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The Biltongmakers.Com Newsletter
October 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


Oh, how nice it is to be young again. Even it is just for a day or so!

Disney's castle - what an incredible sight! Walking up the road towards the castle is always something you dream about. You see pictures of it, and can imagine what it must be like, but to actually walk up to it was amazing.

Just to think that you could bump into Mickey or Donald or Goofy or Pluto made me feel like a little kid again. I couldn't wait to see one of them and didn't know where to look first.

We were in Disneyland, Paris.

Tony, Catherine, Jesse and Caitlyn invited us to come along and spend the weekend with them there.

Now, it has always been a secret desire of mine to one day meet up with Goofy.
As far as I can remember (and now I go back many moons) I always felt drawn to Goofy more so than to Donald and Minnie. You know how it is as a little boy or girl to fantasize and live yourself totally into the stories that you read or those that get read to you.

Even just looking at the pictures used to be a treat.
I don't even know what the kids of today do but I guess it is not like in our days where you just had to have your Donald Duck comic book every week. We used to swop them with friends and guarded them like gold.
I guess today it is Spiderman and such or, perhaps the Playstations have taken over from the wonders of the fairytales and innocent comics.

What became immediately apparent as we walked around was the generation gap.
Where June and I were looking for Donald and Minnie and Goofy and Pluto, the kids were running around admiring exhibits such as "Pirates of the Caribbean" and going on real flight simulators (Jesse and Tony's forte).

But when we watched the Grand Parade there were very few ohs' and ahs' when Pinocchio and Geppetto and Lucky Luke and Dumbo, the flying elephant came walking/dancing about.
The Lion King and Cinderella were among the better known ones by the kids.

The Castle is of course one of the main attractions. The centre piece of the whole place!

The original Fairytale Castle, Neuschwanstein in Bavaria. When I saw the Castle I could only but admire Walt Disney for his incredible insight in using Neuschwanstein, in the South of Germany (the castle he modeled his on), as a model for his Fairytale Castle. It really looks like it (click on the pic).
Neuschwanstein is the ultimate Fairytale Castle, although no royalty ever lived there. It is in southwest Bavaria, in Germany, somewhere near the Austrian border and it literally means "New Swan Rock" in German.
It was started by King Ludwig II and was still under construction when he drowned himself in a lake in 1886. Just weeks later, on August 1, 1886 the castle was opened to the public.

But, I digress.

They say that Disneyland is for anyone from 9 to 90 years and that is so true. It brought back many memories and even a tear to the eye to see everything that you, as a child, always admired and felt very close to, now in "real life".

The floats, the dresses and the way they made people look like the real thing was absolutely amazing. There they were, walking and dancing right in front of you all along the roads and the squares. And then to think that Disneyland in Florida is five times as big and opulent.
We could not possibly see everything in Paris in the short time we were there so how long would one need in Florida?
But what we did manage to see was amazing.

A picture says more than a thousand words ... The most special moments were when I saw the look on little Caitlyn's face wherever we went but especially in the haunted house. Have a look at her here.
Doesn't she look gorgeous?
That makes me want to be little again. Can't someone please turn back the clock for me … pretty please?

Goofy, at last!! If you ever have the chance to go to Disneyland, don't even think twice but just go.

When we left June, Jesse and I went for a quick look at the Disney film studio section.
We did not have much time left because the park was closing for the evening.

And, lo and behold, there was Goofy in all his glory!

And he even put his arm around me and that made my day!





And so it is autumn again.

A kaleidoscope of colours in the back garden .... The whole world is changing and the days are getting shorter and shorter. It is beautiful outside with the sun shining on the ever changing colours of the leaves falling down from the trees.

The reds and the yellows, the browns and the purples.

Walking around in the forest it is as if you were treading on a delicately knotted Persian carpet. You are almost too scared to disturb the incredibly delicate pattern of colours.
It is like going outside after a heavy overnight snowfall. You just don't want to disturb the absolute beauty of what lies in front of you.

Driving along the roads is breathtaking and you have to take care not to take your eyes of the road. I can't help stopping every now and then and just take it all in. We rush around so much in our loives that most of the time we don't even take the time to stand still for a moment and enjoy these little moments. Whole families of toadstools shoot up overnight - or are they elf houses? Out in the front garden whole families of toadstools are jumping up overnight in the most amazing of colours. Out at the back the squirrels are gathering their nuts for the winter. We keep them well supplied.
I often say that the only thing we miss about South Africa is the weather.
But then, when I see the beauty of the different seasons all around me over here I am glad, and very happy that I am able to experience this, year in and year out.

Coming home and having a nice drink in front of a roaring open fire while watching nature playing its games outside will always be one of my favourite moments.





It has been quite a while since our last newsletter and there are no excuses apart from the fact that things have been hectic, to say the least.

Apart from running the web site and the on-line store for Biltongmakers.Com we have been very busy with the actual manufacture and sales of our boerewors, biltong and droëwors.

Strangely enough the South Africans in Belgium are by far the smallest part of our market. It is the South African clubs and expats in the rest of Europe and especially in Germany, France (the South!) and the UK where most of our products are going.
Italy, Portugal, Spain and Greece are also very popular destinations.

It is hard work though and I sometimes wish I had the staff I had back in South Africa to help with all the donkey work. But, we are here and one has to adapt.

We are now nearing the quieter time of the year for the fresh products so we can take a breather and concentrate a bit more on Biltongmakers and the newsletter perhaps!!

So, here we are with a brandnew newsletter. I must thank all of those who have contributed. It makes it so much easier and such a lot of fun to put it all together.

