Number 208

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January 31st, 2013



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Greetings everyone!  And a special welcome to all the new subscribers!  Why not ask your email contacts if they don't want to subscribe as well?

This is the start of a new year! Who knows what the following months will bring, I wish you all good fortune and good health for the year ahead!

The freebie this time is an eBook with pickling recipes, the recipes in the recipe section below are a mixed bunch, so scroll down and enjoy! I also have some Valentine's stuff for you, just scroll down and have a great Valentines Day! Also some Valentine's recipes!

As a further treat I also have a Valentine's story for you to download, just right click here to download. Have a romantic Valentine's day!

Enjoy the recipes and the freebies, scroll down and download for free as usual.

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South African Folk-lore tales

In South Africa we love the outdoors and camping and a very special time is sitting around the campfire in the evenings and telling stories. I recently came upon a book titled Outa Karel's Stories. Over the next few letters I will be featuring tales from this book which was published in 1914 and written by Sannie Metelerkamp. I will start off with the foreword and introduction before getting to the actual stories.


Here are two more stories, previous stories can be found here.

The Sun.
A Bushman Legend.

Outa, having disposed of his nightly tot, held his crooked hands towards the cheerful
blaze and turned his engaging smile alternately on it and his little masters.
“Ach! what it is to keep a bit of the Sun even when the Sun is gone! Long ago Outa’s
people, the Bushmen, did not know about fire. No, my baasjes, when the Big Fire,
that makes the world warm and bright, walked across the sky, they were happy. They
hunted, and danced, and feasted. They shot the fine big bucks with their little
poisoned arrows, and they tore pieces off and ate the flesh with the red blood dripping
from it: they had no fire to make it dry up. And the roots and eintjes that they dug out
with their sharp stones—those, too, they ate just as they were. They did not cook, for
they did not know how to make fire. But when the white man came, then they learnt.
Baasjes see, Outa’s head is big—bigger than the Baas’s head—but that does not help.
It’s the inside that matters, and the white man’s head inside here”—Outa tapped his
wrinkled forehead—“Alla! but it can hold a lot!

“In the olden days, when Outa’s people were cold they crept into caves and covered
themselves with skins, for they had no fire to sit by. Yes, they were sorry when the
Old Man in the sky put down his arms and lay down to sleep.”
“What Old Man?” asked Pietie. “Do you mean the Sun?”
“Aja! Don’t baasjes then know that the Sun was once a man? It was long, long ago,
before Outa’s people lived in the world: perhaps in the days of the Early Race that
were before even the Flat Bushmen, who were the first people we really know
anything about. In those days at a certain place lived a man, from whose armpits
brightness streamed. When he lifted one arm, the place on that side of him was light;
when he lifted the other arm, the place on that side of him was light; but when he
lifted both arms, the light shone all around about him. But it only shone around the
place where he lived; it did not reach to other places.

“Sometimes the people asked him to stand on a stone, so that his light could go
farther; and sometimes he climbed on a kopje and lifted up his arms: ach! then the
light streamed out far, far, and lighted up the veld for miles and miles. For the higher
he went, the farther the light shone.
“Then the people said: ‘We see now, the higher he goes the farther his light shines. If
only we could put him very high, his light would go out over the whole world.’
“So they tried to make a plan, and at last a wise old woman called the young people
together and said: ‘You must go to this man from whose armpits the light streams.
When he is asleep, you must go; and the strongest of you must take him under the
armpits, and lift him up, and swing him to and fro—so—so—and throw him as high
as you can into the sky, so that he may be above the kopjes, lifting his arms to let the
light stream down to warm the earth and make green things to grow in summer.’
“So the young men went to the place where the man lay sleeping. Quietly they went,
my baasjes, creeping along in the red sand so as not to wake him. He was in a deep
sleep, and before he could wake the strong young men took him under the armpits
and swung him to and fro, as the wise old woman had told them. Then, as they swung
him, they threw him into the air, high, high, and there he stuck.

“The next morning, when he awoke and stretched himself, lifting up his arms, the
light streamed out from under them and brightened all the world, warming the earth,
and making the green things grow. And so it went on day after day. When he put up
his arms, it was bright, it was day. When he put down one arm, it was cloudy, the
weather was not clear. And when he put down both arms and turned over to go to
sleep, there was no light at all: it was dark; it was night. But when he awoke and
lifted his arms, the day came again and the world was warm and bright.
“Sometimes he is far away from the earth. Then it is cold: it is winter. But when he
comes near, the earth gets warm again; the green things grow and the fruit ripens: it is
summer. And so it goes on to this day, my baasjes: the day and night, summer and
winter, and all because the Old Man with the bright armpits was thrown into the sky.”
“But the Sun is not a man, Outa,” said downright Willem, “and he hasn’t any arms.”
“No, my baasje, not now. He is not a man any more. But baasjes must remember how
long he has been up in the sky—spans, and spans, and spans of years, always rolling
round, and rolling round, from the time he wakes in the morning till he lies down to
sleep at the other side of the world. And with the rolling, baasjes, he has got all
rounder and rounder, and the light that at first came only from under his arms has
been rolled right round him, till now he is a big ball of light, rolling from one side of
the sky to the other.”

Cousin Minnie, who had been listening in a desultory way to the fireside chatter, as
she wrote at the side-table, started and leant toward the little group; but a single
glance was enough to show that so interested were the children in the personal aspect
of the tale that there was no fear of confusion arising in their minds from Outa’s
decided subversion of an elementary fact which she had been at some pains to get
them to understand and accept.
“And his arms, Outa,” inquired little Jan, in his earnest way, “do they never come out
Outa beamed upon him proudly. “Ach! that is my little master! Always to ask a big
thing! Yes, baasje, sometimes they come out. When it is a dark day, then he has put
his arms out. He is holding them down, and spreading his hands before the light, so
that it can’t shine on the world. And sometimes, just before he gets up in the morning,
and before he goes to sleep at night, haven’t baasjes seen long bright stripes coming
from the round ball of light?”
“Yes, yes,” assented his little listeners, eagerly.
“Those are the long fingers of the Sun. His arms are rolled up inside the fiery ball, but
he sticks his long fingers out and they make bright roads into the sky, spreading out
all round him. The Old Man is peeping at the earth through his fingers. Baasjes must
count them next time he sticks them out, and see if they are all there—eight long
ones, those are the fingers; and two short ones for the thumbs.”

Outa’s knowledge of arithmetic was limited to the number of his crooked digits, and
the smile with which he announced the extent of his mathematical attainments was a
ludicrous cross between proud triumph and modest reluctance.
“When he lies down, he pulls them in. Then all the world grows dark and the people
go to sleep.”
“But, Outa, it isn’t always dark at night,” Pietie reminded him. “There are the Stars
and the Moon, you know.”
“Ach, yes! The little Stars and the Lady Moon. Outa will tell the baasjes about them
another night, but now he must go quick—quick and let Lys rub his back with buchu.
When friend Old Age comes the back bends and the bones get stiff, and the
rheumatism—foei! but it can pinch! Therefore, my baasjes, Outa cooks bossies from
the veld to rub on—buchu and kookamakranka and karroo bossies. They are all good,
but buchu is the best. Yes, buchu for the outside, and the Baas’s fire-water for the
He looked longingly at the cupboard, but wood and glass are unresponsive until acted
on by human agency; so, possessing no “Open, Sesame” for that unyielding lock,
Outa contented himself by smacking his lips as he toddled away.

The Stars and the Stars’ Road.

