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
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.
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
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
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
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:
lucky person won over
£8 million in last Saturday's UK Lotto.
(That;s nearly R90 million!!!) Why not take a chance on the next draw?
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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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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
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
An infusion of leaves is great for facials, or as a rinse for oily
Mix a few leaves into a tub of aqueous cream for a soothing effect
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
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
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!
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
Sarmies - add your fav sarmie (some great
sarmie ideas here!)
Animal Facts - Some interesting stuff
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
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
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
Bread (Bread Machine Version)
1 C milk
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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