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Newsletter #122 - April 19, 2006


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

Once again there will be a delay with the next newsletter, the travel bug has now really bitten and in the next few weeks we will be visiting  Margate as well as doing a long anticipated tour of neighbouring Namibia. Hopefully the story and pics will be worth the delay! We plan to be back towards the end of May.

For the recipe theme this time I have chosen liver! I used to LOVE liver dishes when cholesterol wasn't a factor in my life, now I have the memories to keep a smile on my face! Scroll down and enjoy!

We are back from a really nice visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park . We are used to going to Kruger Park and Kgalagadi is a totally different experience! If you like Kruger, you will love Kgalagadi, just leave the family sedan at home and remember to lower your tyre pressures in Kgalagadi!

Here, briefly is how the trip went:

Click the links to view online photo albums of the pics I took in Kgalagadi:

Kgalagadi - http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2107442046

Kgalagadi Ground Squirrels - http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2107441087

We have been wanting to go to Kgalagadi for some years now and at last the opportunity presented itself when friends asked us to accompany them. They would be camping on the Botswana side for the first few days and we were to join them at Nossub camp for the last 4 days

Day 1
Just before 6 am on April 2nd 2006 we left Alberton for the first leg of our journey to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, previously known as the Kalahari Gemsbok Park till they opened up the border with neighbouring Botswana and it became a transfrontier park.

Just over 800 km later we arrived at Upington which was to be our overnight stop. We stayed at the Eiland resort on the banks of the Orange river, was still in flood after recent heavy rains.

Day 2

At 5 am we were on our way to the park entrance gate at Twee Rivieren camp. After about 200 km the tar road ended and for the last 60 km we shook and rattled our way over a rather bad stretch of corrugated gravel road. We made good time to the Park entrance gate deciding to go fast rather than slow over the corrugations. We hoped that the roads in the park would be better as there was a 50 km/h speed limit and we would have no option but to go slow.

We could see that we were now heading for semi desert as sand dunes became more evident. Due to recent rains they were mostly covered with grass but the dune shapes were obvious.

Twee Rivieren Camp has quaint stone type buildings and after a brief stop for a cold drink and a fuel top-up we headed to Mata Mata camp where we were due to stay for the next two nights.

I should have paid notice to the sign at the garage suggesting a reduction in tyre pressure while traveling in the park.. We were soon to realize that all the roads in the park were rather badly corrugated and because of the speed restriction we experienced the full effect of the corrugations most of the way to Mata Mata..

On the way we spotted herds of gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest also many birds including a selection of raptors.

Upon our arrival at Mata Mata we checked in and were lucky to find a camping spot under a large, shady camel thorn tree where we set up camp and spent the rest of the afternoon just lazing about and chatting to our neighbours.

We are used to camping under shady trees on green lawns and soon realized that we now had to set up camp on sand as there was not a blade of grass in sight! As our tent is usually pitched on a larger groundsheet, the sand just made for a softer surface.

There are two very big plus points in camping in our National Parks. The night skies are as bright as can be as there are no city lights to lessen the effect and you can hear sounds of the bush as you lie in your tent. During our stay we heard hyena, jackal and lions roaring, really wonderful stuff!

Day 3

When the camp gates opened at 7 am were out and about hoping to get some good game sightings. We were hoping for lion, leopard or cheetah sightings but were disappointed. We did spot a couple of lions but they were quite a way from the road in longish grass and we just had a glimpse of them, not good enough for a photo. We spotted some more gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest and some giraffe but nothing more exciting. As it was now becoming quite hot we headed back to camp and spent the afternoon lazing in the tent which was nice and cool because of the shady tree we were camped under.

Day 4

For the next two nights we had booked at Twee Rivieren camp and as I filled up with fuel I decided to follow their advice and lower tyre pressures. On advice from the attendant I lowered pressure to 1.8 bar all around and what a difference that made!! The lower tyre pressures smoothed out the effect of the corrugations and we had a great trip down to Twee Rivieren camp. Nothing spectacular was sighted on the journey from Mata Mata to Twee Rivieren.

The camp was much fuller and our tree was much smaller this time but we still had shade. People arriving later were less fortunate and had to pitch tent in the hot sun! Once again it was a case of first come first served.

We booked to go on a sunset game drive but were disappointed with the sightings, mostly some wild cats and the odd spring hare.

Day 5

Once again we were on the road when the gates opened at 7 am and this time we hit the jackpot when we sighted two cheetah coming down from a dune on our left, crossing the road right in front of us and disappearing into the bush to our right. They really are magnificent animals and I got a few good photos.

Nothing exciting was spotted on the rest of the drive and we headed back to camp to get out of the heat and just relax.

