Being Steve – Cape Town

30 Sep

Author: Steve

First off Amy would only let me post this if she could title it and pick the pictures.

The kids are busy with school during the morning and swim in the afternoon.  Amy helps them in both of those areas plus she gets her workouts in at the club.  Since I have been labeled the TA (teachers assistant) for the kids’ school and I haven’t been needed lately . . . what do I do?   Other than fill my time with stuff like taking my paint-by-numbers elephant project back to the toy store because the numbers on the painting didn’t match up with the paint it comes with.  Here I am sitting with my nice glass of wine and my cheaters on my nose and the number for the mountains need to mix with black (you know 21/31 mixed together) but there is no 21 (no black)!!  “Amy come here . . . what the heck, look at this”!!   That’s just not right!  After I explained this to the store owner, he immediately took all the paint by number elephants off the shelf, so I’m sure I saved some kid a night of crying and years of therapy over the shear frustration; check your numbers people!  Okay so other than working out, which has been great fun; I thought maybe I should start to venture out in some other areas.

While we were in Joburg I had what I believe to be the most beautiful and fantastic tasting poached eggs ever.  Since I had it more than once I asked the waiter how they consistently make it that great and the kitchen was kind enough to give me a few tips.  I’ve tried to replicate that poached egg here in Cape Town and I honestly give my results a 4 out of 10.  Amy and Keegan (Kendal’s not an egg fan) give it a much higher mark but I think they’re just patronizing me to keep me in the kitchen.

To make this long story shorter, I’ve known for quite a while that I stink at cooking so I was very excited to find and start a “Basics of Culinary” course this week . . . wow, was that a great decision!  There are 14 students in my class.  The head chef has 6 assistant chefs that also graciously help us throughout the night. Much better than Chef Ramsay!!  When I first walked in I heard music pumping in the kitchen, was shown to my station and asked what I wanted to drink. The head chef is a beer-man, in the middle of the kitchen is a beer station (looks like a shrine) that is always tapped.  He likes a beer called Windhoek, from Namibia.  Above the tap is a message, “Chef can not cook with out his Chef Juice”.  He’s been cooking for over 22 years and just this week signed a book deal with a publishing company.  He definitely has a great passion for his work, taught me a ton in 4 hours and had the class laughing throughout the night.  I met some great Cape Town locals in this class and at the end of the night, as I waited for my taxi, I had a great conversation with the head chef about South Africa (what it was like when he was younger and what it is now).  I’m so excited that I have 3 more weeks left.

Let me change the subject – I received a message asking if we’re always happy like we seem in our pictures, the answer is no, we are not in a constant state of euphoria. We have the same silly arguments that we had back home, you know; pick up your clothes, who’s putting the dishes away today, no one said life was fair, you need to get another hour of school work in before bed, Steve are you listening to me?! (I love that one), etc.  But I can honestly say they are much less frequent.  It’s just like home; once the argument is over we quickly realize how silly it was and laugh it off.  When it’s so quiet you can cut the air with a knife and we are all still mad we can always rely on Kendal to come up with some funny movie or TV scene to relive to make us all laugh (watching her tell it is half the fun because she laughs so hard she can hardly get the story out).  So to answer the question; yes we argue but we are all still very happy!

On a not so nice note, but great in self-discovery: I think I may be lactose intolerant (so Amy is making me believe).  I don’t want to get raunchy on this blog but as humans all of us, at one time or another, have flatulence (gas).  Well, I’ve been trying a lot foods I’m not use to while traveling, as of late things like, kudu, impala, ostrich, biltong, etc.

In regards to the above two topics, here’s a sample of a silly argument that happened while driving in the car last week:

Steve: Oh…sorry, excuse me. (It was so incredibly small, like adorable small.)

Amy: (looks at me) God Steve! You are so lactose intolerant!

Steve: What?

Amy: You’re lactose intolerant!

Steve: Well you have ADD! (I know, pretty mature but that’s the quickest thing I could come up with.)

