Monthly Archives: June 2012

Some smiles and some tears!

For today I thought I would lighten up and post an old joke that was sent to me. Old, but at times true!

Another post that was sent to me by a fellow blogger is one of many outpourings by the Black South Africans as to the state of the country. They are waking to the fact that things have actually gone backwards since the ANC came to power. The euphoria of Nelson Mandela as the first Black president has worn off and reality has now set in.

Mkhandela is responding to the school book fiasco where some schools have not received their text books even though half the academic year has already passed. The shambles out their is totally beyond belief. One school received 200 books for on grade, while the school has nearly over a 1000 pupils with no books!

The matter of unqualified teachers is a sore point with qualified white teachers that were retrenched sitting at home hoping for a job.


Why Bantu Education was better…

28 June 2012, 14:35

It never rains but pours for South Africa’s Eden, Limpopo. The floods are corroding its education system at a rapid pace. We are halfway through the school calendar and not a single textbook was insight. That is, until today when some parts of the province are reported to be receiving the much needed academic aids.

Some many years ago the African child revolted against a poor education system under apartheid. They envisaged that under democracy their offspring will be served a better, more efficient system minus the shortcomings of what they were subjected to. They perceived that if they watered the tree of freedom with their shed blood the sins of apartheid committed against the black majority would be purged.

It was this generation that hoped that the dawn of democracy will better their livelihoods. Rays of hope sprung to light in 1994 when finally that vision was achieved. Little did they know that the nightmare of apartheid will live to haunt them almost two decades after freedom was attained. Only this time they would not be players but spectators.

The revolutionary generation of ’76 lives to witness a dream betrayed. Having fought for a better education system their efforts were in vain. The democratic government is failing their children.

The current education system is worse compared to Bantu Education. At least under Bantu Education books, regardless of their quality, were on time. Under that deplored system the pass rate for matric, per subject, was not lowered to 30%. If Bantu Education was bad, what about the low literacy and numeracy rates in the current system?

Vanguards of apartheid were brutal in defending the status quo. However, their administration was more efficient than what the current state does. Teachers under apartheid were well trained, carried out their duties conscientiously, and respected the profession. They understood that their role as parents, guardians and role models to their protégés.

Fast forward to democracy, which in fact is demon-crazy, you find a bunch of sex-crazed educators who prey on vulnerable young girls. In exchange for marks they demand sexual favors. They are incompetent and rely on the unions to keep them on the job. Under Bantu Education, the trend we see of so-called “under-qualified” teachers was alien. Systems were in place and were functioning optimally.

At least apartheid was resolute on the kind of education system it preferred. Democracy is still undecided. They have chopped and changed the system more times than I dare to remember. But what I do know is each change has worsened the system. It has punched holes in the future of many young hopefuls who have emerged out of the system worse than the time they were incorporated into it.

Education has the potential to better the lives of people. It is proverbially the key to success. But with the current system in place, it is the key to a bleak and uncertain future. The ANC government has failed us in this regard: Change is needed!!!


Posted by on 29/06/2012 in South Africa


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Winter Pudding 5






Melkkos (roughly translated ‘Milk Food’) is a very old recipe which was/is made in the rural areas when the weather turns cold, and is made by cutting thinly rolled dough into thin strips and boiling it in milk until cooked and thickened. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and served warm.

There are people who throw in some boiled spaghetti as well, but I personally find this to be unnecessary as the recipe below makes a great winter pudding on it’s own.


500ml bread flour

1.5 litres milk

30ml butter

2 eggs

5ml salt

cinnamon sugar (mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar)

1. Sift the flour and salt together

2. Beat the eggs well and add 250ml of the milk and mix well

3. Stir the sifted flour mixture and add just enough milk to form a stiff dough

4. Knead until elastic, then roll the dough out thinly on a floured board

5. Sprinkle the dough with additional flour and cut into 3mm wide strips to make noodles

6. Heat the remaining milk to boiling point

7. Add the noodles and butter and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the noodles are cooked

8. Ladle the melkkos into soup bowls and serve hot, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar



Posted by on 28/06/2012 in Food


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Winter Pudding 4







Bread and butter pudding (not to be confused with bread pudding), seems to have a long and honourable history.  In 1845, Eliza Acton, in her book “Modern Cookery for Private Families”, provides one of the earliest recipes.  The curious thing is that whilst the basic mix and cooking method have remained consistent, there are now so many variants the Bread and Butter Pudding could be seen as a range of desserts, rather than a single dish.

The following provides the basic pudding (which is ideal as a first venture at cooking for junior chefs in the making) and some more experimental versions for the adventurous cook!  Most recipes agree that the important thing is to let the assembled pudding sit for about an hour before cooking it in order to let the bread swell and soak up all the lovely custard liquid

4 slices stale, white bread, 2 cm thick (stale not mouldy!)


