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

Newsletter #80  - July 15 ,2004

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  Hi there!

Before I start the newsletter, an important request! My friend, Maggie who lives in Melbourne hasn't tasted milk tart yet. Is there anyone in the Melbourne area that would be willing to make her one? Maggie lives in the Mount Waverley area. Please email me if you can help!

A great gift idea! How about sending a recipe eBook to a friend or family member far away? Below are two fantastic eBooks packed with great South African recipes.  At only R60 each, it's the bargain of a lifetime. The answer to your Christmas/Birthday shopping. Buy one or both of the books at R60 each. If you email it to 30 people that means this lovely gift will only cost you R2 per person and they get 200 and more wonderful South African recipes! They can be sent worldwide (to more than one person) without any postage cost, simply email them. Click here for more details!

For all you seffricans living abroad! take a look at this site!  http://www.homecomingrevolution.co.za

Something a bit different, this time. I have always been fascinated by American history, specially round the 1860's and the stories of the great cattle drives. How cowboys drove those herds facing many dangers and having to go through hostile territory. For this newsletter I am going to concentrate on what was probably the most important person on the trail drive, the cook and his Chuckwagon.

Chuckwagon cooking? Now what, you may ask, has that got to do with South African cooking? Not much, except that it’s outdoor cooking and as we love the outdoors in South Africa, I thought that we might find the way they cooked interesting and we could even try some of their recipes.  Some background on the Chuckwagon.  In the 1860’s in the United States, after the Civil war, the Texas regiments disbanded and the ranchers returned to find that during their absence the longhorns, wandering free on the open grasslands had multiplied to some 5 million head of cattle, untended and unclaimed.  The East was short of beef and so the cowboys went on roundups and drove the herds  north to railheads for shipment to the East.  These cattle drives meant moving thousands of head of cattle several hundred miles. The cowboys took their supplies with them and the cook and his chuckwagon provided the food.

The chuckwagon was the rolling kitchen for the cowboys. It also carried all the cook’s bulk supplies of food, pots, pans, skillets utensils and first aid supplies as well as the cowboys’ personal gear.

The Studebaker Company  began producing chuckwagons commercially and sold them for about $100.

The Potjie or Dutch Oven.  Mention potjiekos to the average American and he will simply say: Potjie-WHAT?? Mention Dutch oven and he will know what you are talking about, or he should if he knows his history! The Dutch oven has a marked similarity to our own Potjie being a cast iron pot usually 10 to 20 inches in diameter with a tight fitting lid.  Some had short legs, ideal for outdoor cooking,  and the lid
 was rimmed to enable coals to be placed on top of the lid, much the same as with our Potjie.

If you scroll down you will see some typical trail food recipes that they prepared on the cattle drives. I for one am going to try some of them during the months to come! 

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.

I received the following from my friend Carmen who lives in a place called North Pole, Alaska!

Grandma's on the internet

You won't believe the nuts she's met
But what she'd really like to know
Is- Where are those who quilt and sew
And do the things she likes to do?
She'd give them hints, and learn some too.

She used to be "scared" of a wee little mouse
Would scream if one ever got in the house.
Now she hugs one night and day
She'd rather cuddle it than stay
On the couch and watch t.v.
Her first love now is her P.C.

She'd like to see it all unfurled
So much to learn in this new world.
She could explore it from her chair
But mostly, she plays solitaire
But that's o.k. she doesn't care
About the weather in Zaire.

Windows were glass she'd wash and look through
Now they are programs to help us all view
The earth and the sea and the beautiful sky
A virus was something from which you could die
Now it's a nuisance that could spoil your day,
But it can be fixed and sent on it's way.

She served her time with diapers and dishes.
Now she can do whatever she wishes
And if that means staying up half the night
To point arrows at icons-that's really alright.

A bit was something you had little of.
Now it takes eight bytes to make the above
It's all so confusing, it makes her head ache.
A byte was something you take from a cake.
She's learning more about it now
Her four year old grandchild showed her how.

Dinner & Concert Invitation!
Saturday August 7th 2004 8 PM TIME SENSITIVE PLEASE RSVP

The Braai-Connection presents a dinner concert featuring the South African super-band “Just Jinger” on Saturday the 7th August 2004, in beautiful San Diego, California. This will be a wonderful evening and it includes an authentic, all you can eat Portuguese dinner at the brand new Portugalia restaurant.

For those of us that have been out of SA, like I have for many years; you may not yet have heard of Just Jinger; but trust me, you soon will. Their 'All Comes Round' album was released by BMG Records in February 1997 and went on to become the biggest selling rock album in South African music history - almost double platinum. When 'Something For Now' hit the shelves in March 1998, it went gold within three weeks and platinum shortly after! Three of the six tracks went on to become top five radio singles.

WHEN: Saturday August 7th 2004

TIME: 8 PM to midnight

WHERE: Portugalia restaurant in San Diego – directions will be sent upon registration

COST: $30 per person which includes a festive, all you can eat authentic Portuguese buffet dinner plus the concert.

PLEASE NOTE: This event is limited to 150 people and you MUST pre-register and pre-pay. We anticipate a sold out show - do yourself a favor and do NOT plan on "rocking up" at the restaurant last minute hoping to get in. Plan ahead and remember – ‘n Boer maak altyd ‘n plan! Join us for this wonderful evening of fun, friendship and great music. Feel free to invite your friends (they don't have to be from SA) and please circulate this message around to all your buddies.

To get full details and to book your ticket, go to the WWW.BRAAI-CONNECTION.ORG web site. Make sure to have your speakers turned on and your volume turned UP when you log on to the web site as you will hear one of their fabulous songs as the page comes up. Afterwards, click on the Just Ginger Dinner Concert link and all the registration details will be found there including the dinner menu.

