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Newsletter #125 - July 5, 2006


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

New subscribers (and old ones!) download your free recipe eBook by right clicking here! (Camping recipes)

Its still quite chilly here so for the recipe theme I am sticking to Potjiekos.  Potjiekos is prepared outdoors in a cast iron three legged pot and is very popular in South Africa, especially with campers and caravaners. Potjiekos can also be prepared on a stove in a heavy bottomed pot, but it's not QUITE the same! So scroll down for some potjie recipes.

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!)

Read this question, come up with an answer and then scroll down to the bottom for the result. This is not a trick question. It is as it reads.

No one I know has got it right yet.

A woman, while at the funeral of her own mother, met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing. She believed him to be her dream guy so much, that she fell in love with him right there, but never
asked for his number and could not find him. A few days later she killed her sister.

Question: What is her motive for killing her sister?

Scroll down to the bottom for the answer

I do not normally buy rusks, preferring them homemade, but the exception to my rule is Ouma Rusks. I love them!

The following from the Nola website. Do your self a favour next time you go shopping, get some and "Dip 'n Ouma!"

Ouma Rusks History

It all began in the year 1939 in the small Eastern Cape town of Molteno. The effects of the Great Depression had brought many communities to their knees.

It was at this time that Ouma Greyvensteyn and her friends attended a church meeting where ways in which to help mission work were discussed. Like in the Gospel, the women were given half-a-crown each to use their talents.

Then it came to her – using just one half-crown, the time-honoured family recipe and her home cooking talents, she baked her rusks to sheer perfection, which she then sold to the visiting farmers’ wives in the community. Within days, orders were pouring in for Ouma’s delicious rusks. Today, we are proud of our heritage.

From the humble beginnings of a half-crown, Ouma’s unique and time-honoured family recipe, and her baking talents, have provided Ouma with her reputation as South Africa’s most famous baker. This unique, crunchy snack is a true South African icon, which is sought after in many countries around the world. The ideal treat, that can be served any time of the day, morning, noon or night, and are delicious with coffee or tea.

Ouma Rusks are a traditional South African snack that are consumed with coffee and tea. This true South African icon are enjoyed all over the world with the same feeling - Now is the perfect time to "Dip ‘n Ouma"!

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

When our lawnmower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first -- the truck, the car, fishing, always something more important to me.

Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.

When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny pair of sewing scissors. I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house. I was gone only a few minutes. When I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.

"When you finish cutting the grass," I said, "you might as well sweep the sidewalk."

The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp.

Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right, and the other is a husband.

Ever wondered????

Why Specs Live Forever
The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts.

So who built these old rutted roads? The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since. And the ruts? The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made for or by Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus, we have the answer to the original questions. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Specs and Bureaucracies live forever.

So, the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's rear came up with it, you may be exactly right. Because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.

I have started a Traveller's Forum (in Afrikaans). If you want to go take a look, click here.

Why not subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter?

King of the Open Seas
One foggy night, as the admiral was walking along the deck of his battleship, he saw the light of another ship approaching in the distance. Quickly he went down to the radio room and had a message sent: "Ajust your course 10 degrees starbord."

But the message came back "Adjust your course 10 degrees port"

This began to anger the admiral, so he thought he needed to make himself clear. He sent the message "This is an order from an Admiral. Ajust your course 10 degrees starbord."

But the message came back "I am a petty officer, second class. Adjust your course 10 degrees port"

If the admiral was angry before, he was furious now. No way did he take orders from a petty officer! He ordered a message sent which would make his position clear: "This is a nuclear battleship. Ajust your course 10 degrees starbord."

And again the message came back "This is a lighthouse. Adjust your course 10 degrees port"

At long last my collection of South African Traditional Home Remedies (Boererate) ( nearly 2000) have been translated into English and they are now available on a CD together with my collection of Traditional South African Recipes. This will make an ideal gift or even an interesting collection for yourself! The CD only costs R96 or US$22 (payment with Paypal). Click here for payment details.

The Home Remedies are also available on their own by email in eBook format at R60 (US$15).
Email me for the eBook payment details.

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 :

South African and African Recipes, check out this page

From: http://www.southafrica.info

Check out some rusk recipes here

Ever tried Rooibos tea?

As promised, another recipe containing rooibos tea

Rooibos Tea Ginger Beer

3 litre strong rooibos tea
20 ml instant dried yeast
800 g white sugar
3 litre cold water
30 ml ground ginger
75 g seedless raisins
5 ml cream of tartar

Blend a little lukewarm rooibos tea with the instant yeast. Add the granular sugar to the remaining rooibos tea and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely. Add the cold water and ginger. Add the raisins and cream of tartar. Cover and leave for 12 to 24 hours or until the raisins have risen to the top and the mixture begins to ferment. Strain through a clean piece of cheesecloth and bottle. Store in the fridge.

Glenacres Superspar newsletter recipe.


