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BILTONGMAKERS.COM! The home of Biltong, Boerewors, and much, much more!

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Newsletter - December 2003

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THE BILTONGMAKERS.COM!  NEWSLETTER FOR DECEMBER 2003

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* From the editor

* Points to think over

* Our Home Biltong Makers

* This month’s special offer!!

* Tip of the month

* Frequently asked questions

* Recipe corner

* Happy people comments

* Around the World

* Funnies

* The Monthly Competition

* Earn your own free Home Biltong Maker

* Buy on your Budget account

* New secure on-line Payment Facility

* Let’s hear from you!

* Boerewors in the Benelux

* Potjie Pots and Gas Burners

* Subscribing and un-subscribing

 

 

FROM THE EDITOR

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Keerbergen

Belgium

December 7, 2003

 

It’s about 1° C as I sit here typing away.

This morning the weatherman on the TV had it dead right!  He said” It’s going to be a beautiful sunny day outside and it will be lovely from behind the glass!

Well, that’s where I am sitting right now, behind the double glazed windows looking out over the front garden.

This morning everything was white with the frost.

An especially funny sight is to see Woolly, our big male cat (he’s not quite right in the head) going outside and having this totally confused look on his face when he finds that he can’t drink his water because it is frozen solid!

 

So, the winter is upon us.  They say it is just a little cold spell and it will warm up nicely by the end of the week.  It will then be at least 3 C instead of 1!!

 

June and I don’t mind at all though.  Like we have always said it’s nice and cozy in the winter with the fire going and the candles burning.

 

November was a busy month.  I did a trip to Munich, which was really nice.  I had not been there for a while and driving through town reminded me of how we used to party in the Hofbrauhaus with Anneke and Volker many years ago.  Germany has its own beauty, especially the southern parts.  It was a long trip though, about 1600 km there and back.

 

Job, the eldest son of my sister Ariel, got married and we went down to The Hague for the wedding.  Every time something like this happens I get reminded by the history you find in every nook and cranny of Europe.  Job and his bride Liesbet got married in a beautiful church in the middle of The Hague.  Before the service I walked around a bit and found out that Mr Fahrenheit (the temperature man) is buried there.

 

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was born in Gdansk in Poland and spent most of his life in the Netherlands.  He died there in The Hague on September 16 1736 and was buried right there in that church.

 

I find things like that fascinating.  It happened such a long time ago and everything is still more or less like it was then!

 

Then, a couple of days ago it was “Sinterklaas”!

 

Now, “Sinterklaas” is a typically Dutch institution and you will of course find it in Belgium as well.  Where the rest of the world has “Christmas Father” the Dutch and the Belgians have “Sinterklaas”.

Of course some of the Father Christmas (Santa Klaus” has blown over here as well with all the people living here from all over the world.  But, Sinterklaas is the real original thing over here.

 

The story is fascinating.

 

 

SINTERKLAAS

The Feast of Sinterklaas, or St. Nicholas, is an annual event, which has been uniquely Dutch and Flemish for centuries. St. Nicholas' Feast Day, December 6th, is observed in most Roman Catholic countries primarily as a feast for small children. But it is only in the Low Countries - especially in the Netherlands - that the eve of his feast day (December 5th) is celebrated nationwide by young and old, Christian and non-Christian, and without any religious overtones.
Although Sinterklaas is always portrayed in the vestments of the bishop he once was, his status as a canonized saint has had little to do with the way the Dutch think of him. Rather, he is a kind of benevolent old man, whose feast day is observed by exchanging gifts and making good-natured fun of each other. It so happens that the legend of St. Nicholas is based on historical fact. He did actually exist. He lived from 271 A.D. to December 6th, 342 or 343.

His 4th century tomb in the town of Myra, near the city of Anatolia in present-day Turkey, has even been dug up by archaeologists.

This is his story:


Born of a wealthy family, Nicholas was brought up as a devout Christian. When his parents died of an epidemic, he distributed his wealth among the poor and became a priest.
Later he became Archbishop of Myra, and it is from here that the fame of his good deeds began to spread across the Mediterranean. Desperate sailors who called upon the Good Bishop to calm stormy seas were heard; prison walls crumbled when victims of persecution prayed to him. He saved young children from the butcher's knife and dropped dowries into the shoes of penniless maidens. Over time, St. Nicholas became the patron saint of sailors and merchants, and especially of children.

