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.
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.
"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
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.