Number 133

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14 November 2006


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

New subscribers and everyone else, get your eBook at the Freebie link below.

It's my favourite time of the year - Christmas cookie time! Now is the time to start filling those cookie tins with enough cookies top last the festive season. Somehow I have never outgrown the absolute delight of licking out the mixing bowl after the cookie dough has been scooped out! Scroll down to the recipe section for some yummy cookie recipes.

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Kitch 'n' Zinc

I happened to find this really nice Blog, please click on the link below and go browse around.....

Following with thanks from Brian at Kitsch'n'Zinc

Something fishy here!

I’m confused! I live in Cape Town, on the coast. South Africa is surrounded by water with over 3000 kilometers of coastline. Three kilometers from my front door is the Atlantic Ocean, five kilometers from my back door is the Indian Ocean. How many places in the world can you swim in two oceans inside 20 minutes? These are not small expanses of water, they are serious receptacles of salt water, rocks, sand, seaweed, ship wrecks, coral, plankton everything you would expect to find with the exception, it appears, of fish. Finding Nemo in Cape Town is a real mission.
Locally we have a small fish wholesaler operating out of an industrial estate who has connections with ski boat subsistence fishermen and most days of the week you can find either Cape Salmon or Yellowtail available but this is hardly representative of the denizens of the deep. Briefed by my wife, one of the shop assistants, Salome, furtively phones when they get in a Blue Fin tuna, usually about every 8 to 10 days “Tuna, tuna, quick get down here – it’ll be gone by 9.00 am.” I wonder how many other locals are in the tuna loop or is it the same with Cape Salmon and Yellowtail?
I also wonder where all the fish are? When I see tv clips of fish markets and stalls around the world stacked floor to ceiling with glistening, multihued seafood, bright eyed, grinning, basking on crushed ice and looking as if they’ve just popped out of the shower I’m gobsmacked. Why don’t we have a proper fishmarket in Cape Town? Why don’t we have more than half a dozen species commercially available? Why do tourists think we have great seafood here in South Africa when 90% of it is frozen? Why do Japanese fishermen travel thousands of kilometers to our coast to satisfy the demand for tuna and South Americans venture all the way from Uruguay to poach Patagonian Toothfish and our fishermen seem reluctant to go out ten kilometers?
Why doesn’t Salome call?

Panfried Tuna with Orange sesame glaze
The best piece of advice I was ever given about tuna which of course is applicable to all fresh fish was as follows: If you fancy taking a piece of tuna home to meet the family then you should be looking for the same characteristics as you would in a young lady – clear, sparkling eyes, healthy skin colour and no strong body odour.”

I’ve never understood why anyone would want to marinade fish. If the objective is to make the fish tender then you’ve got the wrong fish! I believe it’s better to cook the fish as freshly as possible and then add a flavour dimension via a glaze such as the following.

100 ml mirin
100 g sugar
100 ml light soy sauce
15 ml sesame oil
15 ml fresh orange juice
15 ml ginger juice
10 g grated orange zest

Heat all ingredients.
Reduce to a glaze
Brush the tuna sparingly with sesame oil, panfry in a ribbed non stick griller pan approximately 1 minute each side and brush each side with glaze before serving.

One can always use some good quotes, right click here to download your eBook containing 70 motivational quotes.
One Ticket is All It Takes

The UK Lottery never pays less than £3 million every Wednesday and Saturday (± R43 million) with frequent rollovers. You can get your ticket securely by clicking here.

But that's nothing!! The Euromillions Jackpot has rolled over to a massive £ 120 million for Friday 17th!! That's roughly R1,740,000,000!!! You can't win it if you're not in it, so click here and get a ticket!

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 download your free Low Fat recipe eBook

Hello Peter,
Just to let you know that I received my recipe CD today in the mail and I'm over the moon about it.
I'm going to spread the word to others to order copies too. It's most certainly worth every cent..........
Thanks again,

Glenacres Superspar Recipe

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

This is one of my alltime favourite puddings!