After his death, the cult of St. Nicholas spread rapidly via southern Italy throughout the rest of the Mediterranean and eventually to coastal towns along the Atlantic and the North Sea. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Holland built no fewer than 23 churches dedicated to St. Nicholas, many of which are still standing. Amsterdam adopted St. Nicholas as its patron saint, and Rome decreed that December 6th, the anniversary of his death, should be his official Feast Day.


St. Nicholas' strong influence in the Low Countries - an area heavily engaged in trade and navigation - was primarily due to his role as patron of sailors and merchants.
However, his fame as protector of children soon took precedence.
In the 14th century, choirboys of St. Nicholas churches were given some money and the day off on December 6th.
Somewhat later, the pupils of convent schools would be rewarded or punished by a monk dressed up as the Good Bishop, with his long white beard, his red mantle and mitre (bishop's hat) and his golden crosier (bishop's staff) - just as he is still presented today


All Dutch children know that Sinterklaas (the name is a corruption of Sint Nikolaas) lives in Spain.

Exactly why he does remains a mystery, but that is what all the old songs and nursery rhymes say. Whatever the case may be, in Spain he spends most of the year recording the behaviour of all children in a big red book, while his helper Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) stocks up on presents for next December 5th. In the first weeks of November, Sinterklaas gets on his white horse, Peter ("Piet") swings a huge sack full of gifts over his shoulder, and the three of them board a steamship headed for the Netherlands. Around mid-November they arrive in a harbour town - a different one every year - where they are formally greeted by the Mayor and a delegation of citizens. Their parade through town is watched live on television by the whole country and marks the beginning of the "Sinterklaas season"


The old bishop and his helpmate are suddenly everywhere at once. At night they ride across Holland's' rooftops and Sinterklaas listens through the chimneys to check on the children's behaviour. Piet jumps down the chimney flues and makes sure that the carrot or hay the children have left for the horse in their shoes by the fireplace is exchanged for a small gift or some candy. During the day, Sinterklaas and Piet are even busier, visiting schools, hospitals, department stores, restaurants, offices and many private homes. Piet rings doorbells, scatters sweets through the slightly opened doors and leaves basketfuls of presents by the front door.

 

How do they manage to be all over the Netherlands at once?


This is thanks to the so-called "hulp-Sinterklazen", or Sinterklaas helpers, who dress up like the bishop and Black Peter and help them perform their duties. Children who become wise to these simultaneous "Sint-sightings" are told that since Sinterklaas cannot indeed be in two places at once, he gets a little help from his uncanonized friends.


The Dutch are busy too - shopping for, and more importantly, making presents. Tradition demands that all packages be camouflaged in some imaginative way, and that every gift be accompanied by a fitting poem. This is the essence of Sinterklaas: lots of fun on a day when people are not only allowed, but expected, to make fun of each other in a friendly way. Children, parents, teachers, employers and employees, friends and co-workers tease each other and make fun of each other’s habits and mannerisms.


Another part of the fun is how presents are hidden or disguised. Recipients often have to go on a treasure hunt all over the house, aided by hints, to look for them. They must be prepared to dig their gifts out of the potato bin, to find them in a pudding, in a glove filled with wet sand, in some crazy dummy or doll. Working hard for your presents and working even harder to think up other peoples' presents and get them ready is what the fun is all about.
The original poem accompanying each present is another old custom and a particularly challenging one. Here the author has a field day with his subject (the recipient of the gift). Foibles, love interests, embarrassing incidents, funny habits and well-kept secrets are all fair game. The recipient, who is the butt of the joke, has to open his/her package in public and read the poem aloud amid general hilarity. The real giver is supposed to remain anonymous because all presents technically come from Sinterklaas, and recipients say out loud "Thank you, Sinterklaas!", even if they no longer believe in him.


Towards December 5th, St. Nicholas poems pop up everywhere in the Netherlands: in the press, in school, at work and in both Houses of Parliament. 
On the day of the 5th, most places of business close a bit earlier than normal. The Dutch head home to a table laden with the same traditional sweets and baked goods eaten for St. Nicholas as shown in the 17th-century paintings of the Old Masters.

Large chocolate letters - the first initial of each person present - serve as place settings. They share the table along with large gingerbread men and women. A basket filled with mysterious packages stands close by and scissors are at hand. Early in the evening sweets are eaten while those gathered take turns unwrapping their gifts and reading their poems out loud so that everyone can enjoy the impact of the surprise. The emphasis is on originality and personal effort rather than the commercial value of the gift, which is one reason why Sinterklaas is such a delightful event for young and old alike.

