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Cooking at the Antbear Guest House

Meals are part of the real surprises that the Antbear has to offer where home grown cooking is part of the deal. We like to use our own home grown organic vegetables and if we haven't got, then we lean heavily on those local providers with similar attitudes to our own. Conny and Andrew both like cooking and are up to changing just about anything to suit tastes or philosophies. Our cooking experience is in part a journal, a record of events and memories expressed in recipes. In the course of our travels we have filed away many recipes and with them images of people and places and their lives. How food tastes has much to do with the associations we make and if you would like to hear the tales of our meals we would love to tell them.

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In the parts of North Africa that border the Mediterranean a mild climate favors agriculture. Olives and wheat historically grow well here and a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Nomadic flatbreads like Lavash are made of wheat and barley flour and are baked on a griddle over a hot fire. Together with red chilies, cumin, garlic and legumes, vegetables and meat from lamb or chicken are often slow cooked in a tagine: this is a traditional Moroccan clay pot that's laid over the coals of the same open fire. Our variation was served with a carrot and olive salad with chilled prickly pears and ice-cream for desert.

Bread is something of a passion at the Antbear and it is not seldom that a few different home made breads land on your table. Sometimes just for fun we make this special pot baked maize bread with a gentle sprinkling of sesame seeds to complement the crispy crust. This bread goes down really well with a bottle of chilled white wine and some garlic butter. Mostly our bread is made from whole wheat that we ground ourselves. Breakfasts with fresh bread or scones are also just hard to beat.

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"Naan" which came to India with the ancient Persians is the Mid-Eastern word for bread. Naan is a leavened bread made from fine white flour and yogurt, which ferments the dough and adds the flavour. Naan are traditionally baked by slapping the dough onto the side of a hot, dome shaped oven called a Tandoor. As we don't have a tandoor we have improvised to laying clay bricks into our wood stove by which we get a near to perfect substitute. Our naan normally accompanies any of our many varieties of curries that we serve. Andrew likes Indian food so its something that turns up fairly regularly on the menu and he has even been know to make everything himself right down to the lemon pickle. Watch it this guy is a curry fanatic.

Sometimes a roasted home grown chicken is just hard to beat lightly stuffed with nuts and rosemary and lots of garlic. This kind of home cooking done in a Roma pot was known especially to the Italians for centuries. Its really best sometimes just to stay with tradition and leave out the experiments.

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Having spent 15 years in Germany and with Conny being German, its hardly surprising that Andrew has developed skills in this cuisine too. His home made sauerkraut and cheese sausage served on a bed of mashed potato is as good as the German bratwurst that is obtained from a local German sausage maker.

So plan for slow and decadent dinners by candlelight prepared by your hosts Andrew and Conny. Sometimes it’s a Moroccan spread including a genuine Moroccan tagine prepared on wood coals or maybe it’s a surprise of just how delightful Chinese food can be. Breakfast is served with freshly baked bread and scones and often it becomes a 2 hour affair.