Pizza night in the bush…Finding ingredients isn’t easy…

We were thrilled to have spotted these elephants on the Crocodile River from the Marloth Park side of the fence separating us from Kruger.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

Our goal is to take a photo of increasing numbers of bushbabies on the platform at night as they gently share the little cup of yogurt.  We’ve seen as many as a dozen flying through the trees, and this photo of four on the platform is our record so far. We’ll continue to try for more.

As much as dinner guests enjoy eating traditional South Africa food, we’ve found our guests like experiencing something new and different. As a result of most of our dinner parties, we tend to make more traditional American dishes. 

Last night’s guests of Kathy, Don, Linda, and Ken especially found the prospect of eating Americanized pizza appealing. Although we still made it low carb, grain, sugar, and starch free, we made our usual pizzas with a bit of a twist which including three pizzas:

We counted 30 to 35 elephants.

1.  Sausage, mushrooms, olives, onions, and cheese – Tom’s favorite
2.  Pepperoni, mushroom, onions, olives, and cheese
3.  Chicken Thai pizza, a copycat recipe from California Pizza Kitchen, a favorite of mine and Kathy’s.

We made three large pizzas, enough for everyone to try some of each if they so chose. The first problem we had was a lack of the proper type of a third pan. The second problem was,  where would we find pepperoni? The third problem was, where would we find the necessary ingredients to make the copycat recipe located here

It’s interesting to watch their interactions.

Keep in mind. I made a loose version of the above recipe to make it suitable for gluten-free for several of us in the group.  Plus, the sugary additions as shown in the recipe were modified to suit the wheat-free, sugar-free, and starch-free options. It was a bit complicated. But, somehow, I figured it out.

As for the pan, we headed to Marlothi Center yesterday morning and found an excellent pan at the hardware store that even included a rack for future use. That was quite a find.  

As for the pepperoni, we headed to the Butchery in the same little shopping center and found salami that tasted somewhat like pepperoni, although the sliced rounds were much larger.

There were numerous babies in the parade.

Surprisingly, I found a combination of four ingredients at the Bush Center mini-mart to compensate for making the sauce. After tasting proved to be perfect, tasting precise as spicy peanut sauce should taste. I couldn’t have been more thrilled.

The chopping and dicing and cheese grating all by hand took almost all day. In my old life, I had a food processor and could have shredded the imported mozzarella cheese and vegetables in a matter of minutes, not hours. But that was then, and this is now.

Tom grated all the cheeses while I cut the vegetables, cooked and diced the chicken, and sliced the three different types of sausages. Then, I cut everything for the side salad. 

Had we arrived a short while earlier, most likely we’d have seen them enter the Crocodile River.

On Friday, I made the dessert.  Knowing none of our guests were into big desserts after a big meal, I made low carb fudge and low carb almond bark, a nice little treat after a big dinner with coffee or a glass of wine. 

As it turned out, recently, I’d given up dairy in an attempt to improve my gastrointestinal issue. After three days without any form of dairy, I’m greatly improved. We’ll see if this continues to improve. Wouldn’t that be something if, all along, my issue was exacerbated by a dairy intolerance?

After a while, they began moving back up the hill in Kruger National Park and out of sight.

As a result, last night, I ate no pizza. Instead, I made myself a plate with all the toppings on the Thai pizza with only a tiny portion of that tasty sauce on a bed of steamed cauliflower and green beans. Wow! That was almost as good as the pizza would have been.

We had a wonderful evening as expected. Tomorrow, Monday, we’re meeting up with the four of them for what Don describes as a “special surprise in the bush.” It will be fun to see what he has in store for all of us! We’ll all bring our favorite “happy hour” beverages when we meet before dark.

A lone elephant grazing in the bush.

This morning, our new friend Kerstine (pronounced cast-teen) stopped by for an enjoyable visit, having walked on this beautiful day from her home many blocks away. It was nice to see her again.

Marta returned from her one-week holiday, and we welcomed her with many hugs and warm welcomes. It was nice to have her back. She lives on the property in a little house in the side yard. 

The ages of many of the elephants varied from months-old infants to decades-old matriarchs.

She offered to clean today, but we’d done a great job cleaning up after last night. She insisted on making the bed which, with the busy morning, I hadn’t yet tackled.

Today will be a low-key day. Tom will have his leftover sausage pizza while I make chicken liver and onion stuffed portabella mushrooms with roasted vegetables on the side for my dinner. Of course, on this perfect weather day, we’ll be on the veranda, well into the evening.

Soon, they began their ascent up the hill.

In our old lives, we have headed to Costco to purchase a new laptop. Tom is still having trouble with his monitor but has figured out a workaround, for now, a vice grip at the edge of the monitor, which makes it stay on. We’ll see how that goes over the long haul.

But, like making the pizza, particular adaptations must be made in this life.

May your day be uncomplicated!

Photo from one year ago today, June 3, 2017:

One year ago, we celebrated grandson Vincent’s grade school graduation at Benihana, a popular local Asian Teppanyaki restaurant in Minneapolis. It was a fun day. More photos coming will follow with our other grandchildren as we spent six weeks in Minnesota last year at this time. For more details, please click here.

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