Hastings on Food Stuffed aubergines with vegetables and herbed couscous

2016-03-24 06:00

SALUTATIONS. When deliberated, one’s memory can only be described as genuinely astonishing possibly even fringing on an enduring phenomenon. The storage in the filing cabinet of our minds can be described as a super biological computer whose complexities are far more enduring than simple recollections.

For instance to remember how to ride a bike or tie our shoe laces comes from one portion of our mind, whereas the safety of riding the same bike as well as the necessity to keep our laces tied comes from another. The directions we steer the bike comes from another portion while the apprehension and nervousness we experience when confronted with possible danger from the bike or the laces comes from another.

All in all it has to do with visual, mechanical, audial and emotional occurrences.

I can still vividly recall when I swam in the fish pond on my first day of primary school, yet can’t remember what I had for breakfast two weeks ago. Commonly described as our short and long-term memory skills.

Yes, indeed our memory computer - aka the brain - is indisputably the greatest complicated sophisticated machine imaginable or unimaginable. Its composition has more than 100 billion nerve cells each of which forms as many as 10 000 connections with other neurons. It weighs in at about 1.5kg or about one percent of the body weight of a normal individual. It uses 25% of the body’s oxygen as well as a substantial amount of calories in the form of blood sugar glucose. It is the critical neurotransmitter for each and every feeling or thought we experience and over half of the 30 000 or so genes in our bodies are committed to building and operating the central nervous system of the spinal cord as well as the brain. It makes us distinctively human and the continuous signals sent speed along at over 200 miles per hour

Our brains are so complex that more than 1 000 different disorders of the nervous system result in more hospitalisations than any other disease group, including heart disease and cancer.

One of the highest causes of death is due to brain damage after having a stroke, emotional depression is the greatest disability for adults under 45, and sadly worldwide, suicides outnumber homicides by almost two to one.

Elder adults suffer from Alzheimer’s as well as other neurodegenerative diseases and the very young suffer more today from autism and related disorders than decades ago.

When constructing the formidable complexity of the human mind, it is important for all of us to understand that a newborn child’s brain is not a miniature version of an adults brain. It is a developing work in progress, similar to scaffolding during construction, an initial framework of delicate interneuron wiring is present at birth, preset by the generic blueprints of nature provided by the parents and the all too important period of nervous system development cannot be ignored. As brain building begins to dwindle around the mid- to late teen years, failure to get the proper stimulation can result in tragic consequences.

I fondly recall many late night encounters in my youth listening to the formidable B-52s whereby certain mornings were spent deep cleaning the kitchen freezers so that the chill could sort out the numerous cobwebs, stuck in the brain. Subsequently one of the band members, Kate Pierson, started her own motel set in nine acres of beautiful surroundings in the Catskill mountains of New York. Her concept has been to make the art décor mind- blowing rock-your-socks-off set in fifties style, with a relaxed atmosphere, guests staying there are her best form of advertising as the concept is not really found anywhere else.

Alternatively, if you enjoy being compared to an ice block then the 6 000 square metre ice hotel in Jukkasjarvi in Sweden is for you. The whole hotel is carved from ice and snow and the temperature varies between -4°C and -9°C. Personally although it must be very formidable, I can hardly imagine honeymooners choosing this location. Guests sleep in thermal sleeping bags laid out on ice- carved beds, and I’m sure that hot-based drinks take preference in the bars and restaurants.

The Fox Hotel in Copenhagen was created by Volkswagen in their effort to promote a car and 21 artists were commissioned to create 61 unique rooms with a range of décor, including bordering on the kitsch. While the Vasteras in Sweden is more my type of place, it is situated on Lake Malaren near Stockholm where guests are taken out in an inflatable boat to a small red house where they spend the night on their own island escape sleeping three metres underwater with panoramic windows in every direction, making one’s stay more of an aquatic experience than just staying in a hotel.

If tree hugging is your thing then the green magic nature resort in Kerela India is perfect for you, guests stay in tree houses set in the rainforest 30 metres off the ground. Each suite is made from eco-friendly materials and uses alternate energy sources, using no conventional electricity. They are fully equipped with the usual amenities and their focus is for guests to experience the surrounding flora and fauna.

Additionally closer to home is the famous Burj Al – Arab in Dubai, the all-suite luxury hotel with rain showers in each room, resembles a billowing sail, it is over 300 metres high and is built on a man-made island, stimulating and expensive it is the world’s only 7-star hotel whereby guests can dine under the stars or underwater. There are reception desks on each floor and the price tag is likely to burn a hole in one’s pocket.

So from hotel rooms set as class rooms, refurbished planes, helicopters, buses, boathouses, drainpipes, coffins, giant shoes, lighthouses, trains, prison cells, igloos, red cubes set in the middle of nowhere, to entertainment which includes dancing pigs, sheep shearing, suspension bridges, zip slides, diving, wake boarding, and various survival modules, hotels have certainly evolved from just a bed, TV and phone to the facilities of today, all prescribed to encourage one thing only - extraordinary experiences, whereby our staff can make spontaneous decisions without retribution, not have to refer to higher management or fill in countless request forms as long as it adds to the overall atmosphere and is always in the best interest of the client.



•4 aubergines cut in half and scooped out


•olive oil

•chopped garlic

•chopped onions

•diced red, green, and yellow peppers

•diced baby marrow

•diced artichoke bottoms (tinned)

•diced tomatoes

•cooked couscous (best to whisk in a bowl with a little boiling water)

•mixed herbs

•Khoisan sea salt

•rainbow pepper

•goats cheese


•Sauté the onions and garlic

•Add the peppers

•Add the baby marrow

•Add the tomato

•Cook further

•Remove from heat

•Allow the mixture to cool slightly

•Mix together with the couscous

•Season to taste

•Spoon the mixture into the aubergine shells

•Sprinkle with the goats cheese

•Bake in a preheated oven for about 20 minutes.

The variations of what to fill the aubergines are endless and can be made to one’s personal preferences, additionally pumpkins and large marrows can also be used as a base for the filling.

The storage in the
filing cabinet of our minds can be
described as a super
biological computer whose complexities are far more enduring than simple
recollections. All in all it has to do with
visual, mechanical audial and emotional

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