Bread & Butter for dinner

Bread & Butter never tasted so good!

Ham & Pea Soup at St Francis Brewing CoThe beer / wine / food pairings regularly held at St Francis Brewing Company are always one of the highlights on the St Francis dining calendar and an opportunity not to be missed. Chef Daniel again served up a gastronomical treat last night and it seems there is no end to his creativeness in taking a simple dish and creating a gourmet’s delight. It would be difficult to choose the best dish of the 5-course meal served last night for the vegetable terrine fish and steak were all superb and perfectly prepared but his pea and ham soup was undoubtedly my pick of the evening. Unlike a conventional pea and ham soup Daniel served the pea soup, a separate patty of ham and crackly pork ‘biscuit. Ingenious in its presentation and quite divine to the taste buds.

But to top of what was a great evening, spent on the benches of the brewery with friends both known and newly met, was his dessert offering. Now those who spent time and boarding school, well us oldies anyway, before food nutritionist were employed to ensure growing lads are properly fed,  we were served weekly bread & butter pudding, a tasteless mess of brown bread with  smattering of weak tasteless custard. Horrible stuff!

When Daniel presented his menu at the start of the ‘feast’ he came to the last item, bread & butter pudding served with peaches and strawberries and custard, not particularly inspiring to an ex boarder until it was served. In one word “DELICIOUS”, so delicious in that I was very nearly tempted to approach our hosts, Linky and Lance and even Daniel himself, in a rendition of Oliver’s famed “I want some more”. I noticed almost every diner at our table quite unashamedly wiping the remnants of their plates with their fingers to mop up the last morsel and for one moment it looked as though one of our dining partners (no names) was about to lick her plate clean. Without doubt the tastiest bread & butter pudding ever and the custard, well I never knew custard could taste that good. If Daniel were to bottle it, it would put all other custard makers out of business.

A splendid meal enjoyed with wonderful company. Oh, and the beer is damned good too with a couple of new additions I hadn’t tasted before.

Sadly it is St Francis Brewing Co’s last pairing of the year so roll on 2017 so we can again witness some of Daniel’s creativity. But in the interim at least we can still enjoy the daily menu and the outstanding Sunday lunches.

Daniel Hoffman preparing the entree at St Francis Brewing Co

72 penguins rehabilitated after Algoa Bay oil spill

SANCCOB, SANParks and the NSRI release 72 penguins rehabilitated after Algoa Bay oil spill.

Penguins boxed and ready to go - SANCCOB Cape St FrancisThe Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the Marine Rangers from the Addo Elephant National Park – South African National Parks (SANParks) have released 72 rehabilitated African penguins back into their colony in St Croix Island following a recent oil spill in Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth).

This is the second group of penguins released by SANCCOB and SANParks after the oil spill that occurred in late August 2016. SANCCOB’s centre in Cape St Francis admitted a total of 92 oiled African penguins and 61 penguin chicks with help of SANParks and the NSRI. A smaller group of 14 rehabilitated penguins were also released at St Croix Island after being approved for release by
SANCCOB’s team.

Juanita Raath, SANCCOB’s Rehabilitation Coordinator in the Eastern Cape, said, “We are extremely happy to release such a big group of penguins back into the wild today and give these individuals a second chance at life. With the current South African population numbers at just over 19 000 breeding pairs, saving each individual penguin is crucial to the survival of the species. We are
thankful to all the partners involved in making this a successful rescue operation and to all the volunteers and supporters for standing side-by-side with us throughout the rehabilitation process.”

SANCCOB’s team of staff and volunteers washed the first penguins on Sunday, 21 August, with the last bird being washed on Thursday afternoon, 25 August. The entire washing and rinsing process of each bird can take up to two hours followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation programme.

Penguins are only released once SANCCOB’s staff have determined that their feathers are waterproof, their blood tests do not show any signs of infection and that they weigh at least 2.8 kilograms. Each penguin also receives a special transponder micro-chip that allows conservation staff and researchers to effectively monitor the birds after being released. A number of washed penguins are still in SANCCOB’s care together with more than 60 penguin chicks that still need to grow into healthy juveniles before they can also go back into the wild.

The African penguin is endemic to southern Africa. It was once one of South Africa’s most abundant seabirds, but has suffered a massive population decline. Algoa Bay, where St Croix Island is situated, is home to about 60% of the world’s African penguin population. In the early 20th century the total wild population was estimated at one million breeding pairs; today the total estimate is less than 25 000 breeding pairs left in South African and Namibia, with only 19 284 breeding pairs recorded in South Africa in 2015 (South African Department of Environmental Affairs: Oceans and Coasts). Due to its rapid population decline, this iconic species, which breeds at 29 locations in South Africa and southern Namibia, was listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2010.
The exact cause of the oil spill is still to be confirmed by authorities investigating the matter.

penguin release off St Croix

Press release
Nada Manengela, SANCCOB Marketing and Fundraising Coordinator
Email: nada@sanccob.co.za; Tel: (042) 298 0160; www.sanccob.co.za.