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Newsletter #100 - May 20, 2005


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Greetings everyone!  And a special welcome to all the new subscribers!

As you can see, this is Newsletter #100! Wow, been a long time getting here! Thanx to all you subscribers as well as all the new friends I made through the newsletter. Thanx also to the contributors to my interactive pages, amongst others I think we have the longest Elephant Stew recipe on the Internet!

I was wondering what the food theme was going to be for this newsletter and I eventually decided to feature some of my own favourite recipes, so here goes: As a starter I would go for Melkkos (Milk Noodles). For a soup I choose bean soup. It was a firm favourite in our house when I was still at school and I still love it. My choice for fish would be pickled fish, like the Malay folk prepare it in the Cape, of course! I will feature more than one meat dish, the first being Bobotie and also braised liver with onions. I am also a great curry lover, my choice here would be Breyani and beef curry. My curry must be hot, but not "Durban" hot!! I am not a veggie lover, but I do prefer pan fried sweet potatoes and pumpkin fritters. And now for my favourite, the pudding!! My alltime favourite is Bread and Butter pudding and Cape Brandy pudding. To end off my perfect meal I would like to have a Koeksister or two.

The recipes for the above dishes are at the bottom of this newsletter, so scroll down and start planning your menu!

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day but I couldn't find any.

Want to make some great internet friends? I have a small number of vacancies in my Yahoo group. We are small group of friends from all over the world. Guys or gals welcome, age in the region of 45 and older. Must be an active member and be willing to sometimes be flooded by emails! If you want to know more email me giving name, age, country and a short bio.
If want to meet some great friends this could be for you!

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A man's car broke down as he was driving past a beautiful old monastery. He walked up the drive and knocked on the front door. A monk answered listened to the man's story and graciously invited him to spend the night.
The monks fed him and led him to a tiny chamber in which to sleep. The man
slept serenely until he was awakened by a strange and beautiful sound. It was the most beautiful sound he had ever heard.
The next morning, as the monks were repairing his car, he asked about the sound that had woke him. "We're sorry," the monks said. "We can't tell you about the sound. You're not a monk."
Disappointed, the man went on his way and pondered the source of the alluring sound for several years. One day he again stopped at the monastery, and explained to the monks that he had so enjoyed his previous stay that he wondered if he might be permitted to spend another night under their peaceful roof. Late that night, he again
heard the strange, beautiful sound. It was the most beautiful and calming sound he had ever heard. The following morning he begged the monks to explain the sound but he monks gave him the same answer as before.
"We're sorry. We can't tell you about the sound. You're not a monk." By now the
man's curiosity had turned to obsession. He decided to give up everything to become a monk, for that was the only way he could learn about the sound.
He informed the monks of his decision and began the long and arduous task of
becoming one of them.
Seventeen long years later, the man was finally established as a true member of the order. When the celebration ended, he humbly went to the leader of the order and asked to be told the source of the sound.
Silently, the old monk led the new monk to a huge wooden door. He opened the door with a golden key. The door swung open to reveal a second door, this one of silver, then a third of gold and so on until they had passed through twelve doors, each more magnificent than the last. The new monk's face was awash with tears of joy as he finally beheld the wondrous source of the beautiful and mysterious sound he had heard so many years before....

But I can't tell you what it was. You're not a monk.

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Two termites walk into a bar. One asks, "Is the bar tender here?"

Remember the good old days of Springbok Radio? Tracy-lee sent me the link to the Pumamouse site and it brought back some fond memories. I have made it my Featured site, so scroll down and take a walk down memory lane. In the meantime,
right click here and download the small soundfile  and remember the good old days!

Justice --- When you get what you deserve
Mercy ----- When you don't get what you deserve
Grace ----- When you get what you don't deserve

Popcorn - Healthy or Junk Food?

It's amazing how much popcorn has invaded our lifestyle. The advent of the microwave made it a super-easy snack. How healthy is popcorn for you?

First, did you realize that popcorn was enjoyed by South American cultures thousands of years ago? Popcorn was not invented for Thanksgiving by American colonists :) To ancient peoples, corn was a critical part of daily life. There was even a god of Corn. His headdress was a wreath of popcorn. As you might imagine, a culture that worshipped corn learned how to make corn meal, corn bread, corn muffins, popcorn, and anything else you could possibly do with corn. There was even corn soup, popcorn beer, and more.

