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The Biltongmakers.Com Newsletter
April 2008

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In this Newsletter


From the editor

DISCLAIMER

The information and contributions contained in this newsletter are received from various readers local and international. Views and opinions reflected in our newsletter are not necessarily those of Biltongmakers.Com and its team members.




Keerbergen
Belgium


The unopened clay casing The small explosion coming from the kitchen could be heard at the bar table outside. Very quickly a grayish cloud of dust came wafting out of the kitchen door and a gray dust settled all over the surfaces.

Everybody ran outside for cover and to get away from the horrendous smell of rotten egg.

I had just tried to open one of those thousand year old eggs I brought back from Singapore in December 2006!

It exploded in my face. (talk about egg on your face!)

I am always one for bringing back absolutely useless and strange things from far away countries. This time it was one of those raw duck eggs wrapped in gray clay and I was going to show Hans and Joan (who were there for lunch) how nice it was to eat one of those things!

I don't know what was worse, the smell, my guests retching outside or the look I got from June!

Anyway, that was another one to write off to experience.

Never again!

But, then ..... I had to see what a thousand year old egg is really all about. Surely, I could not have made such a mistake out of total ignorance.

This is what I found.

Preserved duck eggs are a traditional Chinese delicacy, and although known as "1000-year-old eggs" they are rarely more than 100 days old. (So mine was a rarity at almost 500 days!)
Yum-Yum!! It is a common dish, sometimes known as pidan, that is made by coating duck or chicken eggs in a clay-like plaster of red earth, garden lime, salt, wood ash, and tea. To prevent the eggs from sticking, and for an attractive presentation, the chef advises layering and wrapping individual eggs in rice husks and packing them into an airtight container.

(Needless to say that I did none of the above of course. Just left it in an egg cup on a kitchen shelf looking pretty)

The preserved duck egg is smooth and creamy like an avocado, with a greenish yolk, and a no-longer-white white that is compared to the color of blackish amber or black opal, with hints of yellow, blue, and green hues. The flavor is "rich, pungent and cheese-like."
Serving suggestion: Cut in wedges and serve with sweet pickled vegetables or a sauce of vinegar, soy sauce, rice wine, and minced ginger. Yum!

Or, as the old Latin adage says: "de gustibus non est disputandum" (there's no accounting for taste)!

Much better were Joan's vetkoeke.

I had not had any of those for yonks and when we went around there a couple of weeks ago she was busy making these vetkoeke the size of rugby balls.
Wow!
The last time I remember having one of those was when Kel came to fetch me at home in Linbro park and took me to the other side of Pretoria where, according to him, you could get the best vetkoeke and mince in the world! They were good, but not half as good as Joan's!
After eating Joan's vetkoeke Kel would certainly have changed his mind!



It's been a couple of months since our last newsletter and if it wasn't for the hundreds of emails we keep on getting, asking where the next one is, I would still be procrastinating.

So here we are. It's April already and the first quarter of the year is behind us. How time flies. Just the other day we were on holiday in Turkey.

But, that is the life we lead. We rush around not counting those precious seconds, minutes, hours and days we sometimes just throw away by ignoring how precious they really are and doing something more than let them just pass by.



This month it will be 13 years since Biltongmakers started going. I can't believe it sometimes. Those early days when Kel designed his first Biltong Maker and we started playing around with a little web design program to see if we could make ourselves famous!

How little did we know and how much has been learned.

But, here we are.
The Biltong Buddy, Rockey's Biltong maker and our large Industrial Cabinets are taking a place of pride in kitchens and butcheries all over the world in countries as far flung as Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, Khazakstan, Barbados, Florida, Iceland, Australia, the USA, Europe and, ah well, too many to mention.
And while one always has some unhappy customers these are very few and far between the thousands upon thousands of people who are very happy that they can make their own biltong so far away from home. Their emails and letters tells us that daily.

Needless to say, it also makes us happy. Happy to be able to provide a service that gives a little of "the home country" to those so far away.

And so we, in the northern hemisphere go into our summer and our friends "Down South" into their winter. I hope you will have a good one, whichever it may be.


Till the next time,
Take care,


Lo




" The biggest mistake people make in life is not making a living at doing what they most enjoy."
-Malcolm S. Forbes

When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!!


Point to ponder ...

11 things you will not learn at school ...

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a high school graduation in the US.
Gates listed 11 things that, in his view, you will not learn in school.
His concern - that feel good, politically correct teaching has created a generation of kids with little concept of reality who have been set up for failure in the real world.

His advice is as follows:

  1. Life is not fair - get used to it!
  2. The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
  3. You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
  4. If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
  5. Flipping hamburgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
  6. If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
  7. Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try de-lousing the closet in your own room.
  8. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
  9. Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that in your own time.
  10. Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
  11. Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.


Story of the month


Daylight Saving Time

To many of us Daylight Saving Time is a way of life. But have you ever stood still by what it is and, more important, the funny and strange things that can happen when you add or remove an hour to your day?
Origin
In the ancient water clock on the right, a series of gears rotated a cylinder to display hour lengths appropriate for each day's date.
Although not punctual in the modern sense, ancient civilizations adjusted daily schedules to the sun more flexibly than modern DST does, often dividing daylight into twelve equal hours regardless of day length, so that each daylight hour was longer during summer.

For example, Roman water clocks had different scales for different months of the year: at Rome's latitude the third hour from sunrise, hora tertia, started by modern standards at 09:02 solar time and lasted 44 minutes at the winter solstice, but at the summer solstice it started at 06:58 and lasted 75 minutes.
After ancient times, equal-length civil hours eventually supplanted unequal, so civil time no longer varies by season. Unequal hours are still used in a few traditional settings, such as some Mount Athos monasteries.

