1. As a Taurean I’m passionate about food and fine cuisine. Bottom line – I love to eat and I love to include food and drink in my writing. So when I was trying to decide what career the heroine of Now is our Time – Claire de Klerk - would have, it was easy: a Nutritionist! Claire actually started out as an aspiring artist, but like so many of us, after having children she chose to pursue a different path. Claire (like me) had always been a foodie and becoming a Nutritionist felt like a natural step. Food and drink is important in this novel – pivotal even – but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice to say that Claire puts a lot of thought into her recipes, both for work and for feeding the men (and children) in her life. It gives her a lot of pleasure and I thought it would be fun to share a few of those recipes with you. They are all easy and most don’t even require a set of measuring scales – just trust your judgement.
- Chardonnay - Jonah and Claire drink a lot of wine - this is one of their favorites.
- Sauvignon Blanc – this one's from Hawk Watch Winery, a small California winery, one of Jonah's favourites.
- California smoothie – a blend of strawberries, lemon yoghurt and orange juice mixed with crushed ice. Jonah makes this drink with great panache and it's a hit with all the ladies!
Gooseberry Yoghurt Fool: This is actually the recipe that launches Claire’s career as a TV nutritionist. And she hilariously messes this one up – heck, all cooks can get it wrong!
450 g gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 tbsp custard powder
150ml semi-skimmed milk
150ml plain yoghurt
*Put the prepared gooseberries in a saucepan with enough water to cover the base of the pan. Simmer over a low heat until soft. Puree in a food processor.
*Mix the custard powder to a smooth paste with a little of the milk.
*Heat the remaining milk to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and slowly stir into the custard powder. Stir in the sugar.
*Return the mixture to the pan and simmer over a low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Allow to cool.
*Mix together the gooseberry puree, yogurt and cold custard. Add more sugar to taste if necessary.
*Pour into a serving bowl or individual dishes and chill before serving.
Curried Pasta Salad
Serves six – a very easy recipe!
Boil enough pasta for six people and leave to cool.
Make a dressing using three tablespoons of mayonnaise and three tablespoons of
honey. Add a pinch of curry powder. Mix the dressing with the cooled pasta…..et
Potato Salad with Caramelized Onions
Serves six – another simple recipe.
Boil new potatoes with skins on and leave to cool.
Dice a couple of large onions and fry till very brown. Mix the potatoes with a little
yoghurt and mayonnaise. Put in a serving bowl and sprinkle the caramelized onions
This looks posh but is incredibly easy and healthy too. Soy yoghurt can be used to
make this a dairy-free dish.
Use as a dip or spread on thin toasts.
Ingredients: small tin mackerel, half a lemon, small pot of plain yoghurt, ketchup.
Drain the mackerel and put in a bowl. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and a touch of
Ketchup and blitz it with a hand-whisk.
And then, of course, there's the BBQ: marinate chicken thighs, sausages and burgers and chill in
fridge for two hours. To make marinade, mix olive oil, rosemary, finely chopped garlic and lemon
juice and stir. Grill on the barbecue and serve with curried pasta salad and green salad.
Other recipes which feature and which you can try at home are melon smiles, celery boats with cream cheese, American and British cooked breakfasts and pasta with cheese and spinach sauce. My sister Karen who is a superb cook made up the cheese and spinach sauce recipe and at the moment the family secret is being kept under wraps........!!!!
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