Hope you can join us. For those unable to attend due to geographic location, please contact me by e-mail if you would like to see JUST JINGER perform in your home town. Send this message to your SA friends everywhere - from Mexico to Vancouver and Toronto - they will appreciate it!
Derek Selbo



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!

~Featured Pages~

Biltongmakers.Com!, your gateway to all things South African in Belgium!
The home of Biltong, Boerewors, Potjiekos and much, much more!

Braai Connection
 An active social & networking club for Southern Africans in the USA

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Additional Income?
You can run your own business and build up a tidy nest-egg with minimal capital outlay!
Impossible? Click here to find out more!

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




The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

  Sourdough Starter

1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup lukewarm water (potato water is good)
2 cups warm water
1 ½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar

Using a quart size fruit jar or crock, dissolve yeast with ¼ cup water. Allow to stand several minutes then stir in water, flour and sugar. Cover with cloth. Leave overnight at room temperature. Stir down several time as mixture rises to the top. The longer the mixture stands at room temperature, the stronger the sour taste. Replace cover and refrigerate until ready to use. To maintain an ample supply of starter, each time you use it, replenish it with equal parts of warm water and flour. Makes about 2 cups.

Sourdough Pancakes
Mix the night before using:
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
1 cup starter
Let stand overnight at room temperature

When ready to bake, add:
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Stir batter until well mixed. Grease griddle if necessary. Pour or spoon pancake batter onto hot griddle. When bubbly and puffed, turn and brown the other side. Serve with your favourite syrup. Makes about 16 pancakes.

Corn Chowder

1 cup potatoes, diced
1 cup boiling water
3 slices bacon, cut small
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups corn, fresh or canned
1 cup milk
parsley for garnish

Cook potatoes in boiling water 10 to 15 minutes. Fry bacon until some of the fat cooks out. Add onion, cook until onion is soft and bacon is browned. Add to potatoes then add corn. Add milk, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 10 minutes. Sprinkle on parsley before serving. If you prefer a thickened chowder, blend one tablespoon flour with some of the liquid before adding milk.

Sourdough French Bread

½ cup milk
1 cup water
1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons salt
4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sourdough starter
1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Mix water, milk and vegetable oil. Bring to boil and then cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add yeast, sugar and salt to cooled milk mixture and stir till sugar and salt are dissolved. Add flour and sour dough starter. Stir well but do not knead. Place in a large bowl, cover and let rise till double in size, about 1 ½ hours.
Turn on to a lightly floured board and divide into two portions. Pat or roll each portion into a 15” X 10” rectangle (30 X 20 cm) Beginning at the long end, roll up tightly and seal edge by pinching together. With a hand on each end, roll gently back and forth to taper ends. Place on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife make cuts diagonally across the top of the loaf about 2” apart. Cover and let rise until about double in size. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350ºF and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer. Brush top and sides with a mixture of 1 egg white and 1 tablespoon cold water. Bake 5 minutes longer.

Tamale Pie

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cream style corn
2 cups pitted ripe olives
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce (puree)
1 egg
16 ounces canned milk
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup corn meal

Brown ground beef and onions in a 10” Dutch oven (flat bottomed cast iron pot)
Combine creamed corn, olives, tomato sauce and egg with milk. Add to beef mixture. Bring to boil. Add seasonings and adjust to taste.. Reduce heat. Add corn meal and simmer until mixture thickens. Cover and place in oven at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until set.

Chili Fandango

3 green bell peppers
½ pound bacon, sliced and diced
1 large onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
½ teaspoon salt

Roast the bell peppers over hot fire till black. Scrape off black skins and cut each pepper into several pieces. Fry bacon, onion and garlic in a large cast iron skillet until crisp and brown. Add peppers, tomatoes and salt. Cook slowly over medium heat, covered for 40 minutes.

Bread pudding

3 cups bread cubes
4 cups hot milk
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons margarine, melted
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup raisins
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Add bread cubes to hot milk, set aside to cool. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into buttered pan. Place pan with pudding into larger pan with hot water. Bake for 1 hour at 350ºF. Serve with whisky hard sauce.

Whisky Hard Sauce

1 ½ cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon whisky

Stir together and let rest a few hours to blend flavours. If too thick add a few drops of milk. Serve over bread pudding.

Catch of the Day

10 potatoes, sliced
4 onions, sliced
2 dried red chiles, chopped
4 tablespoons cooking oil
3 pounds trout, or as many as caught
Cornmeal (2 heapin’ handfuls)
Salt and pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil or a small chunk of lard in a large Dutch oven. Add sliced potatoes and onions in layers and sprinkle with salt, pepper and chopped chiles. Cover and put on the fire, with coals over and under the pot. For 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are almost cooked.
Clean trout. Heat remaining oil in skillet, roll fish in cornmeal, salt and pepper. Fry in hot oil about 5 minutes per side. Lay trout over potatoes in the Dutch oven and cook for 10 more minutes. Serves 8 to 10.

Fry Bread (a lot like our vetkoek?)

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons non-fat dry milk powder
1 ½ cups warm water
1-2 cups solid shortening or lard, for frying

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and dry milk powder in a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in warm water. Mix until dough forms a ball and comes clean from edge of bowl. You may need to add a little additional water. Knead dough with your hands until well mixed and dough is elastic. Divide dough into 6 large pieces and roll into balls. Using palms of your hands, pat out dough into circles that are about ½ inch thick.
Melt shortening in a large skillet. You will need about ¾ inch melted fat. Heat to 400ºF. Slip a rounded, flat piece of dough into the hot fat – it will start to rise to the top. When the underside is brown, turn over and brown the other side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough. For a snack, divide the dough into smaller portions. Yields 6 large portions or 8 to 10 snack portions.



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