Sunday, 7 February 2016
Beautiful Scenery And Good Food
In the Commonwealth of New Virginia, where the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains sweep down to the Los Angeles basin (see image), Piet Botha, affiliated to the Versfelds, a recent addition to the Thirty Families, has built a long, single-storied Cape-Dutch style farmhouse with whitewashed walls and tiled roof surrounded by ten acres of orange trees.
From the stoep, Piet:
feels warmth from the stone walls despite the cool sea wind;
smells the perfume of the orange trees, also wind-blown manzanita and sage;
flowers among tall grass;
willow, oak, cottonwood and sycamore groves beside the many streams, swamps and sloughs;
entwined alder, hackberry, shrubs, California rose, grapevines, blackberries and brambles.
Piet and his guest sip coffee and eat koeksisters, syrup-coated doughnut-like sweet pastries, while awaiting lamb sosaties and rice -
marinated in wine and vinegar,
spiced with coriander, pepper, turmeric and tamarind,
skewered with apricots and peppers,
grilled over a fire of chaparral scrub oak wood.
Piet's people have lost the good life in South Africa but regained it in New Virginia.