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So, last Friday evening it was Sinterklaas.  June and I had gone to Antwerp to be there when Luke and Jake would wake up the next morning and find their presents.

 

Derek and Jeanine had asked Sinterklaas to get Luke and Jake a new bicycle and we had asked him to bring a new Harry Potter book for Luke and a He-Man thingy for Jake.

 

Zwarte Piet has brought the presents during the day and Derek had locked them up in the music room at their home at the Britselei in Antwerp.

 

But we all know how it goes on the eve of Sinterklaas.  Lots of excitement and expectations.  It did not take long for the boys to find the key to the room and there they came running up the stairs, all exited.  Daddy, Mommy!!!  Sinterklaas had brought us bicycles!  Come and look in the room downstairs,  quickly!!

 

Derek’s face dropped, Jeanine’s face went into a severe frown.  How had these little boys managed to get into that room?

 

So, the problem had to be solved.  The surprise had gone out of them finding their presents the next morning so some drastic action was called for.

 

While the kids were kept busy upstairs Derek and Mark (who was on a quick visit) removed all the presents to the basement and locked the door.

 

Both Like and Jake kept on insisting that everybody had to go downstairs to have a look for themselves that the presents had indeed arrived.  So, we all went downstairs, opened the door and peeked inside.  To the boys consternation there were no presents in the room.  Totally confused and muttering to themselves they went back upstairs and looked very worried.  Because, if you find your presents before you are supposed to Sinterklaas will just take them back again!

 

Soon it was time for bed and Luke and Jake started preparing for the visit by Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet.  They would come that evening and had to be well looked after!

 

So, a plate with some biscuits for Zwarte Piet, a couple of sugar cubes for the horse and a beer for Sinterklaas were left by the fireplace.  As soon as they would come in through the chimney during the night they would see all the goodies left behind by Luke and Jake.

 

Happy with their efforts they went up to their bedroom and were soon fast asleep.

 

Later that evening Derek drank the beer, Jeanine put the biscuits back in the tin and all that was left was an empty beer glass and some crumbs all over the place.

 

A trails of sweets lead down the stairs to the hallway where the presents were displayed.

 

Needless to say that nobody slept late the next morning.  All woken up by excited children’s voices we wearily got ourselves out of bed to admire the new acquisitions.

 

How nice to be little and have all these little (and big) fantasies!  (Haven’t I heard that before somewhere?)

 

Well, that was the first big event of December.  There are sure to be some more as it promises to be an exiting and busy month.

 

In closing I must say a couple of words of thanks to the many people who have been involved with Biltongmakers.Com during the year. And who have helped so much to make it the success it has been in 2003.

 

Firstly my thanks go to Trish and Shannon in Johannesburg who so incredibly well took over the dispatch department from Kel.  After an initial few hiccups the shipping is running smoothly now and most orders are processed and dispatched sometimes within days of receipt of the order.  It is not easy to run around for all the little things involved with the dispatch.  The collection of machines from the factories, the spices from the manufacturers, Potjie pots, biltong cutters, boxes, labels, more spices, etc. etc. etc.  It is a never-ending cycle.

Thank you very much Trish and Shannon for your incredible efforts!  Without you it just would not happen!!

 

Then I must thank Neil and Joy who so aptly and quickly organized the production of the new Traditional Biltong maker.  The new model has many improvements over the old machine and is more popular than ever.

 

My most sincere thanks go to our customers.  Without you we would not be here.  It is been great fun to work with you and to see and read the emails of encouragement.  Sure there are some people who we could not satisfy as much as we would have liked to but it can never be said that it was not for the want of trying.  To those people we extend our sincere apologies and promise to do even better next time.

 

 

Last but certainly not least there is June.  What can I say!  One thing is sure and that is that this newsletter would not exist without her (neither would I for that matter !).  June’s endless proofreading and all the interruptions at her work with my phone calls for advice has been invaluable!

 

So, it’s almost Christmas and the end of yet another year.

 

All that remains now is to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and a very successful, prosperous and happy New Year!

 

 

Take care, till next month.

 

 

Lo

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POINTS TO PONDER

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*-. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.  Don't bring up the past.

*-. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

*-. Spend some time alone every day.

*-. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct.

*-. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

*-. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.

*-. Live a good, honourable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy

 

(Thanks again Derek – Ed)

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OUR HOME BILTONG MAKERS

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We receive very little feedback and/or suggestions as to how we may possibly improve on both models of Home Biltong makers.  This could of course be a very good sign.  Perhaps everybody is quite happy with the biltong they are producing!

