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Real men don’t whinge.

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 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.



Wild rides and mighty meatballs.

August 17, 2011 in Meat, Pasta & rice

We’re barely back from our wild ride and we’re shooting again today here in my kitchen (cookery clips for the website) and then we pack again and we’re gone again yes to shoot the wild flowers and rapid rides again.


Whenever life is so hectic around me I think of the statement “You are the sum total of your experience,” and albeit it wise words, what strikes me time and time again when I am in a stressful situation, are my own adaptation of that philosophy: “You are experiencing the sum total of your decisions.”


There were many times over the last two weeks that those very words played over and over in my mind. And they were happy words of gratitude and humbleness: happy that I took the decision to see this series through regardless of the challenges and grateful that at my age I can still do the craziest, most insane, thrilling work with people who are masters of their craft and that are a third of my age. Even as we were trudging between fynbos in Elgin just after it got light one early morning, I looked at my incredible dream team crew bracing winds of 80 kms per hour and temperatures of around 3 degrees, I thought to myself: “You better be good at what you’re doing otherwise you may have to find a real job!”


The series – Challenge SOS (Sink or Swim) – revolves around eight schools who compete against each other for the title of the Unsinkable Outdoors Class of 2011 and after a series of extreme high octane outdoors elimination heats, the finals will see one team taking back to school with them an incredible full-state-of-the-art computer lab for their peers and those learners who come after them.  Talk about ‘playing’ it forward! Let me tell you when I was at school teenagers were not this cute or clever or kind …! Times have changed most certainly from a confidence level. These kids have bucketsful!


Aldene, Navorane, Tersia and Oswald from Groenberg High, Grabouw.  


Shannon, Camilla, Aaron and Graham from Milnerton High, Cape Town


We have not done any big shoot for over a year and after some traumatic personal experiences with people burduned by their egos in this time, being part again of a team of people who work long and hard and serious and fastidious and tireless and completely devoid of arrogance and ego for the pleasure and benefit of others knowing that all they get is a small, almost ilegible line entry at the end when the program titles roll (fast), was a much-needed emotional and spirtual shot in the arm for me. Anybody who is burduned by a sad and insatiable yearning to be noticed and the perpetual work it requires, should join a television crew for a few days. There were moments on that shoot that profoudly refreshed my faith in man again. Even through the hardships and tensions that popped up occasionally, I had the top-of-mind awarensss that, until my last breath, this is what I want to do: work with these people so that we can make stories come to life on a screen. It was also profoundly humbling to receive the everyday reminders that actually, we are small and insignificant and our little issues count for nothing when faced with the sheer spectacle of our nature’s beauty and its beasts.



White Shark Cage Diving, Kleinbaai (Gansbaai)


We literally had wild rides. From boot-camp style obstacle races to orienteering on the mountain fynbos of Elgin to shark cage diving and abseiling, we kept up with the pace of the competing teams. Those were eight teenagers from Milnerton International High School and Grabouw Groenberg High School. Awesome is too mild a word to describe the scenery and I am still thinking of a word to describe the footage. Meanwhile these images will have to do…



Abseiling Caste Rock, Kleinmond


Abseiling Caste Rock, Kleinmond


At Tri Active Lodge we had Riaan as our chef … and there was this killer veggie soup … I am still working my way to get the recipe and promise that before this shoot ends in mid-October, I will have it for us. This soup is so delicious that I saw a teenager boy who claimed he loathed veggies and soup equally much, go weak at the knees eating this soup and what’s more, going back for more and the next day ask for another helping!



 Our accommodation (base camp!) in Elgin


 And then, darlings, there was the mighty meatballs over spaghetti … No, chef Riaan did not give me the recipe, but I could figure it out! As usual, with a simple recipe using simple ingredients, go for the finest quality and taste you can afford. Since I can remember I have taken the lazy route and used sausage meat (good quality meat though!) for many a meatball or meatloaf. Enjoy the free time!

Sausage Meatballs over Spaghetti



Click here for the recipe.



Lekker Lamskenkel-potjie

July 29, 2011 in Meat

No apologies for the Afrikaans recipe title. Afrikaans is my mother’s language and my first language and Afrikaners get very plesierig when we braai and when we make a potjie, we get even more plesierig as the cooking time for lamb knuckle is infinitely longer than for  lamb chops ..!


