I was so flattered when Bren's daughter-in-law, herself a talented artist and a friend of mine, asked me to create a special birthday card for her mother-in-law. Bren, she told me, loves baking cakes. She also enjoys watching the television and using the computer, oh, and she drinks a lot of tea! I learnt that her favourite kind is South Africa's top-selling tea Five Roses, so popped a box of the aforementioned brand on to the card, next to the teapot.
Bren was absolutely delighted to receive her special birthday card. I am fortunate enough to often receive wonderful messages of thanks from my customers - which I also did in this case - but in addition I received the following email from the birthday girl herself, all the way from South Africa:
What a wonderful surprise I got when I opened my letterbox on Friday to find the card from S. and B.
I could not believe how accurate your interpretation of myself was. I was thrilled with the card and have shown it to my family and friends here in Cape Town. There were happy smiles all over.
12 year old Talya also loves to bake. She recently celebrated her Bat Mitzvah and my customer requested a card on the themes of arts and crafts, and baking. Talya also loves the colours purple and pink, so I made sure that there was plenty of those colours on her card.
I know that Talya loved the card because, once again, not only did my customer tell me how thrilled she was when she saw it, but Talya and her Mum - whom I met for the first time at a recent celebration of our mutual friend - let me know too!
Now I probably don't bake or cook to the level of either of these ladies, but I want to share with you a yummy recipe that I made recently which I think others should try. Spicy eggplant in garlic sauce popped up on my Facebook feed recently and so I hopped over to the "From The Grapevine" website to check out the recipe. Described as a "Chinese-inspired dish [that] will wow your guests" this recipe was a little more fiddly than the ones I usually try, but was so worth it! The eggplant dish was sweet and sour, chili-hot and full of garlic. It was perfect served warm over a bed of white rice and so, so delicious. If Oriental recipes are your thing, give it a go.