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Newsletter #118 - February 8, 2006


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

I think it's about time I featured potjie recipes again, but before I get to that let's make some pot bread. Pot bread is usually baked outdoors over the coals. A cast iron flat bottomed pot is used. I actually cheat as I just buy  ready dough from the supermarket. If I want to be creative I simply add whatever I want, for instance I add some grated cheese and onion for a cheese-and-onion pot bread, diced olives for an olive pot bread and so on. Through experimentation I have learned that if you place the pot on 5 charcoal briquettes and place another 5 on the lid you will have a well done bread in an hour! I wait till the charcoal is burnt to a grey colour and then they are ready for use. Go ahead and try it, nothing like hot fresh bread to star off a bbq! Scroll down for some recipes. A very easy pot bread recipe is to make a dough from a  340 ml bottle or can of beer, 500 g self raising flour and 5 ml salt. As easy as that!

Never buy another recipe book again.
I have put together my South African Traditional Recipes in English and Afrikaans plus another 36 recipe eBooks on one CD. Click here to take a look and also get your free Low Fat recipe eBook

Here are some neat links for handy converters:


Flea Market

I have often been asked if I would be willing to place advertisements on my site. I decided to start a classifieds section where you can place ads for free.. Just click the link below and browse around or place an ad.

Free Classified Ads 

from Bravenet.com 

Are you using Internet Explorer? Why not give Firefox a try? 

Freebie - Right click here and download the eBook  ~Egg Recipes ~ This eBook is also on my Recipe CD

In the previous issue I tried to trace the origin of Coke. This time it's another great US institution, the hamburger. Let's stick to the American hamburger, this is what I could find:

There is a diversity of opinion between the northeast and the southwest, with still another opinion coming from the midwest. In the northeast, they say that the burger was first grilled by Louis Lassen of New Haven, Connecticut who ground up some scraps of beef and served it as a sandwich to a customer who was in a hurry in 1900. In Athens, Texas, they say a man named Fletcher Davis fried a beef patty and put it between two slices of bread as a sandwich in the late 1880's and took it to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis. However, there is some evidence to support the theory that the hamburger got its start at the World's Columbia Exposition in 1893 in Chicago. Other midwesterners claim that Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin invented it in 1885, introducing it at the Outagamie County Fair.

Most historians seem to agree that the popularization of the Hamburger as we know it today, was when Fletch Davis began selling the ground beef patty sandwich at the amusement area, known as The Pike at the St. Louis World's Fair Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in 1904. Fairgoers took their taste home with them and began experimenting with the Hamburg Steak tucked between two slices of bread. No one knows who thought up the hamburger bun, but by the time the White Castle people opened their doors in 1921 most of the country knew about hamburgers. In 1929 Elzie Crisler Segar was further popularizing hamburgers by giving his cartoon creation, Popeye, a sidekick called J. Wellington Wimpy who was rarely pictured without a burger in his hand.  (Could this be the origin of the Wimpy food chain? - Peter)

Anyway, in my humble opinion the best hamburgers in South Africa are made by Steers!

And...that's the history of the American hamburger.
Does anyone know when milk shakes originated? I will try and find out!

Here is an interesting article from www.southafrica.info   I will be using more articles from their interesting website in future letters.

African food

Maize has long been the basis of African cuisine. Each community, whether Xhosa or Zulu, Sotho, Tswana or Swazi, holds to slight differences in making it and preferences in eating it, but certain dishes have the approval of nearly all. Here are some of them: fresh, "green" mealies, roasted and eaten on the cob, sold by hawkers almost everywhere, usually women, who set up their braziers on the pavement; dried and broken maize kernels, or samp: samp and beans, or umngqusho, is a classic African dish; dried maize kernels ground fine into maize-meal or mielie-meal, used for everything from sour-milk porridge to dumplings, crumbly phutu to fine-grained mieliepap. It is mixed with sorghum and yeast for umqombothi, a popular African beer, or with flour and water for mageu, a refreshing, slightly fermented drink.