But just in case you’re not that familiar with Afrikaans, potjie is the term for a cooking vessel used outdoors over an open wood fire. Like much of our local lingo, it has taken on various inferences. It has also become the term for a stew-like recipe or meal cooked in the vessel over the open fire. And alas, it has even become a verb: “We’re going to potjie this weekend.” And we even have a fabulous local male blogger – the only really prolific, good and active male blogger around that I know of – called you guessed it, Potjie.


Anyways, I have never-ever made a potjie over the coals in my life but I bet any woman who can cook a great stew can potjie a man right under the table. It’s just we dislike the heat … But I bet more women have made more stew-kinds of food than any other kind of food and the reason? Time, dears, time. With a stew, you chop it all up, brown it a little, season, add something that will end up as a sauce and simmer. And other than the occasional peek in the pot, you can get on with it. Whatever your ‘it’ is …


So, here’s the weekend’s slow food to give you time for your ‘it’. It’s a hearty, mix-‘n-match concoction with great smoky tones.  And note that I’ve been radical with the quantities of the aromatics and spices. You can reduce the spice (or even increase, o my wild sister) to suit your own taste and flair. And you can do it or he can do it or you can both do it and you can  do it over the coals or using the top of the stove or the oven or even under the bed if you own one of those nifty cooking bag thingies … (forgive me dear manufacturer, I read about and forgot the name … ) But anyway, here is the recipe. Enjoy! 


Lekker Rokerige Lamskenkel-potjie



Click here for the recipe.


In honour of the Mexican inspiration, I usually serve this with creamy yellow polenta and pass around bowls of avocado and cucumber salsa, grated cheddar cheese, sour cream, and coarsely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).


Until next week, have yourself a potjie of a weekend!




You may as well do it well…

July 22, 2011 in Meat, Soups, starters and light meals

As promised, I will share what I know about good food blogging and having pondered the hefty issue a while, I decided I may as well do it well and write a series of articles for our website about it. From our recent experience here in blogland it seems that blogging can be a throbbing emotional issue for some and a lighthearted sideline for others.


It will take some time as this is not my job, I do have a real life but here is the first read of Blog like you cook. Also, as I am a relatively new blogger (9 months) I will start with what I know best and have done for decades: recipe writing. In chapter one, Your recipes reveal your intent (and a lot more about you!), I share the tricks of the trade to make existing recipes your own.


However, only if you’re new to blogging or want to improve your game or are serious and committed to featuring great recipes on your food blog, then read on … If not, then avoid reading it. As you know, Miranda, I am not the most diplomatic diplomat in the office or suburb or world, for that matter. And I fear that if you read this you may just spend far too much of your beautiful and precious life social net-bitching. It’s so tedious. Get a life, have fun, I am accusing you of anything, Miranda – just tellling you, so take it or leave it, honey.

Rather check out this terrific liver-and-onion dinner dish. Even if you hate liver, do us all a favour and cook and eat it. It’s a real mood booster on account of all those B vitamins … and it’s the favourite soul food of many people.  And the most favourite is beef liver but the schlepp of cleaning it puts me off and I would not be surprised to hear the same from you. So I buy Woollies livers. But if you do not buy your beef livers all-ready-to-use from Woollies, then you need to remove the membranes and all other off-putting elements you may spot. The cleaning and trimming will ensure perfect, delicious and tender liver – obviously provided that you do not overcook it!


Cut the livers into batons (square slices). It’s not for aesthetic reasons: the food cook perfectly evenly … if you turn it regularly and cook at the same times per side. Often, fresh liver is best left simply, like this ‘way’ below  …. cannot even call it a recipe, it’s so simple! Perfect for Sunday brunch with a poached egg, by the way.


Simple Liver & Onions


65 ml olive oil

2 large onions, sliced


more olive oil

800 g beef liver, cut in thick batons

125 ml seasoned flour


milled black pepper

chopped parsley

lemon wedges to serve


Heat the 65 ml olive oil and sauté the onions until lightly golden. Transfer the onions to a bowl and set aside. To the same pan, add a large nugget of butter and an equal amount of olive oil and while coming to a high heat, sprinkle the livers with the seasoned flour.


When the butter and oil reach almost smoking point in the pan, add the livers – you may need to do this in two batches if you pan is too small. Cook the livers, tossing regularly until brown and sort-of crisp on the outside. Some people like their liver still-pink inside so check and if done to your liking, return the onions to the pan. If not, then cook the liver longer  until you are happy. Once the onions are back in the pan, season everything well. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges, a starch of your choice and a fresh tomato and rocket garlicky salad. Yummo!


