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Newsletter #121 - March 22, 2006


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

What about some preserve recipes for the recipe theme? Scroll down to the recipes section end enjoy!

The next issue will be a bit late as we will be travelling around for a bit, after visting the Kruger National Park and camping in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park we will only be back by the middle of April. (hopefully with a good story and really nice photos!)

I have started a free email penpal service for Afrikaans speakers in the Afrikaans section of my website. If you would like to meet other Afrikaans speakers just click here and leave your details. Until further notice everyone placing an ad gets a free copy of my recipe eBook with traditional South African recipes (in Afrikaans, of course!)

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

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her.

She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up.

She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen.

She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high heat.

Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners.

She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl.

She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.

She did and noted that they were soft.

The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.

After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee.

The daughter smiled as she caught its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity ... boiling water.

Each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the
boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the
boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling...... Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

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.

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Are you using Internet Explorer? Why not give Firefox a try?  I notice that my spyware intrusions have reduced drastically since using Firefox!

The origin of the hotdog in America - I did some research on the origin of the hotdog and came up with the following:

it is likely that the North American hot dog comes from a widespread common European sausage brought here by butchers of several nationalities.

Doubt also looms large over another 'first' about it - the name of the man who first served the dachshund sausage with a roll. One report says a German immigrant sold them, along with milk rolls and sauerkraut, from a push cart in New York City's Bowery during the 1860's. In 1871, Charles Feltman, a German butcher opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 dachshund sausages in a milk roll during his first year in business.

The year, 1893, was an important date in hot dog history. In Chicago that year, the Colombian Exposition brought hordes of visitors who consumed large quantities of sausages sold by vendors. People liked this food. For, it was easy to eat, convenient and inexpensive.

In the same year, sausages turned out to be the standard fare at baseball parks. This tradition was begun by a St. Louis bar owner, Chris Von de Ahe, who also owned the St. Louis Browns major league baseball team.

The term "hot dog" was coined in 1901 at the New York Polo Grounds. One cold April day, concessionaire Harry Stevens (his company is still in business) was losing money with ice cream and ice cold soda. He sent his salesmen out to buy up all the dachshund sausages they could find, along with an equal number of rolls. In less than an hour his vendors were hawking hot dogs from portable hot water tanks with "They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot!"
In the press box, sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan was nearing his deadline and desperate for an idea. Hearing the vendors, he hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachschund sausages nestled warmly in rolls. Not sure how to spell "dachshund" he simply wrote "hot dog!" The cartoon was a sensation--and the term "hot dog" was born.

Today's hot dog on a bun was probably introduced during the St. Louis "Louisiana Purchase Exposition" in 1904 by Bavarian concessionaire, Anton Feuchtwanger. He loaned white gloves to his patrons to hold his piping hot sausages. Most of the gloves were not returned, and the supply began running low. He reportedly asked his brother-in-law, a baker, for help. The baker improvised long soft rolls that fit the meat--thus inventing the hot dog bun.

Source: The Holiday Spot

Why not subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter?

Here is an interesting article from www.southafrica.info   I will be using more articles from their interesting website in future letters. Do yourself a favour and go browse around their great site.:

A subscriber suggested that I put a Glossary of South African food on my site, I found this on the  above website:

SA cuisine: glossary of terms

Take milk with your rooibos? Fancy some pap with your wors? Brave enough to try some skop or mashonzha? Brush up on your culinary vocabulary with our quick list of indigenous South African food terms and what they mean.

South Africa is home to myriad ethnic and racial groups, many of them migrant communities, all of whom have contributed to the country's rich cultural mix.

The resultant kaleidoscope - the famous "rainbow" - applies not only to the people but to the food, for one finds in South Africa the most extraordinary range of cuisines.

The glossary below represents ethnic dishes of particular groups, many since adopted by other groups and no longer the preserve of the group of origin. The list is far from exhaustive, representing only a sample of the full South African menu - for more on the subject, see South African cuisine

Achaar. Imported to South Africa by migrant Indians, achaar is a salad made of mango and oil - comes spiced. Eaten in excess, it could trigger an offensive smell of the armpits.

Amanqina. A hoof of a cow, pig or sheep. It is boiled, then spiced for taste. It is very delicious but sticky.

Biltong. Dried and salted raw meat similar to the beef jerky made in the USA. An older Afrikaner delicacy, can be made of ostrich, beef, kudu or any other red meat.

Bobotie. Of Malay origin, made with minced meat and curried spices. An egg sauce is poured on top of this and it is then baked.