190ml currants or 150ml seedless raisins (optional)

2 large eggs

125ml white sugar

1ml salt

750ml milk (full cream not the watered down version)



1. Remove the crusts from the bread and butter the slices thickly

2. Place them, buttered side down,  in a greased ovenproof dish

3. Sprinkle the currants or raisins over the bread

4. Beat the eggs well and stir in the sugar, salt and milk

5. Pour the milk and egg mixture over the bread and set the dish aside for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to soak right through the bread

6. Bake the pudding, covered, at 160°C for 30 minutes

7. Uncover the pudding and bake for a further 10 – 15 minutes or until the top is golden

8. Serve the pudding hot with golden syrup, honey or jam


Try spreading the bread slices with apricot jam and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the pudding before baking it, to give a nice caramelised crust when it comes out of the oven … the sky’s the limit with Bread and Butter Pudding, so add any flavouring to the milk custard the you feel like …

A good liqueur added to the custard also helps warm you!



Posted by on 27/06/2012 in Food


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Zapiro strikes again!

Zapiro on the ANC conference taking place















I must give all credit to Zapiro for managing in one cartoon to highlight a few going’s on here in South Africa. He has included Cele and the building lease scandal, Angie Motshekga and the non delivery of schools books (I believe the transport company may be family related?), the buying of a new plane for the president when there are enough anyway, and of course my loyal friend Julius Malema up to tricks again! Also a street vendor selling tenders.


Posted by on 27/06/2012 in Humour, South Africa


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ANC is worried

The ANC is gathered together to discuss what they hope will keep the voters on their side. The little bit we get to hear are but the crumbs thrown out to pacify those of us who want to know what is going on.
Unluckily I don’t think we will be privy to the ducking and diving going on as to the power bases being created for the ultimate position in our government. I think these goings on would make for a good book if the truth should ever come out.
What is interesting is that my old “friend” Julius Malema is doing some canvassing with some of his old ANC buddies in the hope that he will be allowed back into the ANC fold. If this should happen we can expect some very interesting developments in our country.
I personally hope that president Zuma manages to get the ANC back on track and lays down the law to fight corruption and crime that is now seemingly part and parcel of the ANC government.
There are a few good stories I need to check out and if interesting enough will blog about them. Until next time keep your fingers crossed for some progress which will benefit our entire nation


Posted by on 26/06/2012 in South Africa



Some pictures

Today I felt the tug of the wild prompting me to go through some of my pictures from my last trip down to KwaZulu-Natal.

Thought I would just share a couple from then. I will be going down again next month for a week or so, and I think this is what has prompted this feeling within me.

I had to make all the files smaller and I see that the quality has taken a loop. But you still get the idea of where I want to be 🙂

view from the beach

Fish Eagle getting lunch

Mangrove Swamp

Egyptian Goose


Posted by on 21/06/2012 in Envioronment, Photo, South Africa


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To my Wife on her birthday.

Tomorrow (20th June) it is my wife’s birthday. This is my opportunity to thank my wife for just being so incredible.

I don’t know what she puts in her morning coffee, but it must be working. Every year she gets more amazing, more beautiful, more savvy, and more just plain wonderful.

Her positive outlook on life, no matter how chaotic the world is around her, is remarkable. She is one of the kindest, most understanding and caring person on the face of the planet that I have the honour of knowing.

She’s my best friend, confidante, advice desk, gourmet chef, favorite artist, and the ultimate life partner. Best of all, she’s a world-class mom, and the best grandmother as well.

It’s an absolute joy seeing her special gifts reflected in our daughters and the wonderful input she has in the grand children’s lives.

They have no idea how blessed and supremely lucky we all are to have her.

May God bless and keep her safe for man years to come.


Posted by on 19/06/2012 in Uncategorized, World happenings


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Winter Pudding 3






Cape Brandy Pudding / Tipsy Tart / Brandewyntert

This favourite Cape classic, which goes under at least 3 names, is one of South Africa’s best known traditional recipes.  With good reason too … it is simply divine.  I suppose the name Tipsy Tart was derived from the brandy which is one of the main ingredients in the pudding. If you don’t have brandy, a good Cognac will do.

Ingredients are for a small pudding – 6 – 8 portions, as shown in photo.


