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May 1, 2004
It's nice and quiet here at the moment.
The sun is shining outside and I can just hear the sound of someone mowing the lawn.
It's the first of May and, like in most countries, a holiday in Belgium as well. A lot of people have probably driven down to coast.
How time flies! It was just the other day that we were decorating the Christmas tree!
It was also just the other day that we were wading through inches of snow to get to our front door!
And now it is well into Spring and the real Summer is just around the corner.
We have had some really nice days already. The garden has been done (twice already) and things are starting to look nice again. Everything is green and lush.
I have even had the aircon in the car switched on a couple of times the past weeks.
The other day while driving down to Luxembourg (again), I went of exit 23a and, just down the road to a beautiful little castle. In the castle they had a lovely restaurant and tea garden. We must go back there one Sunday afternoon and just sit there and relax. It is just so nice and peaceful out there.
One Friday last month June took the day off and we drove up to Holland to visit the Keukenhof (Garden Court).
The Keukenhof is near the town of Lisse and is a beautiful park laid out with all kinds of flowers in between rolling lawns and lakes. As most of you will know, Holland is famous for their tulips and flowers in general. While going there we drove through huge farmers fields full of all kinds of different flowers. Just imagine a mielie or corn field and, in your mind, replace the mielies and corn with flowers. Reds and blues and yellows and pinks, to many colours to mention.
Like a mielie farmer farms with mielies, those farmers farm with flower bulbs. Ever wondered where the bulb you buy for your garden come from? Now you know.
It was a breathtaking sight.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Keukenhof. Just click on them to see them big!
On the 21st of this month we are planning to go down to Paris. I have to go there anyway so we thought of making it a long weekend.
It would be nice to stroll around there again and perhaps catch the show at the Moulin Rouge or have dinner on one of the boats on the Seine at night. We have already booked at the same little hotel we went to last year.
It was so like Paris.
None of the glitz and glamour of the big hotels, just an old little place in the heart of the town, just 5 minutes walk away from the Eifel Tower.
If we go I promise to tell you all about it in next month's letter.
May has always been a special month. Apart from it being my birthday this month it is also the month that we started Biltongmakers.Com so many years ago.
Next year we will be 10 years old!
Since this is our birthday month we are trying to make it special for all our customers. It has been difficult for many people to get their own Biltong maker and many of the other nice goodies we have on the web site as well. This has been mainly due to the strength of the Rand. With the Rand being what it is at the moment the prices for our products in other currencies have increased.
So, with this in mind, we have made a very special plan. As you will see further on in this news letter you will be able to make use of many special prices and even some freebies as well for the whole of this month.
Make good use of it because we can not extend it beyond the end of May.
Then on to a different matter.
Every month, when putting together the newsletter we sorely miss input from you, the people who read and enjoy reading this letter. We receive so many mails and so many people subscribe every month and we just wondered ......
Just like you enjoy reading about people in other parts of the world, they too might enjoy reading about you, in your part of the world!
Please help me to make this newsletter more interactive and let's get some contributions in the form of an editorial, a recipe, a hint or tip or whatever you think might be of interest to people just like yourself.
It would be so nice to hear a little more about what is happening to all those people from all over the world who give us such nice feedback every month.
Till next month
Something to make you think
Cleopatra's needle belonged to Cleopatra
Cleopatra's Needle, one of the landmarks of London, has no connection with the Egyptian queen.
She was born in 69BC, and died 39 years later. But the pilar, almost 21 meters high and weighing 180 tons, is nearly 1500 years older.
It was originally one of a pair made for the warrior pharaoh Thutmose III in about 1500BC, and it bears an inscription to him and to Ramses II (ca.1304-1237BC).
It once adorned the temple of the sun god at Heliopolis. It was given to Britain by the Egyptian government, and has stood on the Thames Embankment since 1878.
The other one of the pair was given to America and stands in Central Park, New York City.
Thanks to an enormous effort by Trish and all who helped her at our shipping department in Johannesburg we have no more backlog of orders!
The factories are up-to-date, there is ample stock and orders are now once again going out as they come in.
May will be a fantastic month as far as the Biltong Makers (and some of our other products) are concerned.
