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

Newsletter #88  - November 12 ,2004

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Hi there!

Do you realise that it is mid November already? Have you bought and mailed the Christmas gifts for friends and family overseas? Well better shake a leg if you haven't, the post office gets VERY busy this time of year! I have a quick and easy alternative! Send an eBook. For a once -off cost the book is yours to do with what you want (send it over and over again!). No postage is payable as you simply email it anywhere in the world! Simply create a fancy email Christmas card and attach the eBook! Click here to take a look at two great South African recipe eBooks, one in English and one in Afrikaans. Paypal accepted.

...and while on the subject of Christmas gifts, I received a prize in a marketing competition a week or so ago. The prize consisted of  $5's worth of advertising AND the money was being put in a cycler where it would appreciate every time it completed a cycle. Really a prize that keeps growing! This would make an ideal gift, once again, no postage to be paid and the value of the prize would keep increasing! You are welcome to increase the value of the gift and increase the final value!  But click here and see for yourself how it works!

So this newsletter will have a Christmas recipe theme. I remember as a youngster that my mother used to get up early every Christmas morning and surprise us with freshly baked Christmas fruit mince pies! (Scroll down for recipe!) Now that started off Christmas day really well! Being the middle of summer, Christmas day is mostly spent outdoors in SA, hopefully near water, on green lawns under shady trees. Cold meats and salads (or a bbq) are the order of the day ending it all off with juicy red watermelon and the obvious fight after that everyone getting smeared with the watermelon skins. More festive recipes in the next newsletter!

We will be spending our Christmas in the Kruger National Park this year (yeah, I realise it will be hot!). Christmas lunch will be in the airconditioned (yay!) restaurant at Skukuza, the main restcamp in the Park. They normally have something special on the menu for Christmas, will  take a photo of the menu and place it in a newsletter. Which gives me an idea, if any of you are having Christmas lunch at some place special, take your digital camera along (or cellphone cam) and take a pic of the menu and share it with us! I will create a special page and put the menu's on! Just let me have details of the place you had your meal!


Search my website, type in any key word and if that word is on my site you will see it in the results, search for recipes, ingredients, place names etc



Eat and drink what you like

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Aussies, British or Americans.

2. Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Aussies, British or Americans.

3. Africans drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Aussies, British or Americans.

4. Italians drink large amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Aussies, British or Americans.

5. Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Aussies, British or Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

I recently attended the Auto Africa International Motor Show and have 89 of the pictures on CD.
If you would like a copy, please
click here for details. I also have an Southern African Wildlife CD with pictures mostly taken in the Kruger National Park.

Reduce your monthly short term insurance premium, click here for a free online quotation! And while you are busy, click here and apply online for your Barclaycard or Manchester United card!

The Herb Section -  Evening Primrose

This lovely plant opens it's yellow blooms at night, when it's scent is at it's best, hence the name.
The primrose seeds contain the rare gamma-linoleic acid and extracts are used for medicinal purposes.
Evening primrose is a biennial plant and prefers a sunny spot with wee-drained soil. It is quite a large plant and grows to a height of between 1 and 2 metres.

Toss the old flower heads onto the compost heap. The seeds that germinate can be replanted, and the heads add valuable chorophyll and nitrogen to the compost.

Boil leaves and stems for a soothing astringent. This can be used for greasy, spotty skin, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, insect bites, scrapes and grazes.
Heat a cup of chopped leaves, buds and stems and a cup of aqueous cream, allow to cool and use on dry skin.
Crushed flowers work well when applied to spots, insect bites and rashes.

Evening primrose is being tested for use in heart complaints, gastric irritations, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, high blood pressure, chest ailments and many other medical problems.
Tests are also being done to include treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, breast tumours, hyperactivity and schizoprenia.

Flowers can be chopped and added to salads.
Boil young evening primrose leaves, and eat as you would spinach.
The roots, dug up in the second year, before the plant sets seed, can be pickled and eaten with salads and savoury 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


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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Please go here
Thank you and may I wish you and yours A Happy Christmas



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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


No Bake Fruit Cake

2 packets coarsely broken Marie biscuits
2 eggs
1 cup (250ml) soft brown sugar
1 cup (250ml) butter or margarine
3 cups (750ml) dried fruit mix
75g glace cherries, halved
2 tots brandy or sherry

Melt butter and sugar, do not boil. Add fruit and boil for 3 minutes. Add beaten eggs. Stir quickly after each addition and then boil for two more minutes. Add Marie biscuits, cherries and brandy or sherry, mixing well. It will seem as if there are too many biscuits but just keep mixing until they are all incorporated. Place into greased plastic ring mould or spring form cake tin. Unmould and dust with icing sugar before serving

Low Cholestrol Christmas Cake

1 kg mixed dried fruit
150g glacÚ apricots, chopped
150g glacÚ pineapple, chopped
250ml brandy
250ml treacle brown sugar
80ml oil
3 extra large egg whites, lightly beaten
5ml vanilla essence
15ml molasses or golden syrup
15ml orange marmalade
60ml orange juice
15ml finely grated orange rind
500ml cake flour
125ml self raising flour
5ml ground nutmeg
5ml ground cinnamon
5ml ground cloves
5ml mixed spice
60ml brandy fro pouring over

Mix the fruit in a large bowl with the brandy, cover and leave overnight, stir occasionally. Preheat the oven to 150║C. Grease and line a 20cm square or 23cm round cake pan with greaseproof paper. Beat the sugar, oil and egg whites till combined. Add the essence, molasses, marmalade, juice and rind and beat until combined. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the fruit and sifted dry ingredients. Spoon into the tin, tap on the table to remove any air bubbles, and smooth the surface. Bake for 3 to 3 1/2 hours . Remove from oven, pour over the brandy and cool in tin before removing the paper.