125g dates, stoned and chopped

1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water

1/2 tsp (2ml) bicarbonate of soda

1/4 cup (60g) butter

1/2 cup (100g / 125ml) soft brown sugar

1 large egg, beaten

1 cup (250ml) flour

1/2 tsp (2ml) baking powder

1/4 tsp (1ml) salt

1/2 tsp (2ml) cinnamon

1/4 tsp (1ml) ginger

pinch nutmeg

zest of 1 orange

1/2 cup (50g) chopped walnuts or pecan nuts


2/3 cup (150ml) soft brown sugar

2 tsp (10ml) butter

1/3 cup (90ml) water

1 cinnamon quill

1 tsp vanilla essence

pinch of salt

1/4 cup (60ml) brandy

Double the ingredients for a large pudding (12 – 16 portions.  Great to take along to a pot luck dessert table)

(only use good quality brandy – take a tot to test round about now)

1. Pour the boiling water over the chopped dates in a saucepan or microwave dish

2. Heat to boiling point

3. Remove from heat and mix bicarbonate of soda into the mixture – mix well and leave to cool

4. Cream the butter and sugar – beat egg in to make a smooth mixture

5. Sift flour, baking powder and salt over the creamed mixture and fold in

6. Mix in the remaining dates and the nuts – stir in the bicarbonate of soda and date mixture and mix well

7. Ladle into a baking dish … for a small pudding use a 1.5 litre baking dish such as a 23 cm pie plate.  For a larger pudding use a 3 litre baking dish with a base that measures approximately 280mm x 280mm

8. Bake at 180°C for 30 – 40 minutes (small puddings) or 40 minutes (large pudding), or until puddings spring back when pressed at the centre

(time for another tot or so of that good brandy while waiting)

9. Prepare the syrup while the pudding is baking

10. Heat the butter, sugar and water for about 5 minutes

11. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the brandy, vanilla and salt

12. Pour the warm syrup over the pudding as soon as it is removed from the oven

13. Serve the pudding hot or cold with cream or ice-cream



Posted by on 19/06/2012 in Food, South Africa


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Winter Pudding 2






Malva Pudding

A sweet pudding of Dutch origin (but this is debated heavily but those working in the kitchen!) , Malva Pudding is usually served hot with custard or ice-cream. Made with apricot jam, this typical South African dessert has a spongy, caramelised texture.

Serves 8

Malva Pudding

1/2 cup (125ml) sugar

1 extra-large egg

1 Tbsp (15ml) vinegar

1 Tbsp (15ml) smooth apricot jam

1 cup (250ml) flour

1 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 1/2 tsp (7ml) bicarbonate of soda

1 cup (250ml) milk


1 cup (250ml) sugar

1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water

1 cup (250ml) cream

2 Tbsp (30g) butter

1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence


1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and butter an oven-proof dish (with a volume of 2.75 litre)

2. Beat sugar and egg together until creamy

3. Add vinegar and apricot jam and beat well

4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together, mix into sugar/egg mixture

5. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with milk, stir this into the mixture

6. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 45 – 60 minutes until cooked through

7. Prepare the syrup shortly before removing the pudding from the oven

8. Heat sugar, water, cream and butter, while stirring, until the sugar has dissolved

9. Boil together for 5 minutes, add vanilla and pour the boiling syrup over the pudding as soon as you remove it from the oven

10. You can return the pudding to the oven for about 5 – 10 minutes

11. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream

I love serving it with warm custard as the warmth just seems to last longer. And a generous dollop of fresh cream to go with the custard is a personal favorite of mine!






Posted by on 15/06/2012 in Food


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Winter Pudding 1






This is great served warm.


Pumpkin Fritters with Amarula Cream

Pumpkin fritters are traditionally served with the main course … but many people say it’s so good, it can be served as pudding instead.  The following recipe was prepared as a dessert by the South African Barbeque Team at the 2000 World Barbeque Championships in Tennessee.  It appeared in the Citizen newspaper and is originally from Lannice Snyman’s book, Rainbow Cuisine

Makes 10 – 12 … 5 – 6 servings


500g skinned, pipless pumpkin, cut into cubes


1 egg, lightly beaten

180ml cake flour

5ml baking powder

1ml cinnamon

1ml ground mace

oil for deep-frying

lemon wedges for squeezing


Cinnamon Sugar

125ml sugar

10ml cinnamon


125ml brown sugar

125ml water

5ml cornflour

Amarula Cream

250ml cream

60ml Amarula liqueur (for non South Africans use any thick liqueur which has a creamy base)


1. Cook the pumpkin in a covered pot with a little water and salt – drain well and mash with the egg, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mace

2. Heat a little oil in a heavy frying pan and drop in spoonfuls of the mixture and fry until golden on both sides

3. Another way to cook them is to deep-fry – they will puff up even more

4. Drain well on a wad of kitchen paper and serve as suggested below, with cinnamon sugar, syrup and Amarula whipped cream

Cinnamon Sugar

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl


Combine brown sugar, water and cornflour in a pot and bring to boil slowly, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolved.  Boil briskly until the mixture becomes syrupy

Amarula Cream

Whip the cream stiffly.  Fold in the liqueur (use any cream liqueur if preferred)


To Serve

Dip the hot fritters into the syrup.  Pile them in a bowl, sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar and serve with the Amarula cream and lemon wedges for squeezing



Posted by on 14/06/2012 in Food


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