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Newsletter #110 - October 5, 2005


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

How about some more "potjie" recipes for this letter? Now part and parcel of the South African food culture, potjiekos is the more social alternative to the bbq. For the few who do not yet know, potjiekos (pot food) is prepared outdoors over the coals in a cast iron 3 legged pot. It is not just a "stew" there is much more to preparing the perfect potjie. Scroll down for some more potjie recipes. The recipes come from a Word document floating around the internet and sent to me by friend Anton, in Ceres. Whoever put these recipes together, thanx a lot!

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year - Victor Borge

The following story was sent to me by Debbie in Zim. It highlights the effect  that poacher's snares can have on  wildlife, who always suffer in the end. Thanx Debbie :-)

He was named “Future”
12 September 2005

It was late May when I first sighted one of the ‘F’ family youngsters, his trunk ripped off by a wire snare. He was born to the ‘Presidential Elephants’ in early February of 2003, making him now a little over two-and-a-half years old. With all that had happened in the two years following his birth, he remained without a name. Whilst still suckling from his mother during the past three months, although trunkless, he was fat and seemingly healthy. But unless he could somehow adapt and become a browser, he had no chance, I knew, of long-term survival. No known elephants in the past four years have ever survived losing half, or more, of their trunk. He was yet another innocent snare victim.

Tragedy struck earlier than expected. I was driving along the vlei, thoughtful of the approaching bushfire, smoke choking the distant air. And there he was. Alone. Abandoned? Or had something happened to his mother? It was difficult for me to believe that he had been abandoned, since his mother had always been particularly protective of him, both before and after he was cruelly stripped of his trunk. I had last sighted him only a few weeks earlier, his mother at that time unconditionally tolerant of his suckling. Something seemed wrong. I would look for his mother later. Right now all I could think of was trying to save this little ‘Presidential Elephant.’ He was much too young to be wandering alone. And he had no trunk. He now had absolutely no chance of survival in the wild. He was already agonisingly thin and lethargic. Clearly, he had been wandering - alone and traumatised, unseen - for several days.

I stepped out of my 4WD and walked towards him, calling to him, remembering the little new-born elephant whom we had found abandoned by a roadside in 2003, who had walked straight up to me, frantically trying to suckle from my arm. But this little fellow was older and much less trusting. He attempted a little mock charge, whilst I side-stepped behind a bush. Even two-and-a-half year old elephants in a weakened state could inflict harm. It would have been comical I suppose, if it had not been so sad. I tried to tempt him with some acacia erioloba pods, imagining that he could get down on his knees and feed with his mouth, but he just did not know what to do with them. He had survived previously on his mother’s milk, having never really learned how to be a dexterous little elephant. And then he had been cruelly stripped of his dexterity. He did not know how best to feed himself.

By now it was already late in the day. I had no choice but to leave him, praying to invisible forces that he would, in his vulnerable and fragile state, survive the night. I needed to make the necessary arrangements. He deserved a chance. We surely had to try to save him. Plans were in place quickly, the Parks Authority giving permission to capture this little ‘Presidential Elephant’ and transfer him to a captive facility in Victoria Falls, who had so very kindly agreed to take him. There at least he could be allowed a chance to live - an ambassador for the ‘Presidential Elephants,’ and for snare victims everywhere.

But to be able to capture him, we would have to find him again. When I left him in the late afternoon, he had been heading slowly down the vlei, in between the photographic Sable and Sikumi lodges. This was far from comforting knowledge. How could this little elephant know that a small piece of this vlei was now off-limits to us all? There was, mercifully, no longer any hunting allowed here, but this was a small piece of land that none of us, these days, were permitted to drive across, a stance that had been angrily reaffirmed just days ago by those who had laid claim to this piece of land as well. It encompasses a section of the sandy road that links one of the photographic lodges with all of the others; a section of the road previously used by photographic game-drive vehicles for scores of years; a section of the road now under the control of the settlers. We were about to try to save a ‘Presidential Elephant.’ I imagined our little snare victim wandering, unknowingly, to this small section of ‘sandwiched’ land. I imagined us needing to cross this section of land, freely accessible in past years, at a moment’s notice - to drive along the short stretch of now-taboo road - in search of him. I imagined us taking the decision to just do it, if it became necessary in our endeavour to save the life of this little ‘Presidential Elephant.’ I imagined yet another confrontation with those who do not care. I was tired at just the thought of it. There always seemed to be something. …“If you have a problem, speak to The President.” … I found myself preparing the words silently under my breath, in anticipation of yet another hostile encounter.

