My friend Christine and I took a long delayed vacation last November to eastern South Africa outside of Pietermeritzburg to the Karcloof Spa and Preserve. Delayed because I was renovating and opening Westcott House and she had similar obligations. We were going to have a night coming and going in J’burg and the rest of the week in a remote retreat far from people and problems. We were about an hour west of the Indian Ocean and Durbin midst rolling hills and high plains. The perfect rejuvenation.
Besides almost 9,000 acres of protected (this is a “preserve” not reserve so no predatory animals, primarily lions. Most animals graze together and the more territorial animals like hippo and rhino are closely managed to avoid confrontations.) lands – all roamed by giraffes, elephants, hippo, rhino, zebra, impala, warthogs, and sundry other beasts great and small, the property had a tranquil spa staffed by incredibly well trained Thai facialists, massage therapists, yoga instructors, etc. There was a gorgeous hunting lodge with an elegant dining room serving several organic cuisines including raw, bush/local and traditional organic meals. The kitchen was headed by chef Christine, and for several nights we were her only tasters. The three Christines made a pact to prepare and feast on wonderful food and drink and we all lived up to the bargain.
Besides a daily shot of wheatgrass each morning, we tried a range of new and wonderful recipes. The most enticing to me being what we named Eggs Karkloof – several perfectly poached eggs perched on savory French toast with roasted cherry tomatoes and a side of avocado drizzled with a balsamic reduction served with bacon. We think of French Toast with syrup and powdered sugar and this version is refreshingly surprising with a touch of African spices and a gingery vinegar in the poaching water.
Ingredients and recipe to come:
Good day-old bread
Fresh avocado, preferably Hess