Boerewors. A traditional spicy South African sausage made of beef or lamb. Popular at open-air braais (barbecues), where it is grilled over charcoal.

Chakalaka. A salad of Indian / Malay origin made of onion, garlic, ginger, green pepper, carrots and cauliflower spiced with chillies and curry.

Chotlo. A delicacy of the Tswana people, this is meat cut into extremely small pieces with the bones removed. The meat is first boiled, then ground before being put back into the pot and stirred until it becomes very fine. A treat for the toothless.

Frikkadel. Traditional South African meat balls. Made from tomatoes, onion, minced beef and other ingredients, and shaped into round balls.

Gherkin. A small pickled cucumber, often sliced thinly and used in salads or on hamburgers.

Koeksusters. Traditional Afrikaner, plaited dough cakes. They are syrupy, sweet but sticky.

Mala. Intestines, especially those of chicken. They are thoroughly cleaned, cooked in boiled water, then fried. Eaten with pap (see below).

Maotwana. - Legs of a chicken boiled to remove the hard skin. Thoroughly washed, salted, then fried. Often served to school kids because of their low cost.

Mashonzha. - Worms, similar to caterpillars in appearance. These establish their habitat in and around mopani trees found in the Lowveld areas of Mpumalanga and the Northern Province. Popular with the Shangaans, Vendas and Bapedi of the Northern Province.

Mogodu. Tripe, thoroughly cleaned then boiled for two to three hours. Once softened, allowed to simmer before being served with pap (see below).

Morogo. Wild spinach, the most popular being thepe; delicious when boiled, softened and served with stiff porridge

Pap. Boiled corn meal, often served with sous - a sauce, usually featuring tomato and onions.

Rooibos tea. A popular South African herbal tea made in the Cape from the Cyclopia genistoides bush. Rooibos is an Afrikaans word meaning "red bush". Rooibos has no caffeine and less tannin than tea.

Samoosa. A small, spicy, triangular-shaped pie that has been deep-fried in oil. Made by the Indian and Malay communities, samoosas are popular with South Africans in general.

Serobe. A dish of the Tswana people. Thoroughly washed, then boiled mixture of tripe, intestines and lungs. They are cut into small pieces with a pair of scissors before being spiced to add taste.

Snoek. This is a popular and tasty fish, caught off the Cape coast and often eaten smoked. If you're lucky, you may get to experience a snoek braai - a real South African treat.

Skop. Head of a cow, sheep or goat. The head is first scrubbed with a sharp instrument like a razor to remove skin and unwanted parts like ears and the nose are then cut out. The head is then boiled and allowed to simmer. Favoured by African men.

Ting. A dish favoured by the Tswanas in both South Africa and Botswana. It is a sour porridge made of sorghum - great soft porridge for breakfast!

Umngqusho. A delicacy among the Xhosa people, this is samp (maize kernels) mixed with beans. It is boiled over three hours then mixed with beans. Salt and oil are then added and the dish allowed to simmer.
From: http://www.southafrica.info

Ever tried Rooibos tea?

As promised, another Rooibos recipe

Rooibos ginger drink

250 ml very strong rooibos tea infusion
25 ml honey
25 ml lemon rind
60 ml lemon juice
1 litre ice-cold ginger ale
lemon slices to serve
lemon slices to serve

Blend the rooibos infusion, honey, lemon rind, lemon juice and ginger ale.
Pour into glasses and serve with lemon slices.

Glenacres Superspar newsletter recipe.


200 g macaroni, cooked
30 g butter
30 g (3 Tbsp) flour
250 ml (1 cup) milk
1 can (290 g) Nestlé dessert cream
250 ml (1 cup) grated strong cheddar cheese
1 egg
125 ml (˝ cup) peppadews, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
extra cheese for sprinkling

1 small onion, chopped
15 ml (1 Tbsp) oil
1 can chopped tomatoes
10 ml (2 tsp) chopped fresh parsley or basil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Lightly grease six individual or 1 large ovenproof dish.
3. Melt butter, add flour and cook, stirring over low heat for 1 minute.
4. Add milk and cream stirring until smooth.
5. Cook, stirring over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens.
6. Stir in chicken stock, macaroni, egg, peppadews and cheese.
7. Mix well and season to taste.
8. Spoon into dishes, top with extra grated cheese and place dishes into a large baking dish half filled with water.
9. Bake for 30 minutes or until set.
10. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before turning out (individual dishes) and serving with tomato sauce.

1. Fry onion in oil until soft and add tomatoes.
2. Simmer for 10 minutes, adding a little water if necessary.
3. Season to taste and stir in parsley or basil.