My fears did not materialise. Thankfully overnight the little ‘Presidential Elephant’ did not quite reach this section of land, a ‘hiccup’ in his key home-range. It was a potential problem that we did not have to face. This time.

In the early morning I had driven, searching for him. But I could not find him. I had then deployed the anti-poaching team to track his spoor. It was after midday when the radio call came in. In the meantime, many had become aware of this little ‘F’ family calf. It was decided to name him “Future” - for the future of the ‘Presidential Elephants,’ and the future of anti-poaching/snare destruction efforts everywhere.

The Hwange Estate anti-poaching team had successfully located “Future”. It was the Victoria Falls anti-poaching unit and those from a facility named ‘Elephant Camp’ who were now immediately on their way to assist with the darting and transportation back to Victoria Falls. Last minute phone calls and explanations became necessary, but no-one tried to impede the process. Permits such as these take time, but cooperation was at it’s best. “Future” was weak and any delays would certainly cost him his life.

The team arrived from Victoria Falls, two hours drive away. The Parks Authority scouts arrived with the transportation crate. “Will he fit in there?” I murmured with concern. We needed to get down the vlei. Time was running out. With a convoy of helpers we finally arrived to where “Future” was being watched.

No-one could tell for certain but it was decided, with some trepidation, that the crate was not tall enough. There was a frantic dash back to the Hwange Safari Lodge to somehow cut the top off this sturdy crate. I stayed on the vlei, concerned that the day was fading fast. Those four terrible words: “What time is it?” were haunting me once more. I looked at my watch over and over again. Finally the radio call came in. They were on their way back down the vlei with the modified crate. It was 5.35pm. Soon the sun would set.

There was no time to lose. The darter took aim, with a reduced amount of immobilisation drug. In his weakened state, there was always a chance that “Future” would not survive the drug. Soon he was down - and scores of helpers moved in. “Future” was even more thin than I had realised. His skin lacked any lustre. His trunk was so tragically short. His breathing and heartbeat were being closely monitored. A path had to be cleared into where he was lying in the bush; the truck carrying the crate had to be reversed in; “Future” had to be lifted, by scores of able-bodied hands, onto the back of the truck; and finally he had to be pushed into the crate. Later under moonlight, the loading work now successfully complete, I looked up at little “Future”, his head well above the top of the crate, thankful for the foresight of others. I stepped up onto the back of the truck, my hand against his shortened nose, and wished him well.

We headed back up the vlei in darkness. He was to be immediately transported to Victoria Falls. I watched him standing in the crate on the back of the truck, heading out of the Safari Lodge boom-gate, and towards his new life. Quiet hope. I telephoned the next morning to confirm that “Future” had survived the night-time journey. Everyone was asking about his welfare. There was quiet jubilation and excited hope that “Future” would now survive.

But “Future” was just too weak. Despite gallant efforts, and a drip to help him regain his strength, “Future” died at 6.30pm.

Sincere thanks to:

The Parks Authority for the necessary approvals, issued without delay;
The ‘Touch the Wild’/Zimsun Anti-Poaching Unit (APU), Hwange Estate;
Charles Brightman of the Victoria Falls APU for assisting with coordination;
Gavin Best, Manager of Elephant Camp for quickly agreeing to help;
Ian DuPreez of the Victoria Falls APU for darting;
Jane Hunt from the Hwange Lion Project for extra coordination assistance in the field;
the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force for donation of the immobilising drug M99.
And to “Future”, for helping to raise awareness.

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe -
Jimmy Durante

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Here is another one of those things floating about on the Internet, sounds like good advice to me, but judge for yourself:

Ladies... In light of the recent kidnapping and now murder of Leigh Mathews I think it is important to read the following info for your own safety.
Things women should know to stay safe: Please take the time to read these pointers. There may just be one or two you hadn't thought of. After reading this, forward it to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it!