Benjamin Franklin (below) suggested firing cannons at sunrise to waken Parisians.

During his time as an American envoy to France, Benjamin Franklin,author of the proverb, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise", anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight.

This 1784 satire proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise.
Franklin did not propose DST; like ancient Rome, 18th-century Europe did not keep accurate schedules. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin's day.

It was William Willett who invented DST and advocated it tirelessly.

This prominent English builder and outdoorsman invented DST in 1905 during one of his pre-breakfast horseback rides, when he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through the best part of a summer day.
An avid golfer, he also disliked cutting short his round at dusk. His solution was to advance the clock during the summer months, a proposal he published two years later.
He lobbied unsuccessfully for the proposal until his death in 1915.

Germany, its World War I allies, and their occupied zones were the first European nations to use Willett's invention, starting April 30, 1916.
Britain, most of its allies, and many European neutrals soon followed suit. Russia and a few other countries waited until the next year and the United States adopted it in 1918.
Since then, the world has seen many enactments, adjustments, and repeals.[20]

When do we change our clocks?

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.

In the European Union, Summer Time begins and ends at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time). It begins the last Sunday in March and ends the last Sunday in October.
In the EU all time zones change at the same moment.

During DST clocks are turned forward an hour, effectively moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening.

This year the change over date for Europe was March 30th. For the US it was on March 9th.

When in the morning?

In the EU clocks change at 1:00 a.m. Universal Time. In spring clocks spring forward from 12:59 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. In the autumn clocks fall back from 1:59 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Incidents and Anecdotes

Throughout its long and fascinating history, daylight saving time has had a remarkable impact on a wide variety of unexpected areas--from Middle East terrorism to feuding twin cities, voter turnout to time-change riots, radio stations to trick-or-treaters, and opera performances to manslaughter charges.

Draft Status, Vietnam War
A man, born just after 12:00 a.m. DST, circumvented the Vietnam War draft by using a daylight saving time loophole. When drafted, he argued that standard time, not DST, was the official time for recording births in his state of Delaware in the year of his birth. Thus, under official standard time he was actually born on the previous day--and that day had a much higher draft lottery number, allowing him to avoid the draft.

Bombing Thwarted
In September 1999, the West Bank was on Daylight Saving Time while Israel had just switched back to standard time. West Bank terrorists prepared time bombs and smuggled them to their Israeli counterparts, who misunderstood the time on the bombs. As the bombs were being planted, they exploded one hour too early killing three terrorists instead of the intended victims two bus-loads of people.

Time Change Riots
Patrons of bars that stay open past 2:00 a.m. lose one hour of drinking time on the day when Daylight Saving Time springs forward one hour. This has led to annual problems in numerous locations, and sometimes even to riots. For example, at a "time disturbance" in Athens, Ohio, site of Ohio University, over 1,000 students and other late night partiers chanted "Freedom," as they threw liquor bottles at the police attempting to control the riot.

Radio Stations
AM radio signals propagate much further at night than during the day. During daytime, more stations in neighboring areas can broadcast on the same frequency without interfering with each other. Because of this situation, there are hundreds of stations licensed to operate only in the daytime. Daylight Saving Time can affect the bottom line of these daytime-only radio stations: during parts of the year it can cause the stations to lose their most profitable time of day--the morning drive time. The gain of an hour of daylight - and thus broadcast time - in the evening does not fully compensate for the morning loss.

Violent Crime
A study found that crime was consistently less during periods of Daylight Saving Time than during comparable standard time periods. Data showed violent crime down 10 to 13 percent. It is clear that for most crimes where darkness is a factor, such as muggings, there are many more incidents after dusk than before dawn, so light in the evening is most welcome.

Oil Conservation
Following the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months, rather than the normal six months. During that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day - a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years.
Likewise, in 1986, Daylight Saving Time moved from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. No change was made to the ending date of the last Sunday in October. Adding the entire month of April to Daylight Saving Time is estimated to save the U.S. about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.
Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time commenced on the second Sunday in March and ended on the first Sunday in November, thereby saving even more oil.

Births and Birthdays
While twins born at 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, Daylight Saving Time can change birth order -- on paper, anyway. During the time change in the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 a.m. and the sibling born ten minutes later, at 1:05 a.m. In the spring, there is a gap when no babies are born at all: from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
In November 2007, Laura Cirioli of North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. However, because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m.


* * * * Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement - Advertisement * * * *

The South African Meat Industry Company,
Samic has very nice meat cutting charts.
Just click on the banner below for lots of interesting information.


I must compliment whoever does the SAMIC newsletter for their lovely sayings! Have look, they are amazing!


Our Home Biltong Makers

Rockey's new TURBO Home Biltong Maker!

And so the success story continues .....

The introduction of Rockey's new TURBO Home Biltong Maker has taken the Biltong making world by storm.

We have just not been able to keep up!

Everytime a new batch arrives from the factory it has already been pre-sold.

The new Turbo model is basically Rockey's New Age Biltong Maker with a fan added at the bottom. More slots were added for improved airflow and the whole unit looks AND works very smart! Great prices for you on our birthday! The big thing is that it keeps humidity out thus eliminating virtually all chances of mould and it dries the meat about twice as fast as with the convential method.

All in all a good investment for those people who make a lot of Biltong!

Of course we must not forget the standard RNA-5 model and the ever popular Biltong Buddy! Both are excellent machines, something to which thousands of satisfied customers will testify!

Special new features:
  • All our Home Biltong Makers are now fitted standard with a standard appliance approved power cable complete with a standard EU two-pin plug.
  • Grommets have been added to the cable entry point on the box.
  • A highly improved and stronger PST is now used for all boxes.


