April 4, 2012 in Meat
In my post Not so good today, I referred to a crepe recipe published on the Woolies Pantry blog. The recipe contained a serious error (4 teaspoons of course salt plus 1 teaspoon of what I presume may be table salt) and I immediately wrote to Woollies Pantry to point out their error (and including not crediting another recipe for its origin). There was no resonse for two days. Then I wrote a post about it and pointed out how these kind of mistakes and irresponsibility can affect the use and credibility of food-blog recipes, especially considering that theirs is a full-on an advertising blog and therefore especially called for greater care and better ethics in publishing recipes that our readers may end up preparing in good faith.
From onset, the lay-out and copy of this promotion created the perception that the Masterchef recipes featured in this time are especially and uniquely developed by their appointed bloggers. To this end I deliberately checked the site’s terms and conditions and it confirmed they own all content – which I pointed out and questioned in my email to them. As validation (or so I thought) that these recipe were unique and exclusive to the promotion, was the absence of any link on the Guest Blogger recipe page plus not the slightest reference to the bloggers own blogs, not by name nor by hyperlink. Instead, if you followed the link “Fitz’s Blog” on the Masterchef recipe page, it just simply leads you to another Woollies page.
Having thus thoroughly looked at the Woolies/Masterchef exposure (in my opinion), when it came to writing the post, I did not deem it necessary to go on a hunt to find and finger the culprit for any oversight or to protect the bloggers – my assumption that all parties would be in communication with each other and check their published work. It is the normal and correct thing to do if you have written something for a publication of any kind, to follow up and to check that your work has been correctly reproduced, just believe me. However, even in my post, I did not accuse the blogger of writing a bad recipe, I suggested a bad error and suggested that it may have been the editor, or it may have been the blogger but regardless, it is unforgivable and potentially damaging to all concerned, including the retailer itself, to publish this kind of recipe with this obvious faulty quantities of salt! And subsequently I have established that the original recipe for crepes was published on Fritz’s blog Real Men can Cook calliing for a normal amount of salt for this kind of recipe. Oy!
When a top executive of the distinguished and professional Woollies Taste Magazine got hold of me yesterday, it was confirmed without any excuses or running around in circles, that unfortunately they regret that a mistake did slip in from their side and that in fact, Fritz had provided them with a correct recipe. It was also established that a love link was added to credit the source of the chocolate souffles. (It is only a link to the home page of the website so I will email them the link directly to the recipe with a request to replace it) So, in the end I am happy to say that Fritz’s crepe recipe is now fixed for all to cook and enjoy. And I am touched by the grace of Woolworths Taste to not give me a run for my money, go into denial and shaming me, but to simply agreed and get the stuff fixed. Good style, my word!
As soon as I could after the call yesterday, I (finally) Googled Fritz Brand, found his delightful fresh and professional blog, and sat down and posted an unconditional apology to him. You can read it here. And I want to add this, for all (and him) to read: Fritz, through-out this nasty furore, you were a scholar and a gentleman and took it on the chin like a man of class. Your mother and all the other women in your life can plant an almond tree in your honour to bear a hundred year’s proof of their pride in your dignity. I terribly regret an apologise sincerely for not immediately Googling you to find your blog and not checking out the original work. I would have alerted you in a heartbeat. As to my post … I would have made the same points and pleas … but I would have made it very, very clear that YOU were in the clear! Thank you for accepting my apology.
Albeit not for me to curb anybody’s freedom of speech :-), I am now restricting comments that taut for and elicit confrontational debate and argument about this matter on this particular platform. You can bring your opinions privately to me (send “Private Message” or email me direct firstname.lastname@example.org) or take it to another platform. Attacking and insulting me defeats the issue and draws even more public and print media attention to the inherent unhappiness that affects and threatens sincere foodbloggers. So, I for one, will not give those kind of comments air time especially since some (the majority of) commentators have no vested interest in food blogging. We foodies are actually guests on this platform and in respect to our hosts, I shall not moderate degrading and insulting comments and especially not those containing racial allegations and gender slurs like douchebag and old cow and fucking bitch. You are free to take this matter up privately with me and so long as it is done in good taste and not personal, I shall deal with it as best I possibly could although (must say) I really saw the delicious irony in the one email that demands from me to ‘Grow up’! As to the ‘jealousy motivates me’ claims from one of a well-known and respected online magazine’s senior staffers, I have to place on record that I have never entered any competition in my entire life and never will for so long as any lay public votes or any VIP celebrity discretion determine the outcome. If a representative of a trusted magazine cannot fathom my simple, clear message with two positive and sincere objectives - let’s publish recipes that work and let’s give clear credit where it is due – who in the world ever will? To make this effort of mine off as jealousy is providing me and mine who knows me with greath myrth but in truth, it is actually quite worrying that this person holds such a position of responsibility and power … hopefully the magazine’s publisher picks up these comments …
But let’s move on.