But, if you have any suggestions please mail us and we will have a good look at it.

Please keep in mind that it will soon be summer holidays in South Africa and most businesses will close from the middle of December until the beginning of January.

We have made sure to have some stock on hand but orders placed later on in the month might have to wait for the new production in January.

Details of the Traditional 2kg Biltong Maker can be found by going to http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong01_HBMhome.html

Details on the RNA-5kg machine can be found by going to

http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong03b_rocky5kg_01.html

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THIS MONTH’S SPECIAL OFFER!!

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Our wooden manual Biltong Cutters will be priced at only R 299.00 from the date of the mailing of this newsletter until the end of December 2003.  The cutters are made of Black Wood and are of the highest quality.

They are specially made for us by a highly respected factory in Port Elizabeth.

So, be quick to order because our present stock will not last too long at this price and then you would have to wait for the next batch to come of the production line.

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TIP OF THE MONTH

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How to pre-treat a Potjie Pot and to keep it nice and clean!

 

Ek sien in julle nuusbrief dat daar n bespreking is oor die inbreek van ‘n potjie. Daar is verskeie maniere, gesofistikeerd ens.

Maar kyk ek is maar ‘n lui mens, ek sal nie tien tree loop as ek dit bv. kan ry nie.  Ek sal vir julle vertel wat my beste manier is om so ‘n potjie in te breek (pretreatment)

Nuwe potjies het ‘n lagie Shellac binne om te keer dat hy roes op die rak.

Ek vat sommer papier vyn houtjies en dikker hout stukke en maak ‘n vuur in die potjie wat skrik vir niks.  As hy koud is vee ek hom sommer liggies uit met ‘n skuurpapier, spoel hom uit en siedaar hy is reg vir gebruik. Smeer hom net voor bere met ‘n stukkie varkspek of kookolie en hy roes nie.

As jy die potjie op n oop vuur wil gebruik, maak net so ‘n bietjie modder aan en smeer die buitekant daarmee. Na gebruik kan die roet baie maklik afgewas word met water.  My ondervinding is dat so ‘n potjie baie makliker as ander skottelgoed skoonmaak.

Na gebruik hou maar aan smeer met vet of olie, jy sal gou genoeg agterkom wanneer die vet astware in die metaal ingetrek is en dan sal hy nie meer roes nie.

 

Groetnis uit Suid Afrika.

 

Max le Roux.

maler@mweb.co.za

 

 

(Baie dankie Max - Anyone else out there with some more tips for our readers! - Ed)

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Every month we receive hundreds of mails from people all over the world asking questions.

A lot of these questions are similar if not identical.  In this section we publish the most regular ones.

It might help others who need the same answers.

 

The following question has come up time and again and we finally had some people mailing us with a possible answer.

We must stress however that, upon replying to these people and asking them how it tasted, both came back to us saying they had not tried it yet!

 

Here it is:

 

Question

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Ek is dringend op soek na 'n resep vir 'n Biltong en Kaas Potjie.

Vriende van my het gesê dit is heerlik maar niemand kan vir my 'n resep gee

nie.

 

Help asseblief!!!

 

 

Answer

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BILTONG POTJIE EN KAAS

(Genoeg vir 10 mense)

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Ingrediente:

 

*- 6 Uie

*- 1 Pak sampioene

*- R 60,00 se biltong (+/- 1kg)

*- 1 Blik pitmielies

*- 1 Pak noedels (gedraai of skulp) (Gaargemaak)

*- ½ "Green Pepper"

*- 2 Houertjies vars room

*- Redelike stuk gerasperde kaas (Hoe meer kaas, hoe lekkerder)

 

 

Metode:

 

*- Braai uie en sampioene tot gaar.

*- Voeg biltong by

*- Voeg gaargemaakte noedels by.

*- Plaas "green pepper" en pitmielies bo op.

*- Rond af met 2 houertjies room en baie gerasperde kaas.

 

 

Byskrif

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Hierdie resep is ryk, maar so lekker.

Dit gaan baie vinnig om te maak.

Bedien dit saam met 'n lekker mengelslaai of enige ander slaai en jy rek dit nog verder.

 

Johan Heydeman

HeydemJP@telkom.co.za

ITS SQA SA

012-680-7351 (office)

072-627-1066 (cell)

012-680-7411 (fax)

 

Baie dankie Johan.  Laat ons hoop dat dit is waar so baie mense vir gevra het - Ed

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RECIPE CORNER

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We received so many recipes in November that it has been difficult to choose which one to use in this newsletter.  If yours has not been used this month please be assured that it will most certainly appear in one of the future editions.

