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Newsletter #113 - November 16, 2005


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

With Christmas just around the corner you are probably thinking about getting gifts for friends and family. I could just have a solution to your problem! I have put all the FunkyMunky Traditional South African recipes together in one eBook. So, with one purchase you can have a unique present that you can email to friends and family worldwide and also save on postage! Click here to order. Payments from overseas accepted via Paypal.The price?? Only R75 or US$15.

For this letter I am featuring Festive recipes, scroll down and take a look. These are typical festive dishes that you could probably get anywhere in the world. Do we South Africans have our own Traditional Christmas fare? Surely we must have dishes that are only prepared locally? What about the campers out there. December is ideal camping weather and the caravan parks are full to overflowing. What do you guys prepare as a Christmas meal? Lets see if we can get some truly Traditional Christmas recipes, please email them to me and I will use them for my next Letter.

I have something like the following in mind:


1 whole turkey 
2 oranges, quartered 
2 onions, peeled and quartered 
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped with leaves 
8 cloves garlic 
250ml olive oil 
3 red chillies 
3 green chillies 

Salt crust dough 
3 cups bread flour 
3 tsps fine salt 
3 litres water 

Stuff the turkey with the oranges, onions, celery, chillies and half the garlic. Rub the outer skin with olive oil and the remaining garlic. Leave to marinade for 24 hours to let the flavours infuse. 
To make the dough: Mix the flour and salt together. Slowly add the water until its texture resembles that of dough. Knead until smooth. Cover and leave. 

When the turkey has marinated overnight, roll out the salt crust dough. Place the turkey on top and fold upwards, making it like a bag. Squeeze the top together and make sure it is firmly sealed. 

To cook: 
Dig a hole in the ground! 
Line the hole with rocks. Place some wood in the hole and allow it to burn to coals. Place the wrapped turkey in a baking tray and cover with a sheet of corrugated iron or metal. Weigh down with more rocks. Cover the sheet with wood and coals and let the turkey cook in the ground for approximately six hours. During this time check on the coals to ensure they are still burning throughout. 
After six hours lift the turkey out of the ground. The dough will have hardened. Crack it open with a panga or a big knife. The turkey will be moist and cooked.

Glenacres Superspar sends out a really nice newsletter full of super recipes. To subscribe, click here and send the blank email. Scroll down to the  Christmas cake recipe from the newsletter.

I have had a request for typically South African bread machine recipes, can anyone help? Please email me.

Do you have friends or family living in South Africa? Looking for a gift idea? Music is the food of love, give your loved one the gift of love, click here and order securely online! Save on international postage!

The joys of getting older. We have a saying, "Old age is not for sissies, but it's fun!"

Enjoy the following......

* I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

* Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

* The nice thing about being senile is you can hide your own Easter eggs.

* Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked, "How old was your husband?" "98," she replied.
"Two years older than me." "So you're 96," the undertaker commented. She responded, "Hardly worth going home, is it?

* I've sure gotten old.! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees. Fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet
anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.

* A 97-year-old man goes into his doctor's office and says, "Doc, Iwant my sex drive lowered." "Sir," replied the doctor, "you're 97. Don't you think your sex drive is all in your head?" "You're damned right it is!" replied the old man. "That's why I want it lowered!"

* An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. "Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why Wal-Mart?" "Then I'll be sure my daughters visit me twice a week."

* My memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.

* Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

* I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.

* I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose. Some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.

* It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker.

* The good news is that even as we get older, guys still look at our boobs. The bad news is they have to squat down first.

* These days about half the stuff in my shopping cart says, "For fast relief."

* I've tried to find a suitable exercise video for women my age, but they haven't made one called "Buns of Putty."

* Don't think of it as getting hot flashes. Think of it as your inner child playing with matches.

* Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back up!

* Remember: You don't stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.

Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. 

Click here for latest news from Zimbabwe (new items added regularly)

Here's food for thought! Did you know the average restaurant meal has over 1,000 calories? That's enough to blow any healthy eating plan. Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It's a little known fact that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It's not a healthy way to start your meal.

2. Say "yes" to salad. Salad is a healthy eater's best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you'll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you'll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you'll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you'll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

4. Think about what you're drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you've saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You'll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn't available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you'll be less tempted to overindulge.