Darkly-blue and illimitable, the arc of the sky hung over the great Karroo like a
canopy of softest velvet, making a deep, mysterious background for the myriad stars,
which twinkled brightly at a frosty world.
The three little boys, gathered at the window, pointed out to each other the
constellations with which Cousin Minnie had made them familiar, and were deep in a
discussion as to the nature and number of the stars composing the Milky Way when
Outa shuffled in.
“Outa, do you think there are a billion stars up there in the Milky Way?” asked
“A billion, you know,” explained Pietie, “is a thousand million, and it would take
months to count even one million.”
“Aja, baasje,” said the old man readily, seizing, with native adroitness, the unknown
word and making it his own, “then there will surely be a billion stars up there.
Perhaps,” he added, judicially considering the matter, “two billion, but no one knows,
because no one can ever count them. They are too many. And to think that that bright
road in the sky is made of wood ashes, after all.”
He settled himself on his stool, and his little audience came to attention.
“Yes, my baasjes,” he went on, “long, long ago, the sky was dark at night when the
Old Man with the bright armpits lay down to sleep, but people learned in time to
make fires to light up the darkness; and one night a girl, who sat warming herself by a
wood fire, played with the ashes. She took the ashes in her hands and threw them up
to see how pretty they were when they floated in the air. And as they floated away
she put green bushes on the fire and stirred it with a stick. Bright sparks flew out and
went high, high, mixing with the silver ashes, and they all hung in the air and made a
bright road across the sky. And there it is to this day. Baasjes call it the Milky Way,
but Outa calls it the Stars’ Road.
“Ai! but the girl was pleased! She clapped her hands and danced, shaking herself like
Outa’s people do when they are happy, and singing:—
‘The little stars! The tiny stars!
They make a road for other stars.
Ash of wood-fire! Dust of the Sun!
They call the Dawn when Night is done!’
“Then she took some of the roots she had been eating and threw them into the sky,
and there they hung and turned into large stars. The old roots turned into stars that
gave a red light, and the young roots turned into stars that gave a golden light. There
they all hung, winking and twinkling and singing. Yes, singing, my baasjes, and this
is what they sang:—
‘We are children of the Sun!
It’s so! It’s so! It’s so!
Him we call when Night is done!
It’s so! It’s so! It’s so!
Bright we sail across the sky
By the Stars’ Road, high, so high;
And we, twinkling, smile at you,
As we sail across the blue!
It’s so! It’s so! It’s so!’
“Baasjes know, when the stars twinkle up there in the sky they are like little children
nodding their heads and saying, ‘It’s so! It’s so! It’s so!’” At each repetition Outa
nodded and winked, and the children, with antics of approval, followed suit.
“Baasjes have sometimes seen a star fall?” Three little heads nodded in concert.
“When a star falls,” said the old man impressively, “it tells us someone has died. For
the star knows when a person’s heart fails and the person dies, and it falls from the
sky to tell those at a distance that someone they know has died.1
“One star grew and grew till he was much larger than the others. He was the Great
Star, and, singing, he named the other stars. He called each one by name, till they all
had their names, and in this way they knew that he was the Great Star. No other could
have done so. Then when he had finished, they all sang together and praised the Great
Star, who had named them.2
“Now, when the day is done, they walk across the sky on each side of the Stars’
Road. It shows them the way. And when Night is over, they turn back and sail again
by the Stars’ Road to call the Daybreak, that goes before the Sun. The Star that leads
the way is a big bright star. He is called the Dawn’s-Heart Star, and in the dark, dark
hour, before the Stars have called the Dawn, he shines—ach! baasjes, he is beautiful
to behold! The wife and the child of the Dawn’s-Heart Star are pretty, too, but not so
big and bright as he. They sail on in front, and then they wait—wait for the other
Stars to turn back and sail along the Stars’ Road, calling, calling the Dawn, and for
the Sun to come up from under the world, where he has been lying asleep.
“They call and sing, twinkling as they sing:—
‘We call across the sky,
Dawn! Come, Dawn!
You, that are like a young maid newly risen,
Rubbing the sleep from your eyes!
You, that come stretching bright hands to the sky,
Pointing the way for the Sun!
Before whose smile the Stars faint and grow pale,
And the Stars’ Road melts away.
Dawn! Come Dawn!
We call across the sky,
And the Dawn’s-Heart Star is waiting.
It’s so! It’s so! It’s so!’
“So they sing, baasjes, because they know they are soon going out.
“Then slowly the Dawn comes, rubbing her eyes, smiling, stretching out bright
fingers, chasing the darkness away. The Stars grow faint and the Stars’ Road fades,
while the Dawn makes a bright pathway for the Sun. At last he comes with both arms
lifted high, and the brightness, streaming from under them, makes day for the world,
and wakes people to their work and play.
“But the little Stars wait till he sleeps again before they begin their singing. Summer
is the time when they sing best, but even now, if baasjes look out of the window they
will see the Stars, twinkling and singing.”
The children ran to the window and gazed out into the starlit heavens. The last sight
Outa had, as he drained the soopje glass the Baas was just in time to hand him, was of
three little heads bobbing up and down in time to the immemorial music of the Stars,
while little Jan’s excited treble rang out: “Yes, it’s quite true, Outa. They do say, ‘It’s
so! It’s so! It’s so!’”
It is both curious and interesting to find the identical belief obtaining amongst races so widely
different as the Scandinavians of Northern Europe and the Bushmen of South Africa.—See Hans
Andersen’s Little Match Girl: “Her Grandmother had told her that when a star fell down a soul mounted up
to God.”

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”—Job xxxviii. 7.

Need Washing??

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in Target.
She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside.
The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout.
We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.
We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day.
I am always mesmerized by rainfall.
I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world.
Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.
The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.
'Mom let's run through the rain,' she said.
'What?' Mom asked.
'Let's run through the rain!' She repeated
'No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit,' Mom replied.
This young child waited about another minute and repeated:
'Mom, let's run through the rain,'
'We'll get soaked if we do,' Mom said.
'No, we won't, Mom.. That's not what you said this morning,'
the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.
This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?
'Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, 'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'
The entire crowd stopped dead silent.
I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain.
We all stood silently...
No one came or left in the next few minutes...
Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say.
Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly.
Some might even ignore what was said.
But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life..
A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.
'Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing,' Mom said.
Then off they ran.
We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles.
They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case.
They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.
And yes, I did.. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.
Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health.
But no one can ever take away your precious memories....
So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

Andy Nix Photography

Seeing that photography is my passion I thought it about time to feature a South African photographer in my newsletter. I have been a fan of Andy for some time now and would like to share the link to her blog. She is a great photographer and is fortunate enough to live in the Fairest Cape where great landscapes just beg to be photographed.

Click here to view her blog and while you are there subscribe to her newsletter as well.

Come join me on Facebook, at . I update my status daily.



Right click here to download an eBook with pickling recipes

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in South Africa is celebrated with great passion and enthusiasm. The day is celebrated on 14th February every year. The craze and verve for the festival is like any other festival in South Africa. The geographical location of the country has made it one of the most romantic destinations. Thousands of tourists get attracted towards the beauty of the place when it comes to celebrate the festival of love. Large number of tourists throng the beaches and other romantic places of South Africa to celebrate Valentine's day.

Valentine's Tradition in South Africa
Most commonly observed tradition includes going out on a romantic date with one's Valentine. Young couples make it traditional to celebrate the day at a very romantic place. Also, young girls from some cultures, celebrate the occasion by following an old-age Roman festival of 'Lupercalia'. According to this traditional festival, young girls pin their lovers name on their sleeves. At some places, men also follow this custom.

Valentine Celebrations in South Africa
Valentine's Day celebrations begin well in advance in South Africa. Shops are beautifully adorned with fragrant flowers, love symbols like cupid, love birds, hearts and in traditional African style decorations. Week long parties and celebrations take place in various clubs and hotels. These activities highlight the tradition and South African culture. People totally indulge themselves in the African culture and art to celebrate the occasion of Valentine. Be it an old man of 60 or a young lass of 16, the joy of celebrating love is same in everybody.

