A week ago today I was nearly back home from a glorious trip to the Drakensberg Sun. All the way home, I planned the blog post filled with stories of food and more food. Liesldb and myself almost literally ate for 4 days solid and it's the closest to heaven I've been in a long time. The invitation by Chef Andrew to spend a few nights at the Tsogo Sun Resort was a shining example of what I've been taught about life.
That's why it's taken so long to do this post, because it's always tough to write about love and loss in the same breath. You see, the very special bond I had with my dad was very much food focused. I was the brave kid and he was the food fanatic. Growing up, my dad was MD of Bull Brand foods and his heart lay with catering and cooking. I was the only one of 5 kids who seemed to be convinced to eat almost anything ... and so be bond with food began.
The emotions seemed to well up at every meal and imagine myself chatting to my dad after yet another?exquisite buffet meal, telling him all that Chef Andrew had?commissioned and what he was missing out on.
Breakfast was brimming with eggs of every kind, but the omelette always has the best memories. From perfectly cooked lamb sausages to freshly made pancakes, nothing went amiss at the start of every day.
Buffet lunches, with dessert would always lead into a few hours of being convinced we were full and then heading straight into dinner. Once again, there were floods of memories of the favouite dishes I would have shared with my dad ... ones that rest of my family never settled into enjoying with him. I sampled them all, as if he were still around and I would get to call him later and tell him what he missed. From the perfectly tender lamb stew to the corned beef and back for some traditionally cooked lamb and roast potato.
Besides the reminiscing, there is a great Project Me lesson.
Not for one moment were Liesl and I not treated like Queens and that included wine and a different platter for sundowners every day. At every turn there was a reason to eat ... and we did!
We are both body conscious girls and both have our own journey with food, yet we also know when it's time to just let go and let food be the adventure. It was an absolute treat to just enjoy the experience and not be afraid of carbs or what the sugar was going to do to us in the next few days or weeks. We didn't talk about burning to off, although we did kinda hike some of it off ... once!
We miss the generosity of others when our issues get in the way and it would have been a sin if we had not let go and totally accepted the hospitality that Chef Andrew and the Tsogo Sun, Drakensberg Sun showered on us.
Dessert twice a day ... yes, we did that!
Wine every day ... yes, I did that!
3 courses for breakfast every day ... yep, we got that down!
4 courses for dinner every night ... a delicious breeze.
My dad traveled the world extensively and when he spoke about his destinations, the focus would always be on food. The best steak in Texas, the best goulash in Russia ... the stories went on and on. We always thought he was crazy, but they truly created the best memories for him. This weekend with Chef Andrew made me realise a little more why my dad created his memories around food.
And off the dozens and a half memories created, my favourite will be Liesl telling Chef Andrew that her favourite dessert is chocolate cheesecake ...
... now that's hospitality at its finest!!
Our final spoiling, literally with suitcases in the car and a storm heading it's ways over the Drakensberg mountains, Chef Andrew wasn't having us leave without it! A story my dad would have loved ... and one I will be telling for many years to come.