We went to South Africa in February, and I think the hardest part of the trip was the packing.
Normally, when we go to another country, my modus operandi is to pack all black and white, on the theory that you can mix and match it to your heart’s content. It’s efficient, and it leaves me more room for shoes.
I know, I know, how many pairs of shoes does a person need for a two-week trip? For me, the answer is: about 10.
Making matters worse (and yet, also the highlight of the trip), we‘d be spending almost five days in the bush, where the recommendation is to wear primarily “safari” colors: beige, olive, brown, khaki. According to the travel agent, “white, black, dark blue, and grey are to be avoided,” as apparently they attract the Tsetse flies. All of which friendly advice had me throwing up my hands in despair.
Did I mention that we were spending two days on a train that required us to “dress” (i.e. cocktail clothes) for dinner? Or that we could take only one suitcase, weighing no more than 20 kg (44lb)?
My husband had no problems. He headed to the biggest discount stores around, on the theory that if he didn’t spend any money on what he wore, he wouldn’t care if he never wore them again. I can’t think that way, so I set out frantically looking for “safari” colors, of which I already had none – or at least none in summer-weight fabrics.
“Lee, you’re the only person I know who goes to Nordstrom’s to shop for a trip to Africa,” he said. Well, that’s just wrong, I told him. I also went to Bloomingdale’s.
And in the end, with careful planning, I worked my way down to only 8 pairs of shoes. Whew – that was hard.
* * *
|The harbor at Victoria & Alfred Waterfront|
|Harbour House Restaurant|
Avocado Ritz (serves 4)
2 avocados (ripe but firm)
16-20 cooked shrimp (of the size that’s 21-25/pound)
shredded iceberg lettuce or whole leaves of Bibb lettuce
Marie Rose sauce:
4 rounded Tbl mayonnaise (can use light mayo if you’re trying to keep the calories down, or substitute half of the mayo for Greek yogurt)
2 Tbl ketchup
juice of one lemon
a pinch of cayenne pepper (or a dash of Tabasco if you like more heat)
1 Tbl creme fraiche (or sour cream or light sour cream or plain yogurt)
¼ tsp salt
In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients, adding lemon juice to taste.
Halve the avocados and remove the seeds and peel. If you’ll be serving the avocados sliced or diced, now is the time to do that. Squeeze the lemon juice over the cut face of the avocados to keep them from turning brown.
Place each avocado half (or arrange the slices) on the lettuce, pile the shrimp in the seed cavity, and drizzle on the Marie Rose sauce.