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June 30, 2004
If you all had as good a month as we had you must feel great! It has been busy and in between all the work we also managed to put in some quality "playing" time.
About the middle of the month we went on a surprise visit to the UK.
It was about 4 am when we woke and started getting ready to drive down to Calais.
This was the weekend we decided to surprise June's sister Carol and her husband Peter in a little town called Worthing, just east of Brighton in England.
Carol and Peter had moved down there only about three months ago from Cape Town.
We wanted to leave early in order to miss the peak hour traffic on the Brussels ring road. So, not before long we found ourselves on the E40 traveling towards Gent.
It was around 9 am when we arrived in Dunkirk where we wanted to get some goodies in Auchan, a supermarket we had discovered there where it is really not expensive to shop. At the same time we were going to collect a ring we bought for June on our last trip down to Dunkirk. It was too big and they would re-size it for us.
The jeweler was closed but Auchan was open and we bought some wine to take with us to the UK. It was only about € 8.50 for a 5 liter box of really good Rosé. That's about R 65.00, the same price one pays in South Africa!
Soon we were on our way again from Dunkirk to Calais (about 30km) and found ourselves at the turnstiles for the Euro-Tunnel.
Arriving at the entrance to the Euro-Tunnel complex we found ourselves at a setup identical to the toll gates one finds on many roads. There they checked the printout from the computer reservation we had made, gave us our ticket and pointed us in the general direction of the platforms.
Before we went there we wanted to see (of course) how cheap the "Duty Free" shops would be. Not much to our surprise they were as expensive as most "Duty Free" shops around the world. Very expensive.
So, on to the platforms. Although our train was booked for 11.28 am we found out that we could go on any train as long as it was not full.
Driving down the platform we were shown into which carriage we could drive. These trains are huge double-decker monsters where you drive your car in through a huge door. Once you are inside they lower a door after each five cars so that in fact, there are five cars per compartment.
After a journey of about 35 minutes we found ourselves driving out (on the left side of the road this time!) on the England side at Folkestone.
From there we turned right and travelled the 20 or so kilometers (sorry 12.5 miles in England) to Dover. We wanted to see the White Cliffs and after a while found ourselves right on top where we had a cup of coffee in a little tea room.
Soon we were on our way again on the M25 in the direction of London where we would turn south towards Brighton.
But.....I had promised myself that, while in England, I was going to have a Wimpy! I am not a Wimpy fanatic but occasionally enjoyed my eggs, chips, bacon and sausage in Sandton City on a Saturday morning while shopping. I just needed a good old English breakfast, something you do not get in Europe, let alone a Wimpy!
The night before I had printed out all the possible Wimpy addresses along our route. So, low and behold we came to a town called Ashford, drove into the little village and found our Wimpy.
Now, to anybody who ever goes to the UK and want a Wimpy..DON'T!! It was terrible. It was just one big mess of grease and fat. Like they had dumped all the food on our plates from a deepfryer and then dished it up. So, £15.00 lighter (That's about R 170.00!!) we left in disgust. They didn't even blush when they presented us with their bill!
Anyway, after a further pretty uneventful journey we found ourselves on the way to Worthing.
Now, those people who know me well. will tell you that I am a pretty thorough person. Everything must be "just so" and correct.
In true form I had printed out stacks of maps from the Internet with the route very carefully planned. However, upon entering Worthing we discovered that the only thing I did not have was the actual address!
So, on the phone and after a small little while lie story got the address from Carol.
We soon arrived at their seaside apartment and surprised them totally.
The coastal town of Worthing faces France across the English Channel and lies on the seaward slope of the South Downs, a line of chalk hills running across the SE corner of England. It has a population of almost 100,000 and is the largest town in the county of West Sussex.
Originally it was only a tiny hamlet from Saxon times
Anyone wanting to find out more about the history of Worthing can click here.
We had a great time. On the Friday we went shopping (mostly window shopping), where I lost my digital camera and mobile phone. Just like me I left it hanging somewhere while I was looking for pillows in a shop. You can't get the South African size pillows in Europe and all our pillow cases are only for those pillows. We went for lunch where June discovered I did not have my camera on me. So, back to the shop but is was nicked of course.