½ cup fine apricot jam
1½ cups flour
½ cup margarine
2 level tsp bicarb of soda
1 tsp baking powder

2½ cups water
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp fine ginger
¼ cup brown vinegar

1. Melt marg, bicarb and jam in a saucepan
2. Remove from stove and add baking powder and flour, mixing well to form a dough
3. Mix all the syrup ingredients together and slowly bring to the boil
4. Put teaspoons of dough into the boiling syrup, cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes on a low heat

Another Wacky Sarmie

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

My favourite toast snack is:
Two slices of white bread toasted, butter them and spread liberally with Kraft Real Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Top with Koo curried vegetables straight out of the tin, some salt and pepper
Eat with a knife and fork. It is YUMMY!
Kerri - Durban 

A Blast From The Past

Source: Sunday Times

1935: Italy invades Ethiopia, Penguin paperbacks go on sale, the KitKat chocolate bar is launched , the board game, Monopoly takes the US by storm, nylon is invented, Alcoholics Anonymous is founded, Persia becomes Iran, 

Really, really old recipe

This dates from the 1890's and is from a book titled  Cape Cookery, Simple Yet Distinctive.

Stewed Sweet Potatoes

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in slices about an inch in thickness. Put them in a stewpan with water to float them. For each lb. of potatoes add 2 oz. moist brown sugar, 1 oz. butter and ½ stick cinnamon. Stew very gently.  When the sweet potatoes are quite cooked add a little sherry and thicken the sauce with a little maizena. 

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.

Ground Squirrels


While on a camping trip to the Kgalagadi earlier this year I spent many hours photographing these delightful creatures. Their antics kept us amused for hours on end.

Ground Squirrels
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Ground squirrels mainly occur in the dry, semi-desert regions of southern Africa, especially in the Kalahari. These cute animals are identifiable by their white stripes along the sides, the missing external ear and the long, bushy tail, which offers them shade.

The rodents differ from the European squirrel in that they don't climb trees, but live on the ground and in their widespread underground caves. They feed on grass seeds, leaves and roots. Ground squirrels are constant companions in the rest camps of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Because they are often fed by visitors, they can become a nuisance.

Looking for Gift Ideas?

Do you have family and friends all over the world? Does it cost you a fortune to buy and mail gifts to all of them? Why not buy one Recipe eBook and email it to everyone! Just think about the savings on postage! For my selection of eBooks (and CD's) just click here.
Afrikaans Newsletter

Subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter
Smile a While

George Carlin's Views on Aging

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

"How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life. . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're Just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80s and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!


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

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

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

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

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

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

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

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


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

Loving husband Ed was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him, “Tomorrow morning I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in less than 6 seconds…AND IT BETTER BE THERE!”

The next morning Ed got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough, there was a small box gift-wrapped in the middle of driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway and brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

Funeral services for Ed are scheduled for Friday.

The Herb Section

Check out more herbs on my Herb page.


This versatile herb, a spice commonly used in curries and other South Asian cuisine, is turning out to be amazingly healthy.

Even though the medicinal properties of turmeric have been known to the ancient Indians for millennia, it is only in recent years that western scientists have started to recognise the medicinal properties of this high-potency antioxidant.

Boosting brain power
According to an article published in the August issue of New Scientist (issue 2563, page 18), Tze-Pin Ng and colleagues at the National University of Singapore discovered that curry seems to boost brain power. Reports have suggested that it inhibits the build-up of amyloid plaques in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Ng's team looked at the curry-eating habits of 1010 Asian people unaffected by Alzheimer's and aged between 60 and 93, and compared their performance in a standard test of cognitive function: the Mini Mental State Examination.

Those people who consumed curry "occasionally" (once or more in six months' time, but less than once a month) and "often" (more than once a month) had better MMSE results than those who only ate curry "never or rarely" (American Journal of Epidemiology, DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwj267).

"What is remarkable is that apparently one needs only to consume curry once in a while for the better cognitive performance to be evidenced," says Ng.

Preventing cancer
Research activity into curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is exploding, according to a 2005 article in the Wall Street Journal titled, "Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope".

As many as two hundred and fifty-six curcumin papers were published in the past year, according to a search of the US National Library of Medicine.