Old-fashioned Christmas pudding 

Traditionally a few tickeys are placed in the pudding, supposedly they bring luck to the recipient.

175 g raisins 
125 g currants 
200 g sultanas 
250 g chopped dates 
125 g mixed peel 
225 g dried apricots, chopped 
300 ml Guinness beer 
60 ml rum 
grated rind and juice of a lemon 
grated rind and juice of an orange 
225 g butter, at room temperature 
350 g soft brown sugar 
1 green apple, cored and grated 
30 ml molasses or treacle 
3 large eggs 
125 g self-raising flour 
5 ml ground mixed spice 
10 ml ground cinnamon 
2 ml freshly grated nutmeg 
10 ml ground ginger 
225 g fresh white breadcrumbs 

Place the raisins, currants, sultanas, dates, mixed peel and apricots into a large mixing bowl. Pour over the beer, rum, lemon rind and juice, and the orange rind and juice. Cover the bowl and set aside to soak overnight. Cream together the butter and sugar until light. Stir in the grated apple and molasses. Beat the eggs in one by one, adding 15 ml self-raising flour to help prevent the mixture from curdling. Fold in the remaining flour and spices. Add the breadcrumbs and gently fold mixture together. Stir in soaked fruit, then all make your wishes. Grease and line 2 x 1 kg pudding basins or 4 x 500 g pudding basins. Spoon in the mixture. Cut round lids out of doubled greaseproof paper, allowing a little overhang. Fold a 1 cm pleat down the centres of the greaseproof circles and cover basins, tying in place with string under rim. Pleat a piece of foil or muslin in the same way and secure over basins. Steam for 4 hours, topping up with boiling water as required, or cook in a pressure cooker for 2 hours. Store pudding until needed, then steam for a further 2-4 hours, or 2 hours in a pressure cooker. Serves: 24 

Christmas fruit mince pies

350 g cake or all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
125 g castor sugar
175 g butter, cut into cubes
6 egg yolks, beaten
250 ml good-quality fruit mincemeat
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 each orange and lemon, grated rind
splash of brandy or rum

Place the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl.
Add the butter and work it in, using your fingertips.
Mix in the egg yolks briefly, just until the dough holds together.
Knead into a ball and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface.
Cut out rounds, using a 5 cm diameter cookie cutter, and stamp out small star shapes from the leftover pastry.
Press the pastry rounds into the hollows of tartlet tins.
Mix mincemeat, apple, rind and brandy or rum.
Drop 5 ml filling into each pastry case and top with a star shape.
Bake at 190 ░C for about 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden.
Cool on wire racks.
Serve warm, with a dollop of brandy butter or a dusting of icing sugar.
Make the pies in advance and freeze them.
When grating citrus peel or ginger, cover the side of the grater with cling film and grate over it. It's easier to lift off and you'll have a clean grater.

Christmas trifle

400 g strawberries
30 ml brandy
80 g port wine jelly powder
1 large OR 2 small jam rolls, cut into 1 cm thick slices
80 ml orange juice
30 ml lemon juice
15 ml brandy
100 g pecan nuts, chopped
825 g peach slices, drained
785 g pineapple chunks, drained
500 ml custard
3 fresh granadillas, pulp removed (OR 1 x 115 g can granadilla pulp)
500 ml cream, stiffly beaten

Rinse and hull the strawberries and pour over the 30 ml (2 T) brandy. Leave until needed. Dissolve the port wine jelly in 250 ml (1 c) boiling water, stirring until dissolved. Add 250 ml (1 c) cold water and stir. Leave in the fridge until set. Arrange the jam roll slices in the bottom and along the sides of a glass bowl. Mix the orange juice, lemon juice and 15 ml (1 T) brandy. Pour over the cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Arrange the peach slices and pineapple chunks on top. Pour the custard over and chill. Cut the set jelly in squares and sprinkle on top of the custard. Pour over the granadilla pulp. Spoon the whipped cream into a piping bag and decorate the trifle with cream rosettes. Arrange the soaked strawberries between the cream rosettes. Chill until needed. Serves 10

Festive peaches

410 g peach halves, drained, but retain syrup
500 g fruit mincemeat
65 ml brandy
ice cream to serve

1. Place peaches in an ovenproof dish. 2. Use sufficient fruit mincemeat to fill peach cavities. 3. Pour peach syrup over peaches. 4. Bake at 180 ║C for 10 minutes. 5. Warm brandy and pour over peaches. 6. Ignite and serve with ice cream.

Christmas Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add all other ingredients.
3. Mix well.
4. Chill at least 2-3 hours Roll out.
5. Cut in to shapes and bake in 400║F degrees till edges are slightly brown.
6. Can be doubled easily enough.

Christmas Loaf

Makes 2 loaves

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed (medium size)
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 cup chopped dates

1. Heat oven to 350░F.
2. Grease 2 loaf pans.
3. Cream butter and sugar.
4. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
5. Mix flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas.
7. Stir in coconut, almonds, cherries and dates.
8. Pour into pans.
9. Bake for 55 minutes, until pick comes out clean.
10. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans.




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