The reason corn pops is that there is about 14% water inside the kernel. The kernel is a "corn seed" that has everything a new corn plant needs to grow - starch, sugar, and water. When you heat that kernel up, the water turns into steam and POP - it explodes.

But on to nutrition. Corn isn't exactly a powerhouse of nutrition. For hard-working cultures, it provided easy energy for long days of farming. In modern times, the most we do is walk to the fridge to "hunt for food". So when you look at popcorn, it isn't great. If you're lucky it has around 2% Vitamin C, and 6% Iron. It also has a whopping 23g of carbs, with only 6g of those being sugar. And that's for a quarter cup! Really, a kernel of popcorn is a little bundle of energy, to help a seed grow. To humans that don't need more energy, that'll be stored as fat quite nicely.

Most people do not eat a 1/4 cup of popcorn. They eat the entire bag. That gets you into the range of 50g-100g depending on how the popcorn is flavored. If you go into a movie theater it's even worse - even the smallest sized bags are full of popcorn and usually we add on butter-flavored goop to it. That means that not only are we consuming a ton of carbs, but we're adding saturated fats to the blend.

That all being said, I like popcorn. It's easy to make, it's hot, it smells wonderful, and it's natural. Compared to the other artificial junk food on the market, at least with popcorn you're eating a normal vegetable. So if your choice was between sugar-filled candy bars or popcorn, I'd go for the popcorn. But if you actually had a bit more control over the situation, I'd go with nuts if you were in a salty mood - or with celery sticks if you were in a crunchy mood. With popcorn being loaded with carbs and having pretty much no nutrition, you are only harming yourself by putting these things into your mouth.

Lisa Shea - BellaOnline's Low Carb Editor

Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

It is my opinion that the best things to come out of the USA are Coke and hamburgers, I found the following on the Internet:

Some Burger History

Chopped or minced beef is certainly not a new innovation. It's long been used in savory meat pies dating back to ancient times. Beef tartare, consisting of finely chopped raw steak or high-quality beef mixed with various herbs and spices, dates back to Russian medieval times. The Tartars were known to shred their meat and eat it raw. These days the raw experience is enhanced by the addition of a raw egg placed in an indentation on top of the mound of seasoned raw beef.

Take the idea of tartare to the fire, and voila! Hamburgers. Although the term hamburger is derived from the city in Germany, the original Hamburg steak was a piece of meat which was pounded until tender, not chopped or ground. The hamburg shows up in print in 1834 in America on the menu at New York's Delmonico Restaurant, where Hamburg steak was a prominent item. The burger on a bun is claimed to be the concoction of Charles and Frank Menches. It seems these two vendors ran out of sandwich pork at the Erie County Fair in 1885 and switched to beef.

In the late 19th century, Dr. James Henry Salisbury came up with chopped beef patties to cure Civil War soldiers sufferering from "camp diarrhea." The patties were made of meat from disease-free animal muscle fibers with no fat, cartilage or connective tissues, seasoned, and broiled. Dr. Salisbury advocated eating beef three times a day for a healthy constitution. The term "Salisbury steak" dates back in print to 1897, and is considered a forerunner of the current hamburger.

By 1902, hamburger had evolved to the meat being put twice through a grinder and mixed with onion and pepper, much closer to the hamburger we know and love today. By 1912, the hamburger as ground beef on a yeast roll had caught on, and the term burger soon stretched to include other meat and seafood cooked meat sandwiches. Cheese as a topper shows up in print at least as far back as 1938. The distinction of being the first hamburger stand belongs to White Castle whose first store opened in Wicheta, Kansas in 1921.

Hamburgers on a bun are the ground beef form most consumed by Americans, with the average consumption being three hamburgers a week per person. However, enterprising cooks have come up with a variety of new ways to use ground beef in other home-cooked meals.

Click here for more great burger recipes and suggestions

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A sandwich walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Sorry we don't serve food in here."