We are not used to this any more. Most of the time if this happens to you in Europe they hand it in and you get it back. Not in England though. No Siree!!
That Saturday it was Peter's sister's birthday party and we took them down there to a little town called Tonbridge. While Peter and Carol were at the party June and I walked around in the village. How lovely that was. A typical English country village with a little stream and, of course, the mandatory castle. Tonbridge Castle
It was in Tonbridge that we discovered that an excellent English breakfast can be enjoyed at many places in villages like this. And at a reasonable price too!
On the Sunday we went for a drive to Stonehenge, just outside Salisbury on the Salisbury plains. On the right you can see some pictures of that. (Taken with Carol's digital camera of course!)
Stonehenge, which was constructed about 5000 years ago, is surely Britain's greatest national icon, symbolizing mystery, power and endurance.
While no-one can say with any degree of certainty what it was for, we can say that it wasn't constructed for any casual purpose. Only something very important to the ancients would have been worth the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge.
If you want to find out more about Stonehenge just click here
It was very impressive and we were glad that we went although it was raining cats and dogs when we arrived there.
After we came back to Belgium Peter called to say that there were about 21000 people there on the 21st! Probably the Druids and other people doing their thing.
And now it is back to the old grindstone. Tonight is the semi-final Euro 2004 game between Holland and Portugal. I am really torn between those two teams. On the one hand I would like Portugal to win because they are the hosts but then I am a Hollander so should be cheering for the Dutch team.
May the best team win and I just hope it won't be a penalty shootout again.
That was it for this month.
Till next month
Think about these ones!!
Most of us use it or have used it at one stage or the other; but what then is this complex mixture we all know as Worchestershire sauce?
What is now called “Worcestershire Sauce” owes its origin to British imperialism and its colonization of India.
Despite its English-sounding name, Worcestershire sauce was originally an Indian recipe. It was brought back to Britain in 1835 by Lord Marcus Sandys, the ex-governor of Bengal.
The sauce has as one of its basic ingredients the Indian spice called tamarind.
Tamarind is a seed whose taste combines the sweet with the sour. Traditional Worcestershire Sauce combines tamarind and soy sauce, with a little cinnamon and cloves.
Asian markets sell tamarind paste. Home-made Worcestershire Sauce combines the tamarind paste with soy sauce, and it includes small amounts of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, lemon grass and ground cardamom.
The first commercial Worcestershire Sauce was produced with the anchovy as one of its primary ingredients. Anchovies are small fish, no more than 8" long, that have been known from classical times to be uniquely susceptible to curing and preserving, with a taste unlike that of any other fish.
After the Greeks and Romans popularized the tiny fish, they were enjoyed throughout the world. Russians enjoyed them hot-smoked. Chinese ate them dried. Thais beat them into pungent fish sauce.
However, from the Elizabethans onward, the English perfected the use of the anchovy in sauces. Throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries, the anchovy fueled the English passion for bottled sauces, like Harvey's (anchovies, pickled walnuts, soy, shallots and garlic), Pontac ketchup (anchovies, elderberry juice, shallots and spices), and Burgess's Anchovy Essence, which dates from 1760.
The English breakfast today still includes Gentleman's Relish, whose major ingredient is the anchovy.
But it was Worcestershire Sauce, which was first mixed in 1838, which remains the most popular sauce worldwide today. One of its major ingredient is the anchovy.
The history of Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce itself is of cross-cultural origins.
In 1835, Lord Marcus Sandys, an ex-governor of Bengal, approached chemists John Lea and William Perrins, whose prospering business in Broad Street, Worcester, handled pharmaceutical's and toiletries as well as groceries.
He asked them to make up a sauce from a recipe which he brought back from India. While his lordship was apparently satisfied with the results, Messrs Lea and Perrins considered it to be an "unpalatable, red-hot fire-water" and consigned the quantity they had made for themselves to the cellars.
During the stocktaking/spring clean the following year, they came across the barrel and decided to taste it before discarding it. To their amazement, the mixture had mellowed into an aromatic, piquant and appetizing liquid like a fine wine - exhibiting a savory aromatic scent and a wonderfully unique taste. Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce was born.
