The Pitt Cue co

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The Pitt Cue co

Five weeks ago I was at the Pitt Cue Co (Follow them on twitter: @pittcueco) having my annual fix of the best food I’ve eaten in my life.

smoked brisket, pulled pork, bonemarrow mash and beetroots with horseradish cream and wallnuts

Smoked brisket, pulled pork, bonemarrow mash and beets with horseradish cream and nuts

Once you’ve sampled just a mere morsel of their food you’ll easily travel over 13000kms from Johannesburg to Soho in London to check in for lunch. @pittcueco Tom, Jamie @tom_swanny @jewma and everyone there absolutely rock.

While I was there I managed to get my hands on the Pitt Cue Co cookbook and have since tried to recreate some dishes at home, such as the sticky bourbon & cola pudding, the pulled pork bun and as part of the process, chipotle ketchup, mother sauce and bbq sauce. Just thinking of it makes me salivate all over again.

To my utmost surprise and delight, I note that Woolworths are now stocking copies of the book. I think placing it between cake and biscuit books is perhaps not the best spot on the shelf, but then again you could picture it as the cool guy surrounded by a bevy of girls.

The Pitt cue co cookbook

Seriously, if you like to grill or bbq (braai), smoke your meat or generally appreciate a good rack of ribs, then you owe it to yourself to go and get this cookbook. It’ll be the best thing that happened to you since man invented fire.

You will have more than #100happydays appreciating these recipes.

Rwanda from the sky

Rwanda – worth a visit

I’m sure that if you asked around, not many people will list Rwanda as one of their top tourist destinations to visit in Africa. This is partly due to ignorance (It’s a town somewhere in South Africa right? Err, no!), mainly because of the very bad things that happened in 1994 and probably because they just never considered the country for no reason what so ever.

In my field of work, I get to travel quite a bit in and around Africa. Only once you start travelling across the continent and immerse yourself in the local cultures do you begin to fully understand and appreciate the diversity, beauty and opportunity present in each country. More often than not, this is a far cry from the information we are exposed to in the news. Fun and interesting stuff does not always make the front page.

Some people will probably be shocked to hear that Rwanda is ranked the second highest economy in Africa, after Mauritius and before South Africa in the World Bank’s Ease of doing Business rankings. More notably some of the key indicators they scored top marks in Africa: Starting a business (it takes 2 days), registering a property (12 days) and getting credit. Rwanda placed second in obtaining electricity (South Africa ranked 27th) and enforcing contracts and third overall for paying taxes and protection of investors.

The Rwanda government is spending a great deal in promoting the country as an attractive tourist and conferencing destination. To this end they contracted Mammoth media in 2012 to produce their tourist brand videos. After delivering the finished video, Mammoth decided to create another edit to include all the bonus footage and outtakes.

This video certainly left me wanting to get to Rwanda as soon as possible.

Oh and if you do get to visit Rwanda, remember that plastic bags are banned. Tourists are warned not to bring them to the country. Who knew?

Watermelon

For a slice of watermelon

Today was by all accounts a pretty horrible day. It started with crazy traffic at 06:30. It was probably my own fault*.

traffic in the rearview mirror

I know I’m supposed to be out the house and pass a certain marker by latest 06:15 to ensure a relatively painless commute to work. The trip to Sandton normally takes 20 minutes max at that time of the morning. Leave any later and it can take up to 3 hours to complete the 17 km journey. Utter madness.

Yes, I could probably cycle that distance with my eyes closed and be better off for it on many levels. However, as many will know, Johannesburg’s roads are just not bike friendly.

There are also a number of initiatives such as Critical Mass, TourDeJozi and others campaigning for a safer, bike-friendly Joburg while experiencing the less visited parts of the city and having some fun in the process. You can view our antics through the streets of Jozi around the blog. But I digress.

I pushed on through the traffic and made it to work, only to be faced with some more challenges and the arduous trip back home through the horrendous traffic.

Against my better judgement, I also ignored doctor’s orders* and still went to the gym. Mostly to try and get some happy hormones pumping through the veins, but unfortunately due to the post-op discomfort, this also proved to be a pain in the proverbial.

Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all doom and gloom today. Chatting to some friends and family certainly made the day more bearable, but on a scale of 1 to 10 this day was certainly not a chart topper.

As the clocked counted down the last few minutes before the start of our complex’s AGM, coupled with some slight hunger pangs and feeling incredibly sorry for myself the most interesting thing happened.

I opened the fridge and found some cut slices of watermelon. Fresh, sweet, juicy watermelon. One bite into a chilled slice of watermelon and it felt like time was standing still, the heavens opening up, angels singing and all resistance crumbling.

“When one has tasted watermelon he knows what the angels eat.” ~ Mark Twain

Maybe it was the sweet, cooling, juicy taste of the watermelon or perhaps the more technical amino acids, vitamins and hydration boosting properties of this fruit. Either way, following that brief moment of pure bliss my mood perked up immediately and the day didn’t seem so abhorrent after all.

In fact that became one of my favourite happy moments.

Oh for more slices of watermelon.


*On Monday I was in briefly in hospital for a small procedure. The doctor advised not to partake in strenuous activity for at least a week (preferably two) until the swelling has subsided and the stitches have healed up.