Category Archives: Food



Today is just my day for bitching I suppose.

In this morning’s news there is an article which got me thinking on the barbaric methods used to kill or mutilate rhinos in the last while. The article this morning reported on the rustling of ten head of cattle from a farm just east of Pretoria, South Africa.

The cattle were driven a total of 20 kms towards a township, Daveyton, where the rustlers then proceed to use pangas (a broad heavy knife of E African origin, used as a tool or weapon) to hack the  large tendon at the point of the hock which then means the animal is totally unable to stand on its hind legs.  (This was also used by the Mau Mau in Kenya some years ago. They did this deliberately to cattle owned by white people.)

Then they proceeded to stab the cows with knives hoping to kill them.

What is even more horrific is that they started to hack pieces of flesh off while the cows were still alive! This was obviously done as speed was of the essence, and they could then just disappear into the township with their ill-gotten gains.

The police who arrived at the sight phoned the farmer and informed him of the situation. The farmer then made his way to the sight where he hoped to be able to at least save some of the meat for use on his farm. On his arrival he found nearly 150 of the local population armed with bowls and knives, cutting off chunks of meat for themselves. When the farmer started loading the carcasses the locals started swearing and shouting at him wanting to know what right he had to remove them.

It seems that if something gets stolen from you the right of ownership is also transferred to whoever is then in possession of it!

To date only 3 people have been arrested for being in possession of stolen meat. They say they just happened on the carcasses and thought it would be better not to waste the meat, so they helped themselves. No rustlers have been arrested.  


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Winter Pudding 6







When I was very young I used to often spend my holidays visiting my grand parents in what in those days was a small rural town, Harrismith in the Free State Province in South Africa.  It is situated on the banks of the Wilge River (Willow River) and in the winter time it gets bitterly cold there. I fondly recall the old coal stove that was forever heating up the house and the water as well my grand mother whipping up some Sago pudding to warm the innards as well.

It took me some time to actually eat it as we were told that it is made of frogs eyes that were collected in the Wilge River! But finally that aroma wafting out of the kitchen was just too much to resist.

Sago pudding is a sweet pudding, made by boiling sago with either water or milk and adding sugar and sometime additional flavourings.  It is made in many cultures with varying styles, and may be produced in a variety of ways.

In Malaysia, sago gula melaka is a sago pudding made by boiling pearl sago in water and serving it with syrup of palm sugar (gula melaka) and coconut milk.

In the UK, ‘sago pudding’ is generally made by boiling pearl sago and sugar in milk until the sago pearls become clear, and thickening it with eggs or cornflour.  Depending on the proportions used it can range from a runny consistency to fairly thick, and can be similar to tapioca or rice pudding. I prefer it to be on the thicker side but you can experiment to find which you prefer.

Serves 6

1 litre milk

1 cinnamon quill

cardamom pod (optional)

90g (1/2 cup) sago

70g (1/4 cup) sugar

60g butter

1/4 tsp (1ml) salt

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp (1ml) grated nutmeg

1. Bring the milk and cinnamon quill (and cardamom pod if you are using one) to boiling point in a 2 litre container

2. Add sago and cover the dish – leave to soak for at least 90 minutes (or overnight)

3. Whisk

4. Pre-heat oven to 160°C

5. Bring the milk mixture to the boil and thoroughly whisk the mixture again for at least 2 minutes – ensure that the sago is completely translucent (this is where the frogs eyes come from 🙂 )

6. Remove the cinnamon quill and cardamom pod and beat the sugar and butter into the warm mixture

7. Allow to cool slightly – whisk eggs, vanilla and grated nutmeg together and whisk it quickly into the cooled-down mixture


For a lighter, fluffy texture, separate the egg whites and yolks.  Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and grated nutmeg together and then into the cool-down milk mixture.  Beat the egg whites separately and lightly fold into the mixture

8. Pour into a buttered 2 litre dish

9. Half-fill a larger shallow dish with water, and place your sago dish in it to create a bain marie

10. Bake for 90 minutes until firm and golden brown

11. After baking, spread approximately 1/4 cup apricot jam gently over the pudding.  You can heat the jam somewhat to make it easier to spread, or simply dot the jam over the top. It must be smooth apricot jam.

This can also be baked in individual ramekins.  As a variation, you can place a teaspoon of apricot jam in the bottom of each ramekin before pouring the sago mixture on top.


Posted by on 02/07/2012 in Food


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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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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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Eating out at Lucit Restaurant

taken from web site due to not having my camera with me.

As a special treat I decided to take my wife out for supper last night. For once in my life I actually made reservations beforehand! I had travelled up and down Soutpansberg Road in Pretoria on numerous occasions and had never noticed a real gem of a restaurant right under my nose!
Viewing the restaurant from the road doesn’t give you any inkling of the absolutely enchanting venue that is really there. I approached the large entrance doors with great trepidation, although they were impressive, I was worried that the doors may have only been a front with no substance behind them. I needed have been concerned at all. It exceeded my wildest expectations easily.
The restaurant is tastefully laid out with ample space for anyone wanting to entertain your spouse or a larger gathering of friends. Apparently the restaurant can cater for groups up to 100 people at a time. We were seated right next to the fish pond with the muted sound of a waterfall in the background.
Out host and owner of the restaurant, Gideon, warmly welcomed us and personally looked after all our needs for the rest of the evening. Maryna the chief chef explained the various dishes to us and also popped out to see us during the meal to find if we were happy the food. The focus of the personnel ensured that we were well looked after and lacked for nothing.
In trying to explain to work colleagues this morning as to how I experienced the food, I actually ran out of superlatives! It was more of a gastronomic experience than a well prepared meal. The fusion of different styles in each of the dishes pampered our pallets to the extreme!
Starters consisted of pan seared scallops with Saffron Risotto, then pasta love letters with a delightful spicy Harissa Ostrich sauce which had just a hint of a bite in it. The main course was Fillet Mignon prepared in a vacuum to preserve the natural juices with Thai Lime and Orange Jus, served on a bed of sautéed Swiss Chard with (wild) mushrooms rounding it off. When trying to describe the main course as anything less than the ultimate best tasting food I have eaten in many, many years, I would not be doing it the justice it deserved. The desert was a great fusion of tastes with each one complimenting the next taste experience. As far as I can recall, it was Espresso Semifredo with a touch of Amarula Cream just rounding it off. The desert was consumed slowly, with many pauses between spoonful’s enjoying the various tastes, as you worked your way through the different ingredients. After this a plate with three different cheeses, plum chutney and warm fruit tart rounding off the meal. South Africa really does make some very good cheeses and we don’t have to stand back for any other country. The house wine was a Merlot which was a good choice with the meal.
Our host Gideon took me on a tour of the kitchen and I really liked what I saw. Here was a place that could inspire any chef to rise to great culinary heights.
I never got a chance to do a tour of the wine cellar, but this will have to wait until my next visit which should be mid July 2012 when my daughter comes to visit us.



Posted by on 23/02/2012 in Food


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