Since it is our birthday this month we are offering all our loyal customers many specials. These will be in the form of price reductions as well as free give-aways!
Please check the section on THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL OFFERS (following right after this) for all the details!
Details of the Traditional 2kg Biltong Maker can be found here.
Details on the RNA-5kg machine can be found by clicking on this link.
It's our Birthday!
This month is will be nine years ago that we made our very first Home Biltong Maker. As most of you will know by now we did not really invent the original 2kg Biltong Maker.
We had an old Cardboard Biltong Maker and worked a new idea around that one.
Now, nine years later, thousands of people all over the world are making their own Biltong!
We could tell you some stories about some other products that we have shipped across the world but we will leave that for another newsletter!
So, it's May and it's our birthday, so we thought we had to do something special for our customers.
Since no-one will send us a present (he-he) we will give you something to celebrate about.
Here we go:
For the whole month of May this is what we will do for you!
(With an order for one of our two Home Biltong Makers)
A tip about the use of the Biltong Maker
This contribution from Ruari Truter from Cape Town
I was given a HBM for Christmas and it has performed fantastically!
I have used your recipes and made a few of my own, and although no batch has been a disaster I have had a few ‘interesting’ batches.
But that’s the fun of it – I am improving although even the dog was a bit concerned with the Chili & Garlic batch .........
The reason I am writing is to tell you of a small issue with the machine, my solution and perhaps a suggestion of how to make the HBM even better!!
Every time I make a batch and hang it up, the box becomes a source of extreme fascination to the Dog, the Maid and my son Tiaan.
So once it is all hung up, the box gets moved, jogged, attacked or otherwise interfered with the way that only a four your old can manage ....
It wasn’t me Papa!
Not an issue apart from the fact that the biltong often falls off the hangers or rather the hangers slide off there perch.
Sometimes it doesn’t fall off, just slides into each other. I overcome this by putting a lump of ‘Blue Tack’ or similar sticky stuff to stop the hangers/bars moving. It stops the depredations of the family and leaves me to relax and not compulsively check on it every night (Well it means I don’t HAVE to – I still check it just to smell the wonderful biltong as it dries!).
My suggestion is to replace (Or add to) the shelf at the top with some form of corrugated metal to prevent the hangers moving.
(Thank you for your tip Ruari. The "Blue Tack" (or prestick perhaps) is a good idea. We will certainly look into solving the problem -Ed)
Every month we receive many questions from people all over the world. These questions may be about making Biltong or Boerewors but can also be totally unrelated to these subjects.
Hi Biltong Team,
I live in London and my flat is like most flats in London where the windows and doors etc. are closed most of the time.
Will the Biltong Maker stink out the flat?
It depends what you mean by stinking out the flat.
We have many customers who operate their Biltongmaker in flats in London and elsewhere in the UK. All over the world in fact!
Of course it will smell of biltong being made. But, to me and many others, this is a nice smell.
No, it won't stink out the flat but there will most definately be a biltong smell.
Do you ship to my specific country?
(This question comes in daily -Ed)
We ship to every single country in the world and have been doing so since 1995.
Places we have shipped to in the past (and are shipping to every single day virtually)include, The UK, the Americas, the whole of Europe, the Eastern European countries and to countries as diverse as Estonia, Azerbaijan, Greenland, Alaska, Bermuda, Hong-Kong, Singapore, China and you name it, we have sent one of our Biltong Makers there.
How much will it cost to send a Biltong Maker to my country?
(This question comes up several times per day -Ed)
The easiest way to find out exactly how much it will cost you to buy and ship our products is to GO SHOPPING!
Enter our web site www.biltongmakers.com and start shopping.
When you are on the site just click on the shopping mall link.
This will take you to our "shop".
Once there you can, like in a normal shop, start putting things in your shopping basket.
When you have finished making your selection(s) you proceed (click on) to the checkout.
On the Checkout Page you will see exactly what you are going to buy including the prices as well as the different shipping options and the cost thereof.
If at that stage you are happy with everything you can place your order.
Otherwise just leave the shop!
It's as easy as that!
Those people who have never indulged in a "Bunny Chow" don't know what they have missed.
