Day 25: Reasons why I love South Africa: Rugby and Braaivleis

Day 25: Reasons why I love South Africa: Rugby and Braaivleis.

Rugby and Braaivleis go together. Today it is the Currie Cup Final between the Western Province and the Lions.

We are also braaing today and supporting the Western Province. I hope they win. When you visit South Africa you must try to go to a rugby game.

31 days

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Welcome To South Africa!

South Africa has a diverse variety of food. There are people from all over the world that are living in South Africa. The one thing that brings everyone together is the South African Braai. It spans all culture and is so important to us that we have a national braai day at the end of September each year.

My personal favourite South African food is biltong and rusks.

Biltong is a dried meat that is made by a secret recipe. My husband enjoys making biltong in winter. Some families hunt every winter and make biltong with that meat.

Below is a Wakelet that was made for the Techwomen 20_21 culture week. Enjoy!!

Why I love South Africa: The food Day 8

South African has a rich heritage. With influences from all over the world.

The information about the  history of the origins of South African food much depends on the book you are reading. It is as different as the colours of our rainbow nation.

But thinking about the origins of the food culinary of the different cultures it must also have originated from somewhere. According to historians the Persians under the rule of Cores about 550  before Christ were the leaders and the line followed the path of the conquerors.

The important cultures influencing our food tastes were the Italians, French the Germans and the Dutch. The slaves working in the Cape were taught to cook to their masters taste. For themselves they added their own flavors.


The bread of today will never taste like the bread of way back. They had to grind the grain by hand and used a sweet potato yeast. That was a long procedure to make the yeast and the bread soon got a sour taste. But the families and the appetites were big. They usually baked at least half a dozen a day. The bread was baked in an outdoor oven. The girls in the house usually started early morning.

Bread and beskuit (rusks) recipes are more or less the same. Rusks have added sugar and aniseed.

31 days

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The bread of today will never taste like the bread of way back. They had to grind the grain by hand and used a sweet potato yeast. That was a long procedure to make the yeast and the bread soon got a sour taste. But the families and the appetites were big. They usually baked at least half a dozen a day. The bread was baked in an outdoor oven. The girls in the house usually started early morning.

Bread and beskuit (rusks) recipes are more or less the same. Rusks have added sugar and aniseed.

But let us start with the bread with a modern recipe.

First a few tips.
1. The bread and the yeast must be fresh. Use all purpose flour or bread flour.
2. Mix the yeast with luke warm water and not hot water.
3. Let the bread rise in a lukewarm place out of a draft.
4. If you want to add raisins etc to the bead use more liquid.
5. Preheat you oven to 200 degrees Celsuis and turn down to 190. Heat are lost when you put bread in the oven.
6. Use a food processor or if you are going to bake often buy a small breadmaker. You don’t have to get your hands dirty. The bread tastes the same.

1kg flour
2 packets instant yeast
10 ml salt
15ml sugar
625ml lukewarm water.
5ml vinegar
15ml sunflower oil


1. Put the flour in a mixing bowl and mix the sugar and yeast well together with a wooden spoon.
2. Mix the lukewarm water and vinegar and add to dry mixture.
3. Start kneading with hand or machine and work the sunflower oil in until the dough is elastic and does not stick to your hands.
4. Make a round ball and cover with cling wrap after you sprayed the top with cooking spray.
5. Cover with blanket and allow to double in size.
6. Knead down carefully and place in sprayed pan. Pan only be half filled. Cover again with cling wrap after cooking spray on top. Cover with blanket and allow to double again.
7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place pan/s in middle of oven and turn oven down to 190 degrees.
8. Bake for 40 minutes. Turn bread out. It must sound hollow if you knock on it. If not return for another 10 to 15 minutes.
9. For soft crust cover with damp dishcloth while cooling.

New Year in South Africa

It is almost New Years eve and I am very excited. I am excited about what 2020 will bring. I am thankful for the year that’s passed but cannot wait for 2020.

It is summer in South Africa and it is HOT.

My hubby and I are going to spend a quiet evening at home and wait for the new year.

We will have a braai. But not any kind of braai we will have a snoek braai. A snoek is a fish that is found in the waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

Here is a snoek braai recipe


  • 1  snoek
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 150 ml apricot jam
  • 100 ml butter or olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon


Using a small pot on the fire, or on a stove, lightly fry the onions.  Then add the apricot jam and lemon juice.

A snoek should be braaied ‘open’. Smear the skin side of the snoek with oil so that it does not stick to the grid and now place in the grid, skin side down. Grind salt and pepper onto the flesh side of the snoek and lightly pat it onto the meat. Pack tomatoes on the open snoek. Then add the apricot jam and onion mix.

Place the grill on a medium fire.

Braaiing time is about 15-20 minutes. If the flesh flakes, the snoek is ready.

Snoek is traditionaly eaten with soetpatats. (sweet sweet potato)


Sweet potatoes




  • Peel sweet potatoes and cut into  blocks
  • Place butter and sugar in pot over medium heat.
  • Stir continuously till the sugar is lightly caramelised
  • Add sweet potato pieces, sprinkle with salt to your taste.
  • Turn the pieces once after about 15 – 20 min

Happy New year from South Africa!