And so, once again, we have improved on previous models and have made it easier and quicker than ever before for you to make your Biltong.
Not convinced yet?
Just read about what people are saying (we only started keeping records in 2001) on
our customers comments page.

The most popular Home Biltong Maker in the world! You too could be making your own Biltong in a very short space of time.
Have a look at our Home Biltong Makers and see how easy it is!!


Details on ROCKEY'S 5kg Home Biltong Maker as well as the new Turbo Model can be found by clicking on this link.

It's as easy as 1-2-3 to make your own Biltong!







You can have a look at the BILTONG BUDDY here.


This month's specials

It's a special birthday for us this year and we are the ones who are giving away the presents!

Click here to go to our on-line shop.


[These special offers are for a limited period only, as long as present stocks last and can be changed without prior notice!]


Tips of the month

Some useful tips

Hang-over
Eat honey on crackers. The fructose in the honey will help to flush out the alcohol in your system.

Hay fever
Steep 1 teaspoon fenugreek seed in 1 cup water, covered, for 10 minutes. Drink 1 cup a day to help hay fever symptoms.

Headache Eat 10-12 almonds, the equivalent of two aspirins, for a migraine headache. Almonds are far less likely to upset the stomach.

Hiccups
Only 2 remedies have I ever known to actually work. The first listed makes the most sense, since a hiccup is simply a spasm of the diaphragm, and you need to disrupt this spasm. The second offers no rhyme or reason, but works nonetheless.

Breath in as deeply as you can, then exhale as hard as you can; repeat 10 times; when exhaling the last time, keep the air pushed out, not taking another breath for as long as you can stand. This normally works the first try, but repeat if necessary. Be sure to sit down when doing this.

This is a remedy only feasible when sitting at a bar. Have the bartender fill a small glass with club soda. Light a match and drop it, then drink the water quickly (being careful not to drink the match). It works, but I don't know why! Drink 1/2 glass water, slowly.

Keep a tsp. of sugar in your mouth and suck slowly.
Suck 2-3 small pieces of fresh ginger.

Take a large mouthful of water with out swallowing, plug both ears, and slowly begin to swallow the water. Unplug your ears and you're hiccup free! (Submitted by Mrs T. Falkmann)

Eat a heaped teaspoon of peanut butter all at once. (Submitted by Tracy Pletcher)

Hickey
Coat area liberally with lotion.
Rub with the back of a cold spoon vigorously for as long as you can stand to, changing the spoon for new cold one every 10 minutes.
Recommended time for this treatment is 45-60 minutes.

Why it works:
A hickey is a bruise; the discoloration of a bruise is caused by blood accumulating under the skin from broken capillaries; this remedy breaks up the old blood so it can be reabsorbed by the body more quickly, therefore diminishing the discoloration.

Rub white toothpaste over the hickey, allow to dry, and later, wipe it off with a warm face cloth. After a few applications, the hickey will be faded. Do not use gel toothpaste. (Submitted by Hot Rod Anne.)

Insect bites
Mix water with cornstarch into a paste and apply. This is effective in drawing out the poisons of most insect bites and is also an effective remedy for diaper rash.



Our spices are Kosher and Halaal!

It will certainly interest our Jewish readers that our biltong spices are certified as being kosher by the Beth Din of Johannesburg. Anyone interested can mail us for a copy of the certification. (new 2007 certification is now available)
Our Muslim readers can rest assured that all our spices are certified Halaal by the Muslim Judicial Council Halaal Trust. A copy of the 2007 certificate is available on request.



South African Meat Cutting Charts

Below you will find three excellent meat cutting charts.

These are displayed with the compliments of SAMIC.
(The South African Meat Industry Company).
SAMIC has a very interesting web site as well as a weekly newsletter about anything to do with the
Meat Industry in South Africa.
Now, don't think this is a totally boring web site (I thought so first) but it has some very interesting articles and statistics.



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Questions and Answers

As in every newsletter, here is our regular section with some of the many questions we receive from our readers all over the world.
If we have not given an answer and you can help these people could you please mail them?
(Please copy us in on your mails @
info@biltongmakers.com
so we can help other people who might have the same questions in the future)



QUESTION

Can you help with a recipe for a Russian sausage please? - we live in Oz.
Kind regards

Leon van der Linde
Australia
leovdlinde@yahoo.com




QUESTION

What is Saltpeter in Biltong used for?

Answer

Saltpeter or Sodium Nitrate is a salt used to keep the red colour in the meat and as a preservative as well Most people don't use it any more as too much could cause a problem. It has to be used in minute quantities.
Fred,
Australia



QUESTION

Does anyone have a Chicken Biltong recipe?

Answer

I use the same method for chicken as I do for beef, and it tastes nearly as good!
If you need a recipe I would recommend the one at:
http://www.biltongmakers.com/biltong13_recipes3_connoisseur.html

David Elvey
London. England



QUESTION

When meat is dried in a biltong cabinet by means of heat/warmth what temperature is it done at?
Are there any enzymes destroyed in the meat?

Answer

I have had this out with the local government in our country. There is no real temperature that is required. The heat from an ordinary bulb is enough to heat the meat required but air MUST circulate around the Meat.
The enzymes will stay intact because, like in cooking, the meat does not lose any of its goodness providing you use a good quality meat such as Silverside which I find best.

Andrew Grover
Bishop's Waltham, England



FEEDBACK ON MOULD

We all have had to do with mould at some stage in our biltong making efforts. Here are a couple of feed backs from readers on how mould can be prevented.