Different events take place in various parts of South Africa. All the discotheques, pubs and restaurants are completely booked. South Africans as well as tourists attend huge balls where they match their dancing steps and flow in the Valentine mood with different alcoholic beverages. People of South Africa like to visit wildlife parks and sanctuaries with their friends and families. Luxurious resorts gives the most enthralling view and rated as one of the best place to spend a romantic evening.

Romantic gestures show someone special how much you love them:-
Find their favourite romantic movie and watch it with them. Make popcorn, hot chocolate, have chips and dip. Make sure you emphasize the fact that the night is all about them.

Valentine's Day will be special and memorable only if you do some fun things to make it that way. Use thoughtful and romantic ideas to create a special Valentine's Day for you and your sweetheart. Create the perfect atmosphere .

Setting the Mood for Valentine's Day
A simple kiss and "I love you" might work for some, but you'll really set the mood for a special day if you light some candles, remember the flowers, and provide a memorable table for your romantic dinner.

Say "I Love You" All Around the House. With simple little touches you can bring a "Happy Valentine's Day" to every special person in your life. Ribbons, bows, and hearts are easy to put around the house.

Hide little notes all over their house. Each on saying a different reason that you love them.

Hide a small surprise under their pillow. Like a box with jewellery inside or tickets to something you know they'll LOVE.

Make them breakfast in bed.

Write a story about when you first met them, or when you were first together. Write down how you felt the moment you met, and how things have become even more amazing since then. Put it in a card and give it to them.

Personalized gift giving - For any occasion, but especially Valentine's Day, plan ahead and find a gift that's personal and perfect.

Valentine Gift Ideas and Memories:-
Learn how to identify "hot spots" in your home, create a sensual atmosphere in every room, and decorate for romance.

Everyone loves flowers - make a beautiful flower arrangement with roses. A quick stop at the market will provide everything you'll need to create this classic rose arrangement. See some of our ideas below. You could also ask Bunches in-store to make something special for your loved one.

Valentine's Day Love Quotes
Select from our collection of famous Valentine's Day Love Quotes to express your love. Written by some popular writers, these quotations will never fail to convey your love and impress your Valentine. You can also quote these lines on a Valentines day card and greet your loved one. These romantic, passionate and thought provoking quotes will surely make your beloved feel like an angel in your life.

Attention is the most basic form of love, through it we bless and are blessed.John Tarrant

Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.
Nicholas Sparks

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov

Love doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.
Elizabeth Browning

Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination.

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.
Robert Frost

Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.
Peter Ustinov

Love is the expansion of two natures in such fashion that each include the other, each is enriched by the other.
Felix Adler

Love is always bestowed as a gift -- freely, willingly, and without expectation....
We don't love to be loved; we love to love.
Leo Buscaglia

Love is the greatest refreshment in life.

Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the gods.

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.
Alice Adams

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman's heart.
Josiah G. Holland

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined... to strengthen each other... to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.

He who wants to do good, knocks at the gate; He who loves, finds the door open.
Rabindranath Tagore

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home.
Give love to your children, to a wife or husband, to a next-door neighbour.
Mother Teresa


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Afrikaans Newsletter

Subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter . Visit my Afrikaans website. Recipes and freebie with each newsletter.
Smile a While

A couple has a dog that snores.
Annoyed because she can't sleep, the wife goes to the vet to see if he can help.
The vet tells the woman to tie a ribbon around the dog's testicles, and he will stop snoring.
'Yeah right!' she says.
The wife tosses and turns, unable to sleep.
Muttering to herself, she goes to the closet and grabs a piece of red ribbon and ties it carefully around the
dog's testicles.
Sure enough, the dog stops snoring.
The woman is amazed.
Later that night, her husband returns home drunk from being out drinking with his buddies.
He climbs into bed, falls asleep and immediately begins snoring loudly.
The woman decides maybe the ribbon might work on him.
So, she goes to the closet again, grabs a piece of blue ribbon and ties it around her husband's testicles.
Amazingly, it also works on him!
The woman sleeps soundly.
The husband wakes from his drunken stupor and stumbles into the bathroom.
As he stands in front of the toilet, he glances in the mirror and sees a blue ribbon attached to his privates.
He is very confused, and as he walks back into the bedroom, he sees the red ribbon attached to his dog's testicles.
He shakes his head and looks at the dog and whispers, 'I don't know where we were or what we did,
but, we took FIRST and SECOND place!

Ramblings of a Retired Mind
I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can't afford one. So, I'm wearing my garage door opener.
I also made a cover for my hearing aid and now I have what they call blue teeth, I think.
You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people just don't like me anyway.
I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!
I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is 'when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.'
When people see a cat's litter box, they always say, 'Oh, have you got a cat?' Just once I want to say, 'No, it's for company!'
Employment application blanks always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency. I think you should write, '911'!
I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older. Then, it dawned on me They were cramming for their finals.
As for me, I'm just hoping God grades on the curve.
Enjoy Your Days & Love Your Life, Because Life is a journey to be savored.

A bad senior moment.
When I was ready to check out and pay for my groceries, the cashier
said, "Strip down, facing me."
Making a mental note so I could complain to our congressman
about this Homeland Security running amok crap,
I did just as she had instructed.
After the shrieking and hysterical remarks subsided, I found out
that she was referring to how I should position my credit card.
I've been asked to shop elsewhere. They need to make their
instructions a little clearer for seniors.

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains in northern Ontario . They would meet frequently to talk shop.
The comment was made that preaching to people was fairly easy; a real challenge would be to preach to a bear! They decided to experiment. All 3 would go into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert
it to their religion. 7 days later, the 3 men met.
Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had bandages on his body, began: 'Well,' he said, 'I went to find a bear. When I found him, I read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear began to slap
me around, so I grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and he became as gentle as a lamb. The Bishop is coming to give him first communion.
Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, & had his arms and legs in casts. He exclaimed, 'Brothers, I went out and I found a bear; then I read to him from The Bible, but that bear wanted nothing to do with me.
I took hold of him and we began to wrestle, until we came to a creek. I quickly dunked and baptized him. He became as gentle as a lamb. Hallelujah!
The Priest and the Reverend looked down at the Rabbi, lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction - IVs and monitors running in and out of him, in really bad shape. The Rabbi looked up and said: "Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start."

Ever since I was a child, I've always had a fear of someone under my bed at night. So I went to a shrink and told him 'I've got problems. Every time I go to bed I think there's somebody under it. I'm scared. I think I'm going crazy.'
'Just put yourself in my hands for one year,' said the shrink. Come talk to me three times a week and we should be able to get rid of those fears'.
How much do you charge?'
Eighty dollars per visit,' replied the doctor.
I'll think about it,' I said.
Six months later, I met the doctor on the street.
Why didn't you come to see me about those fears you were having?' he asked.
Well, Eighty bucks a visit, three times a week for a year s an awful lot of money! A bartender cured me for $10.
I was so happy to have saved all that money that I bought me a new pickup!'
Is that so!' With a bit of an attitude he said, 'and how, may I ask, did a bartender cure you?'
He told me to cut the legs off the bed! -
Ain't nobody under there now!!!'

I was talking to a girl in the bar last night.
She said, "If you lost a few pounds, had a shave and got your hair cut, you'd look all right."
I said, "If I did that, I 'd be talking to your friends over there instead of you."

I was telling a girl in the pub about my ability to guess what day a woman was born just by feeling her boobs.
"Really" she said, "Go on then...try."
After about thirty seconds of fondling, she began to lose patience and said.
"Come on, what day was I born?"
I said, “Yesterday."

I got caught taking a pee in the local swimming pool today.
The lifeguard shouted at me so loud, I nearly fell in.

I went to the pub last night and saw a fat chick dancing on a table.
I said, "Nice legs."
The girl giggled and said with a smile, "Do you really think so."
I said "Definitely! Most tables would have collapsed by now. "

A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night to meet, and have a dinner with her parents.
Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.
The boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms.. He tells the pharmacist it's his first time and the pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.
At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack.
The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.
That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door.
"Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!"
The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated.
The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head. A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.
10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.
Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, 'I had no idea you were this religious..'
The boy turns, and whispers 'I had no idea your father was a pharmacist.'

