I have to confess almost total failure in the food waste challenge this past week. Do not read beyond this point if you were hoping to be impressed by inventive little store cupboard meals coming out of the Urquhart/Beynon kitchen.

Sunday was not too bad:

  • My daughter, Maria, made yet another test wedding cake  to to try out our new silicone baking pans which we were hoping to use for the cake she would be making  for my niece’s imminent wedding
  • I made a batch of granadilla curd with granadillas from the garden using the leftover egg yolks from the  cake. We filled the cake with half  the curd and ate the rest of the curd with yoghurt (bought) for breakfast on Monday and Tuesday
  • We made a salad using our new favourite combination of watermelon, aubergine, rocket and hummus, and
  • We made a repeat of the previous Saturday’s supper – pasta with a sauce made with various dried  mushrooms, their soaking liquid, mirin, fried ‘onion garlic’, rosemary, black pepper and truffle oil.

Supper on Monday and Tuesday night was – dare I confess this –  takeaways.

Then Maria and I packed all the baking pans, piping bags, macaron trays, silicone mats, sugar thermometers, scales etc and dashed to the airport to catch the plane to Cape Town so she could bake the wedding cake and ice the cup cakes for my niece’s long awaited wedding.

We were running rather late and were slightly worried that they might close the boarding gate before we got to it  but we grabbed cappuccinos and our favourite ‘quattro’ muffins from Vida e Caffè as we screeched past the coffee shop en route to the gate. After the mad rush to reach the gate on time it turned out the flight was delayed but we were quite happy to wait in the queue eating our muffins and sipping our cappuccinos feeling smug knowing we wouldn’t have to buy ourselves boring sandwiches and inferior coffee from the on-board trolley.

On boarding the Kulula flight I was rather surprised to see Jenny Morris in a ‘Food Network’ branded chef’s jacket sitting in the front row. How strange to be travelling in your sponsor’s garb, I thought. Perhaps it’s actually an onerous condition of having the sponsorship?

I nodded off while the plane was taxiing down the runway and dreamt that Jenny was telling me that I was about to be served a three course meal designed by Reuben Riffel with a choice of red or white wine. At no cost to me. Great dream to have when squeezed into a minuscule seat with two hours to kill before arriving in Cape Town.

Then sashaying down the aisle came two impeccably dressed waiters handing out some very nicely designed menus. How thrilling to realise this was no dream.

  • Starter – Feta and leek tartlet with a fresh grape, celery and jalapeño salsa, ripe roasted tomato and toasted pecan nuts with crushed chilli jam
  • Main Course – Pistachio and black pepper crusted beef fillet, sesame and rosemary roast potato tourné with cranberries, rich red wine soy and orange glaze, braised pearl onion and sautéed portobellini mushrooms OR coconut curry chicken breast with cinnamon spiced rice, glazed carrots and toasted almond flakes OR halloumi and mint ravioli in a creamy Napolitana sauce with crumbled feta, crunchy sea salt and roasted pine nuts.
  • Dessert – short crust pastry filled with cinnamon and mixed spice custard with Turkish delight, glazed strawberries and a macaron shell.

Pretty soon the trolley came along and it certainly didn’t look like we were being served your average economy class aeroplane meal. We were presented with real crockery, proper glasses, an array of cutlery, a fabric serviette and some rather superior food.

Good food, beautifully presented, and a glass of wine is all it takes to make a girl feel like she’s been bumped up to business class.

I did come crashing down to the ground though when I had to take up my role as a scullery maid to Maria who spent the next three days baking layers of cake, mixing huge batches of cream cheese icing, whipping up rose scented white chocolate ganache filling, baking purple hued macarons and decorating a hundred cupcakes.

But the week ended on a high with a happy couple and a delicious cake.