March 3, 2011 in Uncategorized
“So let’s go zef!” says Sam Wilson. “We can do a whole re-braai thing and invite lots of cool zef people and it will be great!” I looked at her doubtfully, tendrils of panic arising in my mind like the whiffs of a rotting ferret, but still, she is the boss, and so it came to pass that we chose recipes, bought wines, invited people, turned up at Sam’s house on the HOTTEST DAY IN THE WORLD EVER and I still had no idea what the hell was going on. Sam’s description of zef as ‘white-trash Afrikaan-ness with irony’ was no real help, twitter recommended wines of such awfulness, it made me want to cry and I had a nagging certainty that no-one was going to speak to me the whole evening. Now read on.
Actually, there was one very good thing about this zef braai – since I was claiming ignorance of the whole idea, it meant I could make Sam and Cath do all the prep work – inviting guests, writing up articles etc etc which was quite cool. They invited deputy editor of Women24, Lili Radloff and her husband, watkykyk blogger Charles, top Food24 blogger Kobus (aka Sardines on Toast) and partner Roelie and cool wine-folk-about-town Anel and Jan from www.spitorswallow.co.za. And a warm welcome to Chef Caro, back from maternity leave, with husband Paul plus the usual motley crew of Cath, Cathy, Sam and Andreas completing the picture.
The thinking behind the re-braai was to prove to last month’s guest, Jan Braai, that a true Afrikaner would never let the braai go out (if you want to read the shocking truth – click here). It seemed appropriate to begin the evening with pre-mixed Klippies and coke which slightly offset the outfits of Lili, Charles, Kobus and Roelie who’d made a special effort for the occasion. At least, I think they had, but it was a little hard to tell. Tucking into the Drostdy-Hof Sauvignon Blanc boxwine, it came as something of a shock to realise that by the time the food starting coming off the braai, we had actually hoovered all three litres and scuppered any chance of wine/food pairing. But, as Sam said, “that’s just how we roll at Food24.”
So whilst the beer-can chickens were doing their thing on one braai, we started on the most divine braaibroodjies ever created, courtesy of Chef Caro and her tomato chilli jam. We had intended to save some for later, but since the first platter was swept clean before I’d explained what people were meant to do, we had to make more. Clearly being zef involves having an insatiable appetite.
The Hermanuspietersfontein was grabbed by most people first (see?! – I knew it wasn’t just me who was worried about potentially crap wine) and immediately found a lot of supporters for the way its crisp, clean fruit cut through the goats’ cheese. Hot on its heels came the Delheim Heerenwijn with its touch of sweetness to offset the chilli in the jam, with a few votes trickling in for the Lula Afrika Shiraz as Anel claimed “I knew it went well because I had a whole glass – until I downed it.” She’s so sophisticated.
After a potentially blonde moment where Kobus left the gemsbok in Paternoster, he had recovered with aplomb to make beef and pork curried sosaties instead “They’re definitely more zef anyway” he maintained. Still having no real idea of zefness – or not – I was unable to comment, but they certainly were very delish and split the vote in a very real way with four people (whose names I won’t reveal unless you pay me lots of money) going for Tassies as their first choice food and wine match! We’re so classy at Food24. Hot on the heels of the Tassies was the cool Bob’s Your Uncle Red with three votes as Charles lost all credibility as a zef-icon by declaring “Everything goes with the fancy one” and voting for the Hermanuspietersfontein again in third place.
And onto the beer-can chicken challenge. This was the most commented recipe on Food24 last year by a country mile so we thought it deserved something a bit special. We did three versions – Hunters gold with a sage-y/lemony rub, Black Label with a spicy braai rub and – the pièce de resistance – Castle Milk Stout with Nomu’s coffee rub. Apropos of absolutely nothing, I also thought I’d let you know that Chef Caro’s husband proved remarkably adept at shoving cans up chickens’ bums and pretty good at removing them later as well – make of that what you will.
By now, the conversation was beginning to fray around the edges with Charles switching allegiance away from the Hermanuspietersfontein and deciding that his “favourite wine is free wine”, Cath getting somewhat confused with her pairings “I’m having the thing with the er, thing” and Lili preening because she had identified the Lula as being a Shiraz “and that was even before I read the label!” The Bob’s Your Uncle wines were going down an absolute storm when swigged directly from the bottle rather than from a glass, and it didn’t help that somebody chose this point in the evening to introduce their homemade witblits and forced us all to take a shot.
A unanimous decision voted the winning chicken to be the Nomu Coffee/milk stout combo, although that was more to do with the crispness of the skin than anything else. By now, the food was tasting great and all agreed that these wines were doing a pretty good job all round with “I’d enjoy all these wines between 5pm and 7pm” coming from one quarter whilst Lili stoutly defending them all as “Swembad wines – and there’s nothing wrong with that!”
Just time to enjoy the braaied bananas with Bar One and brandy cream – I thought they needed a bit more Bar One in them (hey – who doesn’t?) and regretted my earlier generosity in giving the extra chocolate to Sam’s sons. We ate them with Rietvallei’s Red Muscadel before the reappearance of the witblits prompted the quote of the evening “Okay – who put chicken bones in the shot glasses?”
Another successful evening which frankly surprised most of us with the sheer drinkability of the wines and how much we all enjoyed them. Many thanks to the wineries who supported us, the guests who came and made us laugh and you all for following proceedings on twitter.
PS: If you want to join in the fun we’ve got a R500 Cybercellar voucher (that’s enough for 25 bottles of Tassenberg!!) up for grabs. All you have to do is follow in the footsteps of the lovely Pink Polka Dot – choose a few dishes, buy a couple of the wines, cook food, drink wines, take pictures and you too could WIN!! Congrats to Pink who gets a case of Welmoed Wines as an extra housewarming present for this great write-up. All the info you need about the food and wine here.
Zef is the new cool, so go and tan ‘n tjoppie en drink ‘n doppie!