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

Another Wacky Sarmie

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

My brother loves to make Vienna and syrup sarmies, my favourite is popcorn with Marcel’s English Toffee frozen yoghurt on any bread of your choice, delicious, don’t knock it before you try it, it’s lekker!

A Blast From the Past

1947 - The first Dead Sea Scrolls are discovered, Robert Broom finds Mrs. Ples, British Royal family tour SA, C. Louis Leipoldt dies, the AK-47 is designed, the first supersonic flight takes place

Source: Sunday Times.

 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.

The Leopard Tortoise -  one of the Small 5 (click to see photo)

The Leopard tortoise is a large and attractively marked tortoise which has a wide distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, including recorded localities in southern Sudan, Ethiopia, Eastern Africa (including Natal), Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Southwest Africa. In this species males may attain a greater size than females, a characteristic shared with certain other members of the genus Geochelone, including Galapagos tortoises. Large examples may be 60 cm (over 2 feet) long and weigh over 35 kg (about 80 lbs.).

This tortoise favours semi-arid, thorny to grassland habitats. It is, however, also found in some regions featuring a higher level of precipitation. Not surprisingly, given its propensity for grassland habitats it grazes, extensively upon mixed grasses. It also favours the fruit and pads of the prickly pear (Opuntia sp.), succulents and thistles.

The Herb Section - TOBACCO

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) - the genus derives its name from Joan Nicot, a Portuguese who introduced the Tobacco plant into France. The specific name being derived from the Haitian word for the pipe in which the herb is smoked. Tobacco is an annual, with a long fibrous root, stem erect, round, hairy, and viscid; it branches near the top and is from 3 to 6 feet high. Leaves large, numerous, alternate, sessile, somewhat decurrent, ovate, lanceolate, pointed, entire, slightly viscid and hairy, pale-green color, brittle, narcotic odor, with a nauseous, bitter acrid taste. Nicotine is a volatile oil, inflammable, powerfully alkaline, with an acrid smell and a burning taste. By distillation with water it yields a concrete volatile oil termed nicotianin or Tobacco camphor, which is tasteless, crystalline, and smells of Tobacco; other constituents are albumen, resin, gum, and inorganic matters.

The most important constituent of tobacco is the alkaloid Nicotine, nicotianin, nicotinine, nicoteine, nicoteline. After leaves are smoked the nicotine decomposes into pyridine, furfurol, collidine, hydrocyanic acid, carbon-monoxide, etc. The poisonous effects of Tobacco smoke are due to these substances of decomposed nicotine.

Tobacco is considered a local irritant; if used as snuff it causes violent sneezing, also a copious secretion of mucous; chewed, it increases the flow of saliva by irritating the mucous membrane of the mouth; injected into the rectum it acts as a cathartic. In large doses, Tobacco produces nausea, vomiting, sweats and great muscular weakness.

The alkaloid nicotine is a virulent poison producing great disturbance in the digestive and circulatory organs. It innervates the heart, causing palpitation and cardiac irregularities and vascular contraction, and is considered one of the causes of arterial degeneration. Nicotine is very like coniine and lobeline in its pharmacological action, and the pyridines in the smoke modify very slightly its action.

Tobacco was once used as a relaxant, but is no longer employed except occasionally in chronic asthma. Its active principle is readily absorbed by the skin, and serious, even fatal, poisoning, from a too free application of it to the surface of the skin has resulted. The smoke acts on the brain, causing nausea, vomiting and drowsiness.

Medicinally, Tobacco is used as a sedative, diuretic, expectorant, discutient, and sialagogue, and internally only as an emetic, when all other emetics fail. The smoke injected into the rectum or the leaf rolled into a suppository has been beneficial in strangulated hernia, also for obstinate constipation, due to spasm of the bowels, also for retention of urine, spasmodic urethral stricture, hysterical convulsions, worms, and in spasms caused by lead, for croup, and inflammation of the peritoneum, to produce evacuation of the bowels, moderating reaction and dispelling tympanitis, and also in tetanus. To inject the smoke it should be blown into milk and injected, for croup and spasms of the rima glottides it is made into a plaster with Scotch snuff and lard and applied to throat and breast, and has proved very effectual. A cataplasm of the leaves may be used as an ointment for cutaneous diseases. The leaves in combination with the leaves of belladonna or stramonium make an excellent application for obstinate ulcers, painful tremors and spasmodic affections. A wet Tobacco leaf applied to piles is a certain cure. The inspissated juice cures facial neuralgia if rubbed along the tracks of the affected nerve.