By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank you!



1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and Lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. Tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourself. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes,
music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.
An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position.
As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"
"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."  

Grandpa's Advice

I hope this will again confirm that the most important information in your life won't come
from a teacher, the library or the Internet.

It comes from a mentor, and on a very personal level.

My long-since passed away grandfather's birthday is coming up, and for me it is a time to reminisce. We used to take long walks and drives together.

He would make special trips to pick me up so I could spend weekends with him. I was young when he died. If he were living today and sharing his pearls of wisdom, I'd be a better man.

Those gems were well and true, but the one I remember best, the jewel in the crown of grandfatherly advice, came from him when I was only 12.

We were sitting in a park, watching children with their mothers enjoying a beautiful spring day. He told me that one day, I'd find a woman and start my own family.

Then he said, "And be sure to marry a woman with small hands."

"Why should I do that, Grandpa?" I asked.

"It makes your pecker look much bigger," he explained.

Kinda brings a tear to your eye, don't it?

Following from friend, Connie, in Texas:

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly
then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were God's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.
We could never fly! 

Find holiday accommodation in South Africa on these clickable maps

10 tips for finding information on the Internet
By Marc Saltzman

Sometimes looking for quick information on the Web can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. With so many billions of Web pages in cyberspace, finding specific information can be a daunting task.

"Often when I use search engines I get so many irrelevant results that I just give up," admits a frustrated Lorraine Adams, mother of two and a disability consultant.

Perhaps Adams isn't aware that there are ways to get more out of your favorite search engine, whether that's MSN Search, Google, or Yahoo!. A few searching tips, tricks, tweaks, and techniques can help you find what you are looking for in cyberspace quickly and easily.

Follow these 10 suggestions with your favorite search engine.

1. Use the advanced search field
Almost all search engines have an "advanced search" area that provides Web surfers with more specific options. Here, you can search by an update date, look for Web sites with a specific domain like ".net," or find Web sites in a preferred language.

2. Search with a phrase
To better help the search engine find what you're looking for, offer a sequence of words in a specific order, using quotation marks around the phrase.

For instance, if you're looking for information on the TV show Saturday Night Live, type "Saturday Night Live" into the search window. Without quotations on each end, a search engine will likely look for Web sites containing any of the words separately: Saturday, night, and live.

3. Be specific
If broad search words like car classifieds yield too many results, try more specific words such as used car classifieds, Mercedes classifieds, or London car classifieds.

4. Use alternative search words
If your keywords do not produce the results you want, try synonyms. Use a thesaurus like Roget's Interactive Thesaurus or Merriam-Webster OnLine to find alternative search words. After all, a dog is also a canine, a pooch, a mutt, a hound, a pet, and man's best friend!

5. Insert a plus or minus sign
This trick usually works in most search engines. Put a plus sign (+) in front of a word that must be found in the search window. For example, city guides + New York will help you narrow the search for city guides for New York only.

Similarly, place a minus sign (-) in front of a word that you do not want to appear in the search results. Typing in python -Monty will allow you to come up with results for snakes and not the British comedy troupe.

6. Just search the domain name
If you know the Web site that you want to search, but aren't sure where the information is located within that site, you can tell your search engine to only search that domain. Enter what you're looking for in the search field, followed by the word "site" and a colon, and then by the domain name.

For example, to find admission information for the University of Toronto, enter this: admission site:www.utoronto.ca.

7. Explore "best of" sites
If you're after quality and not quantity, a few search engines provide access to hand-picked "Best of the Web" sites. One example is About.com.

8. Eliminate inappropriate content
If you prefer not to have adult sites included in your search results, activate SafeSearch on MSN Search's settings page or on Google's advanced search page. While not 100 percent accurate, this function will eliminate sites that contain explicit sexual content from the search results.

9. Save time with a search toolbar
If you do a lot of searching on the Web, consider downloading the free MSN Search Toolbar or Google Toolbar, which always sit near the top of your Internet Explorer browser window. This way, you do not need to leave the Web site you're on to type in a new query.

