And I’m only talking about me! My mother has come to visit from Jozi, bringing with her all the complicated stuff that is our totally dysfunctional relationship. I woke up yesterday at 5am and spent the day cooking. Cooking as therapy, cooking as distraction, cooking as obsession, cooking as showing off/up/down. It was great actually. And to eat the feast our BF (best family) the Noodles came to Happy New Year and Shana Tova with us.

I had a few major successes last night. My Knaidlach in Non-chicken Soup was a highlight. Here’s my recipe. Firstly, I made delicious veg broth from scratch. I used leeks, a potato, carrots, some sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, celery, and cabbage. I seasoned with turmeric, a chilli, garlic, and veg stock powder. Lastly I added a tin of tomatoes. After the veggies had cooked I scooped them out, leaving a lovely orange broth. The knaidlach were, one cup of matzo meal, four eggs, fork beaten, 1/2 a cup of soda water, 1/4 cup Debra’s vegetable fat, 1/4 cup canola oil, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. I mixed up the matzo meal, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, veg fat and oil. Lastly, I added the soda water. I covered the mixture and left it in the fridge for about two hours. Then I made balls(ish) with the very soft mix and plopped them into boiling soup. When they were all in I covered the soup, reduced the temperature to a simmer and left for 30 minutes, without ever lifting the lid. They were delicious.

I also made a very spectacular batch of beer-battered fried hake. The batter is 1 and 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tsp baking powder, salt, pepper, and a bottle of 0% alcohol beer! My secret is to season the fish pieces very well before covering them in batter. I also only batter the pieces just before they go into the hot oil. Yum.

Finally, my most sexy ending was a pavlova. I wish I had taken pics. I made the meringue the day before and it was very beautiful. Then, I filled the middle with cream, piled strawberries on top of it and drenched the whole thing with a fresh strawberry and passion fruit coulis. This I made by blending strawberries, passion fruit juice and vanilla syrup together. To live for.