Supplement sales have increased by 35% since 2004, and the US National Institutes of Health has four clinical trials underway to study curcumin treatment for pancreatic cancer, multiple myeloma, Alzheimer's disease, and colorectal cancer.

“We have not found a single cancer on which curcumin does not work,” states Dr Bharat Aggarwal, who conducts cancer research at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India.

Ayurveda particularly recommends turmeric for cancers of the female reproductive system, specifically breast and uterine cancer. It can also be used to treat benign tumours.

One of the keys to turmeric's success in destroying cancer is the ability of curcumin to inhibit the enzyme topoisomerase, which is required for the replication of cancer cells.

Wonder herb
The antioxidant properties of turmeric can be used for treating skin inflammations. It also helps to lighten skin.

Turmeric has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, injuries, trauma, and stiffness from being both under-active and over-active.

Recent studies have shown that turmeric can be used in the treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), as well as HIV/Aids.

It is also said to strengthen the blood-brain barrier against attacks that result from auto-immune diseases (such as multiple sclerosis).

The advantages of turmeric appear to be endless.

Although the results from current studies look promising, there have been very few long-term tests performed on large population groups.

Turmeric was recently nominated by the National Cancer Institute for more study, so we can look forward to many more research findings in future.
South African Languages

South Africa is a multilingual country. Besides the 11 officially recognised languages, scores of others - African, European, Asian and more - are spoken here, as the country lies at the crossroads of southern Africa.
The country's Constitution guarantees equal status to 11 official languages to cater for the country's diverse peoples and their cultures. These are: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga.

In each issue I will feature one of the languages. The second language I am featuring is English:

English has been both a highly influential language in South Africa, and a language influenced, in turn, by adaptation in the country's different communities. Estimates based on the 1991 census suggest that some 45% of the population have a speaking knowledge of English.
Distribution of English speakers
Map: Human Sciences Research Council
English was declared the official language of the Cape Colony in 1822 (replacing Dutch), and the stated language policy of the government of the time was one of Anglicization. On the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, which united the former Boer republics of the Transvaal and Orange Free State with the Cape and Natal colonies, English was made the official language together with Dutch, which was replaced by Afrikaans in 1925.
Today English is the country's lingua franca, and the primary language of government, business, and commerce. It is a compulsory subject in all schools, and the medium of instruction in most schools and tertiary institutions.
As a home language, English is spoken by 10% of the population - one in three of which are not white. South Africa's Asian people, most of whom are Indian in origin, are largely English-speaking, although many also retain their languages of origin. There is also a significant group of Chinese South Africans, also largely English-speaking but who also retain their languages of origin as well.
South African English is an established and unique dialect, with strong influences from Afrikaans and the country's many African languages.
• Home language to: 8.2% of the population
• Family: Indo-European
• Varieties: Black South African English (BSAE), Indian English, Coloured English, Afrikaans English

Go to Source:
The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.
Christmas Story

OK, so Christmas is a very special time of the year for me, so I am starting early with Christmas stories, enjoy this one!

A Christmas Story
It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our
Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has
peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.
It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending...the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.
Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.
Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.
These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.
As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.
Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat.
Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."
Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition---one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.
The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.
As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there.
You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.
Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.
Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember Christ, who is the reason for the season, and the true Christmas spirit this year and always. God bless---pass this along to your friends and loved ones. 
Recipe Requests

Looking for a specific South African recipe? Email me and I will do my best to find it for you!

Add your suggestions to my Elephant Stew and Wacky Sarmies recipes.
Featured Website

Every issue I feature an interesting website with South African links.

The Recipes

Cheese Sticks

Mix 250 ml jungle oats
250 ml flour
5 ml baking powder
250 ml grated cheese
Rub in 45 ml butter or margarine then add :-
60 ml milk
1 egg
a pinch of salt and red pepper

Knead lightly to form a dough, roll out thinly and cut into strips. Bake for 15 minutes at 200°C.

