hope you can use it to switch up your chicken meals once in a while.
Scones, Scones, Scones
This is my recipe for yumminess produced in under an hour. These scones are perfect for a weekend or weekday morning. All you need to do is set your alarm an hour early to make sure that you stay in your family’s good books for an entire week! My scones are light, fluffy and golden. The sugar content ensures that they are sweet enough to enjoy on their own and not too sweet that you can’t add jam and cream. I really like adding ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon for that added bit flavour. You can also add a teaspoon of nutmeg for that additional flavour pop. Go on, give this recipe a try and let me know how popular you become in your home.
Hubby’s first Father’s Day spent in the Gorge
The Gorgeous Moledi Gorge
So, 2022 marked my husband’s first Father’s Day and what better way to celebrate than escaping to the bush? I planned this getaway as a means for us to get some downtime from work and life in general. The first half of the year was crazy, between adjusting to being new parents, work demands, readjusting to life as we knew it before Covid-19 and all other demands that form part of adulting. I found Moledi Gorge by accident while searching the internet for romantic bush escapes not too far from Johannesburg, where we live. From its online presence, including reviews and social media posts, it looked like exactly what I was looking for. So off we went for our two-night stay expecting to have 48 hours of silence, reflection, tranquillity and of course a bit of fun.
The Lodge is located in Magaliesburg, which is about 90 minutes or so from Johannesburg. Getting there is easy enough if you follow your GPS. Our hosts contacted us a few days before our arrival to provide us directions and some advice on which routes to take. We were also given information timeously about other things which would make our stay pleasurable such as times for the game drives and spa times so that we could pre-book. Arriving at Moledi Gorge we were greeted by the team with such grace and professionalism that I just knew that this would be a most memorable stay. After a seamless check-in, we settled into our beautiful room with panoramic views of the gorge after which the lodge takes its name.
Moledi has 8 suites which are all individually-curated and decorated. This means at any given time, there won’t be more than 16 guests or so excluding children who might be travelling with their parents. This makes for a perfect setting for some adult R&R. We found that guests generally kept to themselves but were so friendly that we ended up having conversations with one another over meals, and leaving each other be when we wanted some quiet time.
My husband, forever the workaholic (sigh) had brought his laptop to put in a couple hours of work before shutting down. I reluctantly left him to his own devices as I familiarised myself with the premises. Our first activity was the evening game drive, which we chose because we wanted the sunset experience. Wow! Our game driver was friendly, knowledgeable and ever so patient. We took in everything as we meandered through nature enjoying every single moment out of the hustle and bustle of Jozi. While the premises don’t have any predators, the game drive was still thoroughly enjoyable and informative. Watching the sunset over a glass of wine was truly magical, even if a bit on the chilly side.
After 2 hours in the bush we had had our fill and were ready to head back for dinner made to order by Chef Matlatsi, who came up from the kitchen to explain the menu and get our preferences and dietary restrictions. This would be the order of proceedings for all our meals. The food was enjoyable and you could tell that the chef put a lot of care into making the culinary experience a memorable one. This formed part of what was mostly an all-round good experience with service, though some of the staff, mainly the servers, were less than friendly. We took this on the chin and made a conscious decision to not let this taint our experience.
Dinners were followed by Fireside Chats (literally) in the warm lounge area where we sipped on wine whilst listening to the crackling of the firewood and getting to know other guests. This was also our time to just zone out and momentarily forget city life and all its stresses. The beauty about Moledi is that there is literally nothing to do but rest. It’s located some distance from the town centre and the surroundings draw you in so much that you really don’t want to leave for any excursion. Because we went in June, it was quite nippy but still warm enough to chill by the poolside, read and enjoy champagne in celebration of life, which is exactly what we did the whole of the next day.
It’s easy to get lost in the Gorge. The silence is loud, which forces you to sit back and relax. The staff are always there to assist with your needs, yet their presence is not imposing. Between our beautiful room, the lounge, the dining room, the decks and the pool, there was plenty to do without feeling like we were “busy”. In fact, we spent our two days busy doing nothing, which makes for the perfect bush escape I’d say!
With all of that said, I can’t wait to return to Moledi Gorge in the Summer!!