Early African tribes planted millet and sorghum - and indeed, they still do. Millet makes quite a nice traditional beer, as does sorghum (called amabele, amazimba, luvhele), which can also be used for an excellent porridge.

Africans from early times also raised cattle, but very few of the beasts ended up on the open wood fires of the braai.

There was game to hunt and insects to gather - termites, locusts, and especially mopane worms, which are caterpillars that live on mopane trees. Dried, then fried, grilled, or cooked up in a stew, they were considered a delicacy in the northern part of South Africa, among the Venda, Tsonga and Pedi people, as well as in Botswana and Zimbabwe - and still are, served up as hors d'oeuvres at restaurants and pubs in the city. In the north, the caterpillars and other foods are cooked in peanut sauce; further south, it's onions, tomatoes and a touch of chilli.

One can find dishes made with amadumbe - rather like sweet potatoes - where African food is served. But the vegetables one finds most often in African homes are morogo (any green leaves, including bean and beetroot leaves), pumpkin, often sweetened or seasoned with cinnamon (a taste shared with Afrikaner cooks), and beans of all sorts.

The meat can be goat or chicken and quite often is tripe, a delicacy here as it is in France, and possibly a legacy of the Huguenots or, as likely, the kind of meat available to people whose finances didn't stretch to fillet steak.

From: http://www.southafrica.info

A Cry for Help from Zimbabwe - Please click here and do your best to help!

Ever tried Rooibos tea?

As promised, a Rooibos6 recipe

Rooibos Tea Pudding

60 ml marmalade or apricot jam
60 ml (50g) sugar
125 ml oil
20 ml (10g) bicarbonate of soda
500 ml (240g) cake flour
pinch of salt
grated rind of 1 lemon

Rooibos tea sauce

750 ml hot Rooibos tea
300 ml (240g) sugar
juice of 1 orange and 1 lemon
10 ml (10g) butter

Mix the jam, sugar and oil. Add the bicaronate of soda.
Sift the cake flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add to the jam mixture and the lemon rind.
Mix well. Form the dough into balls and arrange in a baking dish.
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and pour over balls.
Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180º until cooked. Serve with custard or ice-cream.

When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital. One nurse took her copy to Ireland.

The old lady's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the North Ireland Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on her simple, but eloquent poem. And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet:

Crabby Old Woman

What do you see, nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking
When you're looking at me?

A crabby old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit,
With faraway eyes?

Who dribbles her food
And makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
"I do wish you'd try!"

Who seems not to notice
The things that you do,
And forever is losing
A stocking or shoe?

Who, resisting or not,
Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding,
The long day to fill?

Is that what you're thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse,
You're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am
As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.

I'm a small child of ten
With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters,
Who love one another.

A young girl of sixteen
With wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now
A lover she'll meet.

A bride soon at twenty,
My heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows
That I promised to keep.

At twenty-five now,
I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide
And a secure happy home

A woman of thirty,
My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other
With ties that should last.

At forty, my young sons
Have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me
To see I don't mourn.

At fifty once more,
Babies play round my knee,
Again we know children,
My loved one and me.

Dark days are upon me,
My husband is dead,
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread.

For my young are all rearing
Young of their own,
And I think of the years
And the love that I've known.

I'm now an old woman
And nature is cruel;
'Tis jest to make old age
Look like a fool.

The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone
Where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again,
My battered heart swells.

I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living
Life over again.

I think of the y ears
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact
That nothing can last.

So open your eyes, people,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer . . . see ME!!

So you want a day off. Let's take a look at what you are asking for.

There are 365 days per year available for work.

There are 52 weeks per year in which you already have 2 days off per week, leaving 261 days available for work.

Since you spend 16 hours each day away from work, you have used up 170 days, leaving only 91 days available.

You spend 30 minutes each day on coffee break which counts for 23 days each year, leaving only 68 days available.

With a 1 hour lunch each day, you used up another 46 days, leaving only 22 days available for work.

You normally spend 2 days per year on sick leave.