Cinnamon Snackers

125g margarine
100ml brown sugar
1 egg
5ml vanilla essence
250ml Snowflake Brown Bread Meal
50ml brown sugar
5ml ground cinnamon

1. Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla essence and beat until light and creamy.
2. Add the Snowflake flour and mix to form a soft dough. (It may be necessary to add an extra 15ml flour).
3. Form into balls and roll in the brown sugar and cinnamon.
4. Place on a baking tray and press lightly with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C. for 10 - 12 minutes. Makes 20 - 25 biscuits.

Chocolate Ginger Biscuits

125g margarine
190ml brown sugar
1 egg
10ml baking powder
50ml cocoa
125ml glace ginger
30 g dark cooking chocolate finely chopped
375 ml Snowflake Brown Bread Meal

1. Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
2. Stir in the Snowflake flour and sifted baking powder and cocoa. Add the ginger and knead until the mixture forms a soft dough.
3. Shape teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls, place on lightly greased baking trays. Press the biscuits very lightly with a fork and allow room for spreading.
4. Bake at 180°C for 12-15 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool.
5. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the cold biscuits. Makes 30 biscuits.

Spicy Coconut Crisp Biscuits

125 g margarine
250 ml castor sugar
1 egg
375 ml coconut
500 ml cake flour
5 ml mixed spice
extra sugar

Cream margarine and sugar beating in egg, add sifted flour, salt and coconut. Roll into balls and roll in sugar. Place on a greased baking tray and press flat with a fork. Bake at 180ºC for 10 to 15 minutes.

Chocolate Shortbread

125g butter, softened
250 g margarine, softened
250 g icing sugar, sifted
375 g flour, sifted
100 g cooking chocolate, melted

In a bowl, cream together butter, margarine and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour, mix well. Form into a squared 3,5 cm diameter sausage roll. Refrigerate, covered, one hour. Cut into 8mm slices, place on greased baking tray. Bake at 180ºC, 10 to 15 minutes or until very light brown. Remove to cooling rack to cool. When cool, dip one end into chocolate, leave to set. Makes 40 to 45.

Ginger Biscuits

250 g margarine
500 ml sugar
10 ml bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
250 ml ginger syrup
10 ml ginger
5 x 250 ml cake flour
8 ml cinnamon

Cream margarine and sugar. Add bicarbonate of soda and cream well. Add eggs singly, beating well after each addition. Beat in syrup. Add sifted dry ingredients and knead well to form a dough. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll into sausage shapes about 40mm in diameter. Chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour. Slice dough about 10mm apart and space well on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle dough with a little brown sugar. Bake at 220ºC for about 10 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container.

Note : Golden syrup may be used if no ginger syrup is available.

Yum Yum Biscuits

125 g margarine
125 ml peanut butter
125 ml brown sugar
1 egg
125 ml castor sugar
3 ml salt
310 ml cake flour
5 ml baking powder

Cream the margarine and peanut butter together. Add sugar and beat until creamy. Add egg and beat well. Sift salt, flour and baking powder together. Mix well into creamed mixture and roll into 2 sausage shapes. Wrap in brown paper and chill for 20 minutes. Cut rolls into slices about 10 mm thick and place on a creased baking sheet. Bake at 180ºC for about 12 minutes.

Greek Shortbread

250 g butter
125 ml sugar
1 egg yolk
25 ml brandy
5 ml vanilla essence
750 ml cake flour
125 ml flaked almonds, lightly toasted
icing sugar

Cream butter and sugar well until light in colour. Stir in egg yolk, brandy and vanilla essence. Add the flour and almonds and knead unti9l smooth. pull off small pieces and shape into little crescents. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 160ºC for about 30 minutes. They must remain pale in colour. Whilst still warm, pack into container thickly layered with sifted icing sugar.

Peanut Butter Biscuits

125 g butter or margarine, softened
125 ml peanut butter
100 g sugar
90 g brown sugar
200 g flour, sifted
3 ml bicarbonate of soda
2 ml salt
1 egg, beaten
5 ml vanilla essence

In a large bowl, cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, mix well. lastly add egg and vanilla essence, beat. Roll into walnut-sized balls, place far apart on baking tray, flatten slightly with fork, turn fork and flatten a little more to leave criss-cross design on biscuit. Bake at 180ºC, 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack to cool. Makes 36.

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