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

Newsletter #86  - October 15 ,2004

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Hi there!

I send out two Newsletters if you would like to take a look at my Afrikaans one and perhaps subscribe, click here and take a look at the archives.

I am featuring bread again in this newsletter. This time the recipes are from the Recipe eBook  that Anna Eksteen put together.  An eBook makes the ideal gift for that special person far away. No postage needed to send the book, just email it! Click here for more info on the book. An Afrikaans book is also available with different recipes.

I have a very good eBook called "Online Business Basics" that is packed with info on how to start and run your own internet business. If you are interested I will gladly email it to you together with my own recommendations. Just send me an email with eBook in the subject line!

The middleman, being an insurance broker, can take up to 20% commission or more of your insurance payments. By going direct you can lower the cost of your premiums, and what's more, you can enjoy the benefit of dealing directly with your Insurer Click here for a free quote!

We went camping a week or so ago, and I made some typically outdoors food as part of a competition run by the ladies of my Yahoo group. Their reasoning was that the guys were always critical of the food they prepared, so here was a chance for the guys to show what they could do.  I decided on oxtail potjie with a  dumpling, a beer and biltong pot bread and flapjacks with pineapple. The pictures are below, click on the thumbnail to see a larger version. If you would like the recipes, just send me an email.

Oxtail potjie with dumpling

Beer and biltong potbread

Pineapple flapjacks

The end result

I love watching Jamie Oliver's programmes on TV. It all seems so effortless when he does it! Its here that I first noticed that he always seems to use Extra Virgin Olive oil. To me cooking oil was cooking oil, but if you are health conscious you have to use the Extra Virgin variety.  So when an opportunity beckoned where I could become involved in this pure olive oil thing I sat up and took notice. Its a case of another firm cutting out the middle man and passing the benefit directly to the consumer.  The opportunity is still in introductory phase, live date is January 2005. So if you are interested in a brand new home business opportunity at no cost to get involved, click here for more details and come join our team! What have you got to lose?   How does 50% commission sound to you??

We have just come back from a week at Umhlanga, also went to see uShaka Marine World in Durban, click here to take a look at some of the pics I took! You are most welcome to add comments to the pics and sign the album guestbook.

Lastly a sweet note, you all like, no LOVE chocolate, right??? Well, here is some background on our fav sweet.....
Who does not like chocolate but have we ever stood still and given some thought where this normal everyday delicacy came from?

Chocolate was introduced to Spain when Christopher Columbus returned from his fourth voyage to the New World in 1502.

Chocolate grew in popularity with the Spaniards, who had learned its use from the Aztecs at the time of the invasion by the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés in 1519. Cortés tasted chocolate prepared by the Aztecs and learned how to convert the bitter bean into a wonderful drink. He brought this treasure back to Spain where the origin and preparation method remained a secret for nearly 100 years.

In France, chocolate was met with skepticism and was considered a "barbarous product and noxious drug". The French court was doubtful and accepted it only after the Paris faculty of medicine gave its approval. A French queen finally saved the day. In 1615, Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII declared chocolate as the drink of the French court.

During the early seventeenth century, chocolate found its way to Italy and England, among other European countries. In 1650, chocolate became the rage in Oxford and in 1657, a shop called the The Coffee Mill and Tobacco Roll opened in London. Although chocolate was not featured, the drink quickly became a best seller.

As the popularity of chocolate grew, England imposed an excessive duty of 10-15 shillings per pound. By the way, the duty was comparable to approximately three-fourths its weight in gold. It took almost 200 years before the duty was dropped.

In the United States, chocolate was first manufactured in 1765. It was introduced at Milton Lower Mills, near Dorchester, Massachusetts by John Hanau and James Baker who opened a processing house.

The Swiss began making chocolate in the mid 1800's. Switzerland, at the time, had cows but did not have abundant commodities of chocolate and sugar. In 1876, M. Daniel Peter attempted to add milk to chocolate to produce a smoother chocolate. However, adding water to chocolate made the chocolate shrink, separate and generally disintegrate. Milk has water in it, and it took Peter 8 years of experimenting before taking his product to Henry Nestle, a maker of evaporated milk. Nestle had perfected the manufacture of condensed milk, and he and Peter hit upon the idea of mixing sweetened condensed milk with chocolate.
The invention of the cocoa press in 1828 by C. J. Van Houten, a Dutch chocolate master, helped reduce the price of chocolate and bring it to the masses. By squeezing out cocoa butter from the beans, Van Houten's "Dutching" was an alkalizing process which removed the acidity and bitterness, which is why alkali processed cocoa is also called Dutch chocolate.

Chocolate was available only as cocoa or as a liquid until 1879. It was Rodolphe Lindt who thought to add cocoa butter back to the chocolate. Adding the additional cocoa butter helped the chocolate set up into a bar that "snaps" when broken as well as melting on the tongue.

It was World War I that really brought attention to the chocolate candies.
The U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps had commissioned various American chocolate manufacturers to provide 10 - 20 kilogram blocks of chocolate to be shipped to bases in the field. The blocks were chopped up into smaller pieces and distributed to "doughboys" in Europe. Eventually the task of making smaller pieces was turned back to the manufacturers.

