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Newsletter #107 - August 24, 2005


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

Ever wondered what's really happening in Zimbabwe? I have started a new page, the Zimbabwe Letters, just click here and get the news first hand! Feel free to leave comments!

We have just come back from a week in the Kruger National Park, click here to take a look at some of the photos I took!!

I have added more wildlife photos to my Photo CD!

In this newsletter, I will continue with the baby and toddler recipes, this time for toddlers from 10 months to 1 year! I hope you find this useful! Scroll down to the recipes.....

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The following article was written by a friend of mine, Elizabeth Scrimgeour.

You know you're living in the 21st century when you feel compelled to give vegetable stock equal time with chicken stock, due to the conscientious objectors in your life.  I think all of us have at least one friend who's a vegetarian, so why make a soup they can't eat?
I use vegetable stock for all the soups I make unless the word "chicken" is in it...You can apply all of these tips to your basic chicken stock and suddenly, it's not so basic anymore.  Remember, you have to do it to get good at it.
.........A Special Valentine's Day Message...Just In.........
Not everyone can take their darling out to dinner and buy them expensive roses.  And in my opinion, nobody ever said you had to.
I believe if you really love somebody, every day should be Valentine's Day.  Just as every day is a celebration of your child's birth and so on.  For what is Valentine's Day, but a time set apart, with planning and thoughts about the other, even if it's only your dog.  It's setting aside the cares of the world to focus on what is truly important: the people in your life you claim to love.  I think this soup is good enough to have  for a romantic dinner any night, maybe even for lunch at noon...what says "Ilove you" more than a nice warm bowl of homemade soup?  And remember to do as much prep work ahead of time as possible, you want to be relaxed and happy for dinner.  Food doesn't taste as good when love is absent from the heart.
Vegetable Stock
If you want your stock to have a richer flavour and darker colour, sauté the vegetables in a little oil and butter until a golden brown colour.  Alternately, roast them in a 400 degree oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  The aromas will remind you to toss them around every now and then.
Throw about six cups of roughly chopped vegetables, such as carrots, celery, onions, fennel, leeks and peppers.  Mushrooms add a really nice meaty flavour.  Use hardy herbs such as thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf or rosemary.  Fling in a little garlic and ginger and always throw in a few red pepper chilli flakes.  It adds a nice zip and it's good for you.  It purifies the system.  Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes.  Strain and voila, homemade vegetable broth.
And now, what to do with your stock.  Obviously the permutations are endless, that's why I'm writing a book.  But for our purposes today, I would like to share a recipe that is so good and easy, you'll amaze even yourself.
Capellini in Rich Chicken (or Vegetable) Broth Dusted with Parmiggianno
Serves four as a first course or two as a main course.
This dish is as sublime as it is simple.  Drain the pasta while it is still a bit crunchy.  It continues to cook and soften in it's own heat after it is drained.
2 1/4 cups stock
1/2 lb. Capellini
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigianno-Reggiano
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  In a large skillet add the stock, bring to a boil and lower the heat to a gentle simmer.  Drop the cappellini into the water, and boil for 1-2 minutes.  Drain, add the pasta to the skillet and toss with the stock.  Working quickly, transfer the capellini to individual heated bowls.  Top with cheese and serve.
It's imperative that you use fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano.  It seems like you have to write a check for it, but mark my word, it's worth it.
And for you men out there, nothing says "I care about you as a person" as much as a meal  made with your own hands.  Women eat that stuff up!  As I close, my son reads aloud a quote from his Haiku,
"Make woman dinner.
she reward you 10 fold."
Have fun!
     Elizabeth Scrimgeour worked as an instructor and assistant with Susan Lee at her London Cooking School for 7 years.  She has been "Cookin' As A Mama"  for 22 years, 30 if you count cooking for her little brother.

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This landed up in my Inbox from friend, Mel, hope you find it interesting and informative:

Sixty Uses Of Salt
Although you may not realize it, simple table salt has a great number of uses other than simply seasoning your food. The following list will give you sixty uses of salt, many of which you probably didn't realize:

1. Soak stained hankies in salt water before washing.
2. Sprinkle salt on your shelves to keep ants away.
3. Soak fish in salt water before descaling; the scales will come off easier.
4. Put a few grains of rice in your salt shaker for easier pouring.
5. Add salt to green salads to prevent wilting.
6. Test the freshness of eggs in a cup of salt water; fresh eggs sink; bad ones float.
7. Add a little salt to your boiling water when cooking eggs; a cracked egg will stay in its shell this way.
8. A tiny pinch of salt with egg whites makes them beat up fluffier.
9. Soak wrinkled apples in a mildly salted water solution to perk them up.
10. Rub salt on your pancake griddle and your flapjacks won't stick.
11. Soak toothbrushes in salt water before you first use them; they will last longer.
12. Use salt to clean your discolored coffee pot.
13. Mix salt with turpentine to whiten you bathtub and toilet bowl.
14. Soak your nuts in salt brine overnight and they will crack out of their shells whole. Just tap the end of the shell with a hammer to break it open easily.
15. Boil clothespins in salt water before using them and they will last longer.
16. Clean brass, copper and pewter with paste made of salt and vinegar, thickened with flour
17. Add a little salt to the water your cut flowers will stand in for a longer life.
18. Pour a mound of salt on an ink spot on your carpet; let the salt soak up the stain.
19. Clean you iron by rubbing some salt on the damp cloth on the ironing surface.
20. Adding a little salt to the water when cooking foods in a double boiler will make the food cook faster.
21. Use a mixture of salt and lemon juice to clean piano keys.
22. To fill plaster holes in your walls, use equal parts of salt and starch, with just enough water to make a stiff putty.
23. Rinse a sore eye with a little salt water.
24. Mildly salted water makes an effective mouthwash. Use it hot for a sore throat gargle.
25. Dry salt sprinkled on your toothbrush makes a good tooth polisher.
26. Use salt for killing weeds in your lawn.
27. Eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.
28. A dash of salt in warm milk makes a more relaxing beverage.
29. Before using new glasses, soak them in warm salty water for awhile.
30. A dash of salt enhances the taste of tea.
31. Salt improves the taste of cooking apples.
32. Soak your clothes line in salt water to prevent your clothes from freezing to the line; likewise, use salt in your final rinse to prevent the clothes from freezing.
33. Rub any wicker furniture you may have with salt water to prevent yellowing.
34. Freshen sponges by soaking them in salt water.
35. Add raw potatoes to stews and soups that are too salty.
36. Soak enamel pans in salt water overnight and boil salt water in them next day to remove burned-on stains.
37. Clean your greens in salt water for easier removal of dirt.
38. Gelatin sets more quickly when a dash of salt is added.
39. Fruits put in mildly salted water after peeling will not discolor.
40. Fabric colors hold fast in salty water wash.
41. Milk stays fresh longer when a little salt is added.
42. Use equal parts of salt and soda for brushing your teeth.
43. Sprinkle salt in your oven before scrubbing clean.
44. Soaked discolored glass in a salt and vinegar solution to remove stains.
45. Clean greasy pans with a paper towel and salt.
46. Salty water boils faster when cooking eggs.
47. Add a pinch of salt to whipping cream to make it whip more quickly.
48. Sprinkle salt in milk-scorched pans to remove odour.
49. A dash of salt improves the taste of coffee.
50. Boil mismatched hose in salty water and they will come out matched.
51. Salt and soda will sweeten the odor of your refrigerator.
52. Cover wine-stained fabric with salt; rinse in cool water later.
53. Remove offensive odors from stove with salt and cinnamon.
54. A pinch of salt improves the flavor of cocoa.
55. To remove grease stains in clothing, mix one part salt to four parts alcohol.
56. Salt and lemon juice removes mildew.
57. Sprinkle salt between sidewalk bricks where you don't want grass growing.
58. Polish your old kerosene lamp with salt for a brighter look.
59. Remove odors from sink drainpipes with a strong, hot solution of salt water.
60. If a pie bubbles over in your oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spilled juice. The mess won't smell and will bake into a dry, light crust which will wipe off easily when the oven has cooled.