Monkey Bread

Sent to me by Carmen in Alaska, funky break for a funky letter :-)


1-1/2 Tablespoons warm water (110F to 115F)
1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 to 2-1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup Warm Whole Milk (110F to 115F)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives


1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy

2. Meanwhile, whisk 2 cups of the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. In your mixer bowl (larger bowl), with the paddle attachment, at low speed, beat the egg and 1 Tablespoon of melted butter.

Beat in the yeast mixture and 1 Tablespoon Chives. Slowly beat in the flour and salt mixture until a dough forms. Change the speed of the mixer to medium for 4 or 5 minutes or until the dough is softened and pulls away from the side of the bowl, adding additional flour 1 Tablespoon at a time if dough is sticky.

3. Place the dough in a greased medium bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it's almost doubled in size.

4. Meanwhile, melt 1/2 butter in a small saucepan over low heat -- add garlic and cook 2 minutes to infuse butter with the garlic flavor, stirring constantly to keep garlic soft and light in color and to avoid overcooking. Stir in one Tablespoon chives right before using.

5. Brush a 1 to 1-1/2 quart glass or ceramic gratin or baking dish with some of the garlic butter. Gently press the raised dough down to deflate it. Divide the dough into 24 pieces and form into 1 inch balls.
Arrange in layers in the baking dish and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise again in a warm place for 45 minutes or until dough is puffy and light.

6. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 375F. Brush the raised bread with some of the garlic butter and bake for 18 minutes. Now brush the dough with more garlic butter. You can cover the bread with foil if it's browning too quickly. Bake an additional 5 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with garlic butter. Now sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.

Cool 8 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 8 servings

I am sure you could also bake this bread outdoors as you would a pot bread with charcoal beneath and on top of a cast iron pot (Dutch oven) - Peter

Images - A selection of my photos

An image I created from smoke, I call it Smokin' Sally

Zimbabwe update

For the latest on happenings in Zimbabwe, go to:  and subscribe to their newsletter, a really good source of current information

Cathy Buckle is writing from Zimbabwe, her letter is below.

Dear Family and Friends,
Zimbabwe’s 78 year old Vice President John Nkomo died of cancer this week. He was the fourth Zimbabwean Vice President to die in office after Joshua Nkomo aged 82 in 1999, Simon Muzenda aged 80 in 2003 and Joseph Msika aged 85 who died in 2009.

It was ironic that in the same week that Vice President Nkomo died whilst occupying the second most powerful position in the country, our Prime Minister made headlines by saying that Zimbabweans would soon start receiving free treatment for cancer. Free treatment for cancer – our eyebrows went up, we are country that can’t even feed ourselves. A country which is looking to the UN to give free emergency food aid to 1.6 million Zimbabweans in the next few months.

Speaking at the funeral of University Professor Gordon Chavhunduka who died of throat cancer, Prime Minister Tsvangirai said that there had been a cabinet decision taken to establish two centres for the early detection of cancer and people would be given free treatment.

Meanwhile closer to home a friend complained of a very stiff neck, shoulders and lower back. He had woken up in the morning with excruciating pain and found his lower lip bleeding and covered in raw wounds. A couple of days later, with the pain persisting, he went to the provincial government hospital. He is a known epileptic and entitled to receive free medication for epilepsy when he attends the outpatients clinic once a month. From 2005 to 2009 when the country was ravaged by multi-billion percent inflation, the government hospital could not supply the epilepsy drugs and he had to source them elsewhere and find the money to pay for them. Those were desperate times for everyone on all sorts of life sustaining medication, pharmacies everywhere were empty and everyone had to find friends or relations outside the country who could help. Prescriptions went across borders, drugs were collected by strangers in other countries, emergency packages travelled thousands of kilometres and were delivered by unknown legions of nameless volunteers who literally saved people’s lives.

For a couple of years after Zimbabwe’s politicians were forced to share power, the situation got easier, supplies in hospitals improved and the drugs were dispensed for free every month but for the last nine months things have inexplicably changed. Quietly and without any outcry from anyone in our bloated, double-sized power sharing government, things have started slipping backwards. Every month the pharmacy at the government hospital say they don’t have the epilepsy drugs and lines of outpatients are turned away, told to go and buy the drugs themselves at private pharmacies and its tough luck if they can’t afford them.

Nurses in the outpatients department gathered around my friend with the neck and back ache and bleeding mouth to see for themselves what happens when you don’t take the medication. They asked him if he had been buying and taking his tablets regularly. They said it looked like he had had an epileptic fit while he had been asleep, had bitten his lip and hurt his neck and back whilst shaking with spasms. Writing in his mandatory little exercise book they renewed the prescriptions for the two drugs he should take for his epilepsy and added an anti inflammatory for the neck and back pain. The outpatients pharmacy had no drugs in stock and there was no queue at the main hospital pharmacy but he went there anyway. A cursory glance at the names of the three common drugs that had been prescribed and the exercise book was handed
back: sorry nothing here, go and buy them in town. Young or old, no exceptions, no one to turn to and just despair at a time when the government talks about giving free cancer treatment and yet can’t even supply basic life saving medicines.

Until next time,
thanks for reading,

For information on my new book “IMIRE”, about Norman Travers and Imire Game Park, or my other books about Zimbabwe: “Innocent Victims,” African Tears,” “Beyond Tears;” and “History of the Mukuvisi Woodlands 1910-2010”, or to subscribe/unsubscribe to this letter, please visit my website or contact

And then it is Winter.

You know, time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that I was young, just married and embarking on my new life with my mate. And yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.

I know that I lived them all...

And I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams... But, here it is...the winter of my life and it catches me by surprise... How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well...seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like... But, here it friends are retired and getting gray...they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me... But, I see the great change... Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant... But, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we'd be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat's mandatory! Cause if I don't on my own free will..I just fall asleep where I sit!

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!!

But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I'm not sure how long it will last...this I know, that when it's over...its over. Yes , I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn't done...things I should have done, but indeed, there are many things I'm happy to have done. It's all in a lifetime....

So, if you're not in your winter yet...let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life please do it quickly! Don't put things off too long!!

Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your, live for good today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember...and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!!!

'Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after.

Make it a fantastic one.'

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
~mark twain
This South Africa - news headlines

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The all-in-one official guide
and web portal to South Africa.  
Recipe Requests

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

Banana Spice Bread

1 3/4 cups sifted flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup salad oil
1 cup bananas (3 medium) mashed
1/2 cup chopped nuts

1. Grease a 23 x 12 x 8 cm loaf pan with butter or oil
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C before baking
3. Into a medium, dry bowl, sift together first six ingredients. Keep aside
4. In a large-size mixing bowl, combine honey, eggs, oil and banana mash
5. Beat well with a wooden spoon until well blended
6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir quickly and lightly, just enough to moisten the flour mixture and only until no dry flour is visible
7. Stir in the nuts
8. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan lightly on the tabletop to evenly spread batter and remove air bubbles
9. Place pan on the middle level of the preheated oven and bake for almost 50 to 60 minutes
10. When the crust is lightly browned and loaf is springy to touch or when skewer inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean and dry, remove pan from the oven
11. Let loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack
12. Leave to cool completely

13. Slice and serve with tea or coffee for a delicious breakfast treat

Sweet & Sour Vegetables

250g cauliflower
100g French beans
2 large carrots
2 large green bell peppers
2 spring onions
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Soya sauce
1 vegetable soup cube
1 tsp cornflour
2 tablets sugar-free sweetener, powdered
1 Tbsp any non-synthetic vinegar

