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Dedicated to South Africans living abroad...and all lovers of Traditional South African food

Newsletter #78  - Jun 15 ,2004

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  Hi there from a chilly Johannesburg!

Yup, winter has arrived and with the colder weather the quest for warming food as well! A favourite in our home is soup, a bowl of nice hot soup with a slice (or two) of fresh bread and butter and you are warmed up (from the inside at least) in no time at all. I have been a soup lover for as long as I can remember. When working for the bank on relief staff and living out of a suitcase and in hotels for two years, no meal would be complete without starting it with a bowl of soup.

Of course, no soup is complete without a slice or two (or more) of fresh homemade bread and butter. I personally like vetkoek with a slice of cheese with my soup...yummy. Go take a look at some of my bread recipes here.

Is anyone perhaps involved with the creation of e-books and e-book covers?  I am getting into that now and would like to hear from you? Please email me.

The following interesting facts were sent to me by Elzeth:
Food as Medicine
Eat plenty of fish -- fish oil helps prevent headaches.
So does ginger, which reduces inflammation and pain.

Eat lots of yogurt before pollen season.
Also-eat honey from your area (local region) daily.

Prevent buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls with regular doses of tea.
(actually, tea suppresses my appetite and keeps the pounds from invading...
Green tea is great for our immune system)!

Use honey as a tranquilizer and sedative.

Eating onions helps ease constriction of bronchial tubes. (when I was young, my mother would make onion packs to place on our chest, helped the respiratory ailments and actually made us breathe better).

Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines actually prevent arthritis. (fish has omega oils, good for our immune system)

Bananas will settle an upset stomach. Ginger will cure morning sickness and nausea.

High-acid cranberry juice controls harmful bacteria.

Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be prevented by the manganese in pineapple.

Women can ward off the effects of PMS with cornflakes, which help reduce depression, anxiety and fatigue.

Oysters help improve your mental functioning by supplying much-needed zinc.

Clear up that stuffy head with garlic. (remember, garlic lowers cholesterol, too.)

A substance similar to that found in the cough syrups is found in hot red pepper.
Use red (cayenne) pepper with caution-it can irritate your tummy.

BREAST CANCER? EAT Wheat, bran and cabbage Helps to maintain estrogen at healthy levels.

A good antidote is beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A found in dark green and orange vegetables.

Cabbage contains chemicals that help heal both gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Grate an apple with its skin, let it turn brown and eat it to cure this condition. (Bananas are good for this ailment)

Mono unsaturated fat in avocados lowers cholesterol.

Olive oil has been shown to lower blood pressure. Celery contains a chemical that lowers pressure too.

The chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps regulate insulin and blood sugar.

KIWI: Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of potassium, magnesium, Vitamin E & fiber. It's Vitamin C content is twice that of an orange.

APPLE: An apple a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low Vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of Vitamin C thereby helping to lower the risks of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.

STRAWBERRY: Protective fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protects the body from cancer causing, blood vessels clogging free radicals. (Actually, any berry is good for you..they're high in anti-oxidants and they actually keep us young.........blueberries are the best and very versatile in the health field........they get rid of all the free-radicals that
invade our bodies)

ORANGE: Sweetest medicine. Taking 2 - 4 oranges a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones as well as lessen the risk of colon cancer.

WATERMELON: Coolest Thirst Quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione which helps boost our immune system. They are also a key source of lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant. Other nutrients found in watermelon are Vitamin C & Potassium. (watermelon also has natural substances [natural SPF sources] that keep our skin healthy, protecting our skin from those darn suv rays)

GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for Vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high Vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber which helps prevent constipation.

PAPAYA is rich in carotene, this is good for your eyes. (also good for gas and indigestion)

TOMATOES are very good as a preventative measure for men, keeps those prostrate problems from invading their bodies.

Thanks to everyone who has mailed us fridge magnets depicting your State, City or Country. If you collect fridge magnets, I will mail you a South African one for every one I receive from another country. Please email me and we can make arrangements. Thanx a lot!

My website is interactive, there are a few pages you can contribute to:

Elephant Stew - add your suggestion
Wacky Sarmies - add your fav sarmie (some great sarmie ideas here!)
Animal Facts - Some interesting stuff here
Discussion Forum - Add to a current discussion or start a new thread.


Why not post a message on the Discussion Forum. The topic can be food, wildlife, travel or photography related, or anything else of interest. Let's see if we can get some interesting discussions going


Free Message Forum from Bravenet Free Message Forums from Bravenet

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

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

That's it for now



The Recipes
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  Peanut Soup from Congo Cookbook
Various peanut soups are common throughout Africa. Some are very simple, others more elaborate. They are often eaten as a main course along with Rice, or one of the Fufu-like staples: Baton de Manioc, Fufu, or Ugali.