Take a look at this Pinterest board it has a lot of pins and ideas for new years eve.

HAPPY Thanksgiving 2014!

Happy Thanksgiving!  We are having a pre Thanksgiving dinner tonight because everyone had to work today. We tried to make it a public holiday in South Africa but couldn’t manage.  What are we having tonight?  TACOS whilst watching Macy’s Thanksgiving parade:-) The turkey and pumpkin pie will follow on Saturday.  Have a blessed day! How are you celebrating Thanksgiving today?

I will post pictures about our SA Thanksgiving after Saturday


Thanksgiving in Africa: Research

Thanksgiving in Africa

Planning a South African Thanksgiving

Here is some background information regarding Thanksgiving. Do you agree or have a different view?

There is a lot of discussion about where Thanksgiving was first held in America but the one that I like best is the one of the Separatists. They came on the Mayflower and settled in New England. When they arrived it was winter and food was hard to find. Whilst they where building their settlement more than half died of hunger and cold. Luckily their Indian neighbors turned up and one of the men could speak English. They helped the settlers to grow  food and when harvest time came they had food in abundance but they did not forget about their neighbors and shared their food with them. This was the first known Thanksgiving in America. While reading about it I was reminded of the festivals in the Bible.  Every harvest time the first fruits of the harvest was offered to God. All cultures has some form of celebration where they offer food to their gods.

Thanksgiving is thus in my opinion a very special event as it celebrates caring for one another and celebrating the fact that Jesus provides for us in every way. As we bring our first fruits to the table let us be reminded that Jesus gave His only son for us.

For us as a family we will celebrate Thanksgiving to the glory of Jesus Christ our Savior because for the first time in 5 years my Mom, brother and sister will be together during Christmas (so this is the build up) and for the first time EVER our whole family (my husband and I, my brother and his wife, my mom and sister) will celebrate thanksgiving and Christmas together.

With who will you celebrate Thanksgiving and what are your favorite recipes?

I heard that every American family has their own secret recipe for stuffing the Turkey- would you mind to share yours?

A South African Thanksgiving

Planning a South African Thanksgiving

We are sooo excited! We’ll be hosting our very first South African Thanksgiving this year all in honor of my lovely American sister-in-law.  (Or maybe it should be American-African?)

Yes, they’ve decided to live in South Africa for a while and we are THRILLED. We’ve never thought of Thanksgiving before. Now the challenge is it is super HOT in South Africa at the moment and we don’t usually eat turkeys :-). We have found a store where we can buy them. We thought that we’d “adapt” the traditional Thanksgiving dishes to the South African climate but still keep it as authentic as possible.

At our celebrations we usually braai, eat watermelon, koeksisters and melktert. We do have a form of pumpkin pie though.

This is where YOU come in. Please share your ideas/recipes/ what Thanksgiving means to you. We would appreciate anything and everything from recipes to decorating ideas.
Please join us on our journey. You can do so in the following ways:

I would like to publish a post every Wednesday with our progress and I’d like to include your links to share with our readers.

To read how much we’ve planned up to now please click here.

Vegetables in the Cape

Jan v Riebeeck planted acres of vegetables but the climate did not suit all of it.

When the people went on trek they took dried vegetables such as dried peas, pumpkins, rice, dried fruit with them. Further they lived on plants from the veldt. Veldkos.

Where the settled they started planting and sowing again.

Traders made a living by taking spices, rice, sugar, material, buttons and thread. Blankets, home medicine and what he could lay his hands on that people might buy. They bought what they needed and waited about 6 months before they saw a trader again.

The South African people learnt that Africa is not for sissies(the faint hearted). They adapted and learnt from each other.

All this is reflected in their food. General South African cooking now also developed in local tastes and food cultures. Family secrets are not shared easily.

Enjoy your journey of discovery and feel free to ask if you need to know anything else.

Boerekos: Bean soup

With heritage day still fresh in mind we will continue to discuss South African food using the heritage of the different cultures.

Boerekos was the traditional food of the European farmers of way back. This means the food that they ate daily on the farm and was grown on the farm. Everybody worked hard and had a healthy appetite. They believed rather cook too much than too little so there were always food for unexpected guests.

We will start with soup. Not thin soup but a pot of thick healthy soup ate with home baked bread and thick butter. There were coal or wood stoves and the soup simmered slowly. Most likely the whole day.

Bean soup


The French Hugenotes brought Bean soup to the Cape. It had to be cooked with pork meat preferably bacon. We still cook it the same way today but the modern sugar beans only soaked for an hour and the first cook only 20 min.

Way back the beans were soaked overnight and drained. It was then covered with fresh water, cooked and drained. This is important to prevent embarrassment due to gas forming.  Fresh water was added and the slowly cooked. The following is added for taste. Onions,  potatoes, carrots, pepper, pimento  and cloves.

Salt are always added last otherwise the beans does not cook soft if added earlier.  The beans must always cook slowly for the skins not to come off or the beans to burst.

For more information about SA food please click here