Friday, 9 September 2011

Lambs Galore!

‘It’s raining lambs, Hallelujah’  – or so it would seem!  There are dozens of the most darling little things playing and cavorting all over.  The weather has been sunny and hot and the feeling of spring in the air is exciting and makes me feel productive and looking forward to a bounty of flowers, fruit and vegetables.  The lambs seem to be conscious of the change in the weather as well and in the early mornings and late afternoons can be seen playing together just like children – they chase each other and jump with unbounded joy.  Quite the most heart-warming sight to behold!  Once the sun starts to set, there is an almighty cacophony of mothers calling and lambs answering so they can all be found and settled down for the night close together for feeding, warmth and safety.  Nature is incredible!!  Just this morning I went for a walk and took photos of a sight I found fascinating. It was around midday and really hot and there were at least a dozen lambs in the shade being looked after by a two mothers while their mommies had time off to graze quietly on their own.  When a mother came back to fetch her lamb and offer a milk snack, the mother first smelt her baby’s bottom and once she was sure it was hers, the lamb was allowed to feed.  If a lamb tries to feed off one of the aunties, she shrugs it off and walks away – no free milk/lunches anywhere it appears!

And the birds are equally aware of the glorious weather.  As I sit here with the door wide open to let in the sun and fresh air, the only sound I can hear are birds of all shapes and sizes chirping and calling.  There is a palpable excitement in the air with much nest making and frisky behaviour going on around here. A dove is making a nest in the walnut tree right near the stoep, so we will watch their progress with interest. Doves are cooing and courting, cocks crowing and strutting around importantly, fish eagles soaring high with their distinctive calls and of course the raucous hadedas shouting louder than all the others.  They are either happy to see me and greet me every time I am in the garden or they are warning their friends and family that the ugly old woman is hanging around again, so beware, she’s going to shout at us again and scare the children.  I confess that there have been times when I have told them in my loudest and hopefully most threatening voice to SHUT UP!! 

And now on to the Pecan Pie I have spoken of previously.  I have been asked – actually begged to give it to everyone who has tasted it.  So here it is.  It has an indecent amount of butter (and I confess that I only use butter but margarine can also be used) in it, but every now and then it is such a joy to eat something so decadent and mouth-watering that, oh what the hell, just do it!  I usually serve it with lightly whipped cream.  Ice cream can also be served with it for pudding but I personally find it way too rich.


300 gr        Flour
3 level tsp   Caster sugar
210 gr        Butter (or marg)
·       Rub well together (I do it in the food processor)
·       Keep 1/3 aside
·       Line a tart dish, sides as well

1 tin          Condensed milk
2 Tbsp       Syrup
1-2 Tbsp    Vanilla (Tbsp not tsp!)
100 gr       Pecan nuts (or walnuts)
125 gr       Butter (or marg)

·       Melt topping ingredients in a pot – DO NOT BOIL
·       Allow to cool slightly and add nuts
·       Pour over pastry in dish
·       Crumble remaining pastry over the filling
·       Bake at 180 deg for +- 35 minutes until brownish

When we have guests and I serve this for pudding I usually put the remains out at breakfast the next morning and there are always a few who can’t resist a small piece with their coffee.  Utterly indulgent!