Search my website, type in any key word and if that word is on my site you will see it in the results, search for recipes, ingredients, place names etc




The Herb Section -  Ginger

Ginger is grown mainly in the tropics, with the best ginger coming from Jamaica.
Ginger is one of the easiest plants to grow, and is also attractive in your garden.
Please note that ornamental ginger is not edible.
Ginger needs deeply dug soil and lots of compost. Plant in full sun, although a little afternoon shade is okay. Give the plants a twice weekly soaking. Flowers appear in summer, and then all watering must stop to enable the leaves to die down. Don't cut them off, they must die down on their own, returning nourishment to the swollen root.
Ginger is harvested in July. Carefully lift the tubers with a fork, and rinse them in cold water.
Freshly grated fresh tubers can be stored in brown grape vinegar in a dark bottle.
They love to be planted near lilies, hostas and elephant ears.

Ginger tea is wonderful for respiratory ailments and nausea, even the nausea associated with chemotherapy.
It is excellent for colic, flatulence, poor peripheral circulation, lack of energy, diarrhoea and nervous exhaustion.
Medical tests have proven ginger helps to lower high cholesterol.
Make a tea using 2 - 4 teaspoons of thinly sliced ginger root in a cup of boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes and sweeten with honey, if preferred. Leave the ginger in the cup, and chew a little of it while drinking the tea.
Ginger circulatory cream (recipe below) massaged into the hands and feet, are good for cold hands and feet.

Add thinly sliced fresh ginger to fish dishes.
Make your own ginger beer with fresh ginger.
Marinades, soups and sauces are enhanced by this precious spice.

Ginger added to a foot bath, helps to deodorise smelly feet and also softens hard skin.
Thinly sliced, or grated ginger, added to your bath stimulates circulation and helps to remove toxins from your body. Remember, ginger can irritate sensitive skins, so always test the mixture first on the inside of your wrists.

Leftover grated ginger can be added to spent coffee grounds, and sprinkled under tender plants to kill snails.
Sprinkle ginger powder and cayenne pepper to deter ants and mice.

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Thanks to everyone who has mailed us fridge magnets depicting your State, City or Country. If you collect fridge magnets, I will gladly swop with you!
 Please email me and we can make arrangements. Thanx a lot!

My website highlights:

Add your sarmie to my Wacky Sarmies page
Check out the Animal Facts page
I have a Gallery with great pics!
Elephant Stew - add to the recipe
Add to my Cocktails collection
Visit my Afrikaans pages
South African food and products overseas? Click here!


Why not post a message on the Discussion Forum. The topic can be food, wildlife, travel or photography related, or anything else of interest. Let's see if we can get some interesting discussions going


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Looking for a specific South African recipe? Email me and I will do my best to find it for you!


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A website devoted to my many varied interests, including South African OTR, South African TV, the USA, my original manuscripts (featuring Sherlock Holmes), my original musical compositions, recipes, needlework, personal observations, assorted other hobbies, and nostalgia.

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When you have had a look at the recipes below, click here to visit the main recipe page on my site. 

Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now,
Take care,

If you are ecer in the Ceres area why not take a break and enjoy a great cuppa coffee!...and send friends and family back home an email greeting!


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The Recipes
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Melkkos (Milk Noodles)

My mother used to make this dish for us as a light supper, try it, it's delicious! To save time you can also use readymade thin ribbon noodles, but I am told the dish tastes better with self made noodles.

500 ml bread flour
5 ml salt
2 eggs
1.5 litres milk
30 ml butter
Cinnamon sugar (mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar)

Sift the flour and salt together. Beat the eggs well the add 250 ml of the milk and mix well. Stir in the sifted flour mixture and add just enough milk to form a stiff dough. Knead until elastic, then roll the dough out thinly on a floured board. Sprinkle the dough with additional flour and cut into 3 mm wide strips to make noodles. Heat the remaining milk to boiling point. Add the noodles and butter and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the noodles are cooked. Ladle the melkkos into soup bowls and serve hot, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Bean Soup

Bean soup has always been a favourite in our home, I love it with homebaked fresh bread!