 

The saga about whether one can do a Potjie with noodles in it goes on.  Finally we found this recipe, tried it and must say that it was excellent.

 

CHICKEN AND NOODLE POTJIE

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Ingredients:

 

*- 8 chicken thighs

*- 30ml cooking oil

*- 2 celery sticks (chopped)

*- 2 tomatoes, skin removed and chopped into chunks

*- 250 gram button mushrooms (whole)

*- 250 ml chives (copped)

*- 1 green pepper (sliced)

*- 500ml uncooked shell noodles

*- 15ml parsley (finely chopped)

*- 10ml dried mixed herbs

*- 5ml freshly ground black pepper

*- 3ml dried rosemary

*- 250ml dry white wine

*- 250ml grated Cheddar cheese

*- Salt and pepper to taste

 

 

Method:

 

*- Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

*- Heat the oil in the pot and fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until golden brown.

*- Arrange the vegetables in layers on top of the chicken in the following order:

*- Celery

*- Tomatoes

*- Green pepper

*- Mushrooms

*- Chives

*- Sprinkle the parsley and mixed herbs on top and add the noodles.

*- Sprinkle the black pepper and rosemary on top and pour over the wine.

*- Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.

*- Sprinkle with cheese and simmer for a further 20 minutes.

 

Note:

You can always use more cheese if you want to

 

 

(Recipe by Mr L J Schroeder of Wellington as published in “Potjiekos” by Marlene Hammann)

 

 

 

(How about YOUR favourite recipe everyone? - Ed)

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HAPPY PEOPLE COMMENTS

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Dear Lo

 

Thank you very very very much!!!!

You are quite something!

Now I can surprise my brother with his own Biltong maker!

Let me know when you are in SA so I can take you sight seeing or for a meal.  Maybe even coffee? I might be moving to USA so maybe you can come visit me there?

I know that this is your job, but I must say that you are the most attentive sales person I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

 

Thanx

Camey Napier

Cape Town

CameyN@sahomeloans.com

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Hi there Biltong Team!

 

Just thought I would drop you a quick e-mail to say I have had my first batch of Biltong and it was fantastic.  Consumed quite a lot at the Boks vs Georgia game last Friday night here in Sydney.

It was as easy as the web page says and tastes just as good.  Will be pulling the second consignment off in the next few days, just in time for the Samoan clash with the Boks.  I will also be selling the machine via word of mouth so expect to see some new orders in the near future from the ex-pats here in Sydney.

Once again, thanks for all the effort you made your side trying to find the original lost machine and for the replacement.  I wish the thief who stole it in the first place failure on every batch of Biltong he makes.

 

Regards and "Boks for World Cup Champs 2003"

 

Craig Rudolph

Craig.Rudolph@shelldirect.com.au

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Hello Lo and the Biltong Team.

 

Just a short E-mail to say "Thank you, thank you and thank you again !!"

 

I have just received my 5kg Biltong Machine in the post today - and man, I am as excited as my 7-year-old daughter on Xmas eve!

We jumped in the car and went to go and get some Boerewors from the SA shop and I am busy making my first batch now.  Just finished preparing the wors and hanged it. I will start with biltong next week, so I will be looking at your site in depth for some tips about making biltong.

 

I hope that the wors turns out okay, because I have invited some people over on Saturday (for the rugby!), and then I can be "windgat" about my homemade droëwors!

 

Thank you again, and I will let you know how it turned out.

 

Regards

 

Johan de Vries

johan@devries.me.uk

Tel 0208 9433 446 (h)

Tel 07960 584 670 (m)

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Hi there Mr Biltong Maker Man

 

We've had our Biltong Maker for a few weeks.  However, there is a major flaw with your invention, it is not big enough!!

As soon as I finish a batch it is immediately devoured by my husband and son who cannot get enough of the biltong.

Any chance of producing a much larger machine?

 

Many thanks.

 

Lee Forfar
Tadley, Hampshire, England.

ForfarL@aol.com

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(We have done so on your advice Lee-Ed)

 

(A big thanks to all of you for your nice comments.  This will keep us going again for a while! - Ed)

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AROUND THE WORLD

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ENGLAND

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The following comes from Johan de Vries

 

 

My first "experiment" in the making of droëwors was a resounding success !

 

Got this package on the 5th of November, and assembled it.

