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Newsletter #94 - February 24 , 2005

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Greetings everyone! And a special HI for all the new subscribers!

Well, Valentine's day is over for another year, but I have to share this gem that arrived in my inbox:

Valentine, oh Valentine,

I smaak you stukkend, say you'll be mine.
You're my morning, my sunshine, my moon and my stars,
You're my airfreshener from O.K. Bazaars;
You're my beaded love-letter, my breeze in the night
You're my coffee, my Cremora, my Blitz firelight.
You're my Crime-Stop, my Tracker, you're my AZT,
My pap, Mrs Ball's chutney, my Nando's for free
You're my lambchop, my dewdrop, my partner in crime
My chillie, my pepper, my vetkoek sublime.
The list is endless and this isn't all,
You're my Lotto jackpot, my dop and my zol.
You're my 4X4 when the road is so hilly
You're my Floro margarine that butters my mielie.
I smaak you, my poppie, so please be my wife,
cause, Baby, you're the Tomato Sauce on the slap chips of life!

Why don't you save it and use it next year?

Easter will be upon us real soon. A while ago I was asked the question if I new the relevance the passion flower had to Easter? Well, I did some research and this is what I came up with:

Every holiday we celebrate is marked by certain traditions, and certainly Easter is no exception. There are Easter eggs, baby chicks and duckling, sunrise services, and of course lilies.

It has been said that the white lily symbolizes purity, virtue, innocence, hope, and life. The spiritual essence of the season. And just like the traditional Easter lily, the Passion Flower also has a story that's fit to be told this time of year as expert passion flower hybridizer Patrick Worley tells us in this story about priests in a newly discovered America and their experiences with this plant.

Patrick Worley, Passion Flower Expert: Many parts of the flower they felt represent the passion of Christ, the death of Christ on the cross. So the Jesuits gave it significance that way, the three parts here were the Holy Trinity; also they look like the nails that were driven into the cross, the two hands and then the feet. The five parts here were the wounds, and the corona represents the crown of thorns; the tendrils were the scourges and the five parted leaves looked like the hands that were holding the scourges. And there are other symbols too that they saw and they felt this was a symbol that they, you know, belonged in the new world and this is something that they send back from the new world to the Pope.
Source: http://www.pallensmith.com

A good place to start with Easter recipes will be Easter breads. I got the following from  www.fabulousfoods.com . (scroll down for some recipes from the site) Throughout the world, many cultures have special celebratory breads that are traditionally baked at Easter. Many of these breads are rich with eggs and butter and studded with fruits and nuts. In today's world of supermarkets and modern conveniences, we often take these ingredients for granted, but at one time they were very expensive and hard to find, and thus reserved only for holidays and special occasions.

Bread is an important symbol at Easter in that it is a metaphor for the resurrection of Christ - flour comes to life and transforms itself to bread. The breads below each have their own unique sybolisms, some like Hot Cross Buns, which pre-date Christianity. Tsoureki and Kulich are traditionally adorned with scarlet red Easter eggs or a red rosebud, respectively, both sybols of the blood of Jesus. The Italian bread Colomba Pasquale  is baked in the shape of a dove, another powerful Christian symbol.

Some Christian humour sent to me by Connie:

There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country. "Is there anything breakable in here?" asked the postal clerk. "Only the Ten Commandments." answered the lady.
"Somebody has said there are only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good morning, Lord," and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, "Good Lord, it's morning."
A minister parked his car in a no-parking zone in a large city because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses." When he returned, he found a citation from
a police officer along with this note "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
There is the story of a pastor who got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets."
While driving in Pennsylvania, a family caught up to an Amish carriage. The owner of the carriage obviously had a sense of humor, because attached to the back of the carriage was a hand printed sign... "Energy efficient vehicle: Runs on oats and grass. Caution: Do not step in exhaust."
A Sunday School teacher began her lesson with a question, "Boys and girls, what do we know about God?" A hand shot up in the air. "He is an artist!" said the kindergarten boy. "Really? How do you know?" the teacher asked. "You know - Our Father, who does art in Heaven... "
A minister waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. "Reverend," said the young man, "I'm so sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip." The minister chuckled, "I know what you mean.
It's the same in my business."

People want the front of the bus, the back of the church, and the
center of attention.