Serves 4 – 6

If you missed the hyperlink above, click here to read the article Your recipes reveal your intent (and a lot more about you!)


As I am knee-deep inproduction, food blogging will be sproradic from now on for about eight weeks. But I will be doing what I can when I can – even sharing crew food images and recipes with you! 



Let’s braai, Meraai!

July 15, 2011 in Meat

There was not a shred of intention to write a post today but then I started writing the shopping list for the weekend. And I had to decide what our runner should buy for tonight as the kids (but actually, the grandkids) are coming for a meal. And as it became lighter outside, it was clear it may just be a beautiful day. A sunset braai then on my generous verandah which faces both north towards the mountains and west towards the sea (uh …. is it west?) it will be then … 


A quick look-see at our website revealed this easy recipe which may also be made more economical by using pork chops. So darling, for you to celebrate a touch of temporary spring with a braai this weekend, here’s a beaut! Enjoy!

Ginger & Soy Pork Kebabs

Click here for the recipe.

Not a flop! Hearty Oxtail with Gnocchi

June 30, 2011 in Meat

Thank goodness, I did not get slammed into the oven by a torrent of poisoned cupcakes after yesterday’s post … But years of practice as an outspoken non-diplomat have seasoned me for the silent sulks and it will not surprise me if I get drowned in a backlash of batter later on…


Anyway. I woke up not knowing what to write on my blog today or what recipe to post. So I took time and enjoyed the luxury of replying to the comments from yesterday’s post. And as I was replying to Max’s comment, I knew what I was going to write about today: the perception of perfection (or being the best according to ‘them’). That’s right. The issue of being the perfect wife, mother, lover or whatever has slipped over into Cyberia to being the perfect (or best) cook or blogger.


For years and years now I have been a marketing consultant. And thanks to my beloved soul sister HP a great one (albeit not a humble one), conceptualising campaigns that are usually off-the-wall and out-of-the-box but devised to touch the consumer in a way that makes her or him amenable to brand persuasion. Translated into Plainlish, Miranda, it means I know how to sell cabbage to kids!


So, the one thing that I have seen not working year in and year out in the marketplace and in the media, is the pursuit of an image that “if you use our brand, you will experience ‘all is well’ or ‘all is beautiful’ or ‘all is great, and pretty, and orderly and in fact, near-as-dammit-perfect’ so if you want to be the best, use our brand”.




Here is the real situation as I see it: those images of the orderly and pretty lives and clean and good children and romantic and fuzzy females with steaming pretty bowls of perfect yummy food-stylist-food that the marketing campaigns and the media portray get a few fans and followers, sure. My daugher calls them sheeple … go figure and all of us have a few friends who follow and copy the images … but the rest of us?


No way, José.


By now we all know that highly overpaid funky/trendy stylists and ad agency execs are behind the scenes to get us to aspire to have food or hair or kids or homes or pets or cars that look like that in an image that took these fairies several hours to style. The assumption is that if we aspire to be like the image, we will buy the brand in the hope that it will abracadabra such a scenario in our lives.


That is sooo 50s!


And astonishing, we have many brands still following that kind of ad module: the aspirational angle. If I ask them they tell me it gets results. Well, d’uh! If you spend enough money on enough repetitions of your silly 1950 ads (called frequency in ad language) the consumer will respond by the bucketsful and surprise!! We consumers actually sometimes DO need your brand so in spite of your corny ads (which you often get from your International offices and just dub it to South African), we still buy it and because of the one thing that your ads actually sometimes manage to do correctly is to offer a solution to the consumer’s constant conundrum of “How to … get the dishes cleaned with least effort and time, serve a decent family meal in a hurry…” Kapeesh? That is what grabs our attention! Think solving our problems. And think real problems. Not aspirational problems J!


We, today’s consumers will look and admire the images of household perfection but then we turn away from them and continue to follow more real and urgent aspirations: to get through the day, week, month, year and our lives, to raise our children to be good people, to make time for the people and to do things we love and enjoy and to earn enough money to create special places, activities, moments and memories with our loved ones. Most of us may aspire to bake and decorate mile high cupcakes, but honest to God? The majority of us will never-ever get around to it more than once in a lifetime if ever – because we are simply too busy to follow our own personal aspirations where perfect cupcakes are very low on the list of priorities, even our list of ‘fun’ priorities.


