They say that French women don't get fat. Apparently the reason for this is that they treat each meal as a ceremony. The food is lovingly prepared and the table beautifully decorated. They eat small portions of well prepared food, and sip a glass of wine with their meal. Meal times for the French, are to be enjoyed at leisure.
Although we don't always succeed, at Langbaken we do try to take time to enjoy our meals. I feel particularly satisfied when I know that the spread on the table is all wholesome farm produce. Freshly picked salad leaves, garnished with fragrant herbs from the garden, crusty home baked bread, farm butter, yogurt, and a mouth watering array of artisanal cheeses, all made by myself. I think I'm justified in feeling a little smug.
Recently I've been making Chevre (cream cheese made from goat's milk) with milk from the neighbour's goats. It's really tasty.
The sourdough loaf has just come out of the oven. The homely smell of steaming, baked bread pervades the kitchen. I ladle a large scoop of creamy Chevre into a pretty pottery dish. A little crushed garlic, some shredded basil and fresh thyme are scattered over the top. A grind of pepper, and a liberal drizzle of extra virgin olive oil finishes off the dish. The blue-white of the goats cheese contrasts with the greenish, golden colour of olive oil, and for a moment I wish I could paint. Instead I take a photograph.
I carry the simple fare out to the stoep on a teak board, and the three of us tuck- in. I watch Anna cram her mouth full of bread and cheese. Olive oil runs down her chin. I know I should reprimand her for stuffing her face, but she's enjoying it so much I haven't the heart. It tastes truly delicious. The lemony, goats milk cheese is enhanced by the olive oil and fresh herbs. A sip of Lismore Sauvignon Blanc completes the taste sensation.