our first dinner party in joburg

Namrata Singh//caramel cake

in berlin we loved to entertain on the trusty long black ikea dining table and in joburg that hasn’t changed. so last week we decided that the house was in a state of ordered chaos ready for our first dinner party in south africa.  on sunday I spent the whole day cooking a french menu while p dutifully painted the bathroom and put up pictures.

i like this menu because if you have your sh*t together theoretically you can cook all of it beforehand and keep it warm which is perfect for entertaining. in fact, the coq au vin, mushrooms, onions, and soup all taste BETTER the more time they’ve had to stew. the menu:

soupe à l’oignon (french onion soup) from smitten kitchen

coq au vin (chicken in red wine) from the incomparable julia child

champignons sautés au buerre (butter drenched sauteed mushrooms) via julia

oignons glacés a brun (brown braised baby onions) via julia 

french mashed potatoes from tasty kitchen

caramel cake is from woolworths*. oh snap! that’s right i didn’t bake for our precious guests. and i bought a cake from a huge department store.  it’s ok i’ll they’ll get over it.

 *for people who don’t live in rsa, woolworth’s is a whole new world down here.

Namrata Singh//bud vases

i managed to clip a few flowers for our test tube bud vases (thanks mo). i could only get a few simple ones since i knew where they were in the dark and i didn’t have time to do the song and dance of turning on the outside lights on (our property is an acre!).  the french onion soup turned out well enough but since our day was chaotic i didn’t manage to heat up the broiler to a high enough temp by dinner time to get that delicious burned crispy look on top. 

Namrata Singh//soupe à l’oignon

we got use our wedding stuff for the first time so it was fun to set the table. (and um, we’re still working on our thank you cards. gulp.)

Namrata Singh//table setting

the other tragedy is after the first course i guess i started drinking a little too much wine (hehe)  and forgot to take pictures of the subsequent courses. so instead, i’ll leave you with one more gratuitous shot of that delicious cake.

 

Namrata Singh//good enough to eat 

the night was a success as our guests were hilarious, the food was gone and we were a tad hungover the next day.

19th october, 2011

OurHouse dinner party recipe Johannesburg
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springtime bonus post.

Namrata Singh//one of the many new blooms in our garden

it is springtime in the southern hemisphere so i thought i would share one of the many new flowers which are popping up around our estate yard. it looks like a veritable botany garden out there. i’ll share some of the more exotic flowers as summer gets closer. 

13th october, 2011 bonus post! 

johannesburg flowers OurHouse jhb
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diy retail therapy.

via oh joy! for hygge and west 

my need desire to exact aesthetic control over my surroundings started in berlin. in nyc i couldn’t even be bothered to unpack all of my boxes. in fact, my mom had to fly in a year into it and literally unpack  about a third of them for me. srsly. anyway, it might be silly to put so much effort and dollars/euros/rand into decorating spaces i rent and only live in for a few years. nevertheless it is a creative outlet, it creates a haven from the outside world and i can feel proud of it. in the fantastically democratic sphere of the internet there are tons of bloggers who i hit like an addict on a crack pipe take inspiration from on a daily basis. one person whose design aesthetic, style, and general bad-assery i obsess over admire is Joy D. Cho at oh joy!. let me tell you, that b*tch got talent. one of the millions of things that she does is design wallpaper (available at hygge and west). well, it sells for something like 125USD per teensy roll (get down girl, go ‘head…). when i did some rough calculations i found it would cost something like 800USD to cover the walls of our tiny entry way which has FOUR doors that dont even need covering. well i am a ridiculous person but not 800-bucks-for-a-rental-entryway ridiculous. imagine my ecstasy when some clicking around later i found her ‘stones throw away’ wallpaper (above) for 10, yes TEN USD per roll in the ‘wallpaper by the yard’ section at hygge and west in the champagne color. well i ordered ten rolls of that before p even knew what was happening. i can’t wait to show you what it looks like in the end. here’s hoping the shipment makes it! 

11th october, 2011

OurHouse diy hygge and west ohjoy! wallpaper
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Rhiney has a new home…
for those of you who never visited the berlin place, the beloved rhiney the rhinoceros used to hang in the old apartment on a little side wall….now she has a place which fits her regal personality. we painted the little display area above the fireplace a light sky blue and hung her up. i think she will be quite happy watching the happenings from her spot. i posted it from my hipstamatic app because 1) i wanted to celebrate the fact that my iphone (after 4, FOUR visits to vodacom) is up and running so i’m a real person again and 2) i didn’t want to show you too much of the living room until it is finished. 
9th october, 2011

Rhiney has a new home…

for those of you who never visited the berlin place, the beloved rhiney the rhinoceros used to hang in the old apartment on a little side wall….now she has a place which fits her regal personality. we painted the little display area above the fireplace a light sky blue and hung her up. i think she will be quite happy watching the happenings from her spot. i posted it from my hipstamatic app because 1) i wanted to celebrate the fact that my iphone (after 4, FOUR visits to vodacom) is up and running so i’m a real person again and 2) i didn’t want to show you too much of the living room until it is finished. 

9th october, 2011

Hipstamatic diy OurHouse
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painting + unpacking…a teensy sneak peak

Namrata Singh//our house in joburg

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we moved into our permanent place on saturday and this is a preview of our unpacking progress!! i painted directed the painting of the kitchen ceiling and the dining room. we still need to add a few things to the walls, and it will look more ‘styled’ (barf) with buds and succulents in those hanging vases but this is proof that we worked all weekend! now i need to motivate myself to unpack things which are not wedding gifts. srsly who gives a sh*t about crusty ikea utensils from berlin when your brand new le creuset paraphernalia are beckoning at you sexily from their perch on your kitchen countertop? god bless america and its wedding traditions.

also the windows in this house are huge and currently sparkling clean and curtain-less. so p stuck boxes and packing paper in the bedroom windows to cover them because it freaks him out at night so when i wake up i’m like oh i’m so glad we decided to MOVE INTO A SQUAT. especially because it’s still FREEZING in the mornings because the houses here have no real insulation (it’s the southern hemisphere, duh).  oh well, at least if i ever have to live in a real squat p will feel obligated to come we’ll be together. 

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3rd october, 2011

OurHouse RSA jhb diy bud vases
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going nuts over reasonably priced furniture that matches our aesthetic.

Source: brakfurniture.blogspot.com via Namrata on Pinterest

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we also placed an order for this.

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did i mention how much i’m loving south africa? 

jhb brakfurniture ourhouse
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