A visit to Babylonstoren

“Babylonstoren” is the name of one of the oldest farms in the Cape. The name tower of Babylon or Babel refers to the ziggurat of Etemenanki  and the photograph below of Bruegel’s conceptualization gives you the ziggurat type mountain side on the farm Babylonstoren.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, The Tower of Babel, 1563, oil on panel, 114 x155 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The “ziggurat” mountain on the farm “Babylonstoren”.

However, there is more to it than just the about shape of a hillock. After the Cape had out-run its purpose for the Dutch East India company to simply serve as a revictualing station for their East Indian trade and was eventually “colonized”, farms were established on the land and to run these enterprises Khoikhoi and slave labourers from the East were employed bringing with them a symphony of languages.

Layout of the farm.
Colleen, Rood, Retha and Mia.
Entrance area with the ziggurat mountain in the middle field.
Fish ponds with waterblommetjies (Aponogeton distachyos) – also called Cape pondweed – indigenous Khoikhoi food.

Fingerlunch outside the Conservatory.

The Conservatory …
… made in France.

Alongside the river you walk through a shaded shrubbery housing some nine thousand clivia plants with an amazing range of flower shapes and colours from pale yellow, yellow, to orange and deep red.

The “tower of Babel” in the background.
The homestead.

This was our first visit to Babylonstoren. Thanks, Retha and Rood for your invitation to lunch and Mia for charming companionship. We will come again and spend more time in the gardens and report in more detail.

With love
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, October 30, 2012

Montagu Brunch

Preparing a little brunch pan
the tomatoe mix

Brunch pan for 4
5 ripe but firm tomatoes, cut into cubes (remove the green centre)
Herbs – parsley, spring onions (plus fresh finely chopped garlic and fresh garlic only) and/or dried sweet basil, sprinkled over the tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Some feta cheese, crumbled over the chopped tomatoes
All the above according to your taste – add whatever you like, such as smoked paprika powder or a handful of grated Peccorino or some other of your herb mixtures.
Eggs – 4 or five eggs, some sour cream if you have, a dash of salt and a dash of water, stir gently with a fork, just to break the yolks, no need to whisk.
Heat your pan, add a blob of butter or some olive oil or both. Add the spiced chopped tomatoes, topping it with the eggs.
Close the pan with a lid, keep it on medium heat and do not disturb for the next 15 minutes.
Serve it with finely chopped herbs (plus more fresh garlic, if you dare), rye bread on butter or toast according to your taste.

Voilà – an easy and most satisfying brunch dish for you and your friends.

With love from
Colleen & Walter

Betty’s Bay, 1 February 2011