2. If a robber asks for your handbag, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... he is probably more interested in your handbag than you and he will go for the handbag. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the boot of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm through the hole and start waving. The driver won't see you but everybody else will.   This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their cheque book, or making a list). DON'T DO THIS! A predator could be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, and attack you. AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR, LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a car park:
A.) Be aware: look around you, look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and check the back seat.
B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most attackers surprise their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the shop, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the lift instead of the stairs.   Stairwells are horrible places to be alone (and the perfect crime spot.)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.  RUN!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her 'Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street  & get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door. 
 "He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear babies' cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night. Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby.

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was shut up - Joe Namath  

Rubbing a little liquid soap all over the bottom and sides of your cooking pot or skillet before placing on the open campfire will make your cleanup a lot easier.

To shell walnuts, soak overnight in salt water before gently cracking to easily remove the nut meat without breaking it.

Find holiday accommodation in South Africa on these clickable maps

What Is a Grandparent? Specially for all the Grandparents out there!

Reportedly to have been taken from papers written by a class of 8-year-olds.

Grandparents are a lady and a man who have no little children of her own.
They like other people's.

A grandfather is a man grandmother.

Grandparents don't have to do anything except be there when we come to see them. They are so old they shouldn't play hard or run. It is good if they drive us to the store and have lots of quarters for us.

When they take us for walks, they slow down past things like pretty leaves and caterpillars.

They show us and talk to us about the color of the flowers and also why we shouldn't step on "cracks."

They don't say, "Hurry up."

Usually grandmothers are fat, but not too fat to tie your shoes.
They wear glasses and funny underwear.
They can take their teeth and gums out.
Grandparents don't have to be smart.

They have to answer questions like, "Why isn't God married?" and "How come dogs chase cats?"

When they read to us, they don't skip. They don't mind if we ask for the same story over again.

Everybody should try to have a grandmother, especially if you don't have television, because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us.

They know we should have snack-time before bedtime and they say prayers with us every time, and kiss us even when we've acted bad.

-- Author unknown.

Money can't buy you happiness ... but it does bring you a more Pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan

Free access to internet banking if you have a bluebean credit card. apply online now!

What would men be without women? Scarce, sir ... mighty scarce - Mark Twain

Looking for Accommodation???
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We have 284 establishments currently offering special deals.

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  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_se_kombuis@yahoo.com
There is no delay  or postage to be paid as the book is emailed to you.

 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.

Free Greeting Cards, Free Ecards, Birthday Cards, Friendship Greetings, Love Egreetings from

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This really works, I can recommend it! Reduce your monthly short term insurance payment.   Click here for an obligation free online quote!
All you have to do now is to decide what to do with the money you save!

The Herb Section - BASIL

Basil is one of the most versatile herbs in our garden
It's name derives from Basilisk, a serpent-like creature whose venom was very potent
The herb was said to be an antidote to the venom
Basil likes sun, but grows better in semi-shade, and doesn't like frost
It can be grown in a pot and reaches between 30 and 60 cm.
Basil attracts butterflies to the garden, and planted between your rows of vegetables, keeps the insects away

Domestic Use
Used in potpourris and floral arrangements, it gives the room a spicy scent
Fresh basil in the kitchen, keeps flies away

Cosmetic Use
Basil is said to stimulate hair growth

Medicinal Use
Drawing out poison from insect bites and stings
As a tonic for the relief of nausea and indigestion
Rub onto the temples for relief from a headache
Make into a fusion and gargle as a mouthwash

Culinary Use
Finely chopped basil enhances all vegetable dishes
Chopped basil and olive oil may be used as a salad dressing
It is very good with all tomato dishes
May be added to an Italian Pesto Sauce

Pound 4 cups of basil leaves with 2-3 cloves of garlic in a large pestle
Add a little salt, 4 Tsp of walnuts or Pine Nuts, 4 Tsp parmesan cheese and pound
Slowly add 5-6 Tsp of olive oil
More links to herbs on my Herb Page  

This article  with thanx from the Glenacres Spar Newsletter, click here to subscribe

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
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


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


~Featured Site~

 Embark on a quiet adventure and watch wildlife gather at Pete's Pond. Baby baboons scurry in the dust. Wildebeests push and shove to make room at the watering hole. Warthogs wallow in the mud.

