CHEF JP COOKS ONE FOR THE ROAD
So, this blog is for the fans and supporters of all our Comrades runners.
We set up a local-is-lekker spot outside our local Sasol garage in Cowies Hill and sat back and enjoyed the amazing show – not just the incredible courage that took a large portion of the 20 000 runners that started in Pietermaritzburg all the way down to us but the incredible camaraderie amongst supporters along the route as they cheered on the runners. It was also a cheers to the friends and family who enjoyed a day out in the good fresh air with us as well as the Metro Police and medics who patiently sat along the roadside keeping a reassuring, watchful eye on the colourful proceedings.
As we know – and find out every time we do it – food is a great way of bringing people together, an excuse to share happy memories of Comrades Marathons past and a way to celebrate the fact that we are all on the road again, that Covid is no longer the burden that it has been and that we now have time for healing and re-uniting.
From where we were sitting, it was just 16kms to go for everyone from the first male and female athlete who trotted past us surround by lights and cameras and the stalwarts who run multiple marathons. Jeeves stoically stood on the edge of the road with his hand raised in salute!
In this blog, we’re sharing some of our pictures and experiences – and that includes a link up with the Rusty Travelers who have not only kitted out an old ambulance as a cool camper but have some interesting things to say about why we need to get Out & About and enjoy our beautiful county … watch this space, their story is coming soon!
Our most important tool of the day was our gas cookers and some yummy traditional breakfast – or was that brunch – ingredients like bacon, bangers, eggs, tomatoes and mushrooms.
Our flavours of the road included a deep pan Frittata, with crispy bacon and a trifle of ingredients
Call this a 12 egg omelette if you will ….
So, in your cooler box, you need to pack the following…
a frittata dish, that serves 12 people
a can of Olive Spray and Cook
12 free range eggs
a tray of Rosa tomatoes
400 grams sliced white mushrooms
500 ml milk
400 grams back bacon
2 red onions
some fresh French chives
salt and pepper
a hint of smoked paprika
Heat up a pan and sauté your onions and your sliced mushroom. Then add some olive oil and some butter in a saucepan and cook your bacon. Cut your back bacon into 1 cm cubes, turn up the heat and crisp up that flavour.
Let your fry up rest and start mixing your whisked eggs, another dollop of butter, the milk and the seasoning. Slowly cook your egg in the frittata pan and, as the egg starts to bubble, add your onion, mushroom and bacon. Let it slow cook, for 8 minutes. then, turn on the pace for 2 minutes just to crisp it up. Add your tomatoes and chives and you the hero of a Comrades meal on the go.
CORN COB SALAD
As all of you who make a day of the Comrades will know, there’s constant need for further sustenance in between rushing to the kerb to cheer on the next runner and chatting amicably to the Metro Police who were parked beside us.
I made a salad with all the proteins and a dash of carbs and added some homemade corn chips.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and prep a baking tray with some well lubed parchment paper. Mix together your ingredients to form a dough and bake. It will take no more than a few seconds to crisp up your chips.
For your homemade corn crisps, you will need:
1 cup of corn meal – this is a basic corn flour mixture and its available anywhere. I prefer the self-raising one with salt added.
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of corn starch
a few cumin seeds
3/4 cup hot water
Mix this into a dough and spread evenly over the parchment paper. You can cut them into triangles with a cutter before you put the mix in the oven or cook in one and just go rustic and break them up after they have cooled down. Bake for about 20 minutes.
For this healthy salad, you require:
some leftover Rosa tomatoes
a can of corn kernels
1 large celery stick
1 can of good quality black beans
1 red onion
salt and pepper
cilantro for garnish
Dice your veggies, decant your cans. Rinse and season. Add your homemade tortilla chips.
ROAD SIDE SNAX
When it comes to carbs, there is also another side road to take – especially with the first cousin of the humble potato – namely, the sweet potato which is a healthier alternative. Making these doesn’t take too much of your time but they do look gorgeous …
Grate your baby sweet potatoes and then steam them for 5 minutes just to soften them a bit. Using an apple corer, make a round incision in the flesh. Turn up the gas and fry some finely sliced back bacon till crispy, towel off any excess oil and then insert the bacon in the cavity. Add some herbs and serve up with some horseradish – the perfect roadside snack for when those final runners are struggling past and you need some last minute sustenance.
MORNING AFTER MOCKTAIL
As we mentioned whilst watching from the sidelines – it never fails to amaze us how these amazing runners restore their energy levels, soothe tired and aching muscles and then get on to planning for their next Comrades!
Here’s my favourite mock tail which will be the perfect morning after pick-me-up as it is rich in Vitamin C which will boost your immune system and is loaded with beta carotene and turmeric to reduce inflammation.
Cut some fresh pineapple slices and two teaspoons of turmeric. Grate some carrots and blitz the ingredients in a food processor until you have a smooth drinkable pulp. Garnish your mocktail with a slice of pineapple, more grated carrot and then sit back and sip away – the perfect way to replenish and soothe away those aches and pains.
As I packed up my Comrades Day kitchen and waved goodbye to the Rusty Travelers and other good friends, I got to thinking about September. The year has sped past and we have marked some important milestones before heading into the final quarter of 2022.
As we move towards spring, we’ll be looking at combining health and good food. Watch this space as we show you how flavour and goodness are great comrades and that we are what we eat!
Thanks for sharing our journey …