A few weeks ago, the Kiwi and I decided to take advantage of a long weekend and head down to Cape Town and Franschhoek for five days. We had a wonderful holiday. I overcame for a short period of time my blindingly irrational fear that I will fall off the side of any mountain and climbed up Table Mountain via the Platteklip Trail—short but straight uphill. Of course, I did it clinging to the Kiwi’s arm once we were over 50 feet off the ground and with periodic episodes of me clutching the Kiwi’s arm fiercely while loudly announcing that I did not want to die. I tried to do the latter only when there weren’t other people around. And in my defense, it was a rainy and windy day and the nice park ranger at the bottom of the trail suggested that today was not the day to climb the mountain as I might never make it off the mountain. Um, thanks.
But climbing Table Mountain was a psychic victory for me of sorts given that I had my first fear-of-falling-off-the-mountain panic attack over 14 years ago when I first climbed it. Well now I can call us even.
We spent a few more days in Cape Town, hiking is less terrifying places and eating delicious food. Sidebar: I still continue to be flummoxed by why Cape Town has such delicious eateries while I struggle to think of more than three delicious food places in Johannesburg. It would be like Chicago having significantly better food than New York.
We then made our way to Franschhoek, a small town over an hour away from Cape Town, where we stayed at a little bed and breakfast, 3 on Roux. Our hostess, Mercia Croukamp, was clearly an extraordinary cook. One night we came back from dinner to be given freshly baked brownies that she just happened to be baking on a random weekday night.
But the highlight of her cooking was her muesli. Now the first morning I saw it in a little canister and was very skeptical. I prefer my muesli in clumps of oats. I don’t like muesli where the oats are separated. Non-clumpy muesli usually means there isn’t enough butter or sugar to make the clumps, and who wants super healthy muesli. But one bite of this and I was in heaven. The first morning, she also made us eggs. But by the second morning, both the Kiwi and I looked so forward to more of the muesli we nixed all other breakfast offerings and settled in for a few bowls of the muesli and yogurt.
Once home, I emailed Mercia to get her recipe. What I hadn’t realized was how utterly easy the muesli was to make. I made it in the morning this weekend and we finished it within 3 days. Next week, I plan to make double or triple the recipe. It is seriously that good (and that easy).
Next time, I plan to add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to the muesli as well. But this time I just followed the recipe. Of course you could add whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you want. But the recipe below is what we made.
1 T butter
2 T golden or maple syrup
1 t sugar
1 t water
3 ½ c rolled oats
1 c almonds
¼ c sunflower seeds
2 T sesame seeds
1 c raisins
Melt butter, syrup, sugar and water in a pan over medium heat. Once hot add in the oats. It will depend on the size of your oats, but you want to add enough oats to soak up all the liquid and make sure they are all covered in the liquid. Take the mixture and spread in a flat pan and put in the oven at 120 C (250 F) for 40 minutes or until completely toasted.
In the same pan, put in the almonds. Cook until the almonds are almost toasted. Add in sunflower seeds and cook until the sunflower seeds are almost toasted. Add in the sesame seeds and cook until toasted.
Mix the seed mixture, the oats and raisins together.