10. Specialize your search engine
Lastly, keep in mind that there are many specialized search engines. MSN Search, for example, has MSN Image Search to search for pictures, MSN Shopping for shopping-related Web sites, and MSN News for published news articles from around the world. Many more specialty search engines can be found at Search Engine Watch.  

The Center for Disease Control has released a list of symptoms of bird flu. If you experience all of the following, please seek medical treatment immediately:

1. High fever
2. Congestion
3. Nausea
4. Fatigue
5. Aching in the joints
6. An irresistible urge to cr@p on someone's windshield

There were two Irish men working for the Dublin City Council, one would dig a hole, the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.

They worked furiously all day without rest, one guy digging a hole, the other guy filling it in again.

An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I appreciate the effort you are putting into your work, but what's the story?

You dig a hole and your partner follows behind and fills it up again."

Paddy wiped his brow and said "Well, normally we are a three-man team, But the bloke who plants the trees is sick today.

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

The New Definition of "Fast Food" By: Carole Pagan

Your schedule can get pretty hectic, can't it?  You want to eat healthy, you need your energy, and you don’t want to be getting sick - but there’s no time!

Here are some things you can make in a flash-

Wash and poke hole in a potato or sweet potato. I cook 2. It takes about 5 minutes per side, sometimes a little more. I like mine really soft.

Quick Meat Choices – Chicken Breast, pork chop, steak, tuna steaks, and hamburgers can all be cooked quickly if not overly thick. Stick to about 5-6 ounces per person.

Just place enough butter or olive oil in the pan to coat. Season the meat. You can change the taste just by using different seasonings. My staples are-

For chicken - McCormick Fajita seasoning, Montreal Chicken Seasoning, Montreal Roasted Garlic Seasoning.

For steak and hamburgers - Montreal Spicy Steak Seasoning.

For pork chops – garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

For tuna steaks, very light garlic powder, fresh ground black pepper, and lemon juice.

Cook on medium high heat - covered - until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Turn meat over, lower heat, cover, and let cooking finish 5-7 minutes while you finish the rest of
your dinner prep. This method works for all of the above.

Meanwhile, wash up some lettuce, tomatoes, onion, carrots, broccoli, etc. and throw into salad bowls.

Cut up some fresh fruit. Put on plates and serve. Dinner’s ready!

A couple of helpful hints –

You have to remember to put the meat in the fridge to thaw. If you’re really on top of it, put your chicken or steak in marinade the night before for really great flavor fast.

I pre-form hamburgers out of 95% lean ground beef and freeze them so they are always handy.

Do not use salt on meat, especially before cooking. It dries it out.

Garlic powder has tenderizing qualities. Sprinkle it on the meat and let it sit while you prepare your potatoes for cooking. You can also use Worcestershire for a quick soak.
Either way, you can still continue with your seasoning of choice.

I buy big packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, then place each one in a cheap sandwich bag, and then place them all into a freezer bag. Then it’s easy to grab what
you need without them all being stuck together. They also thaw faster. I often do the same thing with pork chops.

A hint I got from Martha is to drop your potatoes on the counter a couple of times before cutting. It fluffs them. Not too rough or you’ll split them!

Other things you can serve instead of baked potatoes- If you plan ahead, you can have jello on hand. It only takes a couple minutes to prepare the night before. Things like
applesauce, baked beans, cranberry sauce, frozen green beans or other frozen green vegetables are great fast side dishes. Stay away from things prepared with sauces. Too
many fats and other things you really don’t want to be eating. It’s better to use butter than it is to eat that stuff.

For the best health benefits, and best flavor - cook fresh as much as possible.

For even more health benefits, have a glass of wine with dinner.

Get in the habit of eating like this and you’ll see the pounds start to melt away. Plus you’ll have the energy you need to do all the things you need to do, not to mention all the time and money you’ll save. Can’t beat that now, can you?

Looking for Accommodation???
Travelling on a tight budget? Up to 50% off!
We have 284 establishments currently offering special deals.

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

Interested in herbs?? Click here

 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

Send these Free Love Greetings, Birthday Ecards, Friendship Ecards, Flowers & Gift Cards , Wedding, lovely ecards to your near and dear ones. All cards are free of cost

Bush Buzz
Nature is wonderful. I envy the jobs of the game rangers and their wealth of bush knowledge. I have often wondered where one can read up on all the interesting facts. I would like to make this a regular feature of this newsletter, if you are able to contribute or would like to comment on the contribution below, please email me.


 NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean , then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

"It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park , told AFP.

"After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the
tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

"The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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 -  ALOES CAPE

 Aloes Cape is a palm-like succulent plant native to the Cape Region of South Africa. Aloes Cape is also often grown in cactus and rock gardens in areas having tropical or subtropical climates, and is particularly popular throughout southern California. Aloes Cape is also commonly known as Bitter Aloe, Red Aloe, and Tap Aloe. With leaves having sharp, reddish-brown spines along their perimeters, Aloes Cape can typically grow up to 10 feet in height, and have a spread of 3 feet in diameter. The genus "aloe" is derived from the Greek word for the dried juice of aloe leaves; and "ferox" can be translated as 'fierce' or 'war-like' referring to the spiny edged leaves of the plant. Plant members of the Aloe family are well-known for their natural high concentration of aloin, and have been the basis for many medicinal topical remedies throughout Europe for centuries. Sailors routinely used this herb on their skin upon injury by the elements, canvas sails, rope burns, and salt water exposure. Early missionaries also spread the healing benefits of Aloes in their work among many primitive communities. Aloes is even mentioned in the Bible for the embalming of the body of Jesus. Cape Aloes is one of the sources of the purgative "bitter aloes", a strong laxative (not to be confused with Aloe Vera, derived from the plant Aloe vera, and used as an emollient for many skin care products). In parts of South Africa, the bitter yellow juice of Aloes Cape found just below the skin of the leaf has been harvested for over 300 years. The hard, black resinous product is the portion commonly called Aloes Cape, and is used mainly for its laxative properties. Aloes Cape has also proven effective for arthritis support, being a primary ingredient in "Schwedenbitters" and "Lewensessens" which are found in many pharmacies throughout Europe 

More links to herbs on my Herb Page   

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~

 One of the best resources on Travel and Tourism in South Africa

You now have the chance to join over One Million WEEKLY winners of Europe's RICHEST Lottery, THE UK LOTTERY. All you need to do is go to http://www.playuklottery.com and click on the PLAY! button and follow the on-screen instructions. Simply REGISTER as a new player and then purchase your UK Lottery tickets for your chance to be a Pound Sterling MILLIONAIRE


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




375g Cake Flour
375g Butter (not margarine)
250g Brown Sugar
6 Large Eggs
250g Currents
250g Seedless Raisins
250g Sultanas
125g Mixed Peel
250g Cherries
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Mixed Spice
1/2 tsp Salt
125ml Brandy
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Black Treacle (I use Syrup)
1 tsp Cocoa
100g Ground Almonds
1/2 jar (250g) Fruit Mix
Extra Brandy for Soaking the Cake

1. Wash and dry all the fruit
2. Pour the brandy over the fruit and soak overnight stirring occasionally
3. Cream the butter and sugar well
4. Add the eggs 1 at a time plus a Tsp of flour with each egg
5. Add treacle
6. Add fruit mince and fruit
7. Fold in all the dry ingredients and mix well
8. Fold in the ground almonds
9. Grease a round cake tin and line it with wax paper
10. Wrap 4 layers of brown paper over the outside of the tin and secure with string
(This prevents the cake from getting too brown on the sides)
11. Bake in a pre-heated oven 150 C for 3 1/2 hours.
(If the top gets too dark, cover with tin foil)
12. Take out of oven and pour about 20ml of extra brandy over cake
13. Store in an airtight tin, pouring brandy over every week to keep moist



450g Ground Almonds
225g Sifted Icing Sugar
225g Caster Sugar
8 Large Egg Yolks
1 tsp Almond Essence

1. Mix the almonds with the sugars
2. Add egg yolks and essence and mix together to form a soft, but not sticky paste
3. Smooth the paste by kneading briefly on a icing sugar dusted board