This leaves you only 20 days per year available for work.

We are off 5 holidays per year, so your available working time is down to 15 days.

We generously give 14 days vacation per year which leaves only 1 day available for work and I'll be darned if you are going to take that day off!

Glenacres Superspar newsletter recipe


1.25kg pork ribs
5 Tbsp tomato sauce
3 Tbsp soft light brown sugar
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
450ml chicken stock

1. Rinse the ribs in cold water and arrange in a roasting pan
2. Mix the tomato sauce, sugar, oil, Worcestershire sauce and mustard together
3. Brush the mixture over the ribs with a pastry brush
4. Pour the stock into the base of the pan
5. Roast in the centre of the oven at 200°C for 1 ¼ hours, brushing once or twice with pan juices and turning the ribs occasionally
6. Separate the ribs and serve

Glenacres Superspar sends out a really nice newsletter full of super recipes. To subscribe, click here and send the blank email. 

Wacky Sarmie of the Month!

Go take a look at my Wacky Sarmies page, there are some great sarmie ideas!

From Michealsean: Syrup and marmite on white bread,
Ham, Simba chips (chilli), mango pickles, mayonnaise, sliced tomato and tomato sauce

 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.  

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.

Some aardvark facts - I have never been fortunate enough to see an aardvark, but who knows, perhaps someday (or night!) I will get lucky!

The name aardvark comes from a word meaning "earth pig." Although the aardvark, endemic to Africa, shares some similarities with the South American anteater, the two are not related.

The aardvark has a short neck connected to a massive, dull brownish-gray, almost hairless body that has a strongly arched back. The legs are short, the hind legs longer than the front ones. The head is elongated and ends in a long, narrow snout, with nostrils that can be closed. The long, tubular ears are normally held upright but can be folded and closed. The short but muscular tail is cone-shaped and tapers to a point. The thick claws on the forefeet are used as digging tools.

Aardvarks are found in all regions, from dry savanna to rain forest, where there are sufficient termites for food, access to water and sandy or clay soil. If the soil is too hard, aardvarks, despite being speedy, powerful diggers, will move to areas where the digging is easier.

Aardvarks are nocturnal, usually waiting until dark before they emerge from their burrows, although after a cold night, they may occasionally sun themselves. They leave a distinctive track from dragging their tails during which their travels average one to three miles but can range up to 18 miles a night. Aardvarks are seldom seen, but their presence in an area serves many other animals. Bats, ground squirrels, hares, cats, civets, hyenas, jackals, porcupines, warthogs, monitor lizards, owls and other birds use abandoned aardvark holes as shelter. The burrows vary from simple chambers with one entrance, to a complicated maze of galleries with 20 or more entrances. Aardvarks keep their burrows clean they deposit their dung in a hole away from the entrance, carefully covering it with earth.

Aardvarks specialized in eating termites as long as 35 million years ago. At night they go from one termite mound to another, dismantling the hills with their powerful claws. Insects are trapped by the aardvark's long protractile tongue, which is covered with a thick, sticky saliva. Sometimes the aardvark will press its snout against an opening in a mound and suck up the termites. Aardvarks, with their keen sense of smell, also hunt for the long columns of termites that move outside the mounds at night.

Aardvarks give birth to one offspring at a time. The pinkish, hairless newborn stays inside the burrow for about 2 weeks and then begins to follow its mother in her search for food. The young first eats solid food at 3 months of age and is suckled until 4 months.

At about 6 months the young male becomes independent and goes off on its own, while the young female stays with the mother until after the next baby is born. The young female may then dig its own burrow a few yards away from its mother but still joins her to forage for termites.

The aardvark has fewer teeth than most mammals. The teeth are columnar in shape, have no roots and do not grow simultaneously.
Although not thought to be teritorial, females seem to become attached to a particular place. The males wander more. Adult aardvarks are usually solitary, coming together only for mating.