I really hope someone can help me, I am looking for the real meaning of the words of the Afrikaans children's rhyme "Siembamba". I have an idea it has to do with war or soldiers? Please send feedback to me here: peterjasie@gmail.com

One lucky person won over £8 million in last Saturday's UK Lotto.
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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



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The Herb Section -  Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, as can be seen by the leaves, and is often called lemon mint. It is indigenous to the mountainous regions of southern Europe. The Swiss physician Paracelsus called it the "elexir of life". It has always been associated with the relieving of melancholy, and is used today in aromatherapy to combat depression.
Lemon balm likes moist, rich soils and filtered shade. It dies down in winter and benefits from being cut back hard to encourage spring growth. Small plants can be grown in pots indoors, but they do need a little light and sun.
Lemon grass attracts bees and is generally beneficial to surrounding plants. It loves being picked.

Lemon grass makes a lovely ingredient for potpourris, and hung in bunches in a cupboard, will deter moths.
In beekeeping, rub a handful of the green leaves over the wooden surface of the hive, and a new swarm of bees will be there for keeps.
Rub a handful of the green leaves over wooden furniture. The oil in the leaves is absorbed by the wood, and the crushed leaves leave a lingering lemony fragrance, which refreshes a smoke-filled atmosphere.

An infusion of leaves is great for facials, or as a rinse for oily hair.
Mix a few leaves into a tub of aqueous cream for a soothing effect when used.

Hot lemon balm tea helps revive and settle nerves. It is also beneficial for coughs and colds.
Apply the leaves, fresh, onto insect bites and sores, or use as a poultice.
Lemon balm is said to help with insomnia, depression, indigestion, anxiety, tension, stress, fear and panic.
Make the tea by adding 2 sprigs to a cup of boiling water, allowing to stand for 5 minutes, then straining and sweetening with honey. The tea can be used hot or cold.

Pour a lire of boiling water over a cup of leaves, cool, strain, and add the juice of 2 lemons and a litre of clear apple juice, and a little honey to sweeten, for a refreshing summer drink. This drink can also be served warm, after a heavy meal, to help digest fatty foods.
Freeze a sprig of lemon balm in an ice cube, and use to decorate and flavour drinks.
The lemony flavour enhances fish and cheese dishes, and combines well with cucumber, celery and asparagus.

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 Sites~

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VeZA™ shows you the beauty, adventure and excitement that is South Africa. A complete integrated travel and tourism tool at your finger tips. Click the image above for more info

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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!


Your Property is our Responsibility
• Letting
• Tenant Screening
• Rent Collection
• Accounting
• Inspection
• Electronically Advanced
• In-house Legal Resources
Contact us for your PROP RENT needs
Estelle (012)993-0034(w) 991-4111(h)
Cell 072 785 3935
16C Garsfontein Park Jacqueline Drive Garsfontein
e-mail address proprent@wpprok.co.za


The Recipes
See Links for Metric Converter

  Hot Cross Buns

1 C milk
2 T yeast
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 C butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
4 eggs
5 C flour
1 1/3 C currants or raisins
1 egg white

1 1/3 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. finely chopped lemon zest
1/2 tsp. lemon extract
1- 2 T milk
Makes 2 dozen

In a small saucepan, heat milk to very warm, but not hot (110°F if using a candy thermometer). Fit an electric mixer with a dough hook. Pour warm milk in the bowl of mixer and sprinkle yeast over. Mix to dissolve and let sit for 5 minutes.

With mixer running at low speed, add sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs. Gradually add flour, dough will be wet and sticky, and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth, about 5 minutes. Detach bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough "rest" for 30-45 minutes.

Return bowl to mixer and knead until smooth and elastic, for about 3 more minutes. Add currants or raisins and knead until well mixed. At this point, dough will still be fairly wet and sticky. Shape dough in a ball, place in a buttered dish, cover with plastic wrap and let rise overnight in the refrigerator  Excess moisture will be absorbed by the morning.

Let dough sit at room temperature for about a half-hour. Line a large baking pan (or pans) with parchment paper (you could also lightly grease a baking pan, but parchment works better). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces (in half, half again, etc., etc.). Shape each portion into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 400° F.

When buns have risen, take a sharp or serrated knife and carefully slash buns with a cross. Brush them with egg white and place in oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F, then bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Whisk together glaze ingredients, and spoon over buns in a cross pattern. Serve warm, if possible .

