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Newsletter #26  - June 8, 2002

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Hi, and welcome to this edition of my newsletter!.. 

Came across something typically "seffrican" yesterday. Went to the produce market and saw a packet of "walkie talkies" for sale. Can you guess what was in the packet?? Answer right at the bottom of this letter.... 

As promised in my previous newsletter, and as suggested by Christo du Preez, this letter will have a "waterblommetjie" theme.  OK, I can hear a lot of you ask, what the heck is a "waterblommetjie"? Well, not being from the area of South Africa where this dish is popular, I actually had to do some homework myself, (facts kindly supplied by Christo) and this is what I found out....... 
Waterblommetjies is an endemic Cape South African aquatic herb, and is a traditional wild-gathered vegetable. It has oblong green and red leaves that float on the water's surface.
In the spring and fall, blooms rise out of the water bearing
vanilla-scented, white flowers that are speckled with black. The long,
oval shaped leaves float on the water, but it is usually the flowers
standing up out of the water above the leaves, that attract attention.
This plant has been brought into cultivation as a food crop during the
past twenty years.  

And now for something special, a sensational new 
South African singer and musician! Check this out!!!
 Invitation from Nianell (if you don't  have Powerpoint, click here!) 

The common name of the plant is waterblommetjie, which means water
flower in Afrikaans. Waterblommetjie is also known as wateruintjie
(water onion) or vleikos in Afrikaans and Cape hawthorn, Cape pondweed, and Cape asparagus in English. 
The flower is the part that has been used as a food source for many
years. The most common way waterblommetjie flowers are prepared is in a lamb or mutton stew called a waterblommetjie bredie. This is similar to Dutch green bean stew in which the waterblommetjie flowers are used instead of green beans . OK, you should get the picture by now, so scroll down to the recipes....

And for the next newsletter or two I will be featuring some of our traditional tarts, headed off by a special milk tart recipe, so watch this space!!!

...and I am still looking for more wacky ways to improve the Elephant Stew recipe, a big thanx to those who have already sent in suggestions:-) Take a look at the other comments and add yours  
Peter

Please keep the South African Culinary flag flying high by voting for my South African recipe pages in the Culinary Top 100. The site has  been hovering between #4 and #6 for a while now, we need to get to 50,000 points to go to the Hall of Fame, so please click here or on the Top 100 logo at the top of this letter to vote.......thanx....(if you have the time, you can vote once a day!...even better, pass this URL on to your friends and ask them to vote as well...)

Please pass this letter URL on to friends and  hopefully they will subscribe as well. I would especially like as many South Africans no longer living here to get to see it:-) Subscription details at the end..

If you are looking for a traditional South African recipe and can't find it on my site or anywhere else, or if you have a recipe I could put on the site,  just email me. 

When you have had a look at the recipes below, click here to visit the main recipe page on my site. 

Any comments, positive or otherwise on this Newsletter will be appreciated!

That's it for now
Keep well
Peter

 
 

The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

 
 

Traditional Waterblommetjie Bredie

1,5kg mutton breast, diced
15 ml cooking oil
2 chopped onions
2 bunches waterblommetjies
1 bunch sorrel, finely chopped or 1 large cooking apple, sliced
250ml meat stock, heated
15ml salt
3 ml pepper

Rinse waterblommetjies thouroughly in salted water. Cut the flowers from the stalks, rinse again and dry. Brown the meat in heated oil, add
onions and saute. Add all remaining ingredients including the
waterblommetjies, cover and simmer for 2-2.5 hrs until meat is tender.
Stir as little as possible to prevent the flowers form breaking up.
Replenish with hot stock if necessary.
Local and personal variations may be found. The waterblommetjies may be cooked for only the last 30 minutes
.


Waterblommetjie Potjie

Potjiekos is a fireside method of slow cooking in a traditional three
legged cast iron potjie pot

500g breast of shin of mutton
15ml cooking oil
3 onions, sliced
5 ml salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
125ml dry white wine
3 potatoes, peeled & sliced
1 kg fresh waterblommetjies
or 2 x 410g cans waterblommetjies
2 tomatoes, peeled & chopped

Cut the meat into portions. Heat the oil in the potjie and brown the
meat over moderate coals. Add the onion and fry gently until
translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the wine in a small pan, pour it over the meat, cover and simmer over low coals for about 2.5 hours, until the meat is tender. Layer the potato, waterblommetjies and tomato in the meat, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. Serves 6


Waterblommetjie soup 

45 ml butter 
bunch chives, finely chopped 
2 stalks celery, finely chopped 
45 ml cake flour 
2 l chicken stock 
450 g waterblommetjies, well rinsed, cleaned and coarsely chopped 
grated lemon rind 
salt and fleshly ground black pepper to taste 
65 ml cream 

Melt the butter and fry the chives and celery until tender. Stir in the cake flour and heat for a few minutes until the flour is cooked. Add the stock, stirring continuously. Bring to the boil and add the waterblommetjies. Simmer for about 40 minutes until the waterblommetjies are tender Remove from the heat and process in a food processor until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, bring to the boil and season with lemon rind, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the cream just before serving. Serves 4-6.  

 
Walkie talkies are chicken feet and heads...geddit?? 

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