What to do about mould

I believe the problem lies in the lack of circulation and/or a lack of heat. As another option you could add a little more salt but only as a last resort.

Andrew Grover
Bishop's Waltham, England



I found using apple cider vinegar sprayed on the biltong (only if mould appears) normally kills the growth straight away.

Leon,
South Africa



I have been making biltong on a regular basis, and one of my first batches turned out mouldy, which was very distressing, coz I intended on selling it to friends... So I "washed" it with vinegar, and then left them to dry again and it seemed fine after wards.
But I realized that there were two factors that could contribute to mould forming.
Humidity and
An inadequate amounts of spices.

the spices help to preserve the meat and also help to dry it. Since i corrected these two problems, I have not had any problems.
Also beware that if you store the biltong (especially wet) in closed plastic containers they WILL go mouldy. So it is better to freeze them or keep them in paper bags. Don't freeze in paper bags because the biltong will dry out. Only freeze in plastic bags.

Brain Ridley
United Arab Emirates


Stoep Talk

In this case, a dog's life wouldn't be so bad ...
By James Clarke

Our stoep When, not long ago, New York billionaire Leona Helmsley died, she left the equivalent of R85-million to her Maltese terrier.
Trouble.

Now I happen to know Maltese terriers because, by default, I became custodian to two of them in succession - both now deceased.

They are useless little animals, strictly designed for women.
Well, not entirely useless because a pair of them, once they're dead, can make a fine pair of warm slippers and can even be used as a woolly cloth to shine the car.

But how would my attitude change if I were introduced to Trouble, who, after all, has done far better in life than me (or even I. Or maybe both of us)?

More important, as a more successful animal, what would Trouble's reaction be to me? He would probably rush up and pee against my leg.
I'd try to impress him by telling him a little lie - that I was personally acquainted with the German shepherd, Gunther IV, who is currently the richest animal on earth. He is worth R1,2-billion.

The London Daily Telegraph reports that Gunther inherited the money from his dad, Gunther III. His dad died in 1992 after being left R400-million by his owner, Countess Karlotta Libenstein.

I am always polite to German shepherds anyway - even poor ones. I make a point of being polite to anything with bigger teeth than me. And being the epitome of a middle-class person, I am especially respectful to anybody whose income makes mine look ridiculous.

Apparently there's a chimpanzee in Cape Town named Kalu who was rescued from a tree by Patricia O'Neill. Patricia, in her will, has left her Cape Town estate to Kalu.

It's difficult to know how the chimp will treat the estate.

What would happen if Kalu didn't pay the electricity bills - after all he won't need electricity because chimps, being strictly diurnal, never read at night and are not terribly keen on cooking or using power tools.

Would Eskom sue? And how would the chimp defend himself in court? I suppose by biting the prosecutor and witnesses who displeased him.

The same might apply to canine defendants.

Not long ago a New York poodle inherited around R220-million, which is quite serious money for a dog who needs little more than dog biscuits and an occasional change of collar.

And who administers these inheritances? Apparently trustees who are sometimes related - related to the deceased, not to the animal.

"Hi Fred, who'd you work for these days?"

"Got a real nice job, working for a Dalmatian. He's a multi-multi millionaire."

"Really? I knew a Dalmatian once - Guzitsa Valdivastiniskozich. Nice guy. Dalmatia's on the Croatian coast y'know? What are they like to work for?"

"This one's okay. He whines a bit if I don't take him for a walk. Sometimes he pees in my kitchen and he goes around sniffing dogs' behinds. That sort of thing."

"You're kidding! Mind you, if you're a multi millionaire you can be as eccentric as you like I suppose. Is he old?"

"About 11 I think."

"Fred? Are you okay? You don't need some sort of help do you?"

"I'm fine - just have to get back to give the blighter his new flea collar."

"See you around Fred. Must hurry."

GOING CUCKOO

Last Wednesday Ros Mitchell in Bryanston heard this year's first Piet-my-vrou cuckoo.

A day later, Robert Couperthwaite, on the family's farm in the Magaliesberg near Nooitgedacht, heard a single call before the rain fell.

Oddly enough, his sister, Joan D'Arcy of Ruimsig, now living in Singapore, regularly heard the first cuckoo of the season.



Recipe Corner

The Great South African Koeksuster

So many readers have been asking again and again for a good Koeksuster recipe. Well, Annie Sieber from Crown National in Johannesburg obliged. Annie reckons this is the best and easiest Koeksuster recipe ever.

Here we go ....

Annie's Koeksusters

The Syrup
Make the syrup the day before and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

What to get
Please note: 1 ml is 0.42 gram or around 1/2 gram
  • 750 ml sugar
  • 625 ml water
  • 2 ml cream of tartar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
What to do
  • Dissolve sugar in water over low heat
  • Add the cream of tartar and the cinnamon stick
  • Boil this for 10 minutes and then set aside to cool
  • Refrigerate overnight
Annie's cooking tip
When using the syrup, I usually stand the bowl in a larger bowl of ice cubes to maintain the chill. It is very important that the syrup is ice cold and stays that way while using it.
Some people I know even make 2 bowls of syrup. As the one bowl gets hot from the hot koeksusters, they place the bowl in the deep freezer, then alternate the 2 bowls.