For those of you whose mothers are still alive show them some extra appreciation today, a hug or a phone call Enjoy this story....

Mother's Hands
By Louisa Godissart McQuillen

Night after night, she came to tuck me in, even long after my childhood years. Following her longstanding custom, she'd lean down and push my long hair out of the way, then kiss my forehead.
I don't remember when it first started annoying me - her hands pushing my hair that way. But it did annoy me, for they felt work-worn and rough against my young skin. Finally, one night, I lashed out at her: "Don't do that anymore - your hands are too rough!" She didn't say anything in reply. But never again did my mother close out my day with that familiar expression of her love. Lying awake long afterward, my words haunted me. But pride stifled my conscience, and I didn't tell her I was sorry.
Time after time, with the passing years, my thoughts returned to that night. By then I missed my mother's hands, missed her goodnight kiss upon my forehead. Sometimes the incident seemed very close, sometimes far away. But always it lurked, hauntingly, in the back of my mind.
Well, the years have passed, and I'm not a little girl anymore. Mom is in her mid-seventies, and those hands I once thought to be so rough are still doing things for me and my family. She's been our doctor, reaching into a medicine cabinet for the remedy to calm a young girl's stomach or soothe a boy's scraped knee. She cooks the best fried chicken in the world . . . gets stains out of blue jeans like I never could . . . and still insists on dishing out ice cream at any hour of the day or night.
Through the years, my mother's hands have put in countless hours of toil, and most of hers were before perma-pressed fabrics ! and automatic washers!
Now, my own children are grown and gone. Mom no longer has Dad, and on special occasions, I find myself drawn next door to spend the night with her. So it was that late one night, as I drifted into sleep in the bedroom of my youth, a familiar hand hesitantly stole across my face to brush the hair from my forehead. Then a kiss, ever so gently, touched my brow.
In my memory, for the thousandth time, I recalled the night my surly young voice complained: "Don't do that anymore - your hands are too rough!" I reacted involuntarily. Catching Mom's hand in mine, I blurted out how sorry I was for that night. I thought she'd remember, as I did. But Mom didn't know what I was talking about. She had forgotten - and forgiven - long ago.
That night, I fell asleep with a new appreciation for my gentle mother and her caring hands. And the guilt I had carried around for so long was nowhere to be found.

Do you want to learn Afrikaans? Click here!

 Making Diabetic Cooking Easy.
The book contains 177 recipes and is available for only R65. Overseas payments also accepted via Paypal. Contact Annie at
0822946799 or by email at  anna@minimax.cc There is no delay  or postage to be paid as the book is emailed to you.

  LekaGape is a Non-Profit Organisation acting in a former township called Lulekani in South Africa. We organise 6-week Experience Camps, where young people from all over the world stay in Lulekani and get to know African lifestyle, traditions and everyday life. They get background information on the country, its history and people, join the work of our organisation and discover the different departments of our work. With lot of trips to the surroundings, like to Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Blyde River Canon and plenty of activities in Lulekani, like helping at the Mopani worm harvest, joining a teacher’s day or assisting with knotting mats, the participants get a deep insight to the real African life, that differs so much from what you see on a usual journey through our country.
LekaGape Organisation: www.lekagape.de
Experience Camp South Africa: http://www.experiencesouthafrica.de


(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
-- Alan, age 10

(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
-- Kirsten, age 10


(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
-- Camille, age 10

(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
-- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)


(1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
-- Derrick, age 8


(1) Both don't want any more kids.
-- Lori, age 8


(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
-- Lynnette, age 8 (isn't she a treasure)

2 ) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
-- Martin, age 10


(1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-- Craig, age 9


(1) When they're rich.
-- Pam, age 7 (thats the way kiddo)

(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
-- Curt, age 7

(3) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
-- Howard, age 8


(1) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
-- Anita, age 9 (bless you child)


(1) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there?
-- Kelvin, age 8

And the #1 Favorite is........