Days 6 - 10

For the next 4 nights we were booked at Nossob camp, a good 160 km of corrugations to the North. The lower tyre pressures helped a great deal and we arrived at Nossob 4 hours later and were again very fortunate to find a camping spot under a large shady tree.

A feature of all the camps are the large number of ground squirrels who are very tame, in fact they will eat out of your hand end some will even let you pet them. I spent quite a bit of time taking photos of them, resulting in some good photos as you can get really up close to them.

Nossob also has it’s own jackal population and we were warned not to leave foodstuff outside as the jackals would certainly help themselves!

The four days at Nossob followed the same pattern. As soon as the camp gates opened at 7 am we were out on our morning drive, hoping f or some good and interesting game sightings. We were hoping to spot leopard as well as the magnificent Kalahari lions with their black manes, but neither were sighted on this trip. We saw lots of lion tracks that were made during the night or early morning, but never the real thing.

On our last day at Nossob we were very fortunate to spot a female cheetah and four young. It seemed as if she was teaching them to hunt as she let them chase a springbok which was much too quick for them. Better luck next time, we thought.

Will we visit Kgalagadi again? YES! It is a unique park with unique vegetation and wildlife. It is not as commercialized as the Kruger park and you get that “back to nature” experience. The roads are not THAT bad if you remember to deflate your tyres and I would not recommend the Kgalagadi during summer months. This is one instance where I would. prefer to camp rather than .stay in the camp chalets where you don’t get that outdoors experience. I would also suggest that you leave the family sedan at home and use the doublecab or similar type vehicle. (it’s not necessary to have a 4x4 unless you specifically want to try a 4x4 trail)

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 Zimbabwean arrives in Jo'burg as a new immigrant in South Africa. He stops the first person he sees walking down the street and says,"Thank you Mr. South African, for letting me in this country, and giving me free housing, food, free medical care, affirmative action job and free education!"

But the passer-by says, "You are mistaken, I am a Nigerian. I'm just here for the free medical care" The man goes on and encounters another passer-by. "Thank you for having such a beautiful country here in South Africa!" The person says, "I'm not South African, I'm from Mozambique. I'm just here for the free housing"

The new arrival walks further and the next person he sees he stops, shakes hands and says, "Thank you for the wonderful South Africa!" That person puts up his hand and says, "I am from Botswana, I am not a South African ...I'm just here for the free education"

He finally sees a lady and asks suspiciously, "Are you a South African? She says, "No, I am from Ghana!" So he is puzzled and asks her, "Where are all the South Africans?" The Ghana lady looks at her watch, shrugs, and says.......

"Probably at work!"


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?  I notice that my spyware intrusions have reduced drastically since using Firefox!

A circus owner runs an ad for a lion tamer and two people show up.

One is a good looking older man in his mid-sixties and the other is a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in her mid-twenties.

The circus owner tells them, "I'm not going to sugar coat it. This is one ferocious lion. He ate my last tamer so you guys better be good or you're history. Here's your equipment....chair, whip and a gun. Who wants to try out first?"

The blonde says, "I'll go first."

She walks past the chair, the whip and the gun and steps right into the lion's cage. The lion starts to snarl and pant and begins to charge her. About half way there, she throws open her coat revealing her beautiful naked body.  The lion stops dead in his tracks, sheepishly crawls up to her and starts licking her feet and ankles. He continues to lick and kiss her entire body for several minutes and then rests his head at her feet.

The circus owner's mouth is on the floor. He says, "I've never seen a display like that in my life."

He then turns to the older man and asks, "Can you top that?"

The older man replies, "No problem, just get that lion out of the way."

Why not subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter?

On Wednesday, May 4, 2006,at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 AM in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06

This will never happen again in your lifetime.

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.:

Putting pap en vleis in a can

A businessman from the Western Cape is set to take a traditional South African meal, pap and vleis, to the mass market - in a can. And it may help Africa's hungry, nogal.

Pap (a kind of mashed potato made from mealie meal), which is both nutritious and affordable, and vleis (Afrikaans for "meat") have been the staple diet for millions of South Africans for years.

As traditional as rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet, pap and vleis is also an integral part of the country's ubiquitous braai (barbecue) culture.

Now Western Cape entrepreneur Willem Steenkamp has found a way to put it in a can, and the world - especially other African countries - are sitting up and taking note.

Steenkamp says one of the problems was figuring out how to keep the pap fresh - it gets sour after a few hours. According to Standards South Africa (stanSA), products with meat content have to be sterilised and have a shelf life of at least three years.

"Pap alone is not a problem and does not need a long, intensive sterilisation process, but things get more complicated when meat is added, as it is more likely to contain hazardous bacteria", Steenkamp said in a recent interview in Business Day's trade supplement, The South African Exporter.