300ml cake flour
pinch salt
3 eggs
15ml baking powder
2 tins pie apples (410g tins)
300g sugar

1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together
2. Beat eggs slightly and add sugar and flour mixture to eggs and mix well
3. Add tart apples and mix well
4. Spoon he mixture evenly into a tart dish
5. Place in the middle of the oven and bake at 160°C for ˝ hour until golden brown on top
6. Serve with cream or ice cream

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!

Crisps (any flavour) on lightly toasted bread with vinegar and salt on the crisps, (yes, they need more!!) and then baked beans on top of that, topped by another slice of toasty bread - APPARENTLY, this is heavenly!

A Blast From the Past

1927 - The Immorality Act is introduced in South Africa, the first OK Bazaars store opens in Johannesburg, the talkie, The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson marks the end of the silent movie era, Kool-Aid is invented, PEZ weets are invented,

Source: Sunday Times.

A country boy and his Pa were in a mall. As they were from out of town t hey were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again. The boy asked, "What is this Pa?"
The father (never having seen an elevator/lift) responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is." While the boy and his Pa were watching with amazement, a fat, old lady in a wheel chair moved up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his Pa watched the small circular numbers above the walls light up sequentially. They continued to watch until it reached the last number and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order. Finally the walls opened up again and a gorgeous 24-year-old blonde stepped out. The father said quietly to his son.

"Go fetch your mom!

Yesterday for IT People
All those backups seemed a waste of pay.
Now my database has gone away.
Oh I believe in yesterday.

There's not half the files there used to be,
And there's a milestone hanging over me
The system crashed so suddenly.

I pushed something wrong
What it was I could not say.

Now all my data's gone
and I long for yesterday-ay-ay-ay.

The need for back-ups seemed so far away.
I knew my data was all here to stay,
Now I believe in yesterday.

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.

South Africa's Small 5


We all know that the Big 5 comprise of the Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino, but here is the lowdown (pun intended) on the Little 5

Visitors to South Africa are always keen to catch a glimpse and a photo of the country's celebrated Big Five: elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard.

While the big game is magnificent, and includes other giants such as giraffe, hippo, whale and dolphin, there's much more to South Africa's wildlife. The country has some of the world's richest biodiversity hotspots, with remarkable birdlife, abundant buck, small game and bizarre insects.

To promote these, some clever people have come up with another must-see list, the Little Five. They are (and don't laugh) the elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise.

Here's the lowdown on some of Africa's finest little creatures.

Ant lion
The ant lion (Myrmeleontidae) is an odd yet familiar feature of the bushveld, digging conical depressions in dry, soft sand with which to trap its prey - ants. In advanced stages this larvae-like creature has wings and sometimes resembles a dragonfly, although it's not well-adapted for flight.

Buffalo weaver
Red-billed buffalo weavers (Bubarlornis niger) are social birds that build their nests in the forked branches of tall trees. They nest in open colonies and are a rather noisy and busy lot. The weavers' nests can be recognised by their rather bedraggled state, made from coarse grasses and with untidy twig structures.

Rhinoceros beetle
The rhinoceros beetle (Scarabaeinae dynastinae) is one of the largest beetles to in Southern Africa, with horns on its head much like those of its larger namesake. Both males and females are horned, but only the males are known for aggressive behaviour, using the horns to fight rivals. The horns are also used to dig, climb and mate.

Leopard tortoise
The leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) is a striking feature of the bushveld landscape, getting its name from its black and yellow spotted shell. The animal is one of the largest breeds of tortoise in this part of the world; a mature leopard tortoise can weigh over 23kg, with a shell circumference of up to one metre. The males are larger than the females.
Younger tortoises have dark brown patterns while adult shells take on shades of yellow with somewhat smaller spots. Leopard tortoises live in savannah and grassland areas, close to water.

Elephant shrew
This tiny insectivore lives in arid lowlands, rocky outcrops and savannah grasslands, getting its name from its elongated snout. Elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) are found all over South Africa, and only grow to a length of 250mm, with an average weight of 60g. They feed on insects, fruit, seeds and nuts.

They in turn are food for snakes and raptors, making them extremely shy and wary. The chances of spotting them are slim indeed, so if you manage to see an elephant shrew before an actual elephant you can count your safari a real success.

The Herb Section - ROOIBOS

Rooibos, or red tea, is a mineral-rich, caffeine-free beverage derived from a hardy, shrub-like plant native to South Africa. The indigenous tribes of the Cedarberg mountains of the Western Cape of South Africa have known of the health-supporting and refreshing qualities of this red tea for centuries. It has been traditionally used to help with insomnia, headaches and stomach disorders such as nausea, vomiting and ulcers.

Rooibos Health Properties

Several studies conducted in South Africa and Japan have provided support for the health-promoting properties of rooibos. The herb contains a high level of anti-oxidants, which have been demonstrated to counter the damaging effects of free radicals. Additionally, Rooibos has anti-allergy effects, making it useful for the treatment of skin irritations such as itchy skin, eczema, rashes and sunburn. Note: Please consult with your physician before taking any herbs for the treatment of a medical condition.