They hastily purchased the recipe from Lord Sandys and, in 1838, the Anglo-Indian Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce was launched commercially.
One of the myriad 19th-century pungent English sauces based on oriental ingredients, it had many imitators sporting pretentious names such as "British Lion" and "Empress of India". Its exact recipe remains a secret. All that is known is that it includes vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, molasses, tamarind, shallots, anchovies, ginger, chili, cloves, nutmeg and cardamom.
Rockey's New Age Home Biltong maker is going from strength to strength. This is mainly due to the it's convenient size and of course the low price one pays for it.
Most people comment on the fact that the machine pays for itself with two batches of biltong made.
The Traditional Home Biltong Maker is still very popular as well and we now have a waiting list of about one month for this old stalwart of Home Biltong makers. So, all those people ordering this machine be forewarned; there is a waiting period.
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.
All good things must come to an end!
It has been two months now since we introduced our special pricing to celebrate our birthday in May.
By popular request we continued the "specials" throughout June although we only planned on just two weeks! Now we get innundated with requests to keep the prices as they are?
We thought about it for a while and decided that some of the special pricing has to go. However, we will keep the price of our two Home Biltong Makers the same for a while.
So, this is what you can still get at a discounted price.
(instead of the normal R 825.00)
(Instead of the normal R 625.00)
Another tip to keep your Potjie rust free!
This one from Renier Joubert from Johannesburg.
Instead of using oil to prevent rust, use newspapers. Bundle them up and fill Potjie.
Just pack it tight and you will get no rust.
(What about the outside of the Potjie Renier? -Ed)
Every month we receive many questions from people all over the world. These questions may be about making Biltong, Boerewors or Potjiekos but can also be totally unrelated to these subjects.
The following question comes in on an almost daily basis. We have answered it before but, since it seems important to a lot of people, here it is again.
My Biltong making is doing great and now I want to start making my own Boerewors as well and am looking for a Boerewors maker.
I would need a mincer and something to fill the sausage.
Can you help?
It all depends on how much Boerewors you want to make. When I started out making Boerewors I used our Kenwood Chef and bought the mincer attachment for it.
This attachment has a sausage filling attachment included.
All this worked fine as long as I was making about 20-30 kg at a time. Once it got too much (like 100kg at a time) I spoke to my butcher and now go there to do it (at a small fee of course).
He has all the right machinery such as the mincer and the bin filler etc.
Apart from being able to do 100kg in about two hours it also has the advantage that it is done legally (at a butcher) and you will not have any trouble selling it.
My name is Rhonda, Im living in New Zealand and for some sad reason this country doesn't have viennas!
Could you please tell me how to make them?
We don't have a recipe for viennas but perhaps there is someone out there who could tell you where to buy viennas in New Zealand?
Anyone who can help Rhonda please mail her at email@example.com
I have two Potjie Pots both are slightly rusted inside i.e. rust spots, but after cleaning they seem to come back.
The outside is more so, especially on the lid.
Is there a cure?
Here, in Belgium, I have found an excellent rust remover. However, they have very good rust removers in South Africa as well. (I used to get mine from Rivonia Hardware, a Mica Shop). Just go to any hardware store and ask them.
First remove the loose rust with a normal steel brush or one attached to a drill or a small angle grinder. Then apply the rust remover. Leave it for a while and then wash the pot very well with warm water and soap.
After it is dry check for left-over rust. Brush that away also and re-apply the rust remover.
When the whole pot is clean, washed again and dried, apply a little cooking oil with a cloth.
Not too much though. Just enough to give the whole pot a slight coating.
I just received my no: 25 Potjie back after a cooking last year. It was still caked with food and totally rusted. I went through the exercise as mentioned above and my pot is now like new and does not rust at all!
I've been fascinated with your website for a couple of months (since last April) and seriously want to know how to make biltong from home.
I'm homesick about my favorite biltong when I used to live in SA for 17 years.
My anxiety concerns is this as you have made no mention of which is the best place to put a biltong machine ? You know what England is like in the winter times !
