Posted tagged ‘Karoo’s’

“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.”

October 12, 2017

My friends have left, and my house is ever so quiet. As always we had the best time together. On Tuesday we had a ride along the ocean, and I took them to my favorite spots. The sun was glinting off the water. It was so warm people sat on beach chairs in the sand sunning themselves. It was a summer day in fall.

We ate appetizers on the deck. The birds had found the filled feeders, and they flew back and forth from feeders to branches. Most of them were chickadees.

Peg had brought dinner, shrimp pesto. She had also brought vegetables, a cheese log dip, crackers, some fruit and dessert. The brownies had chocolate chips, and there was a thick fudge sauce to put on them adding to the chocolate overload though I would contend there is really no such thing as a chocolate overload. I am just using the term to give a vivid picture of how wonderful dessert was. Gracie was restless that night. At 1:30 she wanted food so I fed her and I had a brownie. Afterwards, we were both quite content.

Bill is a talented furniture maker and handyman. He did some repairs in the house, a few of which have been driving me crazy. Some of the fixes include the toilet upstairs which now flushes, the toilet holder downstairs again secure on the wall, my old curio cabinet repaired and my front storm shutting automatically.

Bill and Peg brought gifts. One was a wooden Red Sox peg board. Another was a framed silhouette of a boxer. There was homemade grape jelly and African coffee. The dip was in a pottery bowl and the bowl was also a gift. I can’t think there are better guests than Bill and Peg.

Last night we had dinner at Karoo’s, a South African restaurant. It is one of my favorite places. Bill and Peg had been there before and requested it for this trip. I had monkey ribs and beef samosas for appetizers. The drink I ordered, the speciality of the night, was amazingly refreshing with vodka, grapefruit juice and a simple syrup. My dinner was bobotie beef, a curried meatloaf served with turmeric rice and chutney. Bill and Peg both had West African peanut soup with pumpkin added though in Ghana it would have been groundnut soup. Peg had a falafel sandwich. All of us had come to love Lebanese food in Ghana, and we ate many felafel sandwiches, all wrapped in foil.

This morning was leisurely. Sadly, at close to eleven, Peg and Bill started loading up to go home. Gracie and I went outside to say goodbye. My house feels empty without them.

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“To travel is to shop.”

August 18, 2016

Yesterday was a wonderful birthday. I walked outside to get the papers and right away saw balloons tied to a new solar garden light stuck in the grass. Now, every time I see that light, I’ll remember how fun the morning was and how wonderful my friends are. My sisters called to wish me a happy birthday as did Grace from Ghana. She once was a student of mine, but now she is a friend. More friends called during the day and the internet was crushed by the number of well wishes on Coffee and on Facebook. Two of my friends took me out to eat at Karoo’s last night. It is a South African restaurant we all like, and the food was even better than we remembered. My friends gave me a beautiful puzzle box which I could not open because I am spatially incompetent. Step by step instructions got the box opened. Instead of a cake, my friend made brownies. Chocolate is perfect for any occasion. I still have one more birthday celebration to come. It is like birth-week instead of birthday. How wonderful!!

My house is open to the air. The morning has gone from sunny to cloudy and back again, but this den where I spend most of my time stays dark and cool until the afternoon. There is even a slight breeze. If I can last through the day, the temperature will get down to the high 60’s tonight, and I won’t need the air conditioning; however, I do like the sensation of feeling cold on a hot summer night.

Around here Hyannis is the big city. It has lots of heavy traffic and stores tucked into a variety of big and small malls. The main route in and out of town has four lanes, two of them for turning. Most times I avoid Hyannis. There are stores I love, but I don’t want to hunt for a parking space or sit through light cycles. The exception is when I have an appointment and have no choice, like today, but I’ll do some shopping because I’m there. It makes the trip fun and worthwhile.

“They talked in the shorthand of old friends and shared memories.”

November 6, 2015

My friends have left. The house is just so quiet without them, but luckily Gracie is snoring which is sort of keeping me company. We had a wonderful time together. The weather was perfect, nearly 70˚ each day. Today is raining but ever so lightly. It is still warm. I have had the heat off and windows open the last three days. The cold will start returning tomorrow.

