The sun twinkled laughingly off the Atlantic Ocean as the car crawled up the Chapman's Peak Pass; the unexplainable pull that Cape Town has had over me intensified and I held my breath, gazing out at the ocean and wanting nothing else, but to call this mysteriously beautiful place home... Suddenly I saw the sign for Noordhoek and Monkey Valley and I began to giggle with excitement and squirm in my seat - I was coming here for the Food and Wine Bloggers Indaba on 20th February and I couldn't wait! What a surprise to find myself here, the pull must have been even greater than I imagined...
I am so looking forward to learning, chatting, growing, absorbing as much as possible, but especially to meeting all of you, the blogger friends that I have made over the last year - who of you do I finally have the pleasure of meeting?
The last few months have been a challenging time for me; everything that has been a constant is no longer there to rely on. As I try to figure out what I want from life and to make sense of all the thoughts racing around in my head; small things keep whispering at me, tugging me, begging me not to give up on the journey that I began over a year ago, with the intention of helping myself and others.
It amazes me how answers can be found in the most unexpected of places; the place in question was Wang Thai and the answer came in the form of a "Wang Thai Tini", which was ordered by a friend...
Strange that a cocktail can give you the answers that you have been looking for, but I don't think this was an ordinary cocktail, the magical properties of taste were at play. A combination of coriander, lime, ginger, chilli and coconut begging to be tried, savoured, enjoyed...
The first reaction my friend had was one of shock as the intensity of the chilli hit, burning the lips and almost making the eyes water.
The sense of the unknown was so overwhelming; I had to try it.
My experience, however, was totally different.
My first taste was of the coriander as it hit the back of my throat with a powerful earthiness that made me smile, then the tang and zing of lime and ginger held hands as they skipped over my tongue with the chilli in hot pursuit as if it was a bad wolf getting ready to devour the two innocent children, Lime and Ginger; the coconut, sensing that the chilli was becoming overbearing swept over my tongue in a soothing layer of silk and I sat there in awe, marveling at the effect that flavour has on me.
I tried to explain my experience to my friend, wanting desperately to share this magnificent feeling and I said, "Wouldn't it be amazing if you could taste the way I could?"
And that's when I thought, whatever I decide to do and wherever this year takes me, there is one thing that I will not let go of for anything and that is the way that taste makes me feel.