Amy: I’m choosing to ignore that.  You’re just in denial but you are definitely lactose intolerant. You’ve probably had it since childhood.

Steve: What the hell does than mean?!

Amy: You’ve been in denial for years.  Whenever you start eating cereal for breakfast with ‘milk’ consistently this happens to you.

Steve: I drank milk all the time at home.

Amy: Really? Really Steve?  I disagree.  You typically only drank milk right before you went to bed and just enough milk for your 2 cookies. Yes…we all knew you had cookies after we went to bed.

Steve: Oh. (Damn…is nothing sacred!! I decided to not look at her anymore and stare out the windshield)

Amy: So just stop drinking milk for a few days and see what happens.

Steve: Whatever! (I’m still staring out the windshield).

Kendal: (Sitting in the back seat taking in all the action) Remember that episode in ‘The Office’ (ha, ha, ha, ha) where Michael puts his grown college nephew over his lap (he, he, he, I can’t catch my breath) in front of everyone in the office and spanks him. That was hilarious!!!

Guess what; all good in the stomach since I took her advice but I still don’t think I’m lactose intolerant, I just think I have a highly sensitive stomach to new foods.


Some good wine, nice music and a paint-by-numbers project makes for a great night...if you have the correct paint. BTW I didn't ask for a refund I tried to be creative with the colors and it turned out...well, I'm still working on it.

I guess that's a funny picture of me with a turtle...

This is my station and one of three courses I was taught at the Sense of Taste Course on the first night - Salmon Rose and Beetroot Salad. It was incredible!

Here's another one - Chicken Roulade and I'll be attempting this one this weekend at our apartment.

Last week we went out for sushi to celebrate our 100th day on our trip - that's why Keegan has his finger up.


Posted by on September 30, 2011 in South Africa


10 responses to “Being Steve – Cape Town

  1. Carey

    September 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    WOW….What else can I say? I am so jealous….all of it…I love it! Can I come visit for just a few days?!? I will take on the “teacher assistant” position while I am there and Steve, you can work on your lactose intolerant issues! ENJOY!

  2. Carey

    September 30, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    oh….happy 100! That is INCREDIBLE!

  3. Grandpa & Grandma

    October 1, 2011 at 11:09 am

    We love this. It is so all of you. Kendal you are so great with all of the episodes. Steve I can’t wait to eat one of your gourmet meals. I always thought you were good on the grill, Now!! I hope your stomach problems get better. We love all of you

  4. Pamela S.

    October 1, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    So happy to read about your daily life! Sounds like things are going perfect! Wish I could have come to Cape Town while I was in Africa….I was VERY tempted but the flights were a bit tricky. Sending a million hugs to all of you…Amy, Steve, Kendal and Keegan. Love the readers Steve…truly they make you very distinguished!!

  5. Aunt Nancy

    October 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Love this! I didn’t know you were taking a “homeschool art class” too! 🙂 I would have loved to see your work! I told a bunch of people about your cooking class, I’m not the only jealous one! So happy you have been able to find a kind of “normal” in Cape Town.

    Love you lots!

  6. Heather A

    October 2, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    Thanks for making me laugh Steve, I needed it today! Good luck with your cooking class!

  7. Julie E

    October 5, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Looks delicious. I am sure you are having a blast in the class. Can’t wait to come to visit you for a fine dinner when your come home. Was the paint kit made in the USA? Enjoy each day.
    love ya all, keep laughing….

  8. Caroline

    October 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    I thought paint by numbers was from the olden days, or for geezers… well that’s all I’ll say about that.

  9. Tina (sis)

    October 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    You guys crack me up. Love ya.

  10. Ronald W.

    November 14, 2011 at 4:39 am

    What a fantastic blog Steve, I am really enjoying the read and learning about the family. I am really sad I didn’t get a chance to meet them. All the best with the travels further and I look forward to following you and your family.
    Keep up the good work with the cooking… leave the paint by numbers to the kids.


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