So there was this big white box standing in the kitchen……………….. Empty!

Not wanting to wait a moment too long I got in the car and drove to the SA Shop in Putney to go and get some meat and wors so that I could start making my own biltong and droëwors.

 

I got 6 kilos of sausage, and some meat, but when I came home my wife said to me that I should experiment with a small amount of wors first, and then move on to the biltong.

So I listened to reason, and started off with 4 kg of sausage. (Good man!! - Ed)

Now the thing about this sausage is that it was not the thin sausage that I was looking for, but normal Boerewors, or "dikwors".  I was a bit worried that it would not work, but being the optimist I am I cut it into nice portions, washed it down in a mixture of vinegar and salt, and hung it.


Like a little child, waiting for something to happen, I found myself every half an hour or so standing in front of my biltong maker.  I don't know what I was expecting to happen, but there I was.  I worked out that it would take about 4 days to dry enough so that we would be able to eat it, but as it turned out, had to wait a long and agonising week, before it was ready.


This was a good experience for me, as I checked it (about 100 times!!) every day after day 4, to make sure that there was it was drying.  Cut a little piece, inspecting it, tasting it, making sure that it was drying.

On day 7, which was last Wednesday, I was satisfied that it was dry enough, and let the family test it.


They were impressed with it, but the wors was not what we were used to at home. I will have to get a thinner type of wors, which should dry sooner as well. The other thing that worried me a bit was if it was going to work in the kitchen, as there is always heat and damp from the cooker, kettle and washing machine, but that did not have any adverse effect on the process at all!>

So tonight I have prepared some meat, and that will be hung just after I have sent this E-Mail.

So now the process starts all over again of standing next to the Biltong maker, walking up and down the passage like an expecting father in a maternity ward!!, but I am sure that it will work out.

 

I have attached a photo of me next to my biltong maker, with all the wors hanging inside it.

 

I will let you know how it turned out, as I hope that it will be ready for Saturday's rugby final.

 

"Biltong, droëwors, a Caste Lager and a Chevrolet!

 

Hak hom Vrystaat !"

 

 

Johan de Vries

johan@devries.me.uk

Tel 0208 9433 446 (h)

Tel 07960 584 670 (m)

 

(It is a pity we can’t show the photo Johan sent us-It was him alright at about 3 years old perhaps?-Ed)

(Keeping the lid on the machine and not “peeking” inside reduces the drying time drastically! – Ed)

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ISRAEL

-----------

This is from Joan Collins and her grandson Yonni in Israel

 

 

The Biltong Team asked my Grandmother (or Ouma as I call her) to write about what is happening in our part of the world.  After watching Ouma walk around frantically trying to figure out what to write about I decided to take over.

 

Let’s start with our common interest-BILTONG

 

Biltong in Israel isn’t too easy to get. You can only buy good Biltong in a few places and it is quite expensive.  You would probably have to have it delivered as well and then you would have to order other stuff with it to “make it worth their while” to come all the way to you.

A South African family in Israel can’t last too long without their SA chocolates and meat so something had to give.  We decided to order a biltong maker.

After thinking about it for quite a while, ordering it and putting it together we needed to get the right meat.

Oy, what can I say about the right meat………

The Biltong Maker Team suggested that we use any part of the Hindquarter (suitable for roasting).  However in Israel there is a problem with a lot of meat because of Kosher reasons so we bought the meat we use to roast, which is aged vacuum packed shoulder.

This came out very nice.

After trying a fresh piece of shoulder we went back to the aged since it tasted much better, but the last two batches had a lot of mould on them, and were too thin so Ouma decided to cut her own meat from now on (the meat we buy from the supermarket that is. (We don’t have a farm with cattle)

Ouma also wants to buy some Sirloin meat from an Argentinean restaurant nearby.

We are trying some droëwors next.

I hope it will be ready for the West Indies cricket tour of South Africa coming up, or better yet, I hope it lasts until then.

 

Well now that we talked about Biltong, let’s have a bit of a (one sided) chat about general life in Israel.

It must be said; Israel is a very nice place.

Unlike some might think, we do not use camels to go to work, Israel is an advanced country, with great facilities, art, music, science etc.

Unfortunately we are in the middle of a war that has been going on since our very existence as Jews. The situation is tough indeed.  Besides the actual terrorism there is a terrible economic situation, constant media bashing, condemnation by the UN, other organizations and most countries of the world.

It’s true that the streets are safe, but there is something wrong when you, as an innocent civilian have that thought in the back of your mind of constant consciousness of where you are, who’s around you and how good the security is wherever you are.