2 Tbsp bean sprouts

1. Cut cauliflower into florets
2. Trim French beans and cut into 2.5 cm pieces
3. Cut carrots, bell peppers and spring onions into 2.5 cm pieces
4. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over moderate heat and add vegetables.
5. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with salt and Soya sauce
7. Dissolve soup cube in 1 cup water and add to pan
8. Mix cornflour with 1 Tbsp water and stir in
9. Dissolve sweetener in vinegar and pour over vegetables
10. Stir and cook for 1 - 2 minutes till gravy thickens
11. Sprinkle with bean sprouts and serve hot with wheat noodle

Breakfast Wrap

1 large whole-wheat tortilla
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
2 Tbsp cheddar cheese, grated
1 Tbsp fresh basil, shredded
2 Tbsp humus
1/4 cup chopped tomato, seeds removed
salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Spread the humus on the tortilla, then sprinkle lettuce over
2. Add the rest of the vegetables
3. Sprinkle with cheese, basil and tomato
4. Season with salt and pepper
5. Roll up wrap, cut in half and serve

Brown Rice Stir-Fry

1 cup brown rice
3 bell peppers (red,green,yellow)
4 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
2 tomatoes
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
50g grated coconut
1 tsp chilli powder
lime/lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Cook the rice following the package instructions
2. Dice the onion and garlic and braise with the olive oil in a pan until glazed
3. Cut the bell peppers and tomatoes into bite-size pieces, add to the onions and braise for another 4 minutes
4. When the rice is ready, add it to the vegetables along with the grated coconut
5. Lower the heat, cook another 5 minutes, while frequently stirring, and season with lime/lemon juice, salt and pepper and chilli powder

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

3 large sweet potatoes
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C
2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chips
3. In a large bowl toss the sweet potato chips in the Cayenne pepper, salt and oil
4. Arrange in a single layer in a roasting pan and roast for about 30 minutes, turning potatoes every 10 minutes
5. Serve with mushroom burgers (recipe below)

Mushroom Burgers with Caramelised Onions

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 large mushroom caps
1 large onion, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 whole-wheat rolls

1. Combine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper
2. Place mushroom caps in glass or ceramic dish and pour marinade over them - make sure the marinade covers the mushroom caps
3. Let the caps marinade for one - two hours
4. While the mushrooms are marinating, prepare the onions
5. Heat sauté pan over a medium heat, then add olive oil and onions
6. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelised (about 20 minutes)
7. Season with salt and pepper
8. Grill or pan cook mushroom caps for 3 - 4 minutes on each side
9. Toast rolls if desired
10. Serve mushroom caps on rolls and top with onion - serve with sweet potato fries

Apple Pudding

3 medium cooking apples, peeled and sliced
1 vegetable cooking spray
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup light margarine
1 sugar substitute to equal 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk

1. Arrange apple slices in button of an 20 cm square baking pan coated with cooking spray - set aside
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt, stirring until blended - set aside
3. Combine margarine, sugar substitute, and vanilla in a medium bowl - beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended
4. Add egg, beat until fluffy
5. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture
6. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and bake at 190°C for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean
7. Cut into 6 squares, and serve hot

Lo-Cal Cheese Cake

350g low fat Ricotta cheese
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup artificial powder sweetener
Grated peel of 1 lemon
3 crackers, finely crushed
350g low fat cottage cheese
2/3 cup non-instant milk powder
5 Tbsp. lemon juice or to taste
2 tsp. vanilla essence
Butter for pan

1. Put cheese in processor with egg yolks and sweetener and blend
2. Add milk, powder and process until smooth
3. Add vanilla, lemon juice and peel to cheese mixture
4. Blend until smooth
5. Beat egg whites until frothy, then add to the processor and blend for about 2 seconds, until mixed
6. Butter the bottom and 1/2 way up the sides of a 23 cm springform pan
7. Pour the cracker crumbs into the pan and shake until buttered area is coated - leave any extra on the bottom
8. Pour cheese cake mixture into pan and bake at 180°C with a pan of water in the oven to prevent drying
9. Bake for 45 minutes or until inserted knife emerges clean - cool

Summer Jelly

4 apricots, stoned and halved
100g green grapes
250g strawberries, hulled and halved
250g fresh or no-added-sugar canned cherries, stoned
60g gelatine dissolved in
125ml hot water, cooled
200ml water
900ml no-added-sugar apple juice

1. Place apricots, grapes, strawberries and cherries in a bowl and toss to combine
2. Place gelatine mixture, water and apple juice in a bowl and mix to combine Pour one-quarter of the mixture into a lightly oiled 1 3/4 litre capacity mould and top with one-quarter of the fruit - refrigerate until set
4. Repeat with remaining liquid and fruit. When jelly is set, unmould and serve garnished with extra fruit if desired

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

3/4 cup coconut milk (not the watered down “light” version which just replaces some of the healthy coconut fat with water)
1 bar (100g bar works well) of quality extra dark chocolate (look for at least 70-75% cocoa content on the label)
4-5 Tbsp of peanut butter or your favourite nut butter (almond butter, cashew butter, macadamia butter, etc)
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
½ cup dried dates (best soaked for 30 plus minutes) - after soaking chop the dates into small pieces
1/2 cup whole almonds (optional)
2 Tbsp raw wheat germ
2 Tbsp rice bran or almond flour (just to help glue it together)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Start by adding the coconut milk and vanilla extract to a small saucepan on very low heat
2. Break up the extra dark chocolate bar into chunks and add into pot
3. Add the nut butter and the chopped dates and continuously stir until it all melts together
4. Add the raisins, almonds, wheat germ, and rice bran and stir until fully blended
5. Spoon/pour the fudge mixture onto some waxed paper in a dish and place in the fridge until it cools and solidifies together
6. Place in a closed container or cover with foil in fridge to prevent it from drying out

Enjoy small squares for dessert and for small snacks throughout the day. This is about as good as it gets for a healthy yet delicious treat! Even though this is a healthier dessert idea, keep in mind that it is still calorie dense, so keep your portions reasonable.



Out with those old notions of dressing. The purpose here, is to bring a surprising additional flavour to salad servings, whatever they may be. There is nothing nicer than a simply prepared fresh salad glistening with a tasty dressing, eaten with some hot, crusty bread. It's a meal in itself, quick and economical, so indulge and experiment with the dressing. Always choose the freshest of ingredients. Serve cold salads and vegetable dishes at room temperature for peek flavour. Perk up cold cuts with a delicious mustard. If you are worried about calories, eat less, eat slowly, but for heaven's sake, eat well. Try these quick ideas to get your experimental juices flowing!

all about olive oil:-

Have you ever wandered why the same size bottles of olive oil differ so widely in price? At the expensive end you can expect the very best cold-processed extra virgin olive oil, often a wonderful green colour. The extra virgin title is earned if the oil contains less than 1% acid. Olives for this nectar are harvested before they ripen. They are hand picked, as they have been for the last 2000 years. They are processed immediately in grindstones similar to those used by the Etruscans. This laborious process is expensive and accounts for the high cost, but the superb aromatic taste of extra virgin olive oil justifies the expense.

Fully ripened olives produce more oil and have a higher acidity. Large quantities of olive oil are commercially produced in plants where chemical solvents are used to release the oil. This industrial process affects the flavour and increases the acid content of the oil. This mass produced olive oil is cheaper, with a milder flavour, which is perfectly suitable quality in the initial cooking and preparation of dishes.

and balsamic vinegar:-

Like olive oil and fine wines, vinegar has a following amongst the connoisseurs. It seems you won't be taken seriously in the kitchen without the obligatory bottle of balsamic. Balsamic vinegar has been made in Madeira, Italy for centuries. Made from the juice of fresh white grapes, concentrated by boiling for at least a day in an open pot, and aged in wooden casks. Just a very small amount makes a huge difference to a salad. It keeps for a long time, tightly sealed in a cool, dark place.