The Dough

Your shopping list
  • 500 g flour, sifted
  • 2 ml salt
  • 5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 2 ml ground ginger
  • 10 ml instant dry yeast
  • 75 ml sugar
  • 50 ml melted butter
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • About 250 ml lukewarm water
  • Oil for deep frying
How to go about it
  • Place the sifted flour in mixing bowl, add salt and spices and mix well
  • Add the yeast and the sugar and then the melted butter and the egg
  • Add enough water to form a soft dough
  • Knead until smooth and elastic
  • Place in lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in warm place to rise until doubled in bulk – about 40 minutes.
  • Roll out dough to 6 mm thick on a lightly floured surface
  • Cut into rectangles 40mm x 70mm
  • Divide each rectangle into 3 strips, leaving about 10mm from one end uncut.
  • Plait dough loosely and secure the ends
  • Leave in warm place to rise (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  • Deep fry in hot oil until cooked and golden brown, then plunge into cold syrup
  • Leave a while to absorb the syrup, then remove and place koeksusters on a draining rack so excess syrup can drip off.
This recipe makes about 36 koeksusters.

Enjoy it!

Annie Sieber
Johannesburg, South Africa




Bits and pieces from South Africa

Escom pulls the plug on Jokes ...
By Barry Bateman

If Eskom could generate a watt for every laugh at its expense it would solve the energy crisis and sell surplus power to meet China's demand.

South Africans can't be accused of having no sense of humour if the "Eishkom" e-mails and cartoons are anything to go by: Do you know what the difference is between South Africa and the Titanic? The Titanic went down with its lights on.

Madam & Eve have had a dig at the power utility as has Zapiro, while Nandos has started a new print campaign.

"Eish kom nou," the ad reads with a picture of a bottle of Nandos peri-peri sauce with a candle burning on its lid. "When the lights go out you can still enjoy a saucy night in."

But Escom managers don't share the same funny bone.

An e-mail sent to employees states: "In terms of the Escom Information Security Policy users shall not use any electronic communication facilities provided by Escom to create, send, forward, store or display material that is fraudulent, sexually explicit, obscene, defamatory, racially or sexually harassing, threatening, unlawful, contrary to the rules of Escom, the regulations of the appropriate Escom ethics body or otherwise illegal.

"This is a request for Escom employees that receive these jokes to forward them to group communications and under no circumstances should these jokes be circulated," it read.


Put Cape Town on Monopoly map

Cape Town stands a chance of being placed on the map, or board, as one of the 22 greatest cities in a world version of property board game Monopoly.

Monopoly has initiated a competition to find the greatest cities in the world, which will replace the street name's on the game's conventional version.

Fans from across the globe can cast their votes online and be part of creating the first worldwide Monopoly.

Having received 0,9 percent of the votes so far, Cape Town is currently in 27th place.

Potential voters can vote for 10 great cities daily, while the 20 cities with the most votes will be selected to be placed on the World Edition game board.

The city with the highest votes will be placed as the highest rent property.

Amsterdam, London, Cape Town, Cairo and Buenos Aires are among the cities up for votes, while additional space will be reserved for two cities nominated through a wild card vote.

The wild card vote is open to any city.

Voting opened this week and closes on February 28.

Voting can be cast through the SA Goodnews website
www.monopolyworldvote.com




Cry, the beloved country ...
November 2007

Why I am fleeing South Africa
by Anne Paton (widow of Alan Paton)

I am leaving South Africa . I have lived here for 35 years, and I shall leave with anguish. My home and my friends are here, but I am terrified.

I know I shall be in trouble for saying so, because I am the widow of Alan Paton.
Fifty years ago he wrote Cry, The Beloved Country. He was an unknown schoolmaster and it was his first book, but it became a bestseller overnight. It was eventually translated into more than 20 languages and became a set book in schools all over the world. It has sold more than 15 million copies and still sells 100,000 copies a year.
As a result of the startling success of this book, my husband became famous for his impassioned speeches and writings, which brought to the notice of the world the suffering of the black man under apartheid.

He campaigned for Nelson Mandela's release from prison and he worked all his life for black majority rule. He was incredibly hopeful about the new South Africa that would follow the end of apartheid, but he died in 1988, aged 85.
I was so sorry he did not witness the euphoria and love at the time of the election in 1994. But I am glad he is not alive now. He would have been so distressed to see what has happened to his beloved country.

I love this country with a passion, but I cannot live here any more. I can no longer live slung about with panic buttons and gear locks.
I am tired of driving with my car windows closed and the doors locked, tired of being afraid of stopping at red lights. I am tired of being constantly on the alert, having that sudden frisson of fear at the sight of a shadow by the gate, of a group of youths approaching - although nine times out of 10 they are innocent of harmful intent.
Such is the suspicion that dogs us all.

Among my friends and the friends of my friends, I know of nine people who have been murdered in the past four years. An old friend, an elderly lady, was raped and murdered by someone who broke into her home for no reason at all; another was shot at a garage.

We have a saying, "Don't fire the gardener", because of the belief that it is so often an inside job - the gardener who comes back and does you in.

All this may sound like paranoia, but it is not without reason. I have been hijacked, mugged and terrorised.
A few years ago my car was taken from me at gunpoint. I was forced into the passenger seat.
I sat there frozen. But just as one man jumped into the back and the other fumbled with the starter I opened the door and ran away.
To this day I do not know how I did this. But I got away, still clutching my handbag.

On May 1 last year I was mugged in my home at three in the afternoon. I used to live in a community of big houses with big grounds in the countryside.
It's still beautiful and green, but the big houses have been knocked down and people have moved into fenced complexes like the one in which I now live. Mine is in the suburbs of Durban , but they're springing up everywhere.

That afternoon I came home and omitted to close the security door. I went upstairs to lie down. After a while I thought I'd heard a noise, perhaps a bird or something.
Without a qualm I got up and went to the landing; outside was a man. I screamed and two other men appeared. I was seized by the throat and almost throttled; I could feel myself losing consciousness.
My mouth was bound with Sellotape and I was threatened with my own knife (Girl Guide issue from long ago) and told: "If you make a sound, you die." My hands were tied tightly behind my back and I was thrown into the guest room and the door was shut.
They took all the electronic equipment they could find, except the computer. They also, of course, took the car.