Whenever another attack takes place (besides the terrible yet true feeling of “used to it), you start worrying about all the people you know in the area of the attack and I could personally tell a story of how my family thought I was at the scene of an attack.

 

As someone who loves the Anglo Saxon community I can safely say that I will probably not live here in the future for the simple reason that I need an English mentality surrounding me.  But until I finish the army and my studies I will have to settle for the great cricket coverage we have here!

 

So I will sit tight for the moment with biltong in one hand, droëwors in the other and some Johnny Clegg in the background.

 

Yonni Sidelsky.

shappy@012.net.il

 

(Thanks a lot for your contribution Joan and Yonni, much appreciated – Ed)

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USA

------

Hello Lo,

 

What a lovely surprise reading your newsletter!

I have subscribed to a myriad of SA related sites and we all know how names/e-mail addies get around.

I don't mind receiving mail from you at all though; it helps with the homesick blues every SA'frican experiences, especially around the hols, and for me in Fall.

My husband Jeff, (he's American) and I live in the States.

I've been here for 15 years. Even though there's a large number of SA'fricans living here, there aren’t many in our neighborhood.

We do attend the annual SA picnic near Princeton once a year, and of course a grand time is had by all!

If you know of any folks that live in or near Northwestern NJ, please pass our addie along.

 

Thanks again, and thank you for the enjoyable read.

 

Groete,

 

Jeff & Victoria

lusaka@earthlink.net

 

 

Thank you for your kind words Victoria.

How about it people.  Anybody near Jeff and Victoria?  Why not drop them a mail? - Ed

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FUNNIES

=======

We know that the Rugby World Cup is now history but it was still nice to read this.

 

 

Rugby World Cup 2003

-------------------------------

 

Following complaints made to the International Rugby Board about the All Blacks being allowed to motivate themselves by performing the 'Haka' before their games, other nations have now been allowed to introduce pre-match rituals of their own.

 

The IRB Rugby World Cup 2003 Organising Committee has agreed to the following pre-match displays:

 

1. The England team will chat about the weather, wave hankies in the air and attach bells to their ankles before moaning about how they invented the game and gave it to the world, and how it's not fair that everyone still thinks New Zealand are the best team.

 

2. The Scotland team will turn up pissed, chanting "Yea looking' at me, Jimmy?" before smashing an Iron Bru bottle over their opponents' heads and picking random fights with members of the crowd.

 

3. The Ireland team will split into two, with the Southern half performing a River dance, while the Northerners march the traditional route from their dressing room to the pitch, via their opponents' dressing room.

 

4. The Argentineans will unexpectedly invade a small part of opposition territory, claim it as their own "Las In-Goals-Areas" and then be forcibly removed by the match stewards.

 

5. Two members of the South African team will claim to be more important than the other 13 whom they will imprison between the posts whilst they claim the rest of the pitch for themselves.

 

6. The Americans will not arrive until almost full time. In future years they will amend the records to show that they were in fact the most important team in the tournament, won it single-handedly and Hollywood will make a film called 'Saving No.8 Lyle'.

 

7. Five of the Canadian team will sing La Marseillaise and hold the rest of the team to ransom.

 

8. The Italian team will arrive dressed in Armani gear, sexually harass the female stewards and then run away.

 

9. The Spanish will sneak into the other half of the pitch, mow it and then claim that it was all in line with European "grass quotas". They will then curl up under the posts and have a kip until half time, when their appeal for compensation against the UK Government will be heard.

 

10. The Japanese will attempt to strengthen their team by offering better salaries to the key opposition players and then run around the pitch at high speed in a highly efficient manner before photographing the ground.

 

11. The French will declare they have new scientific evidence that the opposition are in fact all mad. They will then park lorries across the halfway line, let sheep loose in the opposition half and burn the officials.

 

12. The Australians will have a Barbie, sinking a few tinnies before whinging on about how crap England are before they move to England inviting all their mates to come and live with them in Shepherd's Bush.

 

13. The Samoans will line out behind the New Zealand team, as that's the side they all feel they really should be playing for....

 

14. The Tongans will plant a coconut tree on the halfway line and loll around under it listening to music and discussing women for the duration of the match.

 

15. Unfortunately, the Committee were unable to accept the Welsh suggestion, as the French have commandeered all the available sheep and there were serious objections from the Australian RSPCA.