One of the more widely used and well known chocolates is the Cadburys Chocolate.
A one-man business, opened in 1824 by a young Quaker, John Cadbury, in Bull Street Birmingham, was to be the foundation of Cadbury Limited, now one of the world's largest chocolate producers. By 1831 the business had changed from a grocery shop and John Cadbury had become a manufacturer of drinking chocolate and cocoa, the start of the Cadbury manufacturing business as it is known today.

Above article courtesy Biltongmakers Newsletter

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The Herb Section -  Oregano

The name of this herb is derived from the Greek words "oros ganos" meaning "joy of the mountain"
Another theory is that Oregano, a servant of King Cinyras of Crete tripped when carrying a large pot of expensive perfume. Shocked, he fainted, and while lying on the ground, was changed into the fragrant oregano plant, absorbing the spilled perfume's fragrance.
Oregano is closely related to marjoram, and is often called wild marjoram.
The creeping plant has pink flowers and the shrub plant has white flowers.
Oregano likes the sun and an average soil. It is a very good container plant growing up to 30cm. in height. Oregano can be harvested at any time of the year. It withstands frost and is evergreen.
The creeping variety is best as edgings to paths, or as a ground cover. The plants benefit from regular pruning.

The strong oils are excellent to add to insect repellents.
Oregano oil, rubbed into furniture, helps eliminate stale tobacco smells.

A handful of oregano leaves in a muslin square can be used with soap to give elbows, knees and feet a brisk rub.
A strong infusion of oregano leaves can be beneficial as a hair stimulant when used as a conditioner.

Oregano tea is used to treat coughs, headaches, tiredness and stomach and gall bladder disorders.
Oregano tea is also used for seasickness and menstrual cramps.
The flowering top of the plant can be used as a poultice for swellings, rheumatism and stiff necks. Mash it in hot water and place over the area and cover with a crepe bandage.
Chewing oregano leaves can give relief from toothache.

Oregano goes well with tomato, lamb, egg and cheese dishes. It is an essential ingredient in pizzas.
Fresh oregano can be sprinkled in salads.
Oregano dissolves fats in the body, so is an excellent addition to fatty foods. It can be sprinkled over chips, or added to gravies and sauces.
Dried oregano added to coarsely ground black pepper, sea salt and a little thinly grated lemon peel is a superb flavour enhancer for hams, sausages and pork dishes.

Thanks to everyone who has mailed us fridge magnets depicting your State, City or Country.
If you collect fridge magnets, I will gladly swop with you!
 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


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


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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,
Take care,

If you are ecer in the Ceres area why not take a break and enjoy a great cuppa coffee!...and send friends and family back home an email greeting!


The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter



625ml wholewheat flour                                          12.5ml baking powder
5ml salt                                                                   5ml dried mixed herbs
125ml grated Cheddar cheese                                  100ml milk
375ml skinned, chopped fresh tomatoes                   2 eggs, lightly beaten
60ml oil                                                                   5ml sugar

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, herbs and cheese in mixing bowl. Drain any liquid from tomatoes, blend tomato liquid with enough milk to make up 150ml. Mix liquid with eggs, oil and sugar. Make well in center of dry ingredients, stir in egg mixture, and mix well. Fold in tomatoes. Spoon mixture into a greased and lined 500g loaf pan, bake at 180C for about an hour. Cool 10 minutes before turning out on a wire cooling rack. Store in refrigerator.


500g self raising flour                                                     5ml salt
1 can (410g) whole corn kernels, drained                          1 egg
500ml buttermilk                                                              250ml Cheddar cheese, grated

Mix dry ingredients, corn and cheese, reserving a little for the top. Add buttermilk and egg, mix to a tacky dough. Spoon evenly into a lightly greased and floured 23x8x8 cm loaf tin. Smooth the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 180C for 1 hour.


500g self raising flour                                           5ml baking powder
pinch cayenne pepper                                             5ml salt
3ml dry mustard powder                                         500ml buttermilk
250ml grated Cheddar cheese                                 1 large onion, grated
125g rindless back bacon, chopped

Sift flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and mustard into mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, reserving a little cheese and bacon. Mix until just combined. Spoon into greased 500g loaf pan. Sprinkle reserved cheese and bacon over top. Bake at 180C, 70-80 minutes, until skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Allow standing in tin 5 minutes before turning out on to wire cooling rack to cool completely.


1 large egg                                                         250ml buttermilk
60ml honey                                                         60ml butter, melted
250ml polenta                                                     250ml flour
10ml baking powder                                            2.5ml salt
2.5ml bicarbonate of soda                                  15ml fresh herbs, finely chopped

Beat egg, buttermilk, honey and butter together. Mix dry ingredients and herbs together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in egg mixture. Combine well to form dough. Spread into a greased 20cm square baking tin and bake in center of preheated oven until golden, about 30 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool. Serve with cheese and olives.


375gwholewheat flour                                            375ml flour
10ml salt                                                                  10ml bicarbonate of soda
12.5ml cream of tartar                                             50g margarine
500ml low fat milk                                                   15ml lemon juice

Sift all dry ingredients together. Rub in margarine, add milk and mix till smooth. Pour into greased loaf tin and bake 1¼ hours in moderate oven (180C). Turn out and cool.




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