On Wednesday we rode around Hyannis and Hyannisport. We went by the Kennedy Compound then drove a different road back, all the more to see. That night we had dinner at Karoo’s, a South African restaurant with a cuisine quite different from Ghana’s. Two of my other friends joined us. We stayed talking and laughing long after we had finished dinner. Yesterday we went to the Kennedy Museum and the Kennedy Memorial then I took my friends to lunch at Jerry’s where I’ve been eating since high school days. The original Jerry is long gone, but the name and the good food remain. I showed my friends where my family lived, and we did a nostalgia tour. Last night was dinner at home.

The three of us, Bill, Peg and I, will be going back to Ghana together next October. We’ve already started talking about the trip. Grace, a former student, is building a house in Bolga and hopes to have it finished so we can stay there. We’re making a list of places we want to see. I mean, really, it’s only a year away!

Being with my friends is always comfortable. They are family. We shared a unique experience which created a bond so strong that time can never break it. We have stories which still make us laugh and we have a history. We met during staging in Philadelphia at the Hotel Sylvania. Staging is when the trainees get together for the first time, meet each other, have all our paperwork checked and see slides and hear lectures about Ghana. Bill and Peg were my kindred spirits as we skipped the large group events and went sightseeing. In Ghana we were first posted far apart as Peg was pregnant and PC wanted her near a decent hospital. They stayed there for a year then I talked my principal into asking Peace Corps to transfer them to my school. The three of them, Bill, Peg and Kevin, came and we lived in a duplex. That was the beginning of all our adventures.

“…it was so rich and exotic I was seduced into taking one bite and then another as I tried to chase the flavors back to their source.”

July 25, 2013

Okay, this may be difficult to believe but it is actually chilly and damp. That’s right: I said chilly. It is 66˚, and I’m loving it. All the windows and doors are opened, and Gracie is in and out at her pleasure. The day is dark and cloudy. It’s a candle sort of day, and I have a few lit in here and some of the electric ones lit in the living room. They shed just the right amount of light and make the house feel cozy. The candle closest to me flickers and its flame moves with the breeze. The scent of this candle is coffee.

Last night two of my friends and I went down-Cape to Eastham for dinner. We went to Karoo’s, a South African restaurant, and it was wonderful. The waitress was perfect as were her suggestions for food and drink. For starters, I had a combo plate and could make a few changes. I went with the monkey ribs instead of two snail rangoons. They and the peri-peri chicken were my favorites. For dinner I had Durban Bunny Chow, and it was so good I left only a few forlorn potato and carrot pieces on the plate. The drinks went down easily. Sadly, we had no room for dessert. I need to go back there and try more. That ostrich sattay (their spelling) and the bobotie looked darn good, and I could manage another couple of those drinks.

When I was growing up, we never ate exotic food except Italian and Chinese. One sit-down restaurant was Chinese, and there was a luncheonette up town with mostly stools. I don’t even remember if it had tables. Other places were take-out sub shops, pizza places and a Carrol’s, a McDonald like hamburger spot. It was cheap enough, but my parents never bought dinner there. I don’t know why. Later, high school later, we all used to hang out in the parking lot leaning against the cars and drinking shakes or cokes. That town now has an Indian and a Thai restaurant and still has that Chinese restaurant as well as a wonderful Italian restaurant. It also boasts a Burger King and a McDonald’s just over the line in the next town. The seafood restaurant always has a line, but we mostly do take-out.

My first strange food was, as I’ve mentioned a million times, in Ghana during training. I didn’t eat a lot of it. No one told us what we were being served so we were all pretty cautious. Breakfast with coffee and rolls was the most popular meal. I do remember the first time I ate goat. It was at my live-in. It was in some kind of soup. I knew it was meat, but I had no idea what kind of meat, and no one told me, but I tried it anyway. Other than having a lot of bones, it was pretty good. After that, I tried just about everything. That ostrich I mentioned will be next!