200 g sugar beans
3 mutton or pork shanks or 1 ham bone with some meat on it
3 rashers rindless bacon, finely chopped
1.5 litres cold water
30 ml butter or margarine
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
15 ml salt
2 ml milled pepper

Cover beans with cold water and soak overnight. Bring the meat, bacon and water to boil in a large saucepan then cover and simmer till the meat is tender.
Saute the onion, celery and carrot in butter in a frying pan for 3 minutes.
When the meat is tender add the saute'd vegetables and the beans and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes more.
Remove the meat and bones, discard the bones and cube the meat.
Puree the remains of the saucepan and add the cubed meat.
Add salt and pepper, boil and serve.

Cape Malay Pickled Fish

The Cape Malay culinary contribution brought an exotic touch to the food of our land. Here is a typical example:

1 kg yellowtail, scaled and filleted, skin on
coarse salt
oil for pan frying
2 large onions, sliced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup grape vinegar
half cup water
half cup golden brown sugar
2 tsp coriander, ground
2 tsp cumin, ground
1 tbs masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 bay leaves
4 allspice berries
4 cloves
8 peppercorns

To firm up the flesh, sprinkle coarse salt on both sides of the fillet and let it stand in the sink for 20 minutes. Rinse under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut the fish in portions with the skin attached.
Do not cover fish with flour or butter but pan-fry pieces in oil till cooked through.
To make the sauce, simply boil then simmer the rest of the ingredients together till the onions are cooked but still crisp to the bite (about 7 minutes).
Layer the fish pieces in a ceramic or glass serving dish and cover each layer with the sauce and some onion. Be sure that the last layer is covered with sauce.
Let it cool, then refrigerate. Will keep for a week in a cool place and longer in a fridge.

The name comes from the Indonesian word 'Bobotok'. It is a light textured curry flavored meat loaf smothered in a golden savory egg topping. This recipe serves 6 generous portions. We suggest you serve it with a large salad.
2 slices stale white bread (remove the crusts)
30ml cooking oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2,5ml ground cloves
5ml crushed garlic
3ml salt
10 ml curry powder
5 ml turmeric
500g beef mince
2 eggs
30ml hot water
20ml lemon juice
25ml sugar

1 egg (lightly beaten)
150ml milk
bay or lemon leaves for garnishing

Preheat oven to 160C. Soak bread in water for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water and crumble. In a large frying pan, heat oil and braise onion until golden (about 7 minutes). Add the ground cloves, garlic, salt, curry powder and turmeric and simmer for 5 minutes. Break the 2 eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly. Mix in the mince. Add the onion mixture from the frying pan to the mince as well as the hot water, lemon juice, crumbled bread and sugar, and mix to combine well. Spoon the mixture into a well greased oven proof dish and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven.
Combine the egg and beat well. Pour over the bobotie. Arrange bay leaves or lemon leaves as garnish. Return to oven and bake at 180C for 5-10 minutes, or until topping is set. 

Edwina had the following to add to this recipe:
I also have a suggestion that you can add to the bobotie recipe if you would like to. With regards to the topping, I was always told by my "ouma" that the thicker the topping mixture the better. So instead of milk mixed with eggs, I mix buttermilk and/or yogurt with eggs.

Braised Liver with Onions - An old Malay recipe....

65 ml sunflower oil
750 g calf's liver, skinned and thinly sliced
3 medium onions, sliced
salt and milled pepper
46 - 60 ml meat stock or water

Heat a little of the oil and fry the liver quickly on both sides. Set the liver aside and keep it warm. Heat the rest of the oil in the pan and saut the onions for about 5 minutes, or until transparent. Season lightly with salt and pepper and add the stock or water to the pan. Cook, uncovered over high heat until slightly reduced, then return the liver to the pan and heat through for 5 to 10 minutes over moderate heat. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes.

The secret of tender braised liver is to cut it thinly and cook it quickly.

Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes - what can I say, you just gotta try them....

675-900g sweet potatoes
juice of 1 lemon
15ml plain flour
a good pinch of cayenne pepper
about 45ml sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
115g streaky bacon, chopped
50g fresh brown or white breadcrumbs

1. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks about 4cm square. Place in a pan of boiling water with the lemon juice and a little salt and simmer for 8-10 minutes until cooked but not soft.
2. Mix together the flour, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Drain the potatoes and then dust with the seasoned flour, coating the pieces well.
3. Heat 15ml of the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for about 2 minutes. Add the bacon and fry over a gentle heat for 6-8 minutes until the onion and bacon are golden. Transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon.
4. Add the breadcrumbs and fry, stirring, for about 1-2 minutes until golden. Add to the plate with the bacon.
5. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the potatoes for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, until evenly browned. Stir in the breadcrumbs and bacon mixture and cook for 1 minute. Serve at once.

