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I heard about the launch of the Kids Cooking School on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.399861646744122.95334.217107955019493&type=1  and decided to surprise the family with a little trip out to Franschoek to see what was happening. For more information about the launch, have a look here http://franschhoek.org.za/events/event/the-cooking-club-for-kids-at-liam-tomlin-food/ . After driving on the R45 for what felt like forever, we were nearly in the little town of Franshoek when I saw this tall sculpture through the mist and rain of a leopard standing atop a long branch. The bright red walls of the front gate welcomed me to Leopards Leap Vineyards. After signing in with security, we made our way into a very Frank Lloyd Wright-ish building with stunning views all around. For more information about the vineyards and all the great work they are doing to product the leopards, please have a look here http://www.leopards-leap.com/home .



The kids loved their first experience of visiting a professional kitchen and the staff were so friendly and welcoming. Zac is a huge fan of Justin Bonello and I’m afraid Liam Tomlin was a little put out by the fact that it wasn’t hes name being dropped all the time. It was such a great experience for the children to meet and chat to a “real chef” and, while they didn’t absorb the full impact, they had a great time.


Since we had taken such a long drive (by our standards and the price of petrol) it made sense to see as many places in Franschoek as possible. It was a miserable day weather wise so most of our time was spent dashing from one sheltered area to another. We did make a special point of popping in at Hugenot Chocolatiers and the kids chose (with a lot of subtle hinting and suggestion) to have the marshmallows on a stick (which is very well priced at R8,50 for marshallows covered in Belgian chocolate). On our way back home, I decided to pop in at Fairview http://www.fairview.co.za/ as I had seen the signs but had no idea how far out of our way it would require us to go. After sampling some cheese and buying some to take home, we headed back just in time as the skies opened and even my wipers at full speed couldn’t cope.

Of course, no one in their right minds undertakes a “road trip” with children without making sure they are well fed so after they had their Ace porridge for breakfast, I also made some “American Pancakes” which is more like our flapjacks than crepes. You can find the recipe here http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/1454/fast-and-easy-pancakes.aspx but I have also copied and pasted it for your convenience. I loved that it could be made in a blender, which saves on washing up and makes it easy to pour the batter into the pan.

American pancakes in a blender

Ingredients Serves: 6

·     450ml (16 fl oz) semi skimmed milk

·     150g (5 oz) caster sugar

·     2 eggs

·     1 teaspoon vegetable oil

·     1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·     250g (9 oz) plain flour

·     1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder

Preparation method

Prep: 5 mins | Cook: 15 mins


Place milk, sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in the blender. Add flour and baking powder. Blend until smooth.


Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 4 tablespoons for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.