A few weeks later my new car was locked up in my fenced carport when I was woken by its alarm in the early hours of the morning. The thieves had removed the radio, having cut through the padlocks in order to bypass the electric control on the gates.

The last straw came a a while later, shortly before my 71st birthday.
I returned home in the middle of the afternoon and walked into my sitting room. Outside the window two men were breaking in. I retreated to the hall and pressed the panic alarm. This time I had shut the front door on entering. By now I had become more cautious. Yet one of the men ran around the house, jumped over the fence and tried to batter down the front door.
Meanwhile, his accomplice was breaking my sitting- room window with a hammer. This took place while the sirens were shrieking, which was the frightening part.
They kept coming, in broad daylight, while the alarm was going. They knew that there had to be a time lag of a few minutes before help arrived - enough time to dash off with the television and video recorder.
In fact, the front-door assailant was caught and taken off to the cells.

Recently I telephoned to ask the magistrate when I would be called as a witness. She told me she had let him off for lack of evidence.
She said that banging on my door was not an offence, and how could I prove that his intent was hostile?

I have been careless in the past - razor wire and electric gates give one a feeling of security. Or at least, they did. But I am careless no longer.
No fence - be it electric or not - no wall, no razor wire is really a deterrent to the determined intruder. Now my alarm is on all the time and my panic button hung round my neck.
While some people say I have been unlucky, others say: "You are lucky not to have been raped or murdered." What kind of a society is this where one is considered "lucky" not to have been raped or murdered - yet?

A character in Cry, The Beloved Country says: "I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving they will find we are turned to hating." And so it has come to pass. There is now more racial tension in this country than I have ever known.

But it is not just about black-on-white crime. It is about general lawlessness. Black people suffer more than the whites. They do not have access to private security firms, and there are no police stations near them in the townships and rural areas. They are the victims of most of the hijackings, rapes and murders. They cannot run away like the whites, who are streaming out of this country in their thousands.

President Mandela has referred to us who leave as "cowards" and says the country can do without us.
So be it.
But it takes a great deal of courage to uproot and start again. We are leaving because crime is rampaging through the land. The evils that beset this country now are blamed on the legacy of apartheid.
One of the worst legacies of that time is that of the Bantu Education Act, which deliberately gave black people an inferior education.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that criminals know that their chances of being caught are negligible; and if they are caught they will be free almost at once. So what is the answer
? The government needs to get its priorities right. We need a powerful, well-trained and well-equipped police force.

Recently there was a robbery at a shopping centre in the afternoon. A call to the police station elicited the reply: "We have no transport." "Just walk then," said the caller; the police station is about a two-minute sprint from the shop in question. "We have no transport," came the reply again.
Nobody arrived.

There is a quote from my husband's book: "Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear.
Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley.
For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much."

What has changed in half a century? A lot of people who were convinced that everything would be all right are disillusioned, though they don't want to admit it.

The government has many excellent schemes for improving the lot of the black man, who has been disadvantaged for so long. A great deal of money is spent in this direction. However, nothing can succeed while people live in such fear.
Last week, about 10km from my home, an old couple were taken out and murdered in the garden. The wife had only one leg and was in a wheelchair.
Yet they were stabbed and strangled - for very little money. They were the second old couple to be killed last week. It goes on and on, all the time; we have become a killing society.

As I prepare to return to England , a young man asked me the other day, in all innocence, if things were more peaceful there.
"You see," he said, "I know of no other way of life than this. I cannot imagine anything different."
What a tragic statement on the beloved country today.

"Because the white man has power, we too want power," says Msimangu. "But when a black man gets power, when he gets money, he is a great man if he is not corrupted. I have seen it often. He seeks power and money to put right what is wrong, and when he gets them, why, he enjoys the power and the money.
Now he can gratify his lusts, now he can arrange ways to get white man's liquor.
I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good of their country, come together to work for it.

I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating.


Crime News Update
April 2008

Some of our readers have asked us why they must read about blood and gore and all the bad things happening in South Africa in-between our lovely recipes and other nice stories.

We agree.

We all know how bad it is in our beloved country and that it is going from bad to worse. But, why should we be reminded about that in a newsletter that is trying to give some cheer.
So, from now on we will no longer have a crime update in our newsletter. We see and hear enough about it anyway.


Around the World

Bits and Bobs from people around the world

The British Solution to Save Petrol

Brown wants us to cut the amount of petrol we use......

I have a great idea. Let's do the following:
  • Deport the three odd million illegal immigrants that live in our country. Less people equals less petrol used.
  • Bring our troops home from Iraq to guard the Channel.
  • When they catch an illegal immigrant crossing the Channel, hand him a canteen, rifle and some ammo and ship him to Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • Tell him if he wants to come to Britain then he must serve a tour in the military.
  • Give him a soldier's pay while he's there and tax him on it.
  • After his tour, he will be allowed to become a citizen since he defended this country.
  • He will also be registered to be taxed and be a legal resident.
This option will probably deter illegal immigration and provide a solution for the troops in Iraq and the aliens trying to make a better life for themselves.
If they refuse to serve, ship them to Iraq or Afghanistan anyway, without the canteen, rifle or ammo.

Problem solved!



SA to lose its UK visa-free status

The United Kingdom is “likely” to strip SA of its “visa-free” status this year because of rampant corruption in the Department of Home Affairs, the Sunday Times reported.