1. Turn out your cake and place upside down on a cake board or stand
2. Make lots of holes in the cake with a skewer, piercing about 3/4 way through the cake
3. If you want to, you can add a little more alcohol at this stage, and allow to seep into the holes
4. Brush the cake with 45ml of heated smooth apricot jam
5. Roll almond paste out into a round big enough to cover the cake entirely, top and sides
6. Lift the paste onto the cake, easing it over the top and down the sides
The easiest way to lift the paste, is to ease it over your rolling pin
7. Press gently, but firmly into position and trim excess at the bottom edge with a knife
8. Smooth with a palette knife, and leave uncovered, to set for 24 hours in a cool dry place


900g Sifted Icing Sugar
4 Large Egg Whites
1 Tsp Glycerine
2 tsp Lemon Juice

1. Put the icing sugar and egg whites into a large mixing bowl
2. Beat together till smooth and fluffy
3. Beat in the glycerine and lemon juice
4. Spoon about 3 Tsp of the icing over the top of the cake and spread it evenly
5. Drag a clean metal ruler, or something like that, over the icing to smooth it
6. Trim the excess icing from round the top edge of the cake and leave to set overnight
7. Put the remaining icing in a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap and refrigerate
8. Next day, beat the remaining icing again, and give the top of the cake another layer
9. Spread the remaining icing round the sides of the cake, letting a little overflow onto the top of the cake
10. Pull icing into peaks with a knife
11. Leave to dry and decorate with Christmas decorations and ornaments as desired
12. If the top of your cake has a few dents in it, place a decoration over the dent or dust with icing sugar
13. If you really battle to get the top smooth, rather peak the entire cake with a knife, but remember, decorations can hide a magnitude of little faults


60ml Brandy
60ml Curacao
1 x 750ml Sparkling Wine
Soda Water

2 cups crushed ice
Fresh or Tinned Fruit
500ml Fruit Juice

1. Mix brandy, curacao and wine together in a punch bowl
2. Just before serving add the following:-
3. Ice and as much soda water as desired (the more you add, the weaker the punch)
4. For the fruit ring, place the ice in a 1.5L ring mould
5. Arrange the fruit over ice in a colourful display (Choose your fruit carefully)
6. Pour fruit juice over and freeze till solid (Preferably overnight)
7. Dip mould in warm water to loosen ring
8. Place carefully in punch bowl, fruit side up and serve immediately

Ham (with or without bone)
5ml Dry Mustard
5 Whole Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
2 Bottles of Beer or 2 Cans of Coke
250ml Apple Cider or Apple Juice
30ml Brown Sugar
30ml Honey or Golden Syrup
10ml Dry Mustard
Whole Cloves

1. Coat Ham with mustard
2. Put into a roasting pan and add peppercorns and bay leaves
3. Add beer or coke (I have tried it with both. I prefer the beer, but the coke is also good)
4. Bake at 160 C for 20 - 25 min per 500g
5. Remove from oven and drain off liquid
6. Remove the skin and score the fat in diamond patterns
7. If desired, put a whole clove into every diamond point
8. Combine glaze ingredients and spoon half over the ham
9. Bake at 160 C for 30 - 45 minutes basting with remaining glaze whilst baking
10. Serve glazed ham hot or cold


1 Saddle of Venison
8 rashers streaky bacon
100 - 125ml Port (optional)
2 Tsp Cake Flour mixed with 25g Butter
300ml Red Wine
300ml Red Wine Vinegar
300ml Water
1 Sprig of Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 Piece of Orange Peel (about 2.5cm square) pith removed

1. Trim hard skin from the meat, being careful not to cut into the flesh
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients and pour over the meat
(the meat must be covered with marinade)
3. Leave uncovered to marinade for 2 days in a cool place You can cover the dish with muslin as the air must circulate. Turn the meat from time to time
4. Drain the meat and pat dry
5. Arrange the bacon on top of the venison
6. Place in a roasting pan and cover with foil
7. Cook at 200 C for 30 minutes to seal the meat
8. Reduce to 180 C and cook for a further 2 hours, basting with some marinade every 15 min
9. You can add the port, if desired, to the roasting pan when temperature is reduced
10. Remove the foil and bacon from the meat and return to oven for 10 min at 200 C to brown
11. Remove the venison from the pan and keep warm
12. Add enough boiling water to the pan juices to make 300ml of gravy
13. Thicken with the flour and butter
14. Venison may be served with quince or red current jelly