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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
See Links for Metric Converter



This lovely pot is best when served with brown or white rice.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 3 pot is recommended. 


1 Large oxtail, cut into pieces

12 Baby potatoes

3 Medium onions, finely sliced

250g Button mushrooms

30ml Butter

1 Large tomato, sliced

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

5ml Chopped parsely

0.5 Red chilli, finely chopped

10 Whole uitjies

5 Whole ‘kruinaeltjies’


5ml Mixed herbs

62ml Brown vinegar

2 Bay leaves

20ml Tomato sauce,

500ml Warm water

20ml Chutney

Salt and pepper to taste

20ml Honey

2 Ripe bananas, sliced

10ml Medium curry powder

5 Medium carrots, cut into strips



Ž    Smeer the pot with the butter and heat the pot.  Braai the meat for about 15 minutes.

Ž    Add the onions, garlic, chilli, naeltjies, herbs, bay leaves, salt and pepper and braai for a further 15 minutes.(If the pot gets too dry, add some warm water)

Ž    Now add the 500ml warm water, cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for about 2 hours.                     

Ž    In the meantime, mix the ingredients of the sauce and put one side.    

Ž    After 2 hours, pack the bananas on top of the meat and layer the veggies as they appear in the recipe.

Ž    Sprinkle the parsley on top, and then layer the uitjies and allow the pot to simmer for 1 hour.

Ž    Add the sauce and allow to simmer for a further 30 minutes.


The lovely aroma of this pot will make your mouth water long before the food is ready.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 3 pot is recommended. 


15ml Cake flour

5ml Mixed herbs

5ml Paprika

375ml Beer

1kg Beef fillet, cubed

250ml Beef stock

15ml Butter

1 Packet of tomato soup powder

15ml Oil

1 Bay leaf

2 Medium onions, thinly sliced

15ml Vinegar

15ml White sugar

10ml Maizena

8 Greenbeans, cut up

Salt and pepper to taste

4 Carrots, peeled and thinly sliced


1 Garlic clove, chopped



Ž    Coat the meat with a mixuture of the flour and paprika.  Heat the oil and butter in the pot and brown the meat. 

Ž    Remove the meat and brown the onions and sugar until the onions is nice and soft.       

Ž    Add the beans, carrots and garlic, cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Ž    Replace the meat and stir in the herbs, beer, beef stock, soup powder and bay leaf.  Cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for a final hour or until the meat is soft (stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon)


This delicious pot has a wide variety of vegetable flavours that makes it irresistible.  It’s enough for 4 people and a # 2 pot is recommended. 


30 ml Cooking oil

3 Medium potatoes, peeled and halved

1 kg Skaapskenkels, cut into pieces

200 g Cauliflower

1 Large onion, cubed

250 g Baby marrow

100 g Tomato puree

100 g Frozen peas

10 ml White sugar

Salt to taste

375 ml Water


6 Black pepper-corns

250 ml Cold water

4 Bay leaves

20 ml Flour

250 g Whole baby carrots, peeled

10 ml Bisto


Ž    Heat the oil in the pot and brown the meat. 

Ž    Remove the meat and put aside.                                

Ž    Brown the onions and then return the meat to the pot.    

Ž    Mix the tomato puree, sugar and water together and add it to the pot.

Ž    Cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for approximately 1 hour.

Ž    Now add the pepper corns, bay leaves and salt and allow the pot to simmer for a further 30 minutes.                      

Ž    Layer the veggies as they appear in the recipe.

Ž    Cover with the lid and allow to simmer for about 1 hour.

Ž    Finally, mix the ingredients of the sauce and add it to the pot 10 minutes before serving.


In this lovely pot, extra salt is not needed as the soya sauce contains enough salt.  Also, port can be used as a substitute for the sherry.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 3 pot is recommended.           



1 kg stewing beef, cubed

125 ml Sweet sherry

2 Medium onions, sliced

125 ml Soya sauce

125 ml Dried apricots, soaked in water for 1 hour

5 ml Black pepper

4 Carrots, peeled and sliced

3 ml Dry mustard

2 Sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced

1 ml Dry rosemary

4 Medium potatoes, peeled and halved

1 ml Dry thyme

6 Baby marrow, sliced

1 Cube beef stock

250 ml Cabbage, chopped

500 ml Boiling water

1 Tomato, peeled and sliced


Black pepper to taste

30 ml Cooking oil

30 ml Dried parsley

1 Beef kidney, cubed



Ž    Heat the oil in the pot and brown the meat and kidney till almost brown. 

Ž    Add the onions and brown together.

Ž    Mix the ingredients of the sauce and add it to the pot.  Stir well, cover with the lid and simmer for 1.5 hours.

Ž    Layer the dried fruit and then the veggies as they appear in the recipe.  Sprinkle some pepper over the tomatoes.

Ž    Cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for about 2 hours or until the veggies are done.


This uniquely Chinese pot is best when served with spaghetti or any type of noodle.  If preferred, rice can also be served with the pot.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 2 pot is recommended. 


15 ml Butter

1 Large Cooking apple, peeled and sliced

2 Large onions, sliced

125 ml Brown vinegar

1 Green pepper, sliced

60 ml Maizena

2 kg Leg of pork, cubed

60 ml Brown sugar

10 ml Finely mixed spices

60 ml Red wine

Salt and pepper to taste

25 Worcester sauce

1 Large pineapple, peeled and sliced

250 ml Boiling water


Ž    Melt the butter in the pot and brown the onions and green peppers until soft.

Ž    Remove and brown the meat.  Sprinkle the spices, salt and pepper over the meat.       

Ž    Place the pineapple on top of the meat, then the apple and then the onion and green pepper mix.

Ž    Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over the pot. 

Ž    Cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for approximately 2 hours.


You’ll have to search far and wide to find a pot with a wider variety of vegetables as this delicious pork pot.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 3 pot is recommended. 


30 ml Olive oil

6 Medium potatoes, cubed

1.5 kg Pork skenkel, cut in pieces

4 Carrots, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

3 Celery sticks, sliced

250 g Bacon, cut in pieces

2 “rape” peeled and cubed

1 Large onion, sliced

1 “prei” sliced (only the white part)

1 Green pepper, cut in rings

500 ml Green beans, chopped

1 Clove of garlic, chopped

500 ml Cabbage, chopped

1 Can of tomato paste

2.5 ml Finely mixed spices

100 ml Water



Ž    Heat the oil in the pot.  Spice the meat with salt and pepper and brown the meat slightly. 

Ž    Remove the meat and sauté the bacon, onion, green pepper and garlic for 15 minutes in the oil.       

Ž    Replace the meat.  Mix the tomato paste with the water and pour over the meat.  Cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for 30 minutes.

Ž    Layer the veggies as they appear in the recipe and sprinkle the mixed spice over the meat, cover with the lid and allow the pot to simmer for a final 1 hour or until the veggies are soft.


 This lovely seafood pot is best when served with a nice garden salad.  It’s enough for 6 people and a # 3 pot is recommended. 


60 ml Cooking oil

1 kg Kingklip fillets, cut into pieces

3 Red peppers, sliced

400 g Frozen prawns

1 Large onion, chopped

500 g Mussells

500 g pork, cubed

500 g Calamari

5 Chicken thighs, halved

500 g Crabsticks

1 L Boiling water

500 g Uncooked rice

5 ml Saffron

250 g Frozen peas

4 Bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Blocks chicken stock

Juice of 1 lemon


Ž    Heat the oil in the pot.  Slightly brown the peppers, onion, pork and chicken. 

Ž    Cover with the lid and allow the pot to steam for 1 hour or until the meat is almost tender.       

Ž    Mix the saffron, bay leaves and chicken stock in the water and stand one side.

Ž    Pack the seafood on top of the meat, then the rice and finally the peas.  Flavour with salt and pepper.

Ž    Pour the saffron water little by little as the rice cooks dry

Ž    Allow the pot to simmer slowly until the rice and peas are done and the fluid is virtually cooked away.

Ž    Pour the lemon juice over just before serving and stir well.




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