To satisfy stanSA, the meat content had to be 40%, but Steenkamp battled the body down to 10% after market research showed there was demand for less meat.

Steenkamp says even the machinery to put pap in a tin on the production line didn't exist. And that was only half the problem.

"The label is a problem all of its own, as it has to carry all the info that the health department and [stanSA] want on its nutritional information and ingredients as determined by an accredited laboratory, the recommended daily allowance and serving suggestions", Steenkamp told The South African Exporter.

Heating instructions also have to be "in an understandable sign form for those who can't read".

Steenkamp says he expects success with his unique product in both the local and export market - and that his product could even go some way towards solving food shortages on the continent. "With this traditional African cuisine one can feed the hungry", he said.

He says there has been a lot of interest in his product from African governments, donor feeding schemes, and even mines. After samples were showcased in Japan, Steenkamp says prominent figures in government throughout Africa have contacted him.

Steenkamp has negotiated a deal with Bull Brand, the established canned meat company, to manage the local marketing of the product, using their own label under patent-holder licence.

The local retail market received the first tins in April and, according to Bull Brand, there is demand. "The chain stores indicated that they are very positive", Steenkamp said.

Some typically South African words and phrases used in this piece:

Nogal - too, as well.
Pap - a kind of mashed potato made from mealie meal (literally "porridge").
Vleis - Afrikaans for meat.
"Rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet" - lines from a 1970s radio advert for Chevrolet denoting things truly South Africa. The complete phrase was "braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet".
Braai – barbeque.
From: http://www.southafrica.info

Ever tried Rooibos tea?

As promised, another recipe containing rooibos tea

Grape tea

250 ml strong rooibos tea
250 ml grape juice
1 cinnamon stick
10 ml honey
1 lemon, sliced, to decorate
cinnamon sticks to decorate

Gently heat all ingredients, except decoration, in a saucepan for 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly, then pour into heat-resistant glasses or mugs. Decorate with lemon slices and sticks of cinnamon.

Glenacres Superspar newsletter recipe.


500g dried beans (preferably kidney, but sugar or butter will do)
2 large rashers of bacon
60ml vinegar
60ml butter
120ml sugar
10ml salt
2˝ ml pepper
tomato sauce to taste

1. Soak the beans overnight, wash them then boil in fresh water with the bacon rashers for about 2 hours
2. Combine the other ingredients and add them to the beans, cooking for a further 10 - 15 minutes stirring frequently
3. If the sauce is thin, it may be thickened with a little cornflour dissolved in water
4. Remove the bacon before serving
5. May be served hot or cold, and can be bottled in sterilised jars

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!

Debbie, Zimbabwe

My favourite sarmie in all the world is a slice of toast and then you spread some marg, some peach jam, slice a banana, on top of the banana place a soft fried egg, sprinkle with cheese, return to grill to melt cheese. You can leave open or close with another slice of toast.
I also love hot mashed potatoes with salt and pepper and a soft fried egg, sarmie.

A Blast From the Past

1950 - The Group Areas Act, the Immorality Act and the Polulation Registration Act are passed. Jan Smuts dies. Springbok Radio is launched, the first Peanuts cartoon strip appears, Diners Club issues first credit cards.

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.

Kori Bustard

One of the magnificent birds we saw in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. (Photo in the Kgalagadi album above)

Said to be the largest flying bird in the world. Size: 105 to 135 cm. Can be found in dry thornveld, grassland and semi-desert, usually near the cover of trees. Numbers have been much reduced by habitat destruction and they are now uncommon in many regions outside major game resrves.

The Herb Section - MINT

There are over 600 members in the mint family. Mint is regarded as the symbol of hospitality , and is said to have been named after a nymph in Greek mythology, Minthe. Pluto, god of the underworld, fell in love with her, so Pluto's wife, Proserpine became so jealous, she transformed her into a herb. In Biblical times, the Pharisees paid tax with mint leaves.
Mint is often difficult to classify, as it interbreeds with other species. Two of the most popular varieties are spearmint and wild water mint. Orange mint, peppermint, pennyroyal, jewel mint, apple mint, pineapple mint, chocolate mint and a pretty, tall growing tuft with dark hairy leaves called "Cape velvet mint" are some other member of the species.
Mint is a very hardy plant, liking a rich, moist, well-drained alkaline soil. Mint can be grown in containers, but should be repotted every year, preferable in early spring, and watered daily.
It is advisable to keep different mint species apart, as they interbreed easily. Pennyroyal, grown near roses, helps to keep aphids away. Mint does not like manure, so prepare beds with leaf mould and compost only.