3kg Turkey
50g Softened Butter
300ml Chicken Stock
40g Butter
1 Chopped Onion
500g Sausage Meat
240g can Whole Chestnuts Chopped
1 Grated Apple
100g Fresh Breadcrumbs
2Tsp Fresh Sage
1tsp Orange Rind
1tsp Lemon Rind

1. For the stuffing, melt the butter and cook the onion till soft
2. Mix in the rest of the stuffing ingredients and season with salt and pepper
3. Stuff the turkey and secure with a skewer
If preferred, the stuffing may be rolled into balls and cooked alongside the turkey, but I suggest you then stuff the neck of the turkey with a little of the stuffing
4. Loosen the breast skin of the turkey and smear the butter on the flesh underneath
5. Season the turkey with salt
6. Place turkey in a large roasting dish and pour over the stock
7. Cover loosely with foil and cook at 190 C for 20 - 25 min per 500g
8. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes to brown the turkey
9. Turkey can be checked for perfect cooking by piercing the thigh - there should be no traces of pink in the juices, if there is, return to the oven for a while
10. Put the turkey on a platter and allow to rest for 45 minutes
11. To make the gravy, skim off fat from the juices and to this fat add 3Tsp of flour
12. Stir over a low heat for 2 - 3 minutes
13. Add 60ml Madeira or brandy to flour mixture and stir
14. Add juices from roasting pan and stir until smooth
15. You want about 500ml of gravy, so if there is not enough liquid add some more stock
16. Boil for a minute and check seasoning


15ml Butter or Margarine
375ml Peeled Baby Onions
375ml Frozen Peas
25ml Butter or Margarine
20ml Flour
1ml Salt
1ml Grated Lemon Peel
1/2ml Dried Tarragon Leaves
Pinch White Pepper
250ml Cream

1. Place 15ml Butter in a 1.5L casserole dish
2. Microwave on high for 45 seconds till melted
3. Add onions and cook on high for 5 minutes till tender stirring once
4. Add peas
5. For sauce, place butter in a 1L jug and microwave on high for 45 seconds till melted
6. Stir in all the remaining sauce ingredients, except the cream
7. Blend in the cream and microwave on high for 3 - 4 minutes until the sauce thickens and bubbles, stirring occasionally
8. Pour sauce over the onions and peas and stir to blend
9. Microwave on high for 1 - 2 minutes until hot


1.2 kg Large Potatoes
3 Tsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Chopped
2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Peel the potatoes and cut them into chunks (3 x 3 cm) and pat dry
2. In a bowl mix together the oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and half the rosemary
3. Place potatoes in a roasting pan and drizzle with the seasoned oil
4. Stir to coat, and sprinkle over the remaining rosemary
5. Bake for 1 - 1.5 hours at 180 C until crisp and golden


1.25 Cups Milk
1.25 Cups Pouring Cream
1 Vanilla Pod Split Lengthways or 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
5 Eggs
2 tsp Cornflour
1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
2 Punnets Small Strawberries
4 Tsp Sweet Sherry
6 Tsp Sifted Icing Sugar
300g Madeira Cake (Sponge Cake)
175g Strawberry Jam
2 Cups Thick Cream
1/4 Cup Flaked Almonds Lightly Toasted

1. Pour the milk and pouring cream into a saucepan, add the vanilla and bring slowly to boil
2. Whisk the eggs, cornflour and sugar together and stir in the hot milk & cream
3. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water, and stir until custard thickens
4. Remove from heat and cover with cling wrap to prevent a skin from forming
5. Allow to cool
6. Keep a few strawberries for decoration, cut the rest in half and add the sherry and 1/2 the icing sugar
7. Mix together and set aside
8. Cut the cake into 3 horizontal layers and sandwich together with jam
9. Cut into slices and arrange in the bottom and slightly up the sides of a glass bowl
10. Cover with the strawberries and their juice
11. Pour in the custard and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight
12. Whisk the thick cream with the remaining icing sugar until it forms peaks
13. Spread on top of the trifle
14. Decorate the top with the remaining strawberries and the toasted almonds
15. Chill until ready to serve