(1) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
-- Ricky, age 10 

 Interested in Traditional South African Home Remedies? (Boererate).

My Afrikaans eBook, Boererate has now been completed, click here for more info.

We are currently working on an English version.   


My CD, containing both Boererate (sorry, in Afrikaans only at this stage) and Boeremusiek (traditional South African folk music) is now available.

Click here for details and to order.

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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 - PARSLEY

One of nature's most amazing plants, parsley has become known as the multivitamin in a leaf. Half a cup of parsley contains lots of beta carotene (more than 2 large carrots), vitamin C (more than 2 oranges), and 20 times more iron than 1 serving of liver. It is also full of calcium, about ten times that of a cup of milk.
Parsley is also a good deodoriser, masking the smells of rich food and alcohol.
Parsley needs at least 7 hours of full sun per day. A rich, well-composted soil and a good watering two or three times a week, and your parsley with thrive. Remember, the more you pick parsley, the more it grows.
Cut off the flowering heads of your parsley, as this encourages growth.
Planted under roses, parsley deters aphids. Next to beans, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach, it is a growth enhancer. Next to strawberries it is superb, giving support and protection to their berries as they ripen, and repelling fruit flies and aphids.

Parsley has been used for centuries as a diuretic herb in the treatment of gout, arthritis and rheumatism.
Parsley is also widely used for cystitis, fever, delayed menstruation, flatulence, nausea and the control of high blood pressure.
1 or 2 cups of infused parsley tea sipped during the day helps with painful bladder infections and prostrate problems. (¼ cup of leaves in 1 cup of boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes, then strained.)

Parsley is surely the world's most favourite herb.
A very mild tasting herb, it can be used on every savoury dish and salad.
Parsley is also widely used as a garnish.
There is no dish that parsley cannot enhance.

It's high vitamin content makes it a natural toner for the skin and brightens the eyes.
Vitamin A and C and it's phosphorous content ensures elasticity, healing and toning throughout the body.
Fresh parsley, eaten daily, clears the skin, breaks down oiliness and heals acne and pimples.
A simple parsley lotion or bath, is an instant toner.

Parsley Lotion
Simmer 1 cup of parsley leaves and sprigs plus 5 cloves in 1 litre of water for 15 - 20 minutes.
Stand to cool, then strain and use.

We have almost covered all the better known herbs. I must either start repeating some of the earlier ones, which some of our subscribers missed, or else do something else, perhaps household hints.

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!
email me and we can make arrangements. Thanx a lot!

My website highlights:

Add your sarmie to my Wacky Sarmies 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!

Read the Zimbabwe Letters


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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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!


Click here for Properties

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The Recipes
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  Healthy Kiwi Mash
1 kiwi
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup infant oatmeal or multi-grain cereal
a teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

1. Dice or mash a kiwi with fork.
2. Add cottage cheese, infant oatmeal or multi-grain cereal, and a little maple syrup (optional).
Add some wheat germ for an extra nutritional punch. Remember that vitamin C helps the body absorb more iron. There is vitamin C in the kiwi and iron in the infant cereal and wheat germ.

**You can also use banana or peaches; instead of cottage cheese, you can use yogurt. Banana adds iron, but not much vitamin C, so serve with orange juice or some other high vitamin C juice

Apple and Pear Dessert 

2 cooking apples
1 pear
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp of water or apple juice
dash of cinnamon

1. Peel, remove core and dice the apples and pear into small pieces.
2. Add the lemon juice and water (or apple juice) Simmer on low in a small saucepan until soft, about 20 minutes.
3. Mash or puree the fruit.
4. Wisk in the egg yolk and sugar until smooth.
5. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15 min or until set. Cool before serving

Scrambled egg in double saucepan.