Rooibos Cultivation and Harvesting

The basic method of rooibos production has remained largely unchanged from the process used by African mountain dwellers centuries ago. Rooibos requires a sandy, acidic soil and sparse but consistent rainfall. Farmers plant seeds in February and March and then transfer the seedlings to plantations. It takes 18 months before the shrubs are ready to be harvested. The plants are harvested once each year, from December through April. After the plants are gathered, they are chopped with a sickle and the stems are bruised. The tea is then spread out and allowed to oxidize to achieve its characteristic red color, before being dried and packaged. Additionally, many farmers also produce green rooibos, which is a non-oxidized version of rooibos that has a lighter, fruitier flavor.

Brewing and Using Rooibos

Rooibos is one of the few herbs that mimics the flavor profile of black tea. It is very easy to prepare and doesn't grow bitter with extended steeping. Brew the tea using boiling water and let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes. It also makes delicious iced tea. Rooibos is quite versatile and can be used as a recipe ingredient.

From: http://www.thefragrantleaf.com/rooibostea.html

 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:
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:

We will be returning for another visit to

Ngwenya Lodge

in October this year

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
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Thank you, JoAnn for these potjie recipes

Bully beef and cabbage potjie

20 ml oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 baby cabbages, finely chopped
salt and black pepper to taste
600 g bully beef, cut into small cubes
250 g shell noodles, cooked and drained

Heat the oil in a hot, flat, cast-iron pot and sauté the onion until glossy. Add the cabbage and sauce until the cabbage softens. Season to taste and add the bully beef cubes. Use a fork to mash a few of the cubes. Stir and heat over low heat until warmed through. Add the noodles, simmer until warm and serve.

Curry potjie

30 ml oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 ml fresh ginger, finely grated
20 ml masala
7 ml turmeric
5 ml ground coriander
5 ml ground cumin
5 ml garam masala
a pinch of chilli powder
1 bayleaf
1 stick cinnamon
500 g lean mince
125 ml chutney
1 large tomato, skinned and chopped
3 potatoes, cubed
2 large carrots, sliced
salt and milled black pepper
125 ml meat stock
500 ml broccoli florets or frozen peas or corn
125 g lentils, cooked and drained

Heat the oil in the potjie and fry the onion, garlic and ginger until soft and flavoursome. Add the spices, stir and cook for about a minute. Add the mince gradually and fry until browned. Add the chutney, chopped tomato, potato cubes and carrots, season with salt and black pepper and add the stock. Cover and simmer slowly until the vegetables are just done, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli, peas or corn and the lentils. Heat until the broccoli is just done adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve with rice and pickles.

Pork and cabbage potjie

45 ml oil
400 g pork, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
500 g cabbage, shredded
6 medium-sized potatoes, diced
25 ml cake flour
25 ml vinegar
275 ml chicken or vegetable stock
25 ml sugar
30 ml hot chutney
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or black pot and brown the pork cubes. Remove from the saucepan and set aside, Sauté the onions until tender and glossy. Add the cabbage, potatoes and meat cubes. Blend the flour and vinegar to form a paste and beat in the stock. Add to the meat and cabbage along with the sugar and chutney. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer slowly for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Stir occasionally, taking care to keep the vegetable pieces whole. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve with rice and vegetables.

Chicken and sweet potato potjie

2 large onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
5 large sweet potatoes, skinned and sliced into rings
8 carrots, scraped and thickly sliced
200 g dried apricots (optional)
250 ml white wine
10 ml soy sauce
75 ml soft brown sugar
75 ml tomato sauce or mustard
10 ml basil

Sauté the onion, celery and garlic in a little oil till soft. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, add and fry till brown. Arrange the vegetables in layers on top of the meat and end with a layer of apricots if using. Blend the white wine, soy sauce, brown sugar, tomato sauce and basil and pour over the, dish. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer till the chicken and vegetables are tender and done. Do not stir the potjie, just scrape the bottom of the pot every now and then with a spatula to ensure that the food does not stick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with pot bread.

Samp and bean potjie

500 g samp and beans
30 ml oil
500 g stewing beef, cubed, or lean beef mince
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
30 ml mild curry powder
2 bay leaves
30 ml masala for breyani
6 dried curry leaves
salt and ground black pepper
400 g chopped tomatoes
750 ml beef stock

Soak the samp and beans overnight, or in boiling water for a couple of hours. Rinse, place in a pot or pressure cooker, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer, or pressure cook until the samp is soft (about 25 minutes in pressure cooker). Drain and season with salt. Set aside. Heat the oil in a cast-iron pot, and brown the beef a little at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Sauté the garlic, onions and green pepper in the remaining oil until softened (add more oil if necessary), add spices and continue cooking for about one minute to draw out the flavour. Add the tomatoes, browned meat and cooked samp. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Add 500 ml (2 c) stock, stir and cover. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender. Add more stock if the mixture becomes too dry.


She was hoping the guy would appear at the funeral again. If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American Psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer.
Many arrested serial killers took part in the test and answered the question correctly.
If you didn't answer the question correctly, good for you.




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