South Africans would have to pay £ 63.00 (nearly R 1000) and provide fingerprints, "facial biometrics" and travel documents to obtain visas, the newspaper said. More than 250 000 tourists, business people and family visitors to Britain would have to apply for visas each year.

"The door is being shut because corrupt Home Affairs officials have been dishing out genuine passports to people smugglers, foreign asylum seekers and — allegedly — suspected terrorists wanting to enter Britain", the report said.

As a result, British immigration experts said, the South African passport was "no longer worth the paper it’s written on".

South Africa leapt to the top of the British government’s visa "hit list" last month following a British trial that heard that at least 6000 illegal Asian immigrants had been smuggled into Britain on South African passports.
Last week Sir Stephen Lander, chairperson of Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, told Britain’s Home Affairs Committee that the case "is likely" to lead to visa controls being placed on all South Africans, the Sunday Times said.

British immigration authorities are currently subjecting South Africa, with other countries, to a "Visa Waiver Test", expected to end this year. Experts said South Africa was almost certain to fail on three of the six key criteria due to crime and Home Affairs corruption.

On Friday, the British Home Office insisted a decision had not been made but admitted that the issues raised by a recent police operation “will be of concern to both governments”.

Cleo Mosana, spokesperson for Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, acknowledged on Friday that there were "major issues about the integrity and credibility" of South African passports, the Sunday Times said. She said South Africa had met Britain to discuss the review. South Africa was attempting to deal with the passport corruption.



Something to smile about

This month just a couple of the "shorties" that keep on flowing in daily

Die Boer en die Prokureur

'n Boer, Piet, was in 'n motor ongeluk.

In die hof, is die vervoermaatskappy se hot shot prokureur besig om hom te ondervra.

Het jy, op die ongelukstoneel, gesê: "Ek's orraait!" vra die prokureur.
Piet: Wel, kom ek vertel jou wat gebeur het. Ek het net my gunsteling koei, Bessie, op die sleepwa gelaai en...
Die prokureur val hom in die rede: "Ek vra nie vir detail nie, antwoord net die vraag. Het jy, op die ongelukstoneel gesê: "Ek's orraait!" Ja of nee?
Piet: Wel, ek het net vir Bessie op die sleepwa gehad en ek was skaars op die pad...
Die prokureur val hom weer in die rede en sê aan die regter: Edelagbare, ek probeer net die feit vasstel, dat hierdie man, by die ongelukstoneel, aan die verkeersman gesê het dat hy oraait is. Nou probeer hy my kliënt dagvaar. Ek glo vas hy is 'n bedrieër. Sê asb vir hom hy moet net die vraag beantwoord.

Teen hierdie tyd is die regter al redelik geintresseerd in Piet se storie oor Bessie, en sê vir die prokureur: "Ek wil graag sy storie oor die koei hoor".

Ou Piet bedank die regter en gaan voort met sy storie.

"Wel, soos ek gesê het, ek het net vir Bessie op die sleepwa gelaai en was op die pad toe daar skielik 'n moerse trok van die kant af kom, 'n stop straat skip en my bakkie en sleepwa in hulle moer in ry.
Ek is eenkant toe gegooi in 'n sloot en Bessie anderkant toe in 'n ander sloot. Ek was seer, nogals erg seer en wou nie beweeg nie.

In elk geval, ek het toe vir Bessie gehoor kerm en ek het geweet sy is in erge pyn, net deur te luister na haar kreune. Nou, net na die ongeluk, kom daar n spietkop op die toneel aan en hy het ook Bessie se gekerm gehoor, so hy het toe nader aan haar gegaan.
Nadat hy na haar gekyk het en die toestand gesien het waarin sy was, het hy sy pistool uitgetrek en haar tussen die oë geskiet.”

"Toe kom die spietkop oor die pad na my kant toe, sy pistool nogsteeds in sy hand, en hy vra: Hoe voel jy?"

"Nou vertel vir my, meneer prokureur, wat de F…. sou jy vir hom gesê het?"



Holy Cow!

Van der Merwe jokes are not dead - they've merely been hibernating...

Every Friday evening after work Van der Merwe would braai a big, fat juicy steak.
But his neighbours, being Catholic and therefore reluctant to eat meat on Fridays suffered agonies of temptation as the delicious aroma carried on the evening breeze.

They persuaded their priest to try to convert Van.
Success!
Van attended Mass and the priest sprinkled holy water over him and said, "You were born a Protestant, raised a Protestant but now you are a Catholic."

Everybody was delighted. But when Friday night came the wonderful aroma of grilled steak again wafted over the neighbourhood.

The priest rushed into Van's garden just in time to see him clutching a small bottle of holy water and sprinkling it over the grilling meat and chanting, "You was born a cow, you was raised as a cow, but now you's a kabeljou!"


So, so true ....



Exercise for over 40's (or those nearing it...)


Just came across this exercise suggested for the over 40's to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders. It seems so easy so I thought that I'd pass it on to some of my friends and family. The article suggested doing it three days a week.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface, where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 2kg potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax.

Each day, you'll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After a couple of weeks, move up to 5kg potato bag. Then 25kg potato bag and then eventually try to get to where you can lift a 50kg potato bag in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute (I'm at this level).

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the bags.



And lastly, just before going to sleep......

Lekker slaap om die wêreld/Goodnight around the world:
Holland: Goeden nacht
Australia: Night Mate
America: Goodnite
Germany: Schlafen sie wohl

South Africa: Is die deure gesluit, die vensters toegemaak
,die kar ingetrek en die alarm geaktiveer?
Is die Rotweilers gebêre en veilig?
Lekker slaap, moenie worry nie, Eskom sal die ligte afsit!



