I’ve moved here (hit on the image):

banner for maritasays

I was going to write a really long entry here but then got bored with the idea so I’m keeping it pretty short, but not sweet.

I’m dropping wordpress. After about two years of struggling with uploading pictures and adding links and generally feeling not-so-smart I decided to migrate back to blogger. Where I started out a long time ago. Yes, I know.

So to all of you who’ve faithfully followed me here you can now read up on what I’m up to at http://www.itinerantbordeaux.blogspot.com/

Oh, yes, I changed the name and the style and some other stuff. You know, it was just time for MaritaSays to go rest. And lots of people who read this blog think I’m a lady, which is very incorrect.

So thanks for reading and for commenting and do continue to do so at Itinerant Bordeaux.


Wild Bounty

It’s organic, it’s all grown in Western Cape and (my favorite part) if you don’t use it within a week it starts going all soft. It’s real food!

In an effort to eat better and to reduce our carbon footprint we started ordering a weekly basket from Wild Organics here in Woodstock. It’s a group of people who source and supply locally grown and organic produce to people in the Cape Town area. Every Wednesday they deliver the produce to a few select spots around the city where you can go pick it up.

Since then, Wednesday is our highlight of the week. After I’m done teaching in the morning we head over to Bird’s Café (on foot of course) to pick up our bounty. And what a bounty it is! In our first we got avos, salad leaves, baby cabbage, sprouts, spring onions, carrots, cilantro, apples, young potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas and strawberries. The meals we prepared with it were incredible, everything tasted right and fresh.

If you live in Cape Town and feel like food that’s real, get in touch with them. They deliver once a week and the prices are pretty comparable to local stores. You also support local industries and it’s a great opportunity to eat more seasonal.

We just received our new bag two days ago and already I am looking forward to the next one!

birthday slut brownies

It’s Alexander’s first birthday as a married man. I baked him brownies for breakfast dessert.  I used Lindt 85% Cocoa chocolate, of course. And the reason for my being so crass is reading too much Dlisted. Here are some other birthday sluts.


I am a husband!

breakfast crumble

While paging through a magazine or reading over blogs I often spot a recipe I want to make right then and there. But the problem is that I usually do not have all the ingredients on hand to do it right away or I am simply not at home and in no position to rush home and start cooking. So it was with great joy that I read this recipe for Nectarine Crumble on 80Breakfasts a few nights ago.

I’ve mentioned how we’re struggling without decent internet here in SA, we really are in dark ages when it comes to that kind of technology, so I often open up a few pages at the internet café and then come home and read them. Last night, after dinner, I opened the notebook to check out what Joey’s been within minutes I was in the kitchen, preparing for the next morning’s breakfast.

Now I would never have considered eating crumble for breakfast. The mere idea is even too decadent for even me, but when I read her reasoning, “When it comes to breakfast, I see no reason why we need to limit ourselves to what is traditionally considered to be breakfast food. What is one country’s dessert, or another country’s lunch (Filipino breakfasts have rice and meat and egg and condiments!), may be your country’s breakfast.” I enjoyed rice porridge for breakfast in Thailand, so why not a sweet and rich crumble for breakfast in Cape Town?

I still did not have all the ingredients that Joey used in hers, but I had most of it and I decided to wing the rest. Instead of nectarines, I used pears. I did not have any wheat pastry flour so I used regular and instead of nuts I pulsed some of our homemade muesli and worked that into the crumble. I prepared the crumble the night before and left it in the refrigerator.

The next morning I prepared my fruits as per her recipe, adding a little of the ginger candy we made, and let it stand for a bit while preheating the oven. By the time Alexander was awake I had a lovely dark pear crumble ready for dessert.

Now I have to admit that mine did not come out perfect. I think I used a tad too much butter, so it was a little gooey, but it tasted superb! Rich and dark from the muscovado, with an almost granola-like taste and texture to the crumble and sweet pears and sharp ginger candy underneath. We topped it with some Bulgarian yogurt which provided the perfect level of sour to counter all the richness and sweetness.

breakfast crumble and xander

Thanks Joey for the inspiration and for proving that when it comes to breakfast, anything goes, as long as it tastes good. And this sure did!

Today we are leaving our Bangkok apartment for the last time. Everything has been packed up and sold or shipped, leaving behind bare walls and empty spaces. The last couple of days our apartment resembled the same apartment we moved into in August of last year; just a lot of empty space.

As we are saying goodbye to one home…


… we say hello to some new temporary ones.


We will be on the road again for a couple of months, traveling to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and potentially Singapore. We have decided it was time to make a move again, and what better way to start a move than by going traveling?

