October 2009


We had a visitor for Sunday lunch, and I made the ever-popular Upside-Down Chicken which is basically beer can chicken (I use the AGA recipe I got from the American Grassfed Association, looks like the link is dead at the moment) using a pottery megafter some friends made for us.


Pioneer Woman posted a recipe for Sweet-Roasted Rosemary Acorn Squash Wedges and she made it sound so nice that I had to try it. Couldn’t find Acorn Squash, used Hubbard Squash instead. ’twas good, but I ended up with quite a bit left over.

Meanwhile, we’re in a USA frame of mind (thinking of visiting) and with Halloween coming up and all, someone mentioned pumpkin pie. So I made pumpkin pie, using the first recipe I Googled across.

And it’s good!

But I suspect Vanilla Basil‘s recipe for A Not-So-Pumpkin Pie might be better.

Meanwhile we’ve been in the house for a year and we still don’t have a door on the master bedroom. Eish. We do have a new front door though.

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Our new front door

Welcome to our home.


Rather boring, isn’t it? Ugly, even.

A new front door has been on the list ever since we moved in. We just never got around to doing something about it until this weekend. Went over to Glasscraft in Lakeside.

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Decisions decisions :-) We considered the two on the left, we did not consider the two on the right… although that tree has a certain charm…

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The door on the left was the most expensive door in the place. It was on our shortlist. The door on the right happened to be the second most expensive door in the place. It won by a small margin.

Yup, that’s the way our taste runs…


At the National Championships, I borrowed Gunther’s Freedom Arms .22 revolver. Gorgeous gun.

Walked over to him after the event, said “I owe you money”. “Huh?” “Well, you’re not getting your gun back”.

Now with a gun like this, those are fighting words. Good thing we’re buddies.

Ludi overheard and mentioned he had a Freedom Arms revolver for sale, on behalf of someone else. This only happens when someone dies or emigrates — there is no upgrade path, so people tend to hang on to these things. Fortunately, in this case, the fellow emigrated. So that same evening I bummed some computer time off a friend, and a ridiculous amount of money changed hands.


Behold, Biatchez! My shiny new toy (apologies for crappy phone photograph).

Now to convince the nice fellows up in Pretoria to give me a licence before I die or emigrate… :-)

Chicken-less a la King

… is what happens if you have a vegetarian daughter :-)

A while ago I poached a chicken. Stuck the meat in the freezer. Took it out this morning, figuring it was time.

Started with this recipe. Modified it, as always.

Black pot. Melt some butter, add one chopped green pepper and one punnet of mushrooms, sliced, Wait for it to draw water, add a few shakes flour (’bout a quarter cup, maybe). Add salt and pepper, and about a teaspoon of English mustard powder.

Add 250 ml of cream, stirring all the time. Add a cup of chicken stock (the Ina Paarman stock powder is vegetarian┬╣), stirring all the time. Add about two tablespoons of cider vinegar.

Mix some cold water with some Maizena in a cup, add to pot while stirring.

Add about four spring onions, sliced.

You now have a nice thick sauce, so go play on the computer a bit while someone else cooks some rice and veggies.

Add half a tin’s worth of pimiento, sliced. Stir through, remove enough for said vegetarian daughter to bowl. Add chicken, sliced into bite-sized bits for people with small mouths. Heat through.


┬╣ : And Kosher, Parev and Halaal — and it actually tastes good. It’s a miracle, I tell you!

Silhouette Nationals, 2009

The SAMSSA National Championship was held at the Eastern Cape Silhouette shooters‘ headquarters at Kuduskloof. I wasn’t really planning to attend, but Tanya saw the opportunity to get me to park the kids off at the in-laws in Knysna, leaving her free to attend her scrapbooking course.

Which is what we did.

Left for PE at oh-dark-thirty on Wednesday the 30th, popped in at Fuller Firearms along the way, dropped the kids, some books for Charl, and some stuff for my boss off in Knysna, and got to the Blue Skies Country House just before 17:00.

Thursday morning I was at the range at 08:00 and… it was raining. Bugger. No fun shooting in the rain. But first, I’d been squadded as Range Officer, so that’s what I did — walked around making sure that people don’t do silly things, as we are all likely to do when things go wrong under pressure.

Now my first set of licences for silhouette guns took six years, and I’ve been waiting for the current set for a bit more than a year already, so the reality is that I need to borrow guns to be able to compete in all the events. By design, I was squadded with Francois, who also borrowed some of Juan’s guns, so we decided to start with Event 1, Big Bore Revolver, and he, being somewhat foolish, elected to go first.

Which means that when my turn came, we had the sight settings for Juan’s Freedom Arms .357 Magnum pretty much sorted, and I klupped 8 chickens, 7 pigs, and 10, yes, count ’em, 10 turkeys. And this is where the wheels came off. It was raining all the time, and dripping on me through the awning, and I was not particularly happy, but what doesn’t kill us makes us strong. But then some well meaning fool went and stuck a pole under the awning, causing all the water which had pooled on top to come over the side and drench me completely. This made me more than slightly unhappy. Fortunately there were no kids on our side of the range.

I managed to get two rams, for a total of 27, earning me a bronze in A class.


Of course after all of this I was cold, wet and miserable, and in no mood to get even more wet, so I called it a shooting day and went to support the tannies in the food tent, who made hamburgers for R15 and pancakes for R2 — absolute bargain.

Friday was a lot better, weatherwise, and I shot a 25 in Small Bore Revolver using Gunther’s Freedom Arms, a 28 in Production using my Anschutz Exemplar, an 8 in Standing (I suck at standing) with my Browning Medalist, and a 30 in Unlimited, again with the Anschutz. Believe it or not, 8 out of 40 gave me a silver in B class. And I got a gold for Unlimited, but only because I hadn’t entered for Unlimited before, so I was shooting B class — I’m now firmly bumped up into International, and bound never to win anything again (I’ll need a 37 to get bronze, and then only if the other guys are shooting badly…)


Saturday I shot Smallbore Rifle, for the first and second times in my life, scoring 10 and then 11, not bad, but I’d need around 15 or more to start winning anything. Saturday evening was the prize giving, which was all good, despite the last minute venue change, and Sunday was the long drive back (750 km, a bit over 8 hours).

Thanks to the EP silhouetters, they’re a great bunch.

Results on the SAMSSA page.