You will be bewildered when you go off to purchase your bottle! The aging varies from a minimum of two years for the cheapest bottles, to 12 - 15 years for the medium priced range, and a whopping 50 years for the collectors' bottles. The vinegar is rich, dark and syrupy with a delectable sweetness. Unfortunately it is extremely expensive and largely unavailable. Most of the balsamic available in South Africa are blends of young vinegars with a small amount of a very old vinegar.

using olive oil and vinegar:-

Olive oil and a good vinegar makes the world of difference to commercial dehydrated salad dressings. Mix up the dressing according to the instructions, but use a tasty vinegar like balsamic, red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar. Balsamic is a very concentrated, dark syrupy vinegar, so dilute in by half with water. Combine half olive oil and half sunflower for the quantity of oil called for. Olive oil on it's own can be heavy in taste and sometimes bitter.

some thoughts on mustard:-

If you want heat without the burn of chillies, choose mustard. It's instant, but at the back of the tongue and disappears as quickly as it came.

Sealed mustard has an exceptionally long shelf life, like running into years. Once opened and stored in the fridge, it will last for a year or more. Frankly, if you haven't finished the jar within a year, you probably don't like it anyway.

Essential, stand-by mustards would be Hot English, powder and wet form, and Dijon. If you've got kids around, keep a bottle of American mild, or hotdog mustard, sweet without the heat, and brilliant on burgers and hotdogs. Hot English mustard powder is a traditional additive to cheese sauce for Welsh Rarebit and fondue, as well as salad dressings.

some suggestions -
•Coat the surface of a fillet or leg of lamb with mustard and herbs before roasting.
•Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese or crumbled goat's milk cheese to mustard and stuff under the skin of chicken pieces before cooking.
•Hot English is perfect on hot and cold meats.
•Dijon is great on everything! Mix with a good mayonnaise and dress warm baby potatoes or boiled eggs.
•Mustard with white wine and green peppercorns can be added to white sauces for vegetables such as leeks and cauliflowers.
•Mustard with garlic and red peppers is superb when used in marinades for spare ribs, chops and kebabs.
•Whole grain mustard with ale is the perfect partner to sausages, pork pies and kassler ham.

let it be Dijon:-

If you have only one mustard in your cupboard, let it be Dijon. It is a brilliant dressing, and of course, perfect with cold meats. Mix Dijon mustard to taste with a rich, creamy mayonnaise and use on sandwiches or potato salad.

delicious herb infused oil:-

At last, a recipe that doesn't call for the most expensive, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil. Ordinary cooking oil can be transformed by infusion.

1 cup cooking oil

2 cups of your favourite green herb (dill, parsley, basil, watercress, tarragon or a mixture of them)

Blanch herbs in boiling water for 20 seconds. Refresh in ice-cold water, dry and chop very finely. Add to cooking oil and blend in a food processor to make a bright green oil puree. Leave to stand overnight in the fridge. After 24 hours remove from fridge and pour through a fine sieve or muslin to filter off the herbs. Leave the oil to stand for another 24 hours and then decant into a bottle leaving any residue at the bottom of the container. This lovely green oil can be used for cooking, as salad dressing, to flavour cooked rice or for just drizzling. Store in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.

olive oil and vinegar dressing:-

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Whisk together. Drizzle over a green salad and gently hand mix so that all the leaves are lightly coated.

quick herb mayonnaise:-

2 heaped tablespoons parsley, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, washed and dried
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whiz all the ingredients in a blender. This will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

mustard and horseradish sauce:-

This sauce is absolutely delicious with beef, especially in a sandwich.

6 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix together in a jar. This will keep for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

balsamic and mustard salad shake:-

This dressing works particularly well with a leafy, green, plain salad.
2/3 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard (or to taste)
pinch of sugar, optional

Place in a salad dressing jar and shake well. Shake well again before sprinkling on salad.

mayonnaise salad dressing:-

This dressing works well as an all purpose salad dressing, over cold baby potatoes and on warm, baked potatoes.

150ml mayonnaise
30ml milk
10ml white wine
2ml fresh or dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Add milk and white wine bit by bit to the mayonnaise to form a pouring consistency. Add thyme and black pepper and beat with a fork. Pour over salad just before serving.

With thanks to Crossing Superspar in Nelspruit.
You can subscribe to their newsletter by clicking here

Some Valentine's Recipes

Classic Champagne Cocktail

This decadent cocktail of champagne laced with cognac is perfect for special occasions. Treat yourselves this Valentine.

1 white sugar cube
2 dashes bitters
20ml cognac
enough champagne to fill the glass

1. Place the sugar cube onto a spoon and add the bitters.
2. Drop the soaked sugar cube into a champagne flute and add the cognac.
3. Top up the glass with champagne and serve.

Oysters with Champagne Sauce

Casanova once said oysters are "a spur to the spirits and to love" - which is why you'll swoon when you taste this decadent starter.

125ml (1/2 cup) champagne or sparkling white wine
1 French shallot (eschalot), finely chopped
125ml (1/2 cup) thickened cream
freshly ground white pepper
rock salt, to serve
12 (1 dozen) natural oysters, in the half shell
chopped fresh chives, to serve

1.Place the champagne and shallot in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until reduced by half. Add the cream and season with white pepper. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by half and the sauce is thick and creamy.
2.Preheat grill on high. Scatter rock salt over the base of 2 small heatproof serving dishes. Arrange the oysters on the rock salt. Pour the cream mixture evenly among the oysters. Cook under grill for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Set aside for 2 minutes to cool slightly. Sprinkle with chives to serve.

Tomato Bites

500g cherry tomatoes, halved
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
250g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
6 fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Scoop out and discard pulp of cherry tomatoes. Invert tomatoes onto paper towels to drain.
2. In a food processor, combine the cream, mozzarella cheese, basil and garlic; cover and process until blended.
3. Cut a small hole in the corner of a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Fill with cheese mixture.
4. Turn tomato halves over; drizzle with vinegar. Pipe cheese mixture into tomatoes. Refrigerate until serving.

Stuffed Chicken Breast Wrapped in Bacon

This chicken recipe is easy and impressive: it's perfect for a Valentine dinner party.

4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
4 Tbsp cranberry sauce
300g gorgonzola cheese
24 slices of bacon
Italian olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
For the Green Bean Salad
4 handfuls green beans
½ lemon, juice only
3-4 Tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Place each chicken breast between two pieces of cling film and, using a meat mallet, bash out the pieces until about 0.5cm thick. Remove the cling film.
3. Spread one tablespoon of cranberry sauce over each chicken breast. Place a piece of gorgonzola in the middle of each chicken breast, season and roll up the chicken to enclose the cheese.
4. Place six slices of bacon, side by side, on a chopping board. Place one chicken breast on the bacon slices and tightly wrap bacon around the chicken. Repeat with the remaining chicken and bacon slices.
5. Place the chicken breasts on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted.
6. Meanwhile, blanch the green beans for a few minutes in boiling water and then refresh in iced water.
7. Toss the beans with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
8. Divide the bean salad between four plates.
9. Top with the cooked chicken and serve at once.

Beef Fillet with a Mushroom, Wine Sauce

2 fillet mignon steaks
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
15 ml olive oil
200g unsalted butter
6g finely minced fresh ginger
4g finely minced garlic
35g thinly sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
1g salt
20ml sake
15ml mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
55g unsalted butter
2g finely chopped garlic chives

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Season fillets to taste with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a heavy, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. Sear steaks until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to preheated oven, and cook for about 10 minutes, or to desired doneness. When the steaks are done, set aside to rest in a warm place while finishing the sauce.
3. Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and ginger, cook gently until fragrant and translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in sake and mirin; reduce by half.
4. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup of butter. Once melted, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the butter turns a dark golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in chives. Serve sauce over steaks.