That’s for most of us. Granted, some folk will still hold public perfection-achievement as a ‘thing of life’ but we rest will continue to enjoy trying and having a quite a few flops on our way to heaven. Luckily the highly profitable and nose-in-the-airy-fairy vain-glorious days of ad agencies and their not-real funky/trendy stylist days are beginning to draw to a close as the marketing offices of big brands are getting the ‘real’ picture and going in house with a team of real and outsourced experts to do the real jobs for the real consumers.


The bottom line for me is this: consumers of household brands do not want to aspire to like and in situations like the people in ads: we want to identify with them! So get rid of the smiling people in perfect images telling us that “when my sink blocks, I use XYZ brand” and then we see the calm, serene, perfectly coiffed hausfrau pointing like the Black Swan dancer to a pristine sink with an added sparkle-star as a sting for effect! Awful! I would have preferred to see somebody like my other soul sister Exec PA Christa in her power suit splodged full of sink debris behind a blocked sink and actually managing to get the thing open with the brand. Yes. Please! Give us real people in real situations as in real local South Africa and we consumers will reward you more and better than ever before. Promise!


So, long story short again: let’s celebrate our realness with a “Love my Flop” drive. I will try and get a few pamper hampers from an advertiser and give them exposure on our website, not this blog. (It’s such a shame that bloggers are exploited for their blog spaces by some advertisers/PR agencies). Then we will have a little vote and choose the best flop of the season. Interested to be part of it? Then email me at and let’s get a real show on the road with the help of lovely Milani, the website’s newly appointed editor. jay I’ve got help!


Meanwhile, life goes on and right now I am aspiring to cook something hearty and family-more-ish for the weekend. So here goes:


Hearty Oxtail with Gnocchi



For the recipe, click here:§ion=detail&recipe=169






Mingling with Nina: Christmas Apples in July and many more!

June 28, 2011 in Baking, desserts & sweets, Meat, Soups, starters and light meals

Dear Nina, Perhaps this post will bring a giggle to your day but let me explain first: right now I am too busy to read and concentrate properly. Until we are on air in October with our next television series, I will be wading through my daily habits (called ‘life) as if on automatic pilot and armed with nothing more than faith in old habits…


One old habit is to read a few of my favourite blogs every day: yours, Jan and so on … but lately you need to replace ‘read’ with ‘very quick squiz’. So here is what I ‘read’ recently on your blog:


·         join the mingle

·         post recipes for apples on your blog

·         they have to be English

·         you have to insert these links      

*  and )



So, because I love your blog and apples and appreciate how hard and professional you work to create and market your blog, I decided to look up what apple recipes I have to mingle with. So here is the whole lot!


And that is probably what will bring the smile to your face: the old apple “queen” not following instructions! Mind you, Nina, age has nothing to do with it: I have been off the wall outta the box and off the beaten track all of my life. Not to mention challenged by excesses… so here goes and enjoy all of them! Major mingle, I’d say! And the irony? It would have taken less time to go back to your blog and read the instructions properly than to load all this lot for you!?



Apples for Nina



Christmas Apples in July

Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=164




F’Apple Strudel

Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=97




Chic-Apple Curry 

Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=33



Apple & Ginger Chutney 

Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=109



Crisp Apple Slice with Rum ‘n Raisin Crème


Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=165


Apples in Spiked Syrup


Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=166



And an Apple Christmas Tree!


As a by-the-way, we celebrate Christmas very organically: no gifts that are bought but homemade, no tinsel, no plastic etc. so every year the tree is an issue. Last year I bought a crate apples and within a jiffy, we had one of the loveliest, happiest trees of all time. Looking at the pic now, i feel we should have polished the apples…. but hey, apples are forgiving, happy fruits, so have a happy day!

Chop-chop Rack of Lamb with Chilli & Carrot Jam

June 23, 2011 in Meat

Really, we may just get so high from the sugar rushes caused by all the cupcakes that I though a little savoury will ring a nice change. And we have not had lamb much on the menu lately in Bloggerland so here is another short and sweet contribution for the day: tender, juicy rack of lam with a little additional sting in the tail. So easy and so delicously different. And yuo can cook it to your own liking from rare to burnt right through and serve it with creamy yellow polenta or as we did on the show, with a puree made from sweet potato, potatoes and rosemary.  