The Herb Section - ROSE

The rose is strictly speaking not a herb, but it deserves a place amongst our herbs as it is so beautiful and has the uses of a herb.
A perennial shrub, roses like average soil and a sunny situation.
Roses need a good watering program and regular checking for insects. Catnip, winter savory, rosemary or pennyroyal grown under roses help to keep the bugs away.

Domestic uses:
A beautiful and popular cut flower for the vase
The petals are an essential in pot-pourri

Cosmetic uses:
Rosewater (made by boiling 2 cups of petals in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes) has an antiseptic and soothing quality, and can be used on all skin types, even very sensitive or inflamed skin
Cooled rosewater may be strained and kept in the fridge for further use

Medicinal uses:
Rose petal tea (made by infusing a cup of boiling water with a quarter cup of rose petals, stood for 5 minutes, then strained) has a calming effect. Serve it with a little honey
Rose oil, used as a massage oil, is said to aid circulation and tone the blood capillaries
Rosewater splashed on the outside of the eyes helps with conjunctivitis
Rosehip contains several vitamins, especially vitamin C and may be taken in the form of a tea or syrup

Culinary uses:
The petals may be used to flavour ice cream, remembering to remove the bitter white heel of the petal
The petals may be used to make rose petal conserve, also removing the heel

 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:
Internet and Home Business info on CD
The Ultimate Recipe book on CD!
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!


Every issue I feature an interesting website:

Featured Website

Tell the world on hellopeter.com

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!


Kwik Kliks

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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.

This really works, I can recommend it! Reduce your monthly short term insurance payment.  
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All you have to do now is to decide what to do with the money you save!

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The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter


Biltong pot bread

50 ml melted margarine
500 ml lukewarm water
1 kg cake flour
300 g finely carved beef biltong
10 g instant yeast
10 ml salt

Mix the melted margarine and lukewarm water. Combine all the dry ingredients and biltong. Add the margarine mixture and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Leave for about 10 minutes. Punch down and place the dough in a greased, flat-bottomed cast-iron pot. Leave in a warm place to rise until double in bulk. Place the pot on a grill over medium coals and place a few coals on top of the lid of the pot. Bake for about 1 hour or until the bread is done. Serve with the rump steak and jam.

Flat pot bread

800 ml white bread flour
7 ml instant yeast
2 ml salt
15 ml olive oil
50 ml fresh mixed herbs such as thyme, oreganum, rosemary and parsley
1 small onion, chopped and sautéed in oil until soft (optional)
350 ml lukewarm water
olive oil
15 ml coarse salt

Mix flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a hollow in the middle and add the olive oil, half the herbs and onion. Mix to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. Knead for about 10 minutes until dough is smooth and not sticky. (Small air bubbles will appear on the surface when the dough is pressed between your hands.) Place dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place until double the volume (about 1 hour). Punch down lightly, but don't knead all the air out. Shape into an oval or ball and leave to rise again for about 7 minutes. Spray a shallow cooking pot with non-stick cooking spray or lightly grease with butter. Place dough in pot, cover and leave to rise until doubled in volume. Press remaining herbs onto dough surface, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Preheat oven to 200 ºC, or bread can be baked over the coals (place the pot over a coal-filled hole in the sand, and cover the lid with coals). Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through, and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve with extra olive oil and mussel stew, or with braaied meat and roasted vegetables.

Pot bread

720 g cake flour
7 ml salt
10 g instant dried yeast
30 ml sugar
lukewarm water

Sift the cake flour, salt and instant yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and mix. Add about 500-625 ml lukewarm water to the dry ingredients to form a fairly slack dough. Knead until the dough just clings to your hands. Spoon the dough into a clean plastic shopping bag and loosely tie the handles together. (Ensure that the bag has no holes.) Place the bag inside another bag, tie the handles loosely and place the parcel in a large black pot. Half fill the pot with lukewarm water. Cover and bring the water to the boil before reducing the heat to its lowest setting. (Replenish the water in the pot if necessary.) Check to see if the bead is done with a testing skewer. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. Serve with butter and jam. Makes an large 'loaf'.





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