I’m sad about the fact that I won’t be able to bake or sew again. But excited about the new places we’ll be going to and the much bigger journey lying ahead. I will also try to catch up on some old writing during this time and of course update you on our journey.

Goodbye then Bangkok, home for a year, and hello new adventures!

Pudding seems to be a bit of a national obsession here in Taiwan. It’s something that I was only vaguely aware of when I lived here. Kids bringing little cups of pudding to school to snack on, pudding being added to milk tea, and pudding popsicles. But I never thought about it much until my ever-aware boyfriend pointed out how it is everywhere. Pudding drinks at 7/11, notebooks with pudding cartoon characters, pudding on shaved ice, pudding candy. It is literally everywhere!

So when I decided to bake some muffins inspired by something local I did not spend a long time pondering inspiration. It was going to be pudding muffins. Which turned out to be more like cupcakes, and they looked horrible to be quite honest. So I’m going to be very honest with you here, I did a lot editing on these in Photoshop.


As I have not had time to bake them again and perfect my recipe I decided to only blog the images for now.

I used a lemon poppy seed muffin recipe, but did not add enough pudding flavoring, so they ended up being very plain. I also attempted to make brown food coloring for the tops by mixing red and green, or red and blue, I forget, and it came out looking rather gray. That is where the editing came in handy.

After baking and cooling the muffins I cut off the tops and turned them upside down to resemble the popular local pudding.

I know this is being very lazy of me, editing pictures, not posting a proper recipe and all that. But I promise I will make amends and bake them again and make them look real pretty and have everything ready right from the start and blog a decent recipe with un-edited pictures soon, maybe!


Most street food options in Hanoi offer only one dish, and because the cook spends all his or her time preparing only this one dish, it is pretty much invariably great. Restaurants are where you go for a more varied menu. An exception to this though is Cha Ca Thanh Long, a popular family restaurant specializing in one of my new favorite fish dishes- cha ca.

Not only does the dish meld some terrific flavors like turmeric, ginger, fennel and green onions, the preparation is an exciting interactive process. A gas camp stove gets set on the table plus a deep saucepan and the ingredients- marinated fish, fresh dill and loads of green onion. A waiter heats oil in the pan, adds the fish and cooks it for a while before lowering the flame and adding handfuls of greens.

He scoops some of this into your bowl, which already contains some vermicelli noodles, and adds some roasted peanuts and raw green onions. You flavor the dish a little more yourself with some spice infused fish sauce and dig in.

It’s a fantastic meal and one I knew I’d have to try at home. Making cha ca was much easier than I expected and for a first attempt I think it turned out really well.


So here’s what you need to collect:

– 500g de-boned fish fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces

– 250g vermicelli noodles

– 1 cup roughly chopped dill

– 1 cup roughly chopped green onions (plus a little more for serving

– 4 tablespoon roasted peanuts

– 2 tablespoon fish sauce

– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

– 2 teaspoons powdered garlic

– 2 teaspoons minced garlic

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

And here is what you do:

For the marinade- mix 1 tablespoon of the oil, the fish sauce, turmeric, garlic, pepper and ginger in a bowl and mix well. Cover the fish in the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Cook your vermicelli noodles, divide it between bowls and set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in a wok or deep saucepan until very hot and add the fish. Fry for a coupe of minutes until cooked and lower the heat, add the dill and greens and stir through. Remove from the heat, top the noodles and serve with side dishes of peanuts and some fresh green onions.


For additional flavoring, mix together a little fish sauce (you can add some water if the strong is too much), vinegar, sugar, chili and garlic to serve on the side and add to the dish. I can unfortunately not give any accurate ingredients or explanations for this, I was not paying attention when I made it, just taste testing.

It may sound like a bit of a mission, but the dish was actually extremely easy to make and it’s something I am most certainly going to try again very soon.

Why, it’s fabric? Six new pieces of fabric!

Early in December Alexander, a co-worker and I went to Chatuchak and I found a fabric store selling variety of beautiful pieces of cloth. I splurged on these three.

I cannot pick a favorite, I love them all and had a hard time not buying more, there were so many lovely pieces.

And then there are the fabric I got from our Christmas guest, Tim. For someone who only knew me through my blog and on Facebook he brought the perfect gift and made an excellent selection.

March is going to be full of flights, both domestic and international, and I think I’ll need a thematic bag to hold my travel documents and in-flight reading. This is just the fabric for such a bag.

Alexander claimed this piece the moment I unfolded it. I’ll have to start thinking what to make for him.

And this one says summer. Wouldn’t you agree?

I do see endless sewing possibilities in the near future!

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