It is because my Mother complains that I can't put your biltong maker in the kitchen and or at the back of the garage - for the fear of smells might affect her washing clothes and the same with clothes drying up on washing line in the garage. WHAT SHOULD I DO ? WHAT ARE THE BEST ALTERNATIVES ?
Could you tell me does the biltong maker use electricity ? If so, does it use a lot and or a little when I prefer my biltong to be medium wet ?
Does it emit a lot of smells around the room ??
My favorite is garlic biltong.
I would dearly love to make them on my own. But how do I make it and or marinate it into garlic ? What are the ingredients to produce garlic and how to dip the beef into the garlic ? What are the methods and or the exact receipes for doing this ?
We have left the above "cry for help" more or less the way we received it.
And for a reason!
There are lots of people out there who are simply too scared making their own biltong. They think it is too difficult and don't want to spend money on something they believe is bound to fail.
To all those people we can only say this; making your own Biltong is as easy as 1-2-3! And we mean it when we say that. Every day we receive many mails from people across the world exclaiming how easy it really is.
Sure enough the making of Biltong has a little bit of a smell to it but then so does cooking!
What's nicer than to walk into a kitchen when a good meal is being prepared? The same goes for Biltong. While it dries you get this incredible smell of coriander, pepper and all the other spices just begging you to open the lid and start eating it right away!
So, to all those people who think it is difficult; it is not!
Just try it. You'll be surprised at what you can do!
Just read what Charmaine Basson from Cape Town has to say. Perhaps mail her and ask her yourself how easy it really is!
(We hope you don't mind Charmaine? -Ed)
I am proud to say that making biltong seemed a daunting task - but after purchasing the 2kg biltong maker, it's a breeze!
(May 6, 2004)
This month we have no less that two recipes from Lorraine Austin in Melbourne, Australia.
Omit the beer and add 500ml (2 cups) of buttermilk, 150g of grated cheddar cheese and 1 crushed garlic glove.
Van Der Hum Pancakes
(For that special winter evening)
Now the sauce!!
Makes 12 to 15 pancakes
(Thank you very much for yet another great contribution Lorrainne -Ed)
From here, there and everywhere
This one from Annette in New Zealand
Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU!!!!
I am a lover of biltong and have spent an enormous amount on Biltong since living in New Zealand.
That is when I came across your site and had to buy one.
My biggest problem is that I can never make enough!!!
I bought the machine for a continuous supply for myself as it is something I used to buy weekly back home.
Now there are so many people that want biltong and I don't mind making it to sell, but I never seem to be able to make enough.
Strangely, even the Kiwi's are getting into.
The sad part is that they are so willing to pay unlike the South Africans.... everybody wants a freebie!!!
Could you please give me an idea on how to price the biltong for sale purposes.... at least to make a little profit so that I can buy another machine later this year. There are a few places in Auckland that you can buy biltong but it is quite pricy. The steak is generally about NZ$16.00 and they sell for around NZ$35 - NZ$45 a kg.
I have made a few batches where it is a bit too salty, how can I prevent this or is there a way to rectify it. I must say that the spice that came with the machine is divine and I have tried almost all the recipes on your web site but I have been making it with just black pepper, coriander and rock salt.... still, it seems like there is something missing though, is there another ingredient in your spice that I am missing???
My kitchen is quite compact and since it is now winter, with leaving the window open it actually makes the whole house cold.
I have a single garage with the same size window (as kitchen), would it be okay to put the machine it there?
The only thing I am worried about is that the garage is a bit colder than the house. Sorry for all the questions, how will a clothes dryer affect the biltong? Can I cover it with a cloth, when the dryer is in use (about 2hrs once a week)?
I generally have both garage doors open when the dryer is being used. I could always change to dry washing on a day that it is being marinated. because of time, I normally marinate overnight... is this what causes it to be saltier?
Will chat more next time as soon it is time to get to work and I have not been to bed yet.
South Africa is a great country because . . . . . . . . . . .
Football - Euro 2004
Here in Europe we have been following the EURO 2004 European Football Championships with much enthusiasm.
I have never been an avid football fan. Not because I don't like the game but simply because I grew up with Rugby and Cricket. Soccer was just not part of the sporting activities we followed in South Africa.