115g Self-Raising Flour
1 Level tsp Mixed Spice
1 Level tsp Ground Ginger
1 Level tsp Salt
175g Chilled, Unsalted Butter
115g Whole-wheat Breadcrumbs
115g Ground Almonds
115g Sultanas
115g Seedless Raisins
115g Crystallised Pineapple, Chopped
75g Crystallised Ginger, Chopped
75g Crystallised Apricots, Chopped
75g Glazed Cherries, Chopped
75g Chopped Mixed Peel
Grated Rind of 1 Orange and 1 Lemon
175g Dark Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
6 Tsp Cointreau
200ml Sweet White Wine

1. Sieve the flour, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl
2. Grate in the butter
3. Add the breadcrumbs, all the fruit and rind, and the sugar
4. Beat the eggs lightly with the cointreau and the white wine
5. Mix with the ingredients in the bowl
6. Grease 2 x 1-litre pudding basins and fill with the mixture
7. Put grease-proof paper over the mixture in each basin
8. Cover the basins with muslin cloths or with foil, with a pleat across the centre to allow for expansion when steaming
9. Tie down securely
10. Steam for 6 hours, checking the level of water and filling up when necessary
11. Leave the puddings till cold, then wrap in foil and store in a cool, dark place
12. Before serving, steam for 2 hours to reheat


1 Cup Margarine
4 Cups Flour
2 Cups Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cloves
3 tsps Ground Cinnamon
2 tsps Ground Allspice
1 tsp Salt
2 tsps Bicarb
2 Cups Applesauce
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Pecans
2 Eggs

1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Mix in applesauce and spices.
4.Sift salt, flour, and bicarb
5. Add to applesauce mixture and mix well
6. Add nuts.
7. Pour into muffin pans and bake for 25 - 30 mins at 180 C
8. Leave to cool in tins
9. To decorate spread top with vanilla butter icing and roll in slivered almonds

6 Peeled and Shredded Carrots
1 Tin Crushed Pineapple
1 Cup Raisins or Cherries or a Combo
1 Cup Roughly Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

1. Place all the above ingredients in a bowl

1 Cup Whole-wheat Flour
1 Cup Plain Flour
2 Cups Wheaten Bran
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar ( for sweeter muffin add 3/4 - 1 cup)
6 Tbs Malt Sugar ( available at health shops)
4 tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbs Vanilla Essence
2 Eggs
2 Cups Buttermilk

1. Combine all the ingredients for the muffin mix together

1. Add muffin mix to carrot mix, combine well
2. Pour into paper lined/greased & floured/non stick muffin pans
3. Bake at 180 C for 25 - 30 mins until brown and fragrant
4. They freeze well


200g Cake Flour
85g Ground Almonds
Finely Grated Rind of 1 Orange
30g Caster Sugar
150g Chilled, Cubed Butter
1 Large Egg Beaten
55g Fruit Mince
115g Brandy Butter
2 Tsp Milk
1 Large Egg White

1. Sift flour, and add almonds, rind, sugar and salt to a bowl
2. Rub in butter till breadcrumb texture
3. Add the beaten egg, and mix dough into a ball with your hands
4. Knead dough till smooth
5. Cover in cling wrap, and chill for 30 minutes
6. Roll out as thinly as possible and cut out 20 x 6cm rounds
7. Gather the trimmings and roll again
8. Cut out 20 x 7.5cm rounds
9. Line 20 muffin tins with the larger rounds and spoon in mincemeat to fill pie
10. Put a tsp of brandy butter on top of the mincemeat
11. Brush the edges with milk and top with smaller rounds, pressing to seal
12. Bake for 25min at 200 C until golden brown
13. Leave to cool for 5 min then remove from tins and cool for further 10 min
14. Whisk the egg white till frothy and add icing sugar.
15. Spread the icing sugar over the pies and bake on a baking sheet for 5 - 10 min at 200 C


60g Unsalted Butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
finely grated rind of 1/2 orange
3-4 Tsp Brandy

1. Beat butter, sugar and orange rind until light and fluffy
2. Gradually add the brandy, a little at a time, beating well after each addition
3. If you add the brandy too quickly the butter will curdle
4. When smooth and creamy, spoon into a dish, cover and chill till required

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