Alfredo Seafood Fettuccini

225g uncooked fettuccine
1 packet Alfredo sauce mix
1 package (225g) crabmeat
170g scallops
170g uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp plus 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, prepare Alfredo sauce according to package directions.
2. In a large skillet, sauté the crab, scallops and shrimp in butter for 2-3 minutes or until scallops are opaque and shrimp turn pink. Stir into Alfredo sauce. Season with garlic powder. Cook and stir for 5-6 minutes or until thickened. Drain fettuccine; top with seafood mixture.

Feta & Semi-Dried Tomato Crusted Lamb Cutlets

40g semi-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
40g feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tsp pinenuts
2 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 egg yolk
2 x 3-cutlet racks of lamb, trimmed
1 potato, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
1 carrot, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
200g piece pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
2 Tbsp olive oil
dressed salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Combine semi-dried tomato, feta, breadcrumbs, pinenuts, 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, egg yolk and salt and pepper in a bowl. Using clean hands, mix until well combined. Place lamb racks on a chopping board.
2. Coat each lamb rack in breadcrumb mixture, pressing on with fingertips. Place racks, interlocking cutlet bones, in the centre of a greased roasting pan.
3. Combine potato, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin, oil, remaining thyme leaves and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss to coat. Spoon vegetables around edge of roasting pan. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes for medium lamb or until cooked to your liking. Transfer lamb racks to a plate. Cover. Stand for 10 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 250°C. Roast vegetables for a further 8 minutes or until golden and crisp.
4. Cut lamb racks into cutlets. Serve with vegetables and salad leaves

Chocolate Ice Cream Truffles

Like little chocky kisses, these icy truffles are the perfect accompaniment to a romantic coffee for two.

1 x 500ml carton good-quality chocolate ice-cream
100g rich dark cooking chocolate
20g butter

1. Line 2 large plates with non-stick baking paper. Place 1 plate in the freezer to chill.
2. Dip a melon baller in a bowl of hot water and use to scoop out 1 ball of ice-cream. Place on the chilled plate. Insert a toothpick into the centre of the ice-cream ball. Repeat to make 5 more ice-cream balls. Place in the freezer for 2 hours or until very firm.
3. Place the chocolate and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cook on medium/500watts/50% for 1 minute or until the chocolate and butter melt. Stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
4. Dip 1 ice-cream ball into the chocolate mixture and gently shake off excess. Place on the remaining lined plate and return immediately to the freezer. Repeat with the remaining ice-cream balls and chocolate mixture. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until very firm.

Chocolate Strawberries

Simple but delicious. Happy Valentine's Day!

150g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
150g white chocolate
750g large strawberries, washed, dried

1. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Break milk chocolate into even pieces. Place into a heat-proof bowl.
2. One-third fill a saucepan with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Place chocolate bowl over saucepan (don't let bowl touch water). Stir with a metal spoon until smooth.
3. Dip one-third of the strawberries into chocolate. Place onto tray. Repeat with dark and white chocolate. Refrigerate until set.

Valentine Cup Cakes

Make these light-as-a-feather cupcakes with their gaudy pink decoration for someone you love.

For the cakes
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
125g self-raising flour
150g raspberries
6 passion fruit, sieved pulp only (or a small tin)
a little milk, to loosen the mixture as necessary
For the icing
500g icing sugar
160g butter
1 vanilla pod, seeds only
2-3 drops pink liquid food colouring
50ml milk
hundreds and thousands

1. For the cakes, preheat the oven to 180C. Sit 12 paper cases in a muffin tray.
2. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined.
3. Fold the flour, raspberries and passion fruit pulp into the mixture until almost smooth. If the mixture looks too stiff, add a little milk, as necessary.
4. Divide the mixture among the paper cases then bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and set aside until completely cooled.
5. For the icing, using an electric whisk, cream the icing sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Whisk in the vanilla pod seeds and food colouring. Gradually whisk in enough milk to form a smooth paste.

6. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a large star-shaped nozzle and pipe the icing over the cake. Sprinkle over the hundreds and thousands



Additional Income

I have joined and it works, it is not a get rich quick scheme but with patience it can build up to a useful extra monthly income, it does require a little bit of marketing as well as a low monthly subscription, but, bottom line, it works.
This company is definitely not a scam. Be Motivated Today provides a motivational service and has great motivational products. The CEO, Arnfried Klein-Werner, is an International Motivational Speaker. He has tried and studied many systems that don't work and after 13 years developed a system that actually does work and is creating
an additional income for many South Africans already. He understands people's fears and therefore offers a 100% money-back guarantee, if you don't make money after 6 months. In other words you have nothing to lose.....
You have nothing to lose. I encourage you to visit the website and register to try the products and service out for free. Click here for more information. Register as a free trial member then upgrade to start your income stream.

I must add that I got just over R900 in commission in February, every little bit helps. It takes some time, but it will happen eventually. Remember to upgrade to start participating in the income stream.

I received this email recently:

Yes, out of curiosity I visited Be Motivated Today during September 2009, but only joined during August 2010, what a waste of time!!!.
If I knew what was happening during the year I wasted, man, I would have joined immediately after I  read the details of the setup.
I now have a waiting list of seven on my downline (one already joined as Silver), the others are bound to join during November and they are jumping around purely from excitement to get started and its rubbing off on me as well.
Just one question: My intention is to place an invitation advertisement on the rear window of my car, do you think it could shake some people out of their dreams and make them joining us?

My Super Duper Recipe CD

I have just added 37 very old digitally scanned (you see the actual pages of the book) recipe books to the CD, at no extra cost. Here is your chance to have a really unique recipe book collection.

I have decided to simplify the way I sell my recipe eBook collection.

I am putting them all on one CD in an English and Afrikaans folder now also a folder with the very old books,  over 130 recipe eBooks in all. That means less than R1 a recipe book, a real bargain! Most of the books come with resale rights so you can sell them individually if you wish.

Pricing: The CD costs  R120 registered postage included (R150 for next day Speed Services delivery in SA). Once I mail the CD I will email you the post office tracking number

Paypal orders also accepted at US$20 per CD overseas postage included. My Paypal email addy is

If you are interested in my Super CD just click here and I will send you my banking details. Remember to include you postal address.

As soon as I mail the CD I will email you the post office tracking number as proof of despatch.