The Tobacco plant was introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh and his friends in 1586, and at first met with violent opposition. Kings prohibited it, Popes pronounced against it in Bulls, and in the East Sultans condemned Tobacco smokers to cruel deaths. Three hundred years later, in 1885, the leaves were official in the British Pharmacopoeia.

Externally nicotine is an antiseptic. It is eliminated partly by the lungs, but chiefly in the urine, the secretion of which it increases. Formerly Tobacco in the form of an enema of the leaves was used to relax muscular spasms, to facilitate the reduction of dislocations. A pipe smoked after breakfast assists the action of the bowels.

The pituri plant contains an alkaloid, Pitarine, similar to nicotine, and the leaves are used in Australia instead of Tobacco. An infusion of Tobacco is generally used in horticulture as an insecticide.

In cases of nicotine poisoning, the stomach should be quickly emptied, and repeated doses of tannic acid given, the person kept very warm in bed, and stimulants such as caffeine, strychnine, or atropine given, or if there are signs of respiratory failure, oxygen must be given at once.

 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:

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

This is where we will be camping during April

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


Brandied peach preserve

5 peaches, peeled, halved and stoned
500 ml sugar
500 ml water
250 ml brandy (more or less)

1. Prick peaches all over with a fine, sharp needle. 2. Place sugar and water in a saucepan and allow sugar to dissolve. 3. Place the peaches in the syrup and allow to simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes. 4. Lift out carefully, pack into a wide mouthed jar and half fill with sugar syrup. Cool. 5. Add brandy to cover peaches completely. Seal jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 months. 6. Serve with whipped cream or as an accompaniment to roast duck, ham, corned beef or even venison.

Kumquat preserve

500 g kumquat
500 ml sugar
750 ml brandy

Wash kumquats and pierce each fruit a few times with a sterilised needle, or make a slit crossways at the top of each fruit.
Layer the fruit and sugar in a sterilised preserving jar.
Pour in the brandy until the fruit is completely covered.
Seal and store in a cool dark place. Invert the jar occasionally.
The fruit will be ready to eat after four months.

Lemon preserve

1 kg medium-;sized, thin-;skinned lemons
500 g coarse salt
3 litre water
125 ml sunflower oil

1. Scrub lemons well and cut into quarters without cutting through the stalk end, keeping it attached to the lemons.
2. Dissolve half the salt in 1,5 litres water. Pour over the lemons and leave in a cool place for 4 days. Drain and rinse the lemons and pack into sterilised preserving jars, sprinkling each layer with paprika.
3. Dissolve the remaining salt in 1,5 litres water and pour into the jars, to about 2 cm from the rim. Top up with oil, seal and leave for 6 to 8 weeks.
4. When the lemons soften, simply rinse, scrape away the flesh and slice thinly.
5. Serve as an accompaniment to casseroles or cold meats. The juice can be used instead of vinegar in a salad dressing or marinade.

Plum and orange preserve

2 kg ripe red plums
2 kg sugar
30 ml grated orange peel
125 ml orange juice
60 ml lemon juice

Wash, halve and stone plums. Combine with remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Bring slowly to boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to moderate. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until preserve thickens. Skim foam from surface and ladle into hot dry jars and fill to within 1,25 cm of top of jars. Seal and label.

Preserved mushrooms

apple vinegar
salted water
coriander seeds
black peppercorns
garlic cloves
bay leaves
olive oil

Bring the apple vinegar and salted water to the boil.
Plunge the mushrooms into this mixture and leave for five minutes.
Drain and leave the mushrooms on a tea towel to dry for about six hours.
Spoon the mushrooms into sterilized jars, filling the jars three quarters of the way.
Add coriander seeds, black peppercorns, garlic cloves, thyme and rosemary.
Add enough olive oil to cover the mushrooms.
Seal the jars and store for at least one month before using.

Quince preserve

1.20 kg quinces, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, sliced
15 ml grated fresh ginger
500 g white sugar
500 ml white wine vinegar
5 ml salt

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 30 minutes or until sticky and syrupy.
Makes 500 ml

Whole naartjie preserve

3 kg naartjies (the smooth, tight-skinned variety)
3 kg sugar
3 litre water

1. Peel naartjies very thinly, taking care not to break skin. Make 5 incisions, equidistantly, in sides. 2. Cover with cold water and soak for 3 days, replacing water on second day. 3. Boil fruit in fresh water to cover until tender but not broken. 4. Proceed as for orange preserves but, when thinning syrup after clarifying, add 1,5 litres (6 cups) extra water.




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