Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Category: Cape Town (Page 1 of 79)

Princess Stuffed Mushroom Magic

Sometimes I get so obsessed by a recipe I invent I have it three times in a row. This is one of them, so I thought I would put it down here, for everyone.

I bought big brown mushrooms but didn’t really have a purpose in mind and then I bought a jar of Pesto Princess Red Pesto (sun dried tomato and pepper) because it was dairy free, and wasn’t sure what I would be doing with that either.

Then, when I opened the fridge, I saw them both and an idea sprang to mind.

Oh, and coconut flakes? They have been sitting in my cupboard since I bought a stash from Komati Foods in Obz for very cheap. I don’t know how to use coconut flakes.

Long story short. I allowed the inspiration to flow, stuffed the mushrooms with the pesto, sprinkled chilli flakes over and topped with handfuls of dried coconut flakes.

Then I bunged them into the oven and waited until the coconut flakes went brown before hauling them out.

In this first version I sliced them, and put them on a bed of sautéed spinach with nutritional yeast, and sliced avo, all on a warm roti.

There are no more pics, because, eaten.

I also did these mushrooms with fresh tomatoes and lettuce (and a drop of tahini and lemon) in a roti, and one with just mushrooms, lettuce and avo. All were equally delicious.

Princess Stuffed Mushroom Recipe

Ingredients

Pesto Princess dairy free red pesto

Big brown mushrooms

chilli flakes

Coconut flakes

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of pesto into each mushroom and spread it around. Sprinkle chilli flakes over and put coconut flakes on top. Bung in oven and watch for the coconut flakes to go brown.

 

 

 

True Story

About 5 years ago I bought a Cape Honeysuckle and planted it in our back courtyard, up against the wall, in a tiny patch of sand after I had lifted one of the tiles. I also planted a Black Eyed Susan. These two went absolutely mad, took over completely and were impossible to control. I was really sad when I had to make the decision to chop them down, especially since their colours were extraordinary. The Honeysuckle had deep red flowers instead of the more common yellow or orange. But, they were becoming a big nuisance and were threatening the wall, so I chopped them down.

A year ago I noticed that a shoot of the Honeysuckle had taken hold and was growing in a tiny crack in the corner. We had a conversation, me and it, and I warned it that I was going to be absolutely ruthless with it; I was keeping an eye on it to make sure it only went upwards and more than once I chopped off big runners that went off on their own. And I have been keeping an eye on it.

Imagine my utter shock and surprise when I saw these.

These lilac trumpet like flowers have absolutely nothing to do with the original plant whatsoever. I have no idea how this happened.

I had another conversation with it after seeing the first bloom. I was, “What are you doing? Where do those come from, and wow, they are a beautiful surprise.” Bad idea. It went mad and there are blooms and runners and shoots and leaves all over. It was as if it had tried me out on this new floral expression and now, with permission, it was going to show off, a lot.

This is a true story. No idea what is going on here but it is beautiful.

PS. My accidental tomato plant has also gone totally bonkers and I harvest about 30 teeny tomatoes a day. They are delicious.

Confession Sessions grows up

It’s two days until Confession Sessions opens for a 6 show run at Alexander Bar. This show pretty much leaves me with a permanent smile on my face and here is why.

Last year I was asked to direct and facilitate a workshopped production with four AFDA Live Performance honours students; a production they could take to the Grahamstown festival. I met my students and chose a name for the production on day one, so that the forms could be filled out for the Gtown application. We had no idea what we would be doing, or how it would even be a thing. But. We worked hard, overcame the usual student challenges, met, argued, rehearsed, threw out, added, practiced, spoke for hours, and finally presented the product, Confession Sessions.

The hard work had paid off. We had ended up making an original, fresh, contemporary piece of theatre with dynamic characters and an interesting and engaging performance style.

After a successful experimental festival at AFDA, a great response at Gtown and two sold out performances back here at UCT, it looked like it was done and dusted, but it did seem like a waste. This show deserved a wider audience.

Fast forward to this year. Four now graduated and professional actors decide to do it again. What a pleasure. What a treat. Exciting and productive pick up rehearsals have left me beyond excited to present this piece again. Confession Sessions is what I love about what theatre can be. Pure and successful ensemble. Great storytelling. Brilliant characters. Hilarious moments. Originality. Entertainment.

If you are a young person, or have one around, I am certain that this show is the one that could turn them onto theatre in a big way. Superheroes with problems, crazy people from South Africa, relationship troubles, a mad funeral for a slain superhero, an arrest, an interrogation, a job application, a memory, ordinary people helped, a therapy session.

Thank you Melanie Aiff, Motheo Madisa, Rendani Mufamadi, and Trent Rowe. You delight me. Break legs for this run.