Bunches of fresh mint hung in the kitchen helps keep flies away. Peppermint, rubbed into the skin keeps mosquitoes away.
Pennyroyal, placed in cupboards and beds, helps keep ants, fleas and mosquitoes away. It is a good idea to rub a little on your pet's bedding.
Dried leaves can be added to pot-pourri

Spearmint can be added to your bath water for an invigorating soak. A fresh handful of jewel mint, peppermint, spearmint or eau de cologne mint, placed in a muslin bag can also be added to bath water to ease tiredness and general aches and pains.

Chewing a mint leaf aids in digestion.
An infusion of mint leaves may be inhaled to relieve colds and congestion. Pour a litre of boiling water over a bowl of mint (about 1 1/2 cups), cover the head and bowl with a towel, and inhale the steam.
Boiling water poured over 1/4 cup of peppermint leaves and left for 5 minutes can be drank as a tea infusion to relieve colds and flu symptoms. Drank cold, it will ease flatulence and hiccups.

Mint leaves can be infused as above to make a refreshing tea. Do not use jewel mint or pennyroyal for this purpose, as they are too strong and bitter tasting.
An indispensable condiment for lamb, is mint sauce. Chop 1/2 cup of mint leaves finely, add 1/2 cup each of sugar, vinegar and warm water. Mix well.
Mint can be crystallized as a decoration for sweet dishes and cakes.
Fresh mint leaves make a delicious addition to freshly cooked vegetables, especially potatoes and peas.

 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:
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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!


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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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 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
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The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter



1 onion, finely chopped
2 sheep's kidneys (membrane and core removed)
cheep's liver (membrane and veins removed)
125 ml crackling or speck, minced
5 ml nutmeg
15 ml brown vinegar
75 g sultanas
15 ml cake flour
1 reticulum, cleaned
1 onion, sliced
15 ml butter
500 ml boiling water
25 ml brown vinegar
25 ml brown sugar
25 ml apricot jam
salt and pepper
25 ml cake flour

Mix all the ingredients, except the reticulum, together. Stuff the reticulum with the mixture and sew up the opening. Cover with water, and boil until cooked. Remove froth the water and cool completely. Sauté the onion in the heated butter until soft. Add the boiling water, brown vinegar, brown sugar, apricot jam and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil. Thicken with cake flour and boil thoroughly. Thinly slice the boepensie and serve with the sauce.

Chicken liver curry

25 ml oil for shallow-frying
1 large onion, chopped
3 containers (250 g each) chicken livers, washed and cut into smaller pieces
1 tomato, chopped
5 small potatoes, sliced but not peeled
30 ml medium-hot curry powder
10 ml sugar
30 ml grape vinegar
5 pinches salt
5 pinches black pepper
250 ml chicken stock

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until soft.
Add the chicken livers and fry until brown all over.
Add the tomato, pota- toes, curry powder, sugar and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Add the stock and simmer until the livers are just done but still tender.
Serve with rice and a fresh salad.

Chopped liver

2 onions, chopped
500 g chicken livers, cleaned
salt and pepper to taste
3 hard-boiled eggs
20 ml oil
1 hard-boiled egg, yellow and white chopped separately (optional)

Sauté the onion in a little oil until tender. Remove from the pan and fry the chicken livers until just done. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Process with the onion and hard-boiled eggs in the food processor until smooth. Add the oil while the food processor is running. Transfer to a dish and garnish with finely chopped, hard-boiled egg, if desired.

Fried liver

1 onion, finely chopped
150 g uncooked rice
400 ml chicken stock
oil for frying
1 kg lamb's liver, outer membrane and large tubes removed
50 ml cake flour, seasoned .with salt and pepper
1 onion, sliced into rings
100 ml red wine
100 ml beef stock
25 ml finely chopped parsley

Sauté the onion in a little oil until tender. Add the rice and fry lightly. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the rice is tender and done. Set aside. Slice the liver and roll in the seasoned cake flour and fry in oil until brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Sauté the onion until tender and add the red wine. Reduce the heat and add the beef stock. Add the liver and simmer until done. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with the rice.

Isidudu (pumpkin pap) with curried cabbage and liver


750 ml cooked pumpkin
1 litre water
625 ml maize meal
60 ml sugar
5 ml salt

Curried cabbage and liver:
45 ml oil
500 g lamb's liver
1 large onion, chopped
750 ml cabbage, finely chopped
3 potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
3 garlic cloves, crushed
15 ml curry powder
15 ml ground paprika
salt to taste

To make isidudu (pumpkin pap): boil water, then add sugar, salt and pumpkin, stirring to mix.
Add maize meal and mix well. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat oil and gently fry liver until well cooked. Remove and keep warm.
Add onion, cabbage, potatoes, garlic, curry, paprika and salt and sauté until soft.
To serve, spoon curried cabbage over isidudu and top with liver.
Isidudu can also be enjoyed with warm milk, inkomazi or by adding margarine or butter and a little sugar.




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