It has been incredible to watch the participating teams battling it out on the soccer fields of Portugal.
When I was in England two weekends ago I was amazed at how much everybody is involved in the Championships. Most houses are adorned with flags (the St George's flag) and virtually all cars have one or two flags stuck to their side windows.
Driving through Holland a couple of days ago I saw the same, only the flags on the cars were missing. But, almost every house has banners with orange flags all over the place and radio and television are talking about it constantly.
Now that all the "big name" countries are out of the competition with only Holland left, we are waiting with abated breath what the game between Holland and Portugal will bring.
Holland has not been playing particularly well but, as a Hollander myself, I really hope they will pull it off.
Below is a little article I read about the Manager of the Dutch team. He certainly has not had a good press the past couple of weeks.
Dick to quit after finals?
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Dick Advocaat has indicated he may quit as Holland coach after Euro 2004 following stinging personal criticism from Dutch fans and media during the tournament.
After stumbling through the group stages, Holland now face hosts Portugal in a mouth-watering semi-final clash tomorrow.
But after the 3-2 Group D loss to the Czech Republic on June 19, which jeopardised Holland's chances of progressing, Advocaat's tactics drew widespread condemnation from Dutch fans and the press.
The former Rangers boss replaced star winger Arjen Robben with Paul Bosvelt when his side were 2-1 up, but the substitution proved flawed as the Czechs hit back to win 3-2.
Advocaat, loyal and conservative by nature, has been clearly hurt by the criticism and hit back in an emotional outburst.
He said: 'Things have happened that should not have happened. Borders have been crossed. I am disappointed, not in the players, as they grow to each other more and more and form a very tight team.
'I am also very proud that this team, that was written off two years ago, has got through to the semi-finals after all. France, Germany, Italy and Spain cannot say the same.
'But I am disappointed anyway. Things have happened that have taken away my joy in the job.'
The 56-year-old is in his second spell in charge and has had his contract extended to World Cup 2006.
However, in that contract is a clause which allows both the coach and the KNVB to part company after Euro 2004 and it now seems likely that Advocaat will exercise that clause, regardless of how far his side progress in the tournament.
Dick Advocaat is hoping history repeats itself when his team meet Portugal in Lisbon tomorrow.
'In the last tournaments that has been the pattern,' said Advocaat. 'This can be a disadvantage for Portugal.'
England, Sweden and Germany were all knocked out in the semi-final stages when they hosted the tournament while co-hosts Holland themselves lost to Italy in the last four at Euro 2000.
'I have the same concerns as the Portugal coach,' admitted Advocaat. 'Both teams are desperate to progress to the final and it's a great moment to show to the world how well we can play.
'I have nothing to prove,' Advocaat added. 'This is not my first tournament, I have been in a World Cup and we still try to do the same that we did then, we want to win.
'It's the whole team who have been working hard for the past two years and I am just a part of it.
'It's important for a small country like Holland to reach the final. Everyone talks about the big teams that have been eliminated but we have shown that despite being small we have enough quality.'
Advocaat is optimistic his players will not be hindered by the pressure of playing against the green and red in Portugal's backyard.
'I don't think this is a real problem,' said Advocaat. 'We have talent and an experienced side. After all, red (Portugal) and orange (Holland) are similar colours.'
Don't forget the TriNations will be happening shortly. If you don't know where or how to watch the games just click on the link below.
Click here to find out where in most countries!
The winner of the June Competition
The winner of the June competition is Liezl Minnaar from Wiesbaden in Germany.
That's the second winner from Germany since we started with our monthly competition.
Well done and congratulations Liezl, your brandnew "in-the-box" OmpaGrill is on its way to you. All you have to do when it arrives is to assemble it. You might need a screwdriver or two and someone to give you hand.
Please let us know how it works and perhaps send us a picture or two?
Remember the following:
The prize for the July Competition
The winner for the competition for July 2004 will receive one of the ever so handy Braai utensil sets complete in a smart looking metal carry case.
Click here to see a picture of the Braai Utensil Kit.
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 this 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
During June many people went to the trouble once again of submitting their friend's and family's names and we would like to thank all!
Help us to make it even better!
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.
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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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