It was held at a beautiful house near Alabang, and dinner was very kindly hosted by one of the couples who had joined this particular trip.
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A MALVA PUDDING FOR DESSERT
I decided to make a South African malva pudding because it's quite delicious and it's impossible to get in this part of the world. You basically have to make it yourself if you want to have a proper one.
I learned how to make a very proper malva pudding on my last trip to South Africa in November.
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PRIVATE LESSONS AT THE
OPPENHEIMER VILLA ON THE
TSUWALU GAME RESERVE
I was on safari on the beautiful Tsuwalu Game Reserve, which is a Relais & Chateaux property, in the Northern Cape of South Africa.
It's a very exclusive safari property because there are no scheduled charter flights to get here. Most people fly in on their own airplanes, or they have to charter their own airplane from Cape Town or Johannesburg.
|This was the Pilatus plane I took to the Tsuwalu Game Reserve|
And I was staying in the private villa of the Oppenheimer family, who own Tsuwalu Game Reserve.
They also happen to be the owners of De Beers Diamonds. Or more accurately, they were the former owners.
They sold most of their stake in De Beers sometime back.
It's a beautiful property, but not in the usual over-the-top way of many luxurious safari lodges. It's not one of these Hollywood safari set-ups.
HOW TO MAKE A MALVA PUDDING
On one of my free afternoons, just before sunset and just after my massage, I arranged for the Oppenheimer's private chef to teach me how to make a proper malva pudding.
He kindly agreed, and last night, my malva pudding was a total success.
I was so happy with how it turned out.
MEMORIES OF SOUTH AFRICA
Making this malva pudding made me remember also when I'd first tasted malva pudding.
This was on my first trip to South Africa last November 2012, and it was on our second night in Johannesburg.
The Travel Companion and I were enjoying a fabulous dinner cooked by David Higgs of the restaurant Five Hundred at the Saxon Hotel, and malva pudding was one of the things in our tasting course.
THE BEST RESTAURANT IN JOHANNESBURG
David Higgs, by the way, is considered one of South Africa's top chefs, and also among the top chefs of the world.
When we visited Five Hundred last year, it hadn't even opened so we had to eat in a makeshift venue and we drank champagne with David Higgs in an uncompleted restaurant surrounded by boxes.
But we already knew then that Five Hundred would become the best restaurant in Johannesburg and one of the best restaurants in South Africa. It was that good.
And today, everything has come true.
Last I looked, Five Hundred had been named #2 in the list of best restaurants in South Africa, just after Test Kitchen in Cape Town -- which was another restaurant we visited and liked on this trip, by the way.
A GOOD OMEN
Anyway, that night, the Travel Companion and I were both wowed by this malva pudding.
It was an omen of the many good things -- and a couple more malva puddings -- to come, on that wonderful first trip to South Africa, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.