Book for the shows here. R90 online, R100 at the door.

Shamed on Social Media

I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to come back here, but I guess it is like riding a bike: Fall off, climb back on again. I am not sure that if your legs are broken it is even possible, but, given time, even with broken but mending legs, it is said to be the best medicine. Right now I probably need this medicine. I am doing this with my heart in my mouth.

When is the right time to respond? Is it too soon? Is it too late? Will I be accused of starting it up again?

Just over a week ago I made a hideous mistake based on a completely knee-jerk reaction about a goat that I perceived was in distress. Coupled with my reaction was an idiotic post I made on a Facebook group that I am part of, asking for help. After I saw what had happened, and how the thing had spiralled down into hideous, racist, Islamophobic assumptions by idiots commenting on my post, I rushed to make a very public apology, so fast I even messed that up, and then apologised again, and then again. The family who I hurt accepted, and then later questioned and rejected my apology.

I will be very surprised if you, my readers, have not seen the resulting fallout from #goatgate, on social media, in the newspapers and on the radio. I was made fun of, threatened, trolled, called names. I was sent private messages of the most filthy abuse. My blog was targeted, my apology rejected, my personal details distributed, screen grabs (not including my apology) shared, my work threatened, my name ridiculed, my past discredited, my politics rejected. I was made fun of by South Africa’s comedians, I was given lessons in what I should have done, I was threatened and silenced and warned that my actions were indefensible. I was vilified by actresses in the industry; some who know me and some who don’t.

Three articles featured prominently on IOL, M&G and Cape Times. These were shared like holiday sweets on Facebook and Twitter. One of the articles was written by a Facebook friend. Not once was I asked for my side of the story, or even to comment. With all my contact information totally accessible to anyone (for abuse), I was not contacted by the ‘journalists’ even though I was quoted by them, when they lifted what I had written on Facebook. The only media outlet that made contact with me was Radio Islam who asked if I would come onto their morning show to give my side of the story. Of course I said yes. They were the only ones ever who asked.

Alongside the deep shame and humiliation I felt about this horrible thing was the powerless sense of my silence. I understood the temperature of the room and realised that anything I said was fuel to the fire and I had to keep quiet, get off social media and only invest in one-on-one interactions. It was clear that my apology didn’t support the narrative and was mostly left out of any further portrayals of me, the racist, hater, whitesplainer. Two people asked to meet with me, to hear what I had to say, of the hundreds who sent messages of abuse and name calling. Two people who were very offended by what I had done; one publicly and one privately schooling me and putting me in my place. These meetings have not happened yet.

The fallout has extended further into my world of work. I have always understood that I have a public profile that lends itself to controversy. I don’t do myself any favours by writing about theatre, here on meganshead and for Weekend Special. I saw two plays last week and couldn’t write about them. I knew that people would be looking at the ‘who’ of the review instead of the ‘what’, and that everybody would suffer.

When I think about it with a bit of distance the one thing that is funny is that I am always desperate for publicity for my work. I struggle to get media attention for my plays; always begging friends and colleagues for airtime and press. I haven’t been on the radio talking about my plays in years. I have to rely on my own small publicity machine on social media for any exposure. But all over all media, Megan Furniss – well known theatre maker, actress, director, famous in South African theatre circles, made headlines.

I still feel sick about this. I still feel silenced and ashamed. I still wish I could turn back the clock and take it all back. And yet, I know, in a world more gentle, and kind, my real concern for an animal in distress (regardless of it being part of a petting zoo at a children’s birthday party) would have been just that. Me. Super sensitive about an animal tied to a pole.

A small difference

So much has happened to me since I last wrote a blog post, mostly a soul altering, mind bending, heart stretching trip to my tribal homeland of New York City.

I have been back for just over a week now, and have spent most of it getting over jet lag and jumping straight into performing improv, teaching and directing and dubbing and trying to find my body in Pilates after over 50 hours of crippling flying.

One of the priceless things about travel is that you can see home and home problems at a distance, with fresh insight and renewed vigour. There is also a moment (although not long lasting) where the things you thought were big suddenly seem not to be, and visa versa.

On my return I called someone out on Facebook for a clueless post that was inherently racist. We had a small private conversation in which he was defensive, but in pain, and I was kind but firm. He messaged me later. He had shifted his viewpoint. Even in his pain he had been jolted to see things differently. I was so happy. I had helped him see that he was wrong. I made a difference.

The lesson has been to ‘speak’ out. Say something. Leave a comment. Call someone out for sexist or harassing behaviour. Speak your mind when someone does something racist, or hurts another person in front of you. Let children hear you stop someone doing something bad, or wrong, or rude or insensitive. We can all make a difference.

 

 

Tomato Update

I couldn’t resist it. Look! Here come the tomatoes.

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