Fritz, I think you can appreciate the funny in this recipe so this is dedicated to you and all the men that are intellectually as well as emotionally intelligent, culturally sensitive and are so secure in themselves that they do not need to attack, but know to reason in a dignified manner. O, and for men so secure in their manliness that they can don a pink apron with a V neck and cook! And then write about it. I would LOVE to feature you in our next cooking series … Dinner divas (you’d be such a divo) So, salute!
This recipe came over the radio many moons ago during Tjailatime on Radio sonder Grense. Amorée Bekker, the DJ of this program loves to collect recipes and this day, she read this one on air: mix mince, packet of brown onion soup and yoghurt and mayonnaise. It was from a loyal, longstanding listener and so clearly from the heart of the Afrikaans volk (who I love and respect as my kin together with all other of my cultural kin) and back home, I made it quickly as the recipe sounded so ‘No, it cannot work!’ But what do you know? It was actually lekker. Easy, fast and so very eg Suid Afrikaans, you’ve just gotta love it. I have changed the original a bit over time and even make my burger patties this way. And every time I do, I think of the elitist food purists taking off their 7-inch heels and piercing me in the heart with it but luckily I no not have one purists of any kind as friends or family. But, in case and in advance, if the packet of soup offends you, apologies for daring to be real – Google will offer you thousands of recipes for patties without soup powder …
A word though: as sushi is actually about the rice, so a hamburger is about the beef. In spite of the packet of soup, use only the very best ground beef – not too lean and without a scrap of sinew. These patties are not suitable for the braai grid or griddle pan. They are too sloppy … they are best cooked in a pan or grilled in the oven. You can also fashion them into meatballs and bake them in the oven Accompaniments and condiments depend on what you fancy. . Enjoy, enjoy! And laugh, it’s OK to laugh at ourselves. Mos!
Bevolkte Beef Patties
- 1 kg lean beef mince (not extra-lean)
- 1 packet brown onion soup
- 15 ml oil or mayonnaise
- 90 ml plain yoghurt
- 15 – 30 ml prepared hot English mustard (not to worry, it does not sting once cooked)
- salt and milled black pepper to taste
- 65 ml finely chopped parsley
Place the mince in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients then add to the mince and mix well. Shape the mixture into any size or shape that you fancy and cook in a pan or grill to your liking in the oven.
Serves 6 (depending on how big and thick you make the patties – if you’re from my beloved Barrydale, you will sqeeze eight patties our of this … but if you’re from Bloem, reckon on two, max three patties and if you’re a yummy mommy, you’d, get six of them full ‘n good to go!)
Chef’s hint: It goes without saying that a man would add his own thing. That could entail chili, garlic, lemon, fried onion even some cooked red kidney beans. And repeat: this is not a braai recipe, the consistency is too juicy for any kind of griddle or griddle pan therefore, ‘muchos importante’, this recipe is for patties (or meatballs) you’d fry in a pan or grill in the oven.
And finally, my dear fellow food bloggers. I also apologise to you for having to contend with the smut that ensued after my post. It is just a few making a lot of noise – bitter, ugly vexatious and vitriolic personal attacks, not from people who really care about food blogging at all. But, as a respected blogger emailed: you’ve just got to roll with the punches. So I am rolling. However, for your incredible and massive support by your emails and phone calls and SMSs, I thank you sincerely. I understand your discretion completely. And I promise that next time I will be more subtle and gentle. I already have projects in place that will portray food blogging as a vibrant, positive and delicious activity to share with confidence so that anybody who dares try our divine, sincere and heartfelt efforts will taste what our collective intentions, craft, generosity, grace and passion are about.