Dinner at Myra and Rick’s

On Tuesday night we had dinner at Myra and Rick’s. They are a lovely South African couple that we’ve known for around six and a half years; Jac’s house-sat for them and looked after their menagerie of two brindle staffies (staffordshire terriers), two cats and two tanks of fish. They are more than just “the people Jac house-sits for”, they’ve become our friends. Myra is a brilliant cook. I’ve loved everything she’s cooked. At a previous dinner at their house Myra served a dish of tender falling-off-the-bone lamb shanks, with a delicious baked polenta dish. On one occasion that Jac house-sat and I stayed over as well, Myra left us a spicy pork and broad bean dish in the fridge that I just couldn’t stop eating. So anyway, when Jac told me we’d been invited over for dinner this week I was very excited and was really looking forward to another yummy meal.

So, what did we have on Tuesday night? A big Greek salad, with the tastiest grape tomatoes! I must’ve eaten at least a dozen of those tomatoes.

Greek salad

We also enjoyed a basket of fresh, crisp garlic bread fresh out of the oven…

Garlic bread

Our main course was a chicken and broccoli casserole, which had been baked in the oven with a crunchy topping of cornflakes. The chicken was tender and the broccoli perfectly done (i.e. not too green-tasting or hard or too soft or mushy at all) and the gravy was just beautiful, but that crunchy topping of cornflakes was my favourite part of the dish. I don’t eat cornflakes for breakfast, but I felt that I should buy some just so that I could sprinkle generous amounts over the top of any future savoury, ovenbaked dishes we might make!

Chicken and broccoli casserole

Myra told us that the casserole is actually an old South African recipe (she said it didn’t really have a name – I did ask because I thought some of you might ask!). It was so good I had about three helpings in between sucking down those yummy grape tomatoes. Lucky Rick would’ve taken the leftovers to work for lunch!

Chicken and broccoli casserole, dug up

My plate, round one.

My plate

We sat around and chatted, ate peaches in syrup with vanilla ice cream for dessert (well, the others did, I didn’t), and after that we all looked at the photos from Jac’s holiday in November (the photos were on a cd, and we viewed them on Rick and Myra’s dvd player, with Jac providing commentary and me driving the remote). We got home just after eleven, and unfortunately for Jac I was a little over-tired and very crabby. I got a little panicky about not getting enough sleep* because I was teaching my first class of semester the next day. But it all worked out fine. My class on Wednesday was great fun, and the Thursday arvo one was good too.

*I have been waking up on uni days at 4:30am so that I can fit in 40 minutes exercise on the aerofit before getting ready for uni. I’ve been getting up at this ungodly hour because I often feel too tired and/or lazy to exercise when I get home from uni. Apart from having to get to bed early on weeknights, it’s working really well, I think. Jac reckons I’m nuts (she would never even consider getting up at 4:30 in the morning just to exercise!) but I feel really good every day knowing that I’ve already done 40 minutes’ worth of exercise before even thinking about breakfast.

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