Sweet Raisin Bread (Bread Machine Version)

1 C milk
1 egg
3 T honey
2 tsp. vanilla
4 T butter
3 1/4 C flour
2 T yeast
3/4 C raisins

Place ingredients in your bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions (raisins are an add in). Set the machine for the sweet bread cycle with a light crust.

Kulich (Russian Easter Bread)

This traditional Russian Easter bread, is baked, believe it or not, in an empty 2 pound coffee can. This unusual baking "pan" is what allows the bread to achieve its stately height. It was traditional to lay a single red rose on top of the glazed top of this impressive bread, and, providing your rose has been grown pesticide free, it can still make an impressive picture today.

To serve, cut off the frosted crown and place in the center of a serving plate. Cut remaining loaf lengthwise, then in half crosswise and arrange on plate around the cut top.

2 1/2 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T yeast
1/2 C milk
1/4 C butter
1 egg
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 C raisins
1/4 C currants
scant 1/4 C sherry (preferably a sweet or cream sherry)
1/4 C slivered almonds

1/2 C confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 tsp. milk

Makes 1 Tall Loaf

Butter a 2-lb. Coffee can. Fold a doubled sheet of aluminum foil around the top of the can to extend it about 2 inches.

Soak currants and raisins in sherry for about 1/2 hour before beginning dough.

Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl of an electric mixer. Heat milk and butter until butter is melted and mixture is very warm (about 115° on a candy thermometer). Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients with mixer slowly running, then beat until smooth. Beat in eggs, egg yolks and lemon zest. Gradually add remaining flour, beating well after each addition. Beat in almonds and sherry soaked raisins and currants. Knead until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. (180 C )

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Shape dough into a ball and place in greased 2 pound coffee can. Loosely cover top of can with plastic wrap or foil and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, or until dough almost reaches the top of the can (see photo).

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, remove from can after about 10 minutes and let cool completely.

To mix glaze, blend confectioner's sugar and milk until smooth. Spread glaze over top, letting it drizzle down the sides. See notes above for serving and cutting suggestions.

Tsoureki - Greek Easter Bread

This traditional Greek Easter bread is characterized by hard boiled, scarlet dyed eggs baked right into the braided bread dough. Scarlet is the traditional color, as it represents the blood of Christ. You could modernize this dish and use pastel eggs instead and using lighter colors will make it easier to achieve a good-looking final product as the colors from intensely colored eggs tend to run when baked. If, however, you are set on making traditional, blood red eggs, seek out specialty dyes, available in Greek markets, made for that specific purpose. This should minimize the problem with the color running. Otherwise, follow this link for our feature on dying eggs.

1 C milk
4 1/2 - 5 1/2 C flour, divided
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 T yeast
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C butter, softened
2 T orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla
8 dyed hard boiled eggs (see notes above)

Makes 2 Braided Loaves or 1 Braided Ring or 8 Small Loaves

Heat milk to very warm (about 115° F on a candy thermometer), and pour into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar and yeast until well combined. Detach from mixer, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft-free place until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Fit mixer with a dough hook and add eggs, one at a time, to the yeast mixture. Add another 1 cup of flour, orange zest and salt, then softened butter vanilla and orange juice. Mix well, then gradually add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft, sticky dough, kneading until smooth. Coat a bowl with vegetable oil and turn dough in bowl to lightly coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a clean, draft-free place, until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400° F. (200 C) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

You now have several choices with what to do with your dough:
1. You can divide the dough into thirds, roll each third into a long rope then braid those ropes, then twist this braid into a ring. Tuck the dyed, hard boiled eggs, wide or heavy side down, between the strands of the braid, at even intervals around the circle.
2. Make two straight braid loaves by first dividing the dough in half, then dividing each half into thirds. Roll each of these thirds into a long rope and make a straight braid, tucking the ends under, and placing 4 eggs, evenly spaced between the strands of the braid. Make a second braided loaf with remaining dough.
3. Divide the dough into eighths, then roll each loaf into a rounded oval loaf. Press a dyed, hard oiled egg wide or heavy side down, into the center of each "roll." You can bake it as is, or make a "Cross" out of dough to encase the gg (see photo). Smaller breads are especially handy for tucking into Easter Baskets.

Whichever option you choose, you should now cover the prepared bread with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place once again, until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water. Brush loaves with egg mixture and bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350° F and bake for about 20 minutes more or until golden brown and hollow sounding when thumped. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.





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