A little while ago, (and when I say little I mean like two years) I won a competition. It turns out that sometimes winning is not always winning.
At the time I was a newbie blogger and I had entered for two main reasons. Firstly, it sounded like fun and secondly, the winner’s prize included inter alia a magazine recipe spread and kitchen appliances to the value of R 75 000. Amazing, right? Well, it turns out not so much.
Somewhere mid competition, one of the contestants pointed out the main prize had been altered to two tickets to Munich instead of the kitchen loot. At the time I thought it an awful thing to do mid competition but I was already committed to the process and in all honesty never thought I would actually win.
Fast forward to the end and there I was the lucky recipient of two tickets to Munich, Germany out of Johannesburg valid for a full 6 months, courtesy of SAA.
Here is the thing about competitions or maybe just this one. The stipulated prizes are handled by the sponsor of the prize, so basically you win and the folk that hand you the prize have nothing to do with it and cannot actually help you with it. Period. When I inquired about the change in the prize it turns out that the kitchen appliance sponsor pulled out and SAA came to the rescue with two tickets. It was a “now you get what you get and you don’t get upset” scenario.
This portion of the prize started to feel like the proverbial poisoned apple. If you are still not sure why, let me explain. To begin with, I live in Cape Town. To even use the tickets I would be out of pocket two airfares from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The prize was ONLY tickets, not even a beer at The Hofbräuhaus was included. This meant that pretty much every other single cost after landing in Munich would be for my own account too.
Add to this the SA food blogging community’s (fun oxymoron right there) backlash at the competition, and it was all a little too bittersweet for the girl who entered on a whim for a little fun and maybe a new blender. Let’s focus on the sweet.
SAA have been great. I submitted two requests via John, the agent assigned to my prize. The first was for an extension of the six month window, which did not suit either our budget or our life at the time. The second request was to include the Cape Town – Johannesburg leg in the original tickets. The validity was extended to March 31st 2015, and SAA covered both flights to and from Cape Town. (Thanks John!)
Sweeter still is that tomorrow evening Dear Husband and I will finally be jetting off to Germany and then on to Italy for just over a week; a trip made possible by the arrival of my mom who has very kindly agreed to take charge of our kiddos while we are away. We appreciate you Mom!
The sweetest? Dear Husband and I have not been just him and I in over ten years. In fact, I am pretty certain, bar the odd night here and there, that this is the first trip we will be taking alone in ten years. Ten!!!
It’s a second honeymoon of sorts for us in a country known for its food and its wine and its lovers. We are armed with passports, visas, euros and a detailed list of every food market in every town we intend to visit. Basically, we will be eating our way across Italy. As you do. (You can follow our trip on Instagram).
We are keenly aware that this trip is a privilege denied many and now that it is happening tomorrow, I simply cannot wait.
Here at home, the fridge is full; the kiddo’s schedule is taped to the fridge and the timer on pure uninterrupted Granny Time is set. There is also this *Caramel Ice Cream in the freezer.
*The recipe for this Caramel Ice Cream is from the October/November 2014 issue of Sarie Food; one of my absolute favourite South African Food mags. The recipe is on page 41 of this issue. This Caramel Ice Cream is definitely one of the creamiest no-churn ice creams I have ever made and sinfully decadent. I have given the recipe just as it was written in the magazine, but I chose to add a salted peanut brittle. Excellent decision.
- 2 eggs
- 100 g (1/2 C) caster sugar
- 1 x 360 g can caramel
- 250 ml (1 C) cream, stiffly beaten
- 200 g (1 C) white sugar
- 200 g (1 C) salted peanuts
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring it to the boil.
- Place the eggs an sugar in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl on top of the saucepan.
- Whisk the eggs and sugar together over medium heat until the mixture thickens and is pale in colour.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- Add the caramel and whisk in well.
- Fold in the cream.
- Spoon into a freezer friendly container, cover and freeze overnight.
- To make the brittle, pour the sugar into a medium saucepan over a low heat.
- As the sugar begins to melt, shake the pan without stirring.
- Use the back of a spoon to move the sugar into the spots where it is melting until all the sugar is melted and starts to turn golden in colour.
- Once the sugar is dark and caramel, add the peanuts.
- Stir to mix well and remove from the heat.
- Then pour brittle onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, or onto a silicone mat.
- Leave to cool completely.
- Once cold it will have set hard.
- Break into shards with your hands, or grind to praline in a blender.
- Serve the ice cream topped with the peanut brittle.