Pumpkin Fritters

4 c cooked mashed pumpkin 
2 eggs 
1 c flour 
pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon baking powder 
30 ml (2 tablespoons) heaped of sugar 
Combine all ingredients, making a soft batter and fry spoonfulls in shallow oil till both sides are lightly browned. Drain on paper and serve warm with cinnamon sugar or caramel sauce. 

Take one ounce of ground cinnamon and mix with 6 ounces of sugar. Sprinkle over pancakes as much as desires and keep rest in bottle for later use. (Tastes fine over sweet potato too) 

250 ml sugar 
500 ml water 
500 ml milk 
30 ml margarine 
20 ml cornstarch  mixed to a paste with water 
Cook together and add one teaspoon caramel essence before serving over pumpkin fritters.

Bread and Butter Pudding

What can I say? My alltime favorite!!!

4 slices stale white bread, 2 cm thick
190 ml currants or 150 ml seedles raisins
2 large eggs
125 ml white sugar
1 ml salt
759 ml milk

Remove the crusts from the bread. Butter the slices thickly and place them, buttered side down, in a greased ovenproof dish. Sprinkle the currants or raisins over the bread. Beat the eggs well and stir in the sugar, salt and milk. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread and set the dish aside for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to soak right through the bread. Bake the pudding, covered, at 160C for 30 minutes. Uncover the pudding and bake a further 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve the pudding hot with golden syrup, honey or jam.

Cape brandy pudding
 250 g dates, stoned and finely chopped
 5 ml bicarbonate of soda
 250 ml boiling water
 125 g margarine
 200 g sugar
 2 eggs, beaten
 240 g cake flour
 5 ml baking powder
 2 ml salt
 250 ml walnuts or pecan nuts, chopped
 300 ml sugar
 15 ml butter
 200 ml water
 5 ml vanilla essence
 2 ml salt
 25 ml brandy
 Preheat oven to 180 C.
 1. Divide chopped dates into 2 portions. Add bicarbonate of soda and boiling water to 1 portion, mix well and leave to cool.
 2. Cream margarine and sugar then beat in eggs.
 3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt over mixture and fold in. Add dry portions of dates and walnuts, blending well.
 4. Stir in bicarbonate of soda mixture, blend thoroughly and turn batter out into a large baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes or until firm.
 Heat sugar, butter and water for 5 minutes. Remove from stove and stir in vanilla essence, salt and brandy. Pour sauce over pudding as soon as it comes out of the oven and serve hot or cold with whipped cream.  


The secret of the crisp syrupy outside of koeksisters is that they are taken straight from hot oil and dipped into ice-cold syrup. This seals the syrup outside and leaves the inside dryish in contrast.

375ml water
800g sugar
2ml (1/2t) cream of tartar
2ml (1/2t) ground ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
500g cake flour
30ml (6t) baking powder
2ml (1/2t) salt
50ml (4T0 butter or margarine
2 eggs
250ml milk
oil for deep frying

To make syrup, heat water in a saucepan, add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add cream of tartar, ginger and cinnamon.
Boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Do not stir, remove from stove and chill.
While syrup is chilling, make koeksisters. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles fine crumbs. 
Beat eggs and milk together and add to dry ingredients. Mix dough well, then knead lightly for 2 minutes to make it pliable.
Cover basin with wax paper and leave for 1 hour. 
Roll dough to a thickness of 7.5 to 10mm. Cut into strips about 8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide. Cut each strip into three lengthwise, leaving one side uncut. Now plait the three pieces and press ends together firmly.
Heat oil to 190C and deepfry koeksisters for 1 minute. (Do not fry too many at once)
The syrup will warm up about halfway through, so divide the syrup into two bowls.
Remove from oil, drain on brown paper for 1 minute and dip in cold syrup for 30 seconds. Remove from syrup and place on a dish to dry.




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