What you need

two or three cups chicken broth or chicken stock
one small onion, minced
one small sweet green pepper (or bell pepper), minced
one clove of garlic, crushed (optional)
salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)
one hot chile pepper, minced (optional)
one carrot, chopped fine or one sweet potato or yams, boiled and mashed (optional)
one or two tomatoes, chopped or canned tomatoes (optional)
one cup natural unsweetened peanut butter (or make your own peanut paste, see the simple peanut soup recipe below)

What you do
If using homemade peanut paste, simmer it with the broth for fifteen minutes, then add all other ingredients and simmer over low heat until everything is thoroughly cooked. Stir often. Soup should be thick and smooth.

If using peanut butter: Combine all ingredients except the peanut butter and simmer over medium heat until everything is tender. Reduce heat, add the peanut butter and simmer for a few minutes more. Stir often. Soup should be thick and smooth.

Pepper Soup from Congo Cookbook
Pepper Soup or Peppersoup—which is especially popular in the English-speaking countries of Western Africa: Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria—doesn't have any more pepper than many other African soups. It is usually made with goat meat, but can also be made with beef, chicken, or mutton. There are many ways this soup can be seasoned. One Nigerian company makes "Peppersoup cubes" (for "easy, tasty, convenient peppersoup in double quick time"), which may be available in import grocery stores.

What you need
two pounds goat meat, lamb or mutton (beef for stew can also be used); cut into bite-sized pieces
one or two onions, quartered
two or three hot chile peppers, cleaned and chopped
peppersoup seasoning (see below)
four cups meat broth or stock
two tablespoons ground dried shrimp
one small bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
one tablespoon fresh or dried utazi leaves (or bitterleaf) (see below)
salt and black pepper to taste

What you do
In a deep pot or dutch oven, combine meat, onions, chile peppers, and a cup of water. Bring to a boil and cook until meat is done, twenty to thirty minutes, adding water as necessary to keep pot from becoming dry.

Add peppersoup seasoning and the broth or stock (or water) and simmer over low heat for ten to twenty minutes.

Add the dried shrimp, mint leaves, and utazi leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until soup is to be served.

Mealie Soup
(Corn Soup)

2 ounces butter
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 cups canned whole corn, well drained
2 cups creamed corn
1 can evaporated milk
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper.

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Add the corn, milk, stock, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with crackers.

Pea Soup 'n' Meat

This very different Pea Soup Recipe is one of the over 260 delicious and authentic African recipes contained in the African Recipes Cookbook. Go on, Enjoy it.

· 2 lb neck of mutton
· 1 small pork shank
· 4 strips bacon
· 1 lb dried split peas
· ½ cup rice
· 2 large celery sticks
· 2 large potatoes
· 2 large carrots
· 1 large onion
· 2 bay leaves
· salt and pepper to taste
· 8 pints water

Pea 'n Meat Soup
Slice the neck of mutton.
Cut the bacon into strips across the length.
Finely chop the celery sticks.
Peel the potatoes and grate coarsely.
Peel the carrots and grate coarsely.
Peel the onion and chop finely.

Place all the ingredients, except for the peas and rice, in a heavy Dutch oven or cast iron pot.
Add 3 pints of water. Cover and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer slowly for 2 hours.
Add the peas and rice together with 4 pints of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
If the soup is too thick, add the remaining pint of water.
You can even add more water if you feel it's necessary.
As the soup thickens it must be stirred frequently to prevent burning.
This is a very thick and tasty soup.
Don't be tempted to make this Pea and Meat Soup too thin.

Bean and Bacon Soup 

2 cup beans(dried)
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
4 bacon slices, cut in squares
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 tsp Thyme (dried)
1 garlic clove, minced
4 oz Can of tomato paste
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 tbsp Wine vinegar

Cover the washed beans with 6-8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently for 1 hour and then simmer while still covered. Stir about every 15 minutes for the ENTIRE time the beans are cooking.
After the beans have been cooking for about 1 hour and 45 minutes chop the onion and celery and carrots. Slice the four slices of bacon into 1" squares. Saute the onion, celery and bacon squares in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add to the beans along with the thyme, chopped carrots and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered for another hour until the beans are tender and slightly mash the beans. Add the salt, pepper and wine vinegar before serving.

Split Pea Soup

1 pound dried split green peas, rinsed and drained
8 cups water
2 carrots, scrubbed but not peeled, cut into eighths
2 medium yellow onions, cut into eighths
3 cloves garlic, quartered
2 stalks celery with leaves, cut into eighths
4 ounces lean ham, visible fat removed, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/8 tsp dried ginger
3 dashes hot pepper sauce, or to taste

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring peas, water, carrots, onions, garlic, celery and ham to a rapid boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook, covered, at a gently rolling boil, 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until peas are soft.
Add soy sauce, oregano, ginger, hot pepper sauce and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. In a blender or the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process two to three cups at a time, until pureed.
Return to saucepan and reheat, if necessary. Serve hot. This soup freezes well.



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