For those of us who have, it is normally difficult to find a good recipe for it.
Here is one from the archives . . . . . . .
DURBS MINCE AND BEANS, CURRY BUNNY CHOW
The secret of a good Bunny Chow is to use the freshest white bread you can find, cut in half and hollowed out.
Be careful to leave enough crust (+- 2cm diameter should do) along the edges and at the base when you hollow the halves out, in order to prevent leakage when you pour in the curry.
Compress the dough from the insides of the bread just enough to form a nice "wall" to absorb the gravy.
Make sure to have a nice wet cloth handy or lots of servietes.
Do not mind people staring at you!!
(Recipe, complements Kel's Kitchen)
I just wanted everybody to know that it is so easy to make your own biltong with the Biltong Maker.
You don't need special skills or to be South African to operate the biltong machine!
My friends thought I was a bit looney when ordering the machine. First of all "what does a Dane know about biltong" and secondly "you will probably use it once".
Well, the machine arrived and it has not had a break since. Very soon I was running out of spices due to the same people's appetite for my home made biltong.
I am very proud having received compliments like "this is the best biltong I have ever tasted".
The secret must be in the spice mix as I used the quick biltong recipe.
So basically, anyone can make their own delicious home made biltong - so get your own machine so you can TASTE IT FOR YOURSELF!!!
"I was delighted that such a compact gadget could produce biltong in a hygienic environment and to my own particular taste so quickly!
I enjoy dry, spicy and fat free biltong which was ready in four days! The one thing I did notice was that the meat must be correctly cut (much like steak).
A great biltong maker which will be enjoyed by us on a regular basis.
"Bringing a little bit of South Africa into Europe - even our non-South African friends are getting hooked!!"
A First Class Web site with lots of yummy information.
I have lived in Munich (Germany) for the last 12 years and since starting making Biltong the quality of life has improved.
The beer is fantastic over here but Biltong was sadly non-existent. I have quite a fan club for the stuff now and find it hard to keep up with all the orders!
This is one that every South African will like!
MRS BALL'S CHUTNEY
A story by Annel Lategan from women24
South Africans and expats alike love Mrs Ball's Chutney.
Now Sarie magazine has discovered the history and the recipe of this culinary legend.
In the March 2004 edition of Sarie Magazine, writer André Le Roux uncovers the life story of Mrs. Ball and her secret chutney recipe. Here, with kind permission from Sarie, we let you in on the secret. For the full story and loads more wonderful reads, try to get the March 2004 edition of Sarie.
Although Mrs. Ball’s chutney is considered to be a truly South African product, the recipe, in reality, comes from Canada!
The name chutney was adopted from a Hindi word in India, chatni, meaning 'made from fresh fruit and spices". In South Africa it's mainly used as a marinade and a sauce to accompany meat, curries and bobotie.
In 1865 Mrs. Ball was born as Amelia Alice Elizabeth Adkins in Fort Jackson, East London, the same town where her Canadian parents were stranded in 1852 on their way to Australia.
According to www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk her father, Henry James Adkins, captain of the SS Quanza, and his wife, Sarah Spalding, left the coastal town, Nova Scotia in Canada for Australia. Although the boat was lost off the coast of East London, fortunately for future generations of South Africans, the captain, his wife and her chutney recipe survived.
It was here that their daughter, Amelia Adkins, was born thirteen years later. She married Herbert Saddleton Ball in Fort Jackson, and was thereafter known as Mrs. Ball.
Both Mrs. Ball and her sister, Florence (known as Aunt Flo) received the secret chutney recipe from their mother, who in turn got it from her mother. Aunt Flo also made the exact same chutney recipe - which she sold as Mrs. Adkins’ Chutney - the only difference being that almost no one bought it.
Edward Thomas Adkins Ball, Mrs. Ball’s grandson, explained to Sarie magazine that the difference in the recipes might have been in the sugar.
Mrs. Ball started making the chutney after she moved to Johannesburg with her husband and seven children. Her friends and family loved it so much that the business started blossoming on its own. The demand increased; Mrs Ball cooked and her husband bottled.
Home Industries started selling her chutney and by 1918 she sold about 24 bottles a day, which in the years to come grew to 8 000 bottles a day.