Lightly beat 1 whole egg yolk with one tablespoon of milk. Melt one teaspoon of butter in the top of a double saucepan and pour in the egg.

Cover and cook over gently boiling water until the egg begins to set underneath. Stir lightly and cook until just set.

Serve with fingers of buttered bread or soft toast.

Poached eggs

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil and add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar (this helps to keep the white attached to the yolk).
Stir the water briskly in one direction only. Break a fresh egg into a cup and slide into the centre of the swirling water. The white should immediately wrap itself around the yolk. Simmer until the white is firm and the yolk softly cooked, aboud 1 1/4 mins. Lift out with a slotted spoon.
Use only fresh eggs. Older eggs tend to seperate, and the white runs off in strands

Bread Omelette

Soak a quarter slice of wholemeal bread in milk until softened, tyhen squeeze out the milk and break the bread into tiny pieces. Beat 1 egg lightly, mix with the bread and 2 teaspoons of milk.
Melt 1/2 teaspoon of butter in a small frying pan and pour in the egg mixture. Cook gently until lightly coloured on the underside, then turn on the other side until cooked through.

Eggy potatoes

beat 1 egg into 2 tablespoons of left over mashed potatto and steam or microwave in a small sigh or fry in 1 teaspoon of butter until the egg is set.

Baked Patatoes with egg and yoghurt

Boil 1 med sized potato, well scrubbed in its jacket until tender.
Slit open and scoop out the centre. Pass half a hard boiled yolk through a sieve and mix with 2 teaspoons plain yoghurt and the potato, well mashed.
Return to the potato case, add some grated cheese and bake till cheese is melted

Cauliflower in creamy sauce

Break about 60 g of fresh or frozen cauliflower into small sprigs and boil or steam until tender. Mix 2 tablespoons milk with 1 teaspoon dry milk powder or ricotta cheese and 3/4 teaspoon cornflour. Stir in a small saucepan until thickened. Drain the cauliflower throughly, chop or mash, and stir into the sauce.
*use this recipe also for diced carrots, tiny sprigs of broccoli, dived asparagus or pumkin.

Poached fish with potatoes and peas

Place a 60g peice of white fish in a small saucepan and add milk to cover. cover the pan and simmer for 3 - 5 min until tender. Boil a small new potato with 1 - 2 teaspoons of frozen peas until tender. Drain , peel the potato and mash with the peas and a little milk from the fish. Flake the fish and serve with the veggies.

Stewed beef and veggies

In a small saucepan place about 90g of lean beef steak or veal, 1 new potato, 1 small carrot, and a small pickling onion. Add a small piece of bay leaf and a sprig of parsley, then cover with water. Cover the saucepan, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until the meat is tender. Add more water as needed. Grind or puree the ingridients with a little o the cooking liguid. Discard the bay leaf and parsley.

Fish Dinner

1 filet of any white fish such as cod, haddock etc..(unbreaded and cooked)
1/8 c of milk
1 tbsp melted butter
1/8 cup mashed peas
1/8 c mashed carrots
1/8 c mashed potatoes

Combine all ingredients and blend/puree until creamy - Serve warm

Baby stew

1/2 cup cubed cooked beef
1 peeled potato
¼ cup shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 peeled carrot
1 stalk of celery
1/4 cup uncoooked macaroni
4 cups of water

Wash vegetables thoroughly and chop very fine.
Simmer the veggies for 20 minutes or until softened
Add the macaroni and cook for 10 minutes longer or until very soft.
Drain but save the water.
Mash or puree the mix until it is of a consistency adequate for your child




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