BIG NEWS: we have moved to another country
In September my husband got offered an opportunity to work outside of South Africa. It took a few weeks for the offer to come through and I didn’t think much of it, because it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for. After much deliberation and negotiations, he was offered a contract in Nigeria. It was such a big work opportunity, one that would be silly to decline.
We had already broke the news to my parents in law who took it well, but we still had my family to break the news to. Only my eldest sister knew about this move before the others did. In December we went on holiday to the South Coast with my family. On the first night we arrived we told them we had a big announcement to make. Of course the first thought that came to everyone’s mind was that I was pregnant. Luckily I already covered that base, because I took a big gulp of wine just before we announced that we were moving to Nigeria. They had some confused reactions – happiness, excitement, disbelief and sadness, but all of them were proud of my husband for this big achievement.
Admin, Admin, Admin
The last two months had been a blur. We had so much to do before we departed to Nigeria, the biggest being sorting out the house – what gets thrown out (recycled and taken to Hospice included in this category 😉 ), what goes with to Nigeria and what goes into storage in South Africa. Whoah, who knew we had gathered so much (pretty much) junk over our years together?!
Among the other admin was ending all of our contracts (gym membership, medical aid, the renting of the house, insurance, etc.). We had so many friends and family that we had to say goodbye to, again and again. Time was not on our side.
We had to say goodbye to our very first house we stayed in. This was a sad moment, but we were grateful for all the memories were made at that house. We had to say goodbye to the very first car my husband ever bought – Lerato. The hardest was obviously saying goodbye to all of our friends and family.
My husband left for Nigeria on Monday, 5 February. It was a sad farewell as I would only be seeing him in a almost 2 weeks. My mother and I left for Empangeni (my hometown where they still live) just as Franscoe left South Africa. The next couple of days I spent at my parents’ house in Empangeni. It was a week and a half of relaxation, but also spending a lot of time in the kitchen prepping for dinner parties.
We had my aunt and my cousin over for a Masterchef-inspired dessert, as my mom calls it, one afternoon. We all love Masterchef and the new season had just started when I arrived in Empangeni. Obviously we were hooked. My dad loved ice cream just about as much as I do, so he really wanted us to make homemade ice cream in the ice cream machine that he gave my mother for her birthday a while back. Masterchef really inspired the both of them for fancy dessert.
This is the dessert we made:
- Liquorice Ice Cream
- Sesame Shortbread
- Fresh Berries
- Toasted Almond
- Fresh Fig
We also had some savoury snacks – bacon & cherry bites, little chicken salad cups, and fig and walnut white rock with melba toast. My mother made rooibos litchi ice tea.
The family / guests loved it!
My mom was real chuffed with herself. My dad was thrilled that the ice cream machine that had been gathering dust, was finally being put to use.
What I have learned from making homemade ice cream in the extremely hot and humid Empangeni: just because it looks frozen, if it is not rock hard, your quenelles will melt in a matter of seconds as they have been formed. You need to make ice cream a day before you want to serve it. It needs to freeze overnight before you serve it.
To return the favour, my aunt and cousin invited us for dinner one evening. The food was to die for! They really treated us like royalty.
Starters: Prawn Terrine with a Green Salad
Mains: Gorgonzola Gnocchi & Basil Pesto Gnocchi
Dessert: Crêpes with Berry Compote and Vanilla Ice Cream
My goodness, it was all so delicious! I’m not always a fan of terrines, because they can be hard and jelly-like, but this was what prawn terrine dreams are made of! The gnocchi was absolute divine, tender and almost melting in your mouth. Wow, their gnocchi game is real strong!
Since I was a little girl I remember eating crêpes, specifically crêpe Suzettes, at my aunt’s house. I was so happy to be served such a delicious dessert that I have such fond childhood memories of.
Time well spent with some of my closest family. C’est la vie!
On Valentine’s Day my parents invited some single guests over for a Valentine’s dinner. My mom and I spent the whole day cooking and prepping the dishes. She also made some very cute Valentine’s decoration. My dad was in charge of cooking the deboned leg of lamb. We had the following on the menu for the evening:
- Mezze platter with pink hummus, smoked salmon terrine, camembert, parma ham, salami, olives, blueberries, figs and melba toast
- Deboned Leg of Lamb
- Choux puffs with a Minted Bacon and Pea Filling
- Couscous Salad
- Blueberry Yogurt Desserts
We had a special piano performance by one of the guests. It was fabulous!
The day I was leaving to go back to Gauteng, my mom took me to a gorgeous Greek restaurant in Ballito – Nikos. What a stunning venue with great service and excellent food. I highly recommend you give Nikos a visit if you are ever in that area. https://www.facebook.com/NIKOSBallito/
Unfortunately it was time to say goodbye to my mom and I made her promise not to cry. I know I will cry if I see her crying! It was a short, but memorable visit. Thank you for everything, mom and dad!
I went to the gym for the last time, spent some time with friends and family, and handed over the keys to our house.
My eldest sister took me to the airport on the afternoon of Saturday, 17 February 2018. After dreading and wishing for this moment to come, it was finally here. Needless to say, my sister and I both started crying, because emotions were all over the place.
Bags checked in, boarding pass in one hand and ready for our new adventure to begin. So excited to see my husband on the other end.
Nigeria is very different to South Africa, obviously. I’ll tell you more about it in the blog posts to follow.