In 1921 the Ball family moved to Cape Town. After living in Kalk Bay and Diepriver they settled in Plumstead (where her husband took over the chutney cooking).
He died in 1935 and she moved to Fish Hoek where she continued to make chutney in her backyard with the help of her grandson, "Uncle Bob". The business was later moved to Woodstock with twelve new workers.
In 1957/58 Mrs Ball’s chutney was exported to England for the first time.
In the early seventies, Brooke Bond Oxo bought over the business, which was later sold to Unifoods. Still owned by them today, Mrs. Ball’s chutney is being made in Johannesburg and exported to Germany, Britain, New Zealand and Australia.
Mrs. Ball died on 20 November 1962 at the age of 97. Uncle Bob believes she would have lived to see 100 if she wasn’t attacked a few years earlier. Apparently three youths assaulted her for a small purse of money while she was sitting on the stoep of her house in Fish Hoek. They threw her to the ground, and, unable to get up by herself, she was found lying there sometime later.
She could not be buried next to her husband in Plumstead due to rising water levels. Instead she was buried in Muizenberg, where her grave can still be visited today.
Mrs. Ball’s secret recipe.
Edward Ball, Mrs. Ball’s grandson scaled down this original recipe to make 18 bottles of (mild) chutney.
That's it - you've got Mrs Ball's Chutney.
A big thank you to Ludwig, Retha, Joanelle en Arno from Zevendreef 30-79, 6605 VB Wijchen, The Netherlands Tel: 024 358-6434 firstname.lastname@example.org - (Ed)
Collect from Heaven?
This from Sharon Waddington.
My Aunt died this past January.
Citibank billed her for February and March for their monthly service charge on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge.
The balance had been $0.00 but now was somewhere around $60.00.
I placed the following phone call to Citibank:
Me: "I am calling to tell you that she died in January."
Citibank: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."
Me: "Maybe, you should turn it over to collections..."
Citibank: "Since it is 2 months past due, it already has been."
Me: "So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"
Citibank: "Either report her account to the frauds division, or report her to the credit bureau...maybe both!"
Me: "Do you think God will be mad at her?"
Citibank:"...excuse me .....?"
Me: "Did you just get what I was telling you.... the part about her being dead?"
Citibank: "Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor!"
(Supervisor gets on the phone)
Me: "I'm calling to tell you, she died in January."
Citibank: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."
Me: "You mean you want to collect from her estate?"
Citibank: "Are you her lawyer?"
Me: "No, I'm her great nephew." (Lawyer info given... )
Citibank: "Could you fax us a certificate of death?"
Me: "Sure." (Fax number is given )
(After they get the fax. )
Citibank: "Our system just isn't setup for death..."
Citibank: "I don't know what more I can do to help..."
Me: "Well... if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her...I suppose...don't really think she will care...."
Citibank: "Well...the late fees and charges do still apply."
Me: "'Would you like her new billing address?"
Citibank: "That might help."
Me: "(Odessa Memorial Cemetery .... Highway 129 and plot number given).
Citibank: "Sir, that's a cemetery!"
Me: "What do you do with dead people on your planet?
Bull must lead Shark through Storm
April 30 2004 at 04:58AM
By Jacques van der Westhuizen
Is commitment dead, or just very rare, asks the television advertisement.
This is the same question South Africa's rugby players will be asking themselves this weekend as they head into the penultimate round of Super 12.
After being shut out in spectacular fashion last weekend and slipping down the points table, South Africa's leading teams are now fighting like at no other stage during the competition, to make the final four.
The bottom of the table game in Bloemfontein between the Cats and Reds on Saturday is of little importance, as a win for either will have absolutely no bearing on what happens at the jampacked top of the table where teams are as close as they've ever been in the competition's history.
The Bulls, too, are basically out of semifinal contention, but a win for them against the high-riding Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday morning would do the Stormers and Sharks absolutely no harm in their quest to make the last four.
But only a huge effort from the men from Pretoria will be good enough. Rudy Joubert has relegated Derick Hougaard to the bench and gambled with Willem de Waal at flyhalf in a move that could boomerang badly. Sure Hougaard hasn't set the world alight this year, but De Waal is nowhere near international class.