Sport talk

Snippets from the papers

'2010 won't be canceled'
The sports ministry has reportedly put R260-million on the line to make sure electricity blackouts do not threaten the staging of the 2010 Football World Cup.
Full Story ...

Local lads will have inside edge
While the door is not closed on overseas-based players to get into the Springbok team, it is a lot more open for those players who'll be involved in this year's Super 14 competition.
Full Story ...

Polly a truly class act
Former South African coach Shaun Pollock has been a faithful servant of South African cricket for well over a decade. Graeme Ford pays tribute to Polly.
Full Story ...

SA's 2010 organisers take on critics, cynics
South Africa's soccer World Cup organising committee and officials, are being assailed on all fronts by political uncertainties, crime and power cuts.
Full Story ...



Let's hear from you too!!

Come on, let's hear from you too!!

Our regular readers (like Annie and her comrades at Crown National) may have noticed that I have gone from a monthly issue to a bi-monthly one and even worse! The reason is simple. It is impossible to do a newsletter of this size on my own. I am an editor and rely on you the readers for input!

You are probably sitting at the computer right now so how about it. Let our readers enjoy your story!
It does not have to be about Biltong or such. We'd love to hear where you live and how you have adapted yourself to your new life style and surroundings.

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.

Share it with other people around the world!

Click right
here to start now or you can mail us at webmaster@biltongmakers.com


Boerewors for Europe and the UK

Boerewors (Europe and UK only, sorry people!)

It's almost Spring and now is the time for you guys in Europe and the UK to start stocking up for that first warm day when you haul out the braai for the first time this year!
We are making fresh weekly batches of around 150kg at the moment but our boerewors is still disappearing faster than we can make it, especially via our internet site!
But, we normally have enough fresh stock available most of the time.
What is better than real South African boerewors on a braai? To place an order just click on the picture or on www.boerewors.be and fill out the order form. You can either collect or we can mail it to you.

All our customers in Holland, Belgium and in fact, all over Europe are raving about the packing of and the condition in which the wors arrived at their doorsteps.

Just imagine some "lekker" pap and wors with a nice tomato and onion sauce!

Complete the order form you will find by going to www.boerewors.be or give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25.

Our Boerewors is vacuum packed in quantities of about 500 gram.
The normal price is € 8.45 per kg but for the time being we will keep it at only € 8.45 € 7.95 per kg!!


You can also place your order by simply clicking here.

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Droëwors around the world

Droëwors ...... a typical South African delicacy all of its own!

Droëwors, as it is known in South Africa, is as much part of the country's culinary culture as Biltong, Pap, Boerewors and Potjiekos.
100 grams of pure South Africa The spices are of course imported especially from South Africa so you will get the "real" thing!

Fresh droëwors is available right now and we normally have ample stock.

The price is € 40.00 € 30.00 per kilogram vacuum pack or € 4.50 € 4.00 per 100 gram packet.

Droëwors (like biltong) travels well and posting is an ideal option.
We can mail it to you anywhere in the world via priority mail in minimum quantities of 500 gram.
You can place your order now by going to www.boerewors.be, give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us.





Now also available at

DE WIJN KRAAL
The South African Wine Specialist Store in Leuven, Belgium.
Telephone 016 58.46.06

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Biltong for all our readers!

Biltong ...... once hooked you're a slave forever!

Biltong is without doubt the snack most associated with South Africa!
It is so much part of South African culture that there is no food related shop that will not stock it. You find it literally anywhere.
Say Biltong and you say South Africa!

Biltongmakers.Com has for more than 12 years supplied their Home Biltong Makers to the South African expat so they could make their own biltong away from home.

Freshly sliced biltong! We were often asked why we don't make Biltong ourselves and then make it available to the poor and deprived ex-South Africans!
The requests have been relentless and constant so we decided to give it a go on a temporary basis. Just to see how well it would sell.

So, from now on you will be able to get your biltong directly from us.
The spices are of course imported from South Africa so you will get the "real" taste like "back home"!

The price is Euro 40.00 per 1kg vacuum pack or Euro 5.00 per 100 gram packet.

Biltong travels well and posting is an ideal option.
We can mail it to you anywhere in the world via priority mail.

To place your order please go to www.biltongmakers.be and click on one of the order form links. You can also call us on +32 (16) 53.96.25

We will get right back to you with how much the postage will be.

(For outside the EU we must mention that we are not responsible for packets confiscated by customs in your country.


Now also available at

DE WIJN KRAAL
The South African Wine Specialist Store in Leuven, Belgium.
Telephone 016 58.46.06

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Lamb on the Spit

Lamb on the Spit ....... something special!

Well, some people are verrrrrrrrrry quick of the mark! And no wonder because they know what it is like to have a party or function with a lamb on the spit!
Coming May and June are virtually booked full so, if you want to be part of the fun and really impress your friends, colleagues or other acquaintances, book now!

Lamb on the Spit is a way of entertaining as only known by very few mainly because it is thought to be very expensive ....... Not so!

Click to see me big! We will do a lamb on the Spit for parties of between 30 and 50 people for just € 18.00 and € 15.00 a head respectively.

Together with the lamb we will treat you to a big pot of curried potatoes, a tomato/salsa salad as well as a choice between a pasta salad or three-bean salad. Garlic or bread rolls are included as well.
For venues more than 50 km from our home base in Keerbergen there is a small transport fee.

Start planning now for those special occasions! Just keep in mind that quite a number of dates up to September are already booked! In fact, there are only three dates left between May and the end of July. June is fully booked.
Remember that we are doing these functions only during weekends.

Booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us.

(A Lamb on the Spit can only be done outside because we cook on coals!)

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