The Bandit has already scoffed one of Annette's jam and butter vetkoek when he spots a graceful tannie, head tilted back slightly, her unfocused blue eyes pools of unashamed bliss, her lips parted slightly in anticipation of another steaming spoonful of cinnamon- and sugar-sprinkled melkkos.
'Tis the time of year to use that most dreadful of all jolly season affectations - 'tis.
It's only summer when the watermelons hit the shelves.
Having embroidered an afternoon fantasy starring smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, petit fours, biscuits, pecan tart and cream-laden freshly baked scones topped with strawberry jam, the Bandit sets about making it a reality.
Monday lunchtime and the Bandit, in no mood to suffer fools, opts for safety and security with a raid on The Pudding Shop at Cucina di Ciro's, No43 7th Avenue, Parktown North.
The Bandit painstakingly hand- picks a crew perfectly suited to a raid on Bryanston's uber-swish, ultra-stylish and fingerlickingly sexy La Campagnola restaurant.
A crew led by the formidably fabulous Jacaranda City jazz diva Demisemiquaver hits the Hazel Food Market at the Greenlyn Village Centre, corner Thomas Edison and Mackenzie streets, Menlo Park.
A moment of culinary excellence, all simple elegance, punctuates Princess Discerning's matric valedictory celebrations.
The road is long, with many a . An attempted 8.30am raid on the Neighbourhood Goods Market in Juta Street, Braamfontein, proves the early bird doesn't always catch the worm.
Overwhelmed by the apparently infinite number of arrangements necessary these days to ensure a memorable matric farewell, the Bandit takes refuge in the kitchen.
Heritage Day and a new purchase - a GTI with brushed titanium finish and go-faster stripes for free nogal - saves the Bandit the trouble of having to hunt down the ideal roll for the beautiful Distraction's evening boerie.
Meat-free Monday and the beautiful Distraction's green fingers have made raids redundant - at least, that is, until the family has done the current bounty from her vegetable garden some justice.
With time, that most delicious of luxuries, on their hands, the Bandit and the beautiful Distraction head slowly north over the Hennops River on the R511 towards Hartbeespoort Dam.
The instore food outlet at Pick n Pay's first hypermarket, in Boksburg of all places, ranked high on the hit list of the Bandit's well-spent East Rand youth.
Friday evening and Central One bar and restaurant, at the Radisson Blu Gautrain hotel, is hovering on the brink of buzzing.
AFLEETING visit to Cape Town provides a mixed bag of raids and skirmishes.
'Divine Dining sends his regards."
A fully briefed crew goes west, armed and prepared for every eventuality thanks to the ruthlessly efficient beautiful Distraction.
'You can't remember the name, you've got no directions except that it's Italian and on the way or somewhere close to the Dome, you've left the map book at home and the battery for your camera - the camera we've just had to drive back home for - is flat. What do you want me to say?" demands the beautiful Distraction.
Despite it being on the crew's doorstep, the Bandit decides to raid the local, Kyalami Country Pub and Restaurant, venue over the past eight years for most infrequent pow-wows between the joint heads of the family concerning the presentation of a unified broad front on small but nonetheless vital matters of clan discipline.
Faced with a choice between half a dozen boerie stands, the Riversands chicken pie caravan and a Chip n Dip outlet, the Bandit decides to employ a yardstick proven on a recent trip to Italy to be foolproof in the sourcing of pretty damn fine roadside grub.
The Bandit is rumbled. A mere five minutes into an early morning "before" shufty of the breakfast wittles at the Radisson Blu hotel in Sandton, new culinary home to highly acclaimed chef David Higgs, and the gig's up.
THANKS to his gracious hosts, it is with great ease and an unequal grace that the Bandit, a singularly PR-unfriendly being at best - the worst of it not being fit for print - makes it through to the finale of mineral water Acqua Panna's PR and branding offensive Tuscan Days, the jaw-dropping follow-up to the S Pellegrino Cooking Cup in Venice just over a week ago.
THE first-sip rasp of an intense single shot of espresso topped with a grappa saves the Bandit from having to abuse his body with yet another pinch.
SQUINTING into the harsh, taut shimmer of Highveld winter light, the Bandit sets out on a late-morning quest for a decent boerie roll.