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THE MONTHLY COMPETITION

=========================

 

THE WINNER OF THE NOVEMBER COMPETITION

========================================

Well, well, well, we took a solid three days to figure out who the winner would be for our November competition.
There were a total of 48471 entries! Some people managed to enter almost 3000 times!
However, in the end it was the one with the best caption that came out tops.

Our congratulations go to Madelein Humsche from Wavre in Belgium.
Well done and CONGRATULATIONS Madelein.
Your OmpaGrill complete with the assembling instructions has been sent to you. You might not be able to use it right away but once you do please send us some pictures of you and yours around the Grill!

 

 

PLEASE REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING

==============================

The monthly draw or competition is totally free to everyone.

You can enter as many times as you like.

You can only enter via the Competition page on the Biltongmakers web site.

All prizes are sent to the winners free of charge.

 

 

THE PRIZES FOR THE DECEMBER COMPETITION

========================================

Since this will be the last competition for 2003 we will be giving away no less than three fabulous prizes!

 

They are:

*- One of the famous Traditional Home Biltong makers

*- A braai utensil set in a smart looking carry case

*- One of the Biltongmakers wooden Biltong Cutters made of Blackwood.

 

Just click on http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong151_Xmas.html to see what it all looks like!

 

To enter the competition all you have to do is to visit our home page at www.biltongmakers.com and click on one of the two competition links.

The winners of the December competition will be notified by email.

 

 

OTHER PRIZES FOR THIS YEAR

=========================

We have some great prizes lined up for this year.

 

* Biltongmakers

* Biltong spices

* Boerewors spices

* Braai tool sets

* Potjie Pots

* Barbecues

* More Cadac Skottel Braais and………. much, much more!!!

 

So, don't wait!

You can enter right now by going to www.biltongmakers.com and clicking on the COMPETITION link.

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EARN YOUR OWN FREE HOME BILTONG MAKER!

=========================================

We are constantly on the lookout to contact more and more South Africans across the world to tell them about our fantastic Home Biltong Makers and to invite them to become members of the Biltong Club.

It is not always easy to do so and we certainly don’t want to resort to “spamming”.

So, here is your chance to help us.

If you know about a group of South Africans living overseas why not tell them about us and then us about them.  The ideal situation would be if you would get hold of their email addresses (with their permission of course) so that we can mail them a copy of our newsletter.  If they like it they can stay on the mailing list, if not they can just let us know and we will remove them.

If the response we receive is large enough and directly due to your efforts you could be rewarded by receiving one of our products totally free of charge.

What an easy way to perhaps get your own Home Biltong Maker without having to pay a cent for it!

You can mail us at info@biltongmakers.com

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BUY ON YOUR BUDGET ACCOUNT!

=============================

Just to remind you that you can now purchase any of the items on the Biltongmakers web site on your credit card budget account.  We see that more and more of our customers are choosing this way of purchasing.  So, if you hesitated in the past you can now click on our website link www.biltongmakers.com and follow the order placing procedure.  It's as easy as that!

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NEW SECURE ON-LINE PAYMENT FACILITY

====================================

We are glad to announce that our new secure on-line payment facility is now up and running.  The new facility is operated by WorldPay who are a division of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Via this facility you can now not only pay with your credit card (as always) but also with your debit card.  This will be welcome news to those people who don’t have a credit card.

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LET’S HEAR FROM YOU!!

=====================

Lots of people wrote to us this month.

Our thanks go to those people who made an effort to share their experiences with all of us.

If you have something interesting to tell, a nice recipe to part with or perhaps a question to ask, it would be nice to hear from you!

Perhaps you have some advice to give?

You never know how you could help somebody else with your own hints and tips.

 

Of course it does not have to be about Biltong or food.  Anything that is of interest is welcome!  Share it with other people around the world!

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BOEREWORS

===========

Since it is now winter we have run down our stock of Boerewors.  We will be making fresh supplies again in the spring.  Thanks to Pat da Silva (thanks a lot Pat) we now have ample spices for all different types of Boerewors.  More about what will be available toward April/May.

If you still want some wors we have a small quantity left in the freezers.

The price is € 8.00 per kilogram.

You can mail us at info@biltongmakers.com for details or phone Lo at +32-16-53.96.25.

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POTJIE POTS AND GAS BURNERS

============================

We have a small stock of size 3 and 4 Potjie Pots as well as some Gas Burners in stock in Belgium.  For those who are interested please call Lo on +32-16-53.96.25

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Till next month!

THE BILTONG TEAM

 

 

Lo

 

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