Jozi's Finest Festival

Jozi's Finest Festival starts today at Ramkietjie, 35 Peter Road, Honeydew from 9:30am - 5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We are very excited to be exhibiting at what promises to be a super event. The venue is stunning with a river running through the grounds - I can only imagine how beautiful it is in summer.

There seem to be a lot of activities for the whole family - whisky tasting, chillis, chocolate, coffee, lots of gourmet foods to taste and buy, activities for the children such as cupcake decorating. Live music will be playing throughout the day and you can order a picnic basket and just chill out in the beautiful surroundings.

We are situated inside a large thatched room with a gigantic fireplace to keep us warm. Next to me is a fabulous biltong stall. I've been to many markets and seen many biltong stalls, but this one takes 1st prize. The table is beautifully decorated with a cow hide, silver trays hold the biltong - I can't wait to taste it.

We have our ginger beer and delicious cordials, rusks, artisan chocolate, meringues and something new which is a flavoured peanut butter (think chocolate truffles) in 4 varieties made by a social enterprise development foundation.

Hope to see you at the festival!

Herfsmark in Hartbeespoort

If you're in the area take a trip to the Herfsmark in Hartbeespoort at the Gereformeerde Church on Marais Street in Schoemansville. It's open right now evey day including the public holidays (but not on Sunday) until May 3 from 9am to 8pm. It closes at 2pm on the last day.

This is a lovely indoor market with about 150 exhibitors with everything from decor items, wooden chopping boards, clothing for ladies and children, jewellery, paintings, gourmet fudge, artisan chocolate, biscuits, rusks, jams, sauces, olives, an antique stall, plants, rolls of plain newspaper with paints for the kids to paint on, metal work (I saw a stunning metal aloe), even a beautiful locally written cookery fact something for everyone.

Outside is a food area - the old fashioned kind where you buy tickets and then spend them on an array of delicious homemade treats like kerrie en rys, savoury mince, malva pudding, chocolate pudding, pancakes, slices of cake, tea and coffee...........and eat at tables under the trees.

There is a supervised children's play area so Mom can shop knowing the children are well looked after.

Remember Mother's Day is around the corner and you can pick up a unique handmade item for Mom or spoil yourself.

Easter Traditions

One of my earliest memories of Easter is getting boiled eggs with bright red shells for breakfast. Our parents told us that the chickens laid them like this for Easter - it was years before we discovered that my mother used cochineal food coloring to do it! I love traditions associated with different occasions throughout the year and when my children were small we started painting eggs every year for Easter.

First of all we would carefully prick the ends of the eggs with pins and blow the contents out into a bowl, everyone rushing to see who could blow the most. The empty shells were then rinsed inside and out and put in the sun to dry. Then came the exciting part of decorating them.

When the children were very young, the eggs were drizzled with brightly colored paint and hung inside on a dead branch to twirl in the sunlight. As the years passed the decorations became more elaborate
Sometimes we stuck wet tissue paper on the shells, letting it dry and then washing off to reveal beautiful colors, either deep and intense or soft and pastel depending on the tissue paper colour and how many layers had been stuck on. We painted patterns on shells, sometimes geometric and structured and sometimes free flowing.
My nature loving daughter stuck tiny pieces of fern fronds on the shells, wrapped the shells in pantyhose and then cooked them with onion skins to produce beautiful brown eggshells with silhouetted ferns.
My son painted beautiful pictures on the shells.
Nana, whose hands were arthritic and couldn't do detail, stuck braid and ribbon over the tissue paper. I have some eggs where we crayoned onto the shells and then scratched out patterns.

All the eggs are different, all are beautiful and all are displayed every Easter either on the wire baobab tree or in bowls or in birds nests found in the garden.

And all are more precious to me than a Faberge egg.

What traditions do you have at Easter?

The Life Market, Potchefstroom

On Saturday we will be at The Life Market in Potch. This is a really vibey, original market and if you live in the area it's well worth going to. It's held in the old Snowflake building which is a very interesting place with the big flour vats still standing on the beams above you in one of the rooms. The stalls change all the time, but there is the usual mix of clothes, jewellery, art work, vintage items, toys etc. as well as deli items and delicious food to eat. There is a super meat stall with farm meat at great prices and they braai until they've sold out so you can get real food to eat. There are sitting areas both inside and out so you can kuier and listen to live music performed mostly by students. I've heard some really great bands as well as cello and piano players. It's very diverse and so different and fresh. To see more visit their Facebook page

Tierlantynkies comes to an end

The fabulous Tierlantynkies market finished on Sunday - if you've never been before, make a date now for the next one in September. It's a showcase of South African creativity with beautiful clothing, handmade jewellery, cushions, lamps, the most amazing baby clothes, unique ceramics, beautiful body products.....I could go on and on, but take yourself there next time and be wowed. There are activities for the kiddies, delicious things to eat and drink, pates, jams, toffees, fudge, wine, plants and live music. Markets like this make you realise how incredibly talented South Africans are. A R30 entrance ticket gives you access for 5 days, so you can shop literally till you drop. If you want unique things for yourself and your home, this is the place to go. In fact everything is owl'lik.
Turkish Delight

Market - Tierlantynkies

This must see market starts today, 26 March 2014 finishes on Sunday 30th March, and a single ticket will give you access to all five days. The market features beautiful arts, crafts, live music and a selection of fine foods. Best of all the Gourmet Deli will be there with all their fantastic products.

Doors open at 9am and close at 6pm. Sunday - 10:30 - 15:00.
3CI Church. 56 Saal Street, Zwavelpoort, Pretoria East