FunkyMunky Traditional South African Recipes - A comprehensive collection of Traditional South African recipes.
Tradisionele Suid Afrikaanse Resepte - Traditional South African Recipes in Afrikaans
Christmas Recipes - A selection of Christmas Recipes for you to try!
101 Camping and Outdoor Recipes - Recipes for you to try next time you go camping
400 Refreshing punch recipes - Some great ideas for liquid refreshment at your next party
Favourite Christmas Cookies - 34 Great cookie recipes for you to enjoy!
Christmas Cookie Recipes - A delicious collection of Christmas Cookie Recipes
A Homemade Christmas - 100 Simple and delicious recipes for your special holiday meals
Holiday Candy and Fudge - 42 Great candy recipes, a hit with kids of all ages!
Kids Fun Recipes - 120 Fun and Delicious Recipes
Delicious Puddings - A Collection of 167 Pudding Recipes
Pumpkin Pie - Pumpkin pies and more!
Salad Recipes - A Collection of Easy to Follow Salad Recipes
Summer Party Cookbook - The name says it all!
Pampercat and Pamperdog - Recipe treats for your feline and canine friends
80 Seasonal Recipes from around the world - A selection of festive recipes from the four corners of the globe!
Crockpot Recipes - In South Africa we would probably call this Potjiekos
International Recipes - A selection of recipes from all over the world
Fish and Game Recipes - A selection of mouthwatering recipes
Lemonade - A large selection of lemonade recipes
Pizzeria - Try some of these great pizza recipes
Casseroles - 17 pages of mouthwatering casserole recipes
Low Fat Recipes - Watching your cholesterol? Then this is for you!
Soup Recipes - Ideal for those cold winter evenings
Chicken Recipes - 300 Delicious Chicken Recipes
Amish Recipes - 65 Tried and True Traditional Amish Recipes
Apple Recipes - Mouth watering apple recipes
Blue Ribbon Recipes - 490 Award Winning Recipes
The Bread Book - The bread and biscuit baker's and sugar boiler's assistant
Chocolate Delights - Deliciously decadent and delightful recipes for the chocaholic in you
Carolina Mountain Cooking - Created from the recipes and memories of two of the Carolina Mountain's most talented cooks.
Egg Recipes - 111 Great Egg Recipes
Great Gifts in a Jar - A personally made gift is usually more appreciated!
Italian Recipes - A collection of 185 delicious Italian dishes
Smoothies - 126 Easy recipes for maximum sports performance
Top Secret Recipes - Top secret famous recipes
Wings - The ultimate chicken wing cookbook
The Barmaster - Essential tips and techniques for bartenders
Be a Grillmaster - How to host the perfect bbq!
101 Good Jam Recipes - Make your own jams, 101 recipes for you to try
Deep Fryer Recipes - 101 Recipes for the Deep Fryer
Frozen Dessert Recipes - From ice cream to yoghurt - 170 pages of mouthwatering recipes.
Recipes from South of the Border - 247 pages of typically Mexican recipes
Various Rice Dishes - 32 Great Rice Dishes
The Appetizer Collection - More than 150 pages of great ideas for appetizers
The Big Book of Cookies - From Almond Bars to Zucchini Bars, they are all here, 233 pages of cookie recipes
Salad Recipes - A Collection of Easy to Follow Salad Recipes
Delicious Diabetic Recipes - A Collection of over 500 yummy recipes.
Cheesecake Recipes - Nearly 100 pages of yummilicious cheesecake recipes!

Bonus eBooks

Something for the gardeners
Organic Secrets - Everything you wanted to know about organic food

Profitable Crafts- Vol 1
Profitable Crafts - Vol 2
Profitable Crafts - Vol 3
Profitable Crafts - Vol 4
20 Vintage Crochet Patterns

Everything you wanted to know about making, marketing and selling your crafts.

Big Fat Lies - A shocking expose of the 12 biggest scams, cover-ups, lies, myths and deceptions
in the diet and weight-loss industries.

10,000 Dreams Interpreted

A List of the very old digitally scanned recipe eBooks.

A Calendar of Dinners with 615 recipes - 1922
A Dozen dainty recipes for preparing wartime canned meats - 1920
A Home Guide - or a book by 500 ladies - 1877
Aunt Carolines Dixieland Recipes - 1922
A Practical Dictionary of Cookery - 1200 tested recipes - 1898
Best recipes for baking - pre 1908
Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping - 1877
Burke's Complete Cocktail and tasty bite recipes - 1936
Catering for special occasions with menus and recipes - 1911
Diabetic Cookery - recipes and menus - 1917
Fifty Choice Recipes for Spanish and Mexican Dishes - 1905
Fifty valuable and delicious recipes made with corn meal - 1917
Heart of the Wheat - a book of recipes - 1910
Hospitality - recipes and enteertainment hints for all occasions - 1922
Hotel Management - quantity food recipes
Household hints and recipes - 1877
Ice Cream - practical recipes for making ice cream - 1886
Information for everybody - 1859
Jane Hamiltons Recipes - 1909
Just the thing - dainty dishes at small cost - 1899
Larger cookery book of extra recipes - 1891
Leather Manufacture - 1891
Light entertaining - a book of dainty recipes for special occasions - 1910
Mom's Cookbook
On Uncle Sam's Water Wagon - 500 recipes for delicious drinks that can be made at home - 1919
Our candy recipes - 1919
Practical Household Cookery - 1000 recipes - 1891
Preserves and Pickles - 1912
Recipes - dainties, salads and clever hints - 1919
Recipes for the preserving of fruit vegetables and meat - 1908
The Candy Maker's Guide - 1896
The Housekeeper's Friend - 1897
The Hygenic Cookbook - 1881
Tried and Tested Recipes - 1921
Two Hundred and Seventy Five Wartime Recipes - 1918
Two hundred recipes for cooking in casseroles - 1914
Two hundred recipes for making desserts - 1912
War Time Cookery - 1917
Wheatless Recipes - 1918
Wrinkles and Recipes, including farming and household hints - 1877

And here is a list of the recipe eBooks on the Afrikaans CD:

217 Egte Afrikaanse resepte, Aartappels, Beskuitresepte, Afrikaanse Resepteverskeidenheid, Brood resepte, Vul die beskuitblik, 'n Broodjie vir die blik, Blokkieskoek, Burgers Patties Frikadelle, Brood resepte, Drankies, Drinkgoed, Gemmerbier, Groente, Eet jou groente, Hoender resepte, Happies en Poffers, Kaaskoek, Ietsie anders resepte, Kerskoeke, Karavaan resepte, Kleinkoekies, Kinderlekkerte, Koekiedrukker resepte, Koeke, Likeur, Lekkergoed resepte, Nog resepte, McCain resepte, Moedersdag resepte
Mikrogolf resepte, Peterjasie se boek, Pastageregte, Peterjasie se Kersresepte versameling
Peterjasie se eBoek van vernoemde resepte, Poeding, Peterjasie se Tradisionele SA resepte
Resepte met biltong, Resepteverskeidenheid - ook grootmaat, Slaaie, Sommer net resepte, Sop in die pot, Sop resepte, Terte, Sous, Verskeie resepte 1, Souttert & Pannekoek, Vis en hoender, Veelsydige hoender, Vleisgeregte vir Kersdag, Verskeie resepte 2, Warm en koue drankies, Vleisresepte, Wille samies, Wafels en Pannekoeke, Wors en worsies


Annette se Boererate, Boererate en Verbruikerswenke, Hartstigting dieet, Lennons medikasie, Mate en gewigte, Sop dieet, S A Boererate eBoek, Metrieke omskakelingstabel, Werk van die huis

Silversands Online casino

We usually go to Carnival City, our local entertainment complex about twice a month for a movie, a good meal and a flutter at the tables or machines. Most times it is crowded and my favourite machines are taken. Then I came across Silversands online casino. You simply sign up, download some software and you can practice with fun money to your heart's content before you play with the real thing.
Give it a try,   Click Here  .  

Children's Stories on CD
Find it hard to get quality children’s stories? Join the popular Anna Emm Story Club in Afrikaans or English, and start adding to your child’s CD collection at an early age! Collect al 96 original stories (on 48 CDs!) over 2 years, or join for a minimum of 3 months - you decide! Receive 2 new CDs with original children’s stories every month! Anna Emm Productions has already produced more than 500 new children’s stories on CD. Click here to join . Ideal gift for children and grandchildren.

Just another reminder to join the Africam fan page on Facebook. They will be posting photos / videos and other udates and articles on the fan page from now.
join at
Also visit the Africam  website

Biltong in Australia?

It's not only the South African immigrants to Australia who are fond of biltong. More-and-more Australians are finding that biltong made with South African spices is so much tastier than the simple dried-meat product they call jerky. That's created a local market for South African spices, and an opportunity for a Brisbane-based business called Biltongspice.

Biltongspice now supplies a wide range of traditional and new spice products ideal for making biltong, jerky, droewors, boerewors and similar meat products. Their products include the Freddy Hirsch, Meister, Crown National, Aromat and Marina ranges, together with accessories such as biltong machines and biltong cutters. They also carry the top quality Protea biltong and droewors products, and ship locally throughout Australia. See their website


Subscribe / Unsubscribe / Contact

To subscribe to this newsletter and view previous newsletters,  click here, to subscribe to my Afrikaans newsletter, click here. To unsubscribe, click on the appropriate link above and unsubscribe or email me at :


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