We cooked it on camera moons ago when we had the cookery series Food for Love on SABC3. We offered the recipies free online (before you chicks discovered blogging, I am sure… 2003 …!?) and this recipe was one of the top five viewed and dowloaded during the whole series of 26 weeks.

So here it is for your next warm and fuzzy get-together with friends or family. Enjoy!  

Roast Rack of Lamb with Chilli & Carrot Jam.



Click here for the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=53




It’s Father’s Day, say thanks for the rib with …

June 17, 2011 in Meat

Smoky Ribs with Sticky Honey & Oyster Sauce! 



Seriously, the previous post aside. This Sunday is another crazy consumer day as we celebrate Fathers’ Day. Before that we had Mothers’ Day and before that we had St Valentine’s Day and I am wondering, do we still celebrate Family Day? Well, then if so, we will have that day later on in the year to also contend with but at least that day seems to be free of the consumer demands that other celebratory days make on us.


As with Christmas, I look at wonderment and sadness at the financially-driven and emotionally-laden events of these days. And all the emotions surrounding these days revolve around one thing: the giving and receiving of gifts and cards. I wish I could package all the emotion that people have felt just last year on these days by not getting cards, gifts or getting the wrong ones or on the other end of the scale, feeling guilty for not buying one for a person on those days. I have no doubt that the intensity of those collective emotions will have been sufficient to halt global warming if we all used it to focus on the threat to our future.


In essence, I suppose, making a big deal once a year about romance, motherhood, fatherhood and what else not is not a bad thing. What really, really gets under my skin like an allergy is the calculating, deliberate, micro-planned and –timed execution of the marketing hype surrounding these days. These tactics are especially devised to place pressure on us to part with cash to make the emotional pangs less and although most of us know it, most of us still go there …


We have a very simple rule in our immediate family: we do not buy each other gifts on the annual celebratory days except Christmas. And then gifts have to be hand-made or organic. After all, I feel, the intention behind these days is all about the spirit of positive emotions: the acknowledgement and gratitude we feel for each other’s task in life as our mother or father or romantic partner. If you look at that way, then a box wrapped in cellophane with a synthetic ribbon containing a cheap or even expensive bottle of aftershave lotion does not do it for me as acknowledgement of what a great father means to his child. What really does it for me is a note or a letter or a hand-made card with a heart-felt message or a chunk of homemade fudge or cupcakes from a box even and best of all to hear or say you’re great and thank you I love you and saying and hearing and showing it regularly not just on Fathers’ Day or Mothers’ Day or Valentine’s Day.


It’s easy to become a father – it’s about flesh and blood. But being a dad is another thing. It’s about heart and soul and spirit and love and leadership and protection and provision and kindness and acceptance and example. I will always acknowledge and be grateful to my father that he never told me how to live. He simply lived and let me watch him do it.


So to all the girls who have chosen wonderful dads as husbands, and to say thanks to for Adam for parting with one of his, here is an easy but delicious treat you can prepare on Sunday: smoky, sticky pork spare ribs, roast in the oven. In fact, you can cook the ribs until tender on Saturday and then just roast them on Sunday. As you are going to use the oven, you may as well roast some chunky potato wedges in another pan. Great man food for a real man and for once, hold back on the salad. It’s going to be cold and honestly, most men do not love salad as much as we think. Rather add a starter (stuffed mushrooms) and a dessert: ice cream and chocolate sauce. Ja, sorry. That still remains the number one favourite pud for SA men! But you can be inventive and make it all from scratch. And finally, tell him he’s a good dad (if he is, of course!) and let your kids hear you saying it. Enjoy!


Here’s the recipe:§ion=detail&recipe=162



Chicken with Mushrooms in Parma ham

June 14, 2011 in Chicken, Meat

Today is the day I have a to-do list longer than the road between Cape Town and Durbs. So here is going to be the shortest entry in the history of this log: delicious gourmet-style chicken. It’s quick, easy and if you do not want to splurge on Parma ham, then use rindless streaky bacon. Mind you, that is also not too cheaply lately! Otherwise, if you do not eat pork, use smoked beef slices. Just roll or pound them a little thinner before use. Oftentimes they are sold sliced too thickly.


So here goes, until tamarra … Enjoy!



Chicken & Mushrooms in Parma Ham




Here’s the recipe: