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Newsletter #91 - January 14, 2005

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Hello everyone!

A great big welcome to all new subscribers, also let me wish all of you everything of the best for 2005!

We spent Christmas in the Kruger Park and experienced temperatures in the high 30's (Celsius, that is!) Thank goodness for aircon in the bungalows and in the car! We had Christmas lunch in the Skukuza Restaurant, click here to see the menu.  On the way to the Park we made some stops to take pics of some of the local waterfalls. In the Park we had good wildlife sightings, click here to take a look at the pics.

I would like to start off the new year with some nice curry recipes. Curry 'n' rice is one of my favourite dishes, in fact, if I have the choice I usually choose a curry dish over any other dish on the menu. The 5 recipes below come from Anna Eksteen's Recipe eBook, The Best 5 of All Dishes, click here for details on how to get a copy.

For even more curry recipes. visit my Curry Recipes page.

Just to let you know that the UK Lottery has a £9 million rollover jackpot this Saturday, Jan 15th!
That's nearly R100 million Rand! sheesshh!!! get your ticket


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



I have always liked cheese, in fact, Welsh rarebit is one of my favourite dishes, I can remember asking for Welsh rabbit when I was much younger, lol. When I was on relief staff for the bank I used to live out of hotels and the cheese and biscuits with coffee was the perfect ending to a meal! So when I found this article on cheese, I just had to include it, enjoy:

The history of cheese

The history of cheese is as old as that of the human species and is linked to the taming of domestic animals 10,000 years before Christ. The roots of cheese making are not known with certainty. It is believed though , that it originated in Mesopotamia, where it was produced approximately 8,000 years ago. It is very likely that its production was completely accidental, occurring during the transport of milk in the stomachs of young animals.

References to cheese are made in many ancient and classic texts. Even in mythology, it is said that the Gods sent Aristaios, the son of Apollo, to teach the Greeks how to make cheese, while in Homer’s Odyssey we learn of the Cyclop Polyfimo and his cheese-making techniques.

It appears that cheese making came to Europe with the Aryans, nomadic cattle-breeders of Central Asia. Records concerning the production and consumption of cheese in Ancient Greece appear in abundance, such as in Aristotle’s, Pythagoras’s and many ancient comedy writers’ works.

Cheese making presented great development in the Roman period by the Romans, who brought cheese-making techniques to areas where it was unknown. In Ancient Rome a rich cheese market existed, with aromas, spices and a variety of flavours, while the next chapters of the period are surprisingly full of accurate detailed methodology of cheese making.

From the middle Ages one can observe the first steps that were taken for the introduction of cheese-making associations, whilst from the 14th century cheese production had taken on the form of an industry.

Nutritional Value

Cheese possesses great nutritional value and is rich in proteins, calcium and vitamins, elements essential for the proper development of the human organism.

Depending on the method of production, cheese contains between 10-30% protein. It is the richest food in proteins, especially hard cheese, the protein content of which (30%) surpasses that of meat (20%). For this reason, cheese has great biological value and is recommended for its nutritional value for children, that who have a greater requirement for amino acids than adults.

Cheese also contains fat and salt. The fat, depending on the type of cheese can vary from 0% in some fresh cheeses to up to 35% in some cream enriched cheeses.

The salt complements the taste of the cheese and helps to preserve it.

Cheese is also an excellent source of calcium. The content of calcium in the cheese depends on the variety, as well as the moisture it contains and the method of manufacturing used. The calcium in cheese, just as the calcium in milk, is easily absorbed by the human organism.
It is also worth noting that cheese also contains vitamins A, D and E.

The energy value of cheese varies from 100 calories up to 350 calories (in hard cheese) per 100 g.

For all of the above reasons, cheese today in Greece is a food in itself (we are the first in the consumption of cheese in the world , with 25 kilos per head annually). In the rest of Europe cheese is consumed mainly as a dessert or an appetizer.

Types of Cheese

There are various methods of categorizing cheese:

1. Depending on the type of milk or the combination of different types of milk that are used in its manufacture.

2. Depending on the maturation method and the moisture content, it can be categorized into:

VERY HARD (Parmesan, dry Mizythra, Vizes etc.)
HARD (Kefalotyri, Graviera, Cheddar, Emmental etc.)
SEMI-HARD (Kasseri, Gouda, Edam, Roquefort etc.)
SOFT (Feta, Telemes, Camembert, Mizythra, Manouri, Cottage, Cream cheese etc.)

Are you concerned about all the additional expense at the beginning of the school year? Barclaycard is back in South Africa! Get yours online now and settle all expenses over 12 months on  budget account!

In a School science class four worms were placed into four separate jars. The first worm was put into a jar of alcohol. The second worm was put into a jar of cigarette smoke. The third worm was put into a jar of sperm. The fourth worm was put into a jar of soil. After one day, these were the results: The first worm in alcohol --- dead. The second worm in cigarette smoke --- dead. The third worm in sperm --- dead. The fourth worm in soil --- alive. So the science teacher asked the class --- "What can you learn from this experiment." Little Johnny quickly raised his hand and said. "As long as you drink, smoke and have sex, you won't have worms!"

The following makes some good reading,, something to live by in 2005!

Daffodil Principle

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over."

I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead.

"I will come next Tuesday, " I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there.

When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, " We drive in this all the time, Mother."

"Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. "How far will we have to drive?"

"Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."  After several minutes, I had to ask,
"Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!"

"We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around."

"It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church.

On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden".

We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path.

Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped.

Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes.

The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns - great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow.

Each different-colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.

There were five acres of flowers.

"But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn.

"It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home."

Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.

We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking" was the headline.

The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "one at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and very little brain."

The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

There it was.......
The Daffodil Principle.

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.

I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than thirty-five years before, had begun - one bulb at a time - to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top.

Just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived.

She had created something of ineffable magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.

The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time - often just one
baby-step at a time - and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.

When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will
find we can accomplish magnificent things.

We can change the world.

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.

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The Herb Section -  Rosemary

Aromatic rosemary is one of the oldest known herbs with many uses. Rosemary is regarded as a sacred herb associated with many old legends. One such legend is that the Virgin Mary, on her flight into Egypt, threw her blue cloak over a rosemary bush to dry after washing it, and the bush honoured her by producing blue flowers.
Rosemary prefers well drained, sandy and light soil, and loves a sunny position either in the garden or a huge pot. It is a quick growing plant, reaching heights of 60 - 180 cm. It makes a lovely hedge planted around the herb garden.
Rosemary and sage love to be planted alongside each other.
Rosemary repels carrot fly, but attracts bees and butterflies to the garden.

DOMESTIC USES: Makes an excellent pot-pourri. It is very decorative when added to wreaths
Rosemary scattered on a braai fire, gives a lovely flavour to your chops, and also repels insects from around the braai.

COSMETIC USES: A fusion of rosemary and water makes a lovely hair rinse, and is good for eczema of the scalp. 50g of flowering rosemary tips boiled in 500ml white wine for 2 minutes, makes a lovely skin tonic, and is said to help remove freckles and wrinkles.

MEDICINAL USES: Rosemary tea relieves physical and mental strain and is an ideal tonic for convalescents. A 1/4 cup of fresh rosemary tips boiled in a cup of water, taken morning and night for no more than 4 days. A tablespoon of the fusion taken before each meal, eases indigestion and aids the liver functions. Rosemary in wine is also good for sore throats.

CULINARY USES: Rosemary leaves are a delicious flavouring for lamb, bean and tomato dishes, but should be used sparingly. Use the twigs, stripped of their leaves, for kebab skewers or for braaiing onions and green peppers.

125g Butter
10ml Lemon Juice
10ml Finely Chopped Rosemary or 5ml Dried
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1. Cream the butter, then add the lemon juice, rosemary, salt and pepper
2. Shape into a long roll and chill
3. Slice as required
This butter is delicious with boiled new potatoes, patty pans, baby marrow, on grilled lamb or pork chops, or as a spread for hot bread.

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:
Cocktails - I am now also collecting typically South African Cocktails, if you have any to contribute, please email me.

Elephant Stew - add your suggestion
Wacky Sarmies - add your fav sarmie (some great sarmie ideas here!)
Animal Facts - Some interesting stuff here Write a caption - new pic added
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!


~Featured Pages~
Check out my webcam page!
I have links to cams in various spots in SA! So sit back and do some armchair viewing!

If your are living abroad and are wondering where to buy South African goods in foreign countries, click here, I have a whole list of outlets selling you fav SA goodies! Please let me know if you can add to my list!

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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


1kg boneless thick rib of pork, cubed                            15ml cooking oil
2 onions, chopped                                                          1 clove garlic, crushed
25ml curry powder                                                       250ml apricot juice
3 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped                           50ml lemon juice
50ml chutney                                                                1 green apple, cored and sliced
75g dried apricots                                                        3 bay leaves
5ml salt                                                                        freshly ground black pepper

Brown meat in heated oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Sautι until transparent. Add curry and fry for 1 minute. Heat tomatoes, apricot juice and lemon juice. Add to meat with the remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for ± 1 hour. Remove lid and simmer for additional 5 minutes or till thick.


20ml oil                                                2 cinnamon sticks
1 large onion, chopped                          2.5ml minced garlic
12ml mild curry powder                        4-6 chicken breasts
50ml flour                                           500ml chicken stock
10ml chutney                                        salt and pepper to taste
10ml lemon juice                                  100ml cream or yogurt
2-3 ripe avocados, sliced

Stir-fry the cinnamon, onion, garlic and curry powder in the heated oil for a few minutes, push to one side. Dust the chicken breasts with the flour and fry on both sides until brown, in the same pan. Add chicken stock, chutney, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes. Remove lid and add cream or yogurt. Stir through. Add sliced avocado and simmer for 2-3 minutes.


420g cooked hot rice                           30ml low fat spread
150g onion, chopped                             100g green pepper, chopped
100g carrot, thinly sliced                     20ml curry powder
10g flour                                             45ml water
7.5ml lemon juice                                 150g apple, chopped
750g hake or kingklip fillets, cut into cubes                salt and pepper to taste

Melt the low fat spread and sautι the onion, pepper, carrot and curry powder for 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually blend in the water and lemon juice. Heat, stirring, until the sauce thickens. Add the apple and fish, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a hot serving dish and serve.


30ml oil                                                                225g onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed                                          15ml mustard seeds
1 cooking apple, peeled and chopped                     5ml ground turmeric
2.5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled, grated       5ml ground cumin
2ml chilli powder                                                 450ml stock
grated rind and juice of ½ lemon                          salt and freshly ground pepper
225g potatoes, peeled and diced                          225g carrots, peeled and sliced
225g tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped        225g cauliflower florets
300g button mushrooms, halved                            225g green beans, sliced
50g sultanas                                                        50g shelled Brazil nuts
15ml grated fresh coconut

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add onions, garlic, apple and ginger. Fry gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spices and fry gently 3 minutes more, stirring. Add stock, bring to the boil, stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the lemon rind and juice and season to taste, lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Now add the potatoes, carrots and tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes more. Finally, add the cauliflower, beans, mushrooms, sultanas, and nuts. Cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender but still crisp and not broken. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with coconut.


15ml olive oil                                                           250g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
20 large prawns, shelled and cleaned                      800ml (2 cans) coconut milk
with tails intact                                                       15ml red curry paste
15ml sugar                                                              2ml fish sauce
chillies to taste, chopped fresh coriander (optional)

Heat oil in a wok, and add red curry paste. Stir for 1 minute, until the paste releases its fragrance and is sizzling. Add coconut milk and sugar. Simmer for a few minutes before adding fish sauce. Add pumpkin and boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat and simmer until pumpkin is soft. Drop in prawns and cook briefly. Scatter chopped chilli (and/or coriander leaves) over curry. Serve with steamed basmati or jasmine rice or with Thai rice noodles.


It is said that the tastiest and most popular curry is mutton curry. Personally I feel is it a bit too fatty, I prefer beef curry. Here is the mutton curry recipe, try it for yourself!

• 500g mutton (bite-size pieces)
• 15ml oil
• 3 cardamom pods (peeled)
• 3 cloves
• 1 star aniseed (broken up)
• 1 bayleaf (crumbled)
• 3 small pieces cinnamon sticks
• 1 tsp fennel seeds
• 1 large onion (chopped)
• 1 sprig curry leaf
• 2 tsp ginger paste
• 2 tsp garlic paste
• 2 tsp salt
• Ό tsp turmeric
• 3 tsp coriander (dhania powder)
• 3 tsp cumin (jeera powder)
• 5 tsp chilli powder
• ½ tsp garam masala
• 4 cups hot water
• 6 even-sized potatoes (size of large eggs)
• 30ml tomato puree
• 2 tbs fresh coriander (chopped dhania)

1. Heat oil and then add spices for a few seconds
2. Stir in meat and allow to sautι
3. Turn down heat and cover saucepan
4. Cook until meat begins to fry up
5. Add the onion, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and salt
6. Allow onion to soften, then stir in rest of the spices until meat is well cooked
7. Add the water and potatoes
8. Bring to a boil, then turn down to moderate heat
9. Cook until tender, then add tomato puree and stir gently
10. Simmer until ready to serve
11. Garnish with dhania


When I was still working in the bank, we used to send out to a small curry take-out shop every Friday for a pot full of the tastiest breyani and the whole department would share it for lunch. If you have never tasted breyani before, give it a try, you won't be sorry.

• 500ml (2 cups) uncooked rice
• 6 x 250ml (6 cups) water
• 6 cloves
• 4 sticks cinnamon
• 6 elatchi (cardamom pods, seeds only)
• 125ml (½ cup) black lentils (masoor)
• 750g (6 portions) line fish, barracuda preferred
• 60ml (Ό cup) lemon juice
• 3 tsp turmeric powder
• 10ml (2 tsp) salt
• 250ml oil
• 250ml (1 cup) plain yoghurt
• 375ml (1½ cup) grated tomatoes
• 25ml (2 tbs) garlic paste
• 3 stems curry leaves
• 25ml (2 tbs) fresh mint, chopped
• 25ml dhania/jeera (cumin) powder
• 10ml (2 tsp) turmeric powder
• 25ml chilli powder
• salt to taste
• 190ml (Ύ cup) ghee
• 2 large onions, sliced
• 15ml (3 tsp) soumph (fennel)
• 5ml (1 tsp) jeera (cumin seeds)
• 5ml sarso (mustard seeds)
• 3ml (½ tsp) methi (fenugreek seeds)
• 6 green chillies
• 6 hard-boiled eggs
• 3ml saffron
• 25ml (2 tbs) boiling water
• 125ml (½ cup) hot water
1. Place uncooked rice and water in a pot
2. Add cloves, cinnamon, elatchie and salt
3. Bring to the boil for 15 minutes and drain the half-cooked rice
4. Wash lentils and boil until half cooked (about 20 minutes). Drain and keep aside
5. Wash and drain fish portions
6. Combine lemon juice and turmeric powder and smear over fish
7. Heat oil and fry fish slightly, just to firm
8. Heat ghee in a fairly large pot and fry onions until slightly golden. Remove onions with draining spoon and keep aside
9. Add soumph, jeera, sarso, methi and green chillies to remaining ghee in the pot and fry for one minute
10. Stir in yoghurt and spice mixture (combination of grated tomato, garlic, curry leaves, mint, dhania, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt)
11. Bring to the boil and sprinkle half the lentils. Place fish in a single layer and sprinkle half of the fried onions
12. Combine the rest of the lentils with the rice and spread over fried onions
13. Pour the half cup of water around the inside of pot
14. Cover pot tightly and place in hot oven for 25 minutes at 200°C
Add the remaining fried onions, eggs and the saffron liquid (mixture of saffron and the 2 tbs of boiling water)




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