The Chiefs are thriving on their own success and a full five points collected on Friday will virtually guarantee them a spot in the playoffs.
Later on Friday evening it's the turn of the Sharks, who have slid to sixth on the log after suffering two humiliating defeats in a row at home. They must try and forget the last fortnight and start playing decent rugby again. They face the Blues, who welcome back Carlos Spencer, in a match that will ultimately determine the Sharks' fate in the competition.
Wins for the Brumbies, Chiefs, Waratahs and Crusaders this weekend and a third straight loss for the Sharks will leave them with no chance ahead of facing the Stormers next weekend.
But the Sharks, who can't be any worse than they were last week, will be looking for five points against a side that has blown hot and cold all year. And then they'll be hoping the Stormers hit back after last week's disappointment in Hamilton and halt the late run by the Crusaders.
Gert Smal has selected all his experienced men in a bid to climb back up the ladder and be back in the playoff mix next weekend when they have to play the Sharks in Durban.
This final round-robin match may ultimately decide which of the Sharks or Bulls will represent South Africa in the final four. But for that to happen, a lot has got to go South Africa's way this weekend.
So it all comes down to commitment. There are two rounds left with a lot of rugby still to be played. And as things have been going this year, no positive result for any team is guaranteed. It's never been tighter going into the last two rounds and if South Africa's teams want to be champions, it's now the time to raise the bar and show it.
Let's hope the Stormers and Sharks show some fighting spirit, and give themselves a chance of a semifinal place and then we can all enjoy what should be a thriller of a game in Durban next weekend.
This article was originally published on page 26 of The Star on April 30, 2004
Where can you watch rugby on TV?
Click here to find out where in most countries!
The winner of the April Competition
The winner of the April competition is Diana Gmur from Zurich in Switzerland.
Although we have many customers in Switzerland, this is the first time we have a winner there!
Well done and congratulations Diana, your semi-industrial hand Biltong Shredder is on its way to you!
Remember the following:
The prize for the May Competition
The winner for the competition for May will receive one of the fantastic RNA-5kg Home Biltong Makers and . . . . . . . 1kg of our pre-mixed biltong spice!!
Most of us now know the RNA-5kg Biltong Maker but, for those of you who don't, please click here to read all about it
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 all competitions are notified by email.
Some of the other prizes for the year
So, don't wait!
You can enter right now by clicking on the competition link on our home page.
It's easy to earn a free Biltong Maker!
As a South African orientated web site we are constantly looking to contact more and more South Africans across the world.
Not only to tell them about how they can make their own Biltong but also to give them a chance to share their stories with other South Africans the world over.
So, here is your chance to help us.
If you know about a South African family or friend living near you or perhaps somewhere far away, why not tell them about us and then us about them.
Perhaps you can send us their email address so that we can mail them a copy of the 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 email@example.com
Many people went to the trouble of submitting their friend's and family's names during April and we would like to thank all!
Keep them coming and you could soon be the proud owner of one of our fantastic biltong making machines!
If you are really aching for a nice piece of Billies and the funds are a bit tight don't despair!
We realize that with a very strong South African currency at the moment the prices in other currencies have increased somewhat.
So we made a plan!
With our secure on-line payment facility through WorldPay (Bank of Scotland) you can also order your very own Home Biltong maker on your budget account.
You can then pay over 12 or 24 months as you wish.
With a bit of entrepreneurship you could start making Biltong and sell it to meet the monthly re-payments!
So, if you hesitated in the past you can now go to www.biltongmakers.com and follow the shopping mall link. It's as easy as that!
Let's all try to contribute!
Many people are subscribing to this newsletter every day. Mostly they do so because they enjoy reading it and like to hear from people all over the world.
If you are one of our subscribers why don't you write something yourself?
Just like you enjoy reading about what other people are up to, they might enjoy reading about you and your family.
Why not put pen to paper and tell us about anything interesting. About life in your part of the world, what you do and how you live. Perhaps something that happened to you.
You might have a nice recipe to part with or perhaps a question to ask.
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!
It would be so nice to hear from you!
You can be included in this newsletter by clicking on the following link.
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