Until the next time,

Take care,


Lo





I don't measure a man's success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom."
- General George S. Patton -

"Take things as they come. If you get too far ahead of yourself, you'll miss out on the little things that makes the best memories"
- Unknown -


Point to ponder ...


I really enjoyed reading this and I thought this may interest you for your next newsletter?
It's a poem by Ian Macdonald. He makes some gome great points and made me remember why...
Regards
Carla McLachlan




Why do I love South Africa?


I love her for the perfection of her days
The crisp Karoo morning
The Jo'burg winter noon The late summer Cape Town sunset
The star-filled Free State night


I love her for her people
For our warm smiles
For our resilience
For our I-am-because-we-are

I love her because she delights my senses
Highveld thunderbolts
Jacarandas in bloom
Sunday braais
African sun


Icy sea

I love her raw power, her intensity, her strength

I love her because of how she makes me feel
Sometimes angry, sometimes joyous
Sometimes fearful, sometimes love-filled
Sometimes frustrated, sometimes hopeful
Always alive
I love her because she intrigues me
And challenges me
The Chinese have a curse: "May you live in interesting times"
I see it as a blessing

I love her because she helps me keep things in perspective
By reminding me how privileged I am Every day

I love her for being a microcosm of the world
A world in one country
For what we can teach the world
About compromise
And sharing
And forgiveness
And tolerance
And hope

I love her because she's imperfect
And full of opportunity
And potential unfulfilled

I love her because she has come so far
And has so much further to go
And whether we ever get there
Will all depend on us

I love her because she's been so good to me
And she inspires me to return the favour

I love her because she's my country
No matter what
I love her because she's my home
And where my soul is at rest

By Ian Macdonald


Story of the month


Anchovies!
(From "travels with Delia")

Delia went to the Basque country in Spain to see the finest anchovies harvested from the Cantabrian Sea
and devotedly prepared for the can.


Throughout history the skills of cooking, dedicated to exciting the palate rather than merely satisfying hunger, have depended on the availability and quality of certain ingredients. And some ingredients have been more highly prized than others for their ability to make other, blander foods more palatable.

This was never more true than with the anchovy, a tiny fish no more than 8 in (20 cm) long, which reacts to curing and preserving in a magical way that other fish do not. Once cured and preserved, it becomes a star ingredient, adding a unique zest and piquancy wherever it's used.

From classical times, the anchovy has been used to enhance the aspirations of cuisines all round the world.
In Russia, it is eaten hot-smoked; in the Orient, dried, and in southeast Asia, it is pounded and made into a pungent fish sauce. In Britain, too, it has long been an ingredient no serious cook could be without.

In Elizabethan days, anyone who boasted a fine table had a barrel of salted anchovies in the larder.
And throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, it fuelled our national passion for bottled sauces with a succession of variations like:

  • Harveys (anchovies, pickled walnuts, soy, shallots and garlic)
  • Pontac ketchup (anchovies, elderberry juice, shallots and spices)and
  • Burgess's Anchovy Essence, which dates back to 1760.


  • Gentleman's Relish is still being spread on toast today, and our most famous bottled sauce launched in 1838, Worcestershire Sauce, has as its main ingredient, guess what......?

    Originally anchovies were packed in salt but now, more conveniently for the cook, they come boned, cleaned and preserved in olive oil in the familiar little tins.



    So I went there to see for myself ....

    I've always had a passion for anchovies but confess to knowing very little about them until a few months ago when my curiosity took me to northern Spain, to a group of fishing villages an hour's drive east of Bilbao, where the finest anchovies in the world are caught.

    This is the Basque country - note, country, not region, for the Basques remain to this day very different from the rest of Spain. Historically, they are strong and courageous fighters, as they need to be here.
    this area of Spain faces that part of the Bay of Biscay known as the Cantabrian Sea, a volatile and dangerous sea, which reacts violently to climatic changes. For centuries, they have waged a constant battle against the sea to protect their livelihood.

    My visit coincided with the anniversary of one fateful night, 21 April 1878, when 16 villages lost 285 men and 37 vessels.

    The mountain landscape, which is intensely lush and green, provides a backdrop to the rocky, rugged coastline and villages perched vertically around the natural harbours where the fishing fleets are moored.
    I am immediately struck by how colourful everything is - the boats painted in vibrant hues, the people dressed equally brightly; in fact the only black you'll probably see is the traditional beret worn by many of the men.
    I am told that, characteristically, the Basques laugh, drink and eat, strictly in that order.

    The anchovy season lasts just ten weeks, from around mid-April to the end of June, depending on the weather. This is the peak time for the best-quality anchovies. The fish is at its tenderest and plumpest in spring just before breeding, which happens as soon as the temperature of the water begins to rise.
    During breeding, its flesh is watery and of poor quality. However, thanks to the unpredictability of the Cantabrian Sea, no exact dates can go in the diary.

    When I arrive at Lekeitio, it turns out that, so far this year, nothing has happened, and there is a tense uncertainty on the faces gazing up at the grey skies. The sea does not look unduly rough but I may have to reconcile myself to not seeing even one freshly caught anchovy.
    The gods, however, were on our side for, while we slept, the first Lekeitio boats took to sea with sonic detectors to track down the shoals of anchovies swimming near the surface.
    In olden days, the fishermen would look out for the dolphins that would also be harvesting the anchovies - I always knew dolphins had good taste!

    The next morning the sun even came out, and we all rushed down to the harbour to await the first arrival.
    Over the radio we heard that the first boat had some 10 ton of anchovies on board, and on the quay it was like a kind of red alert - buzzing with people of all ages.
    Everyone in the village is roped in during these intense two-and-a-half months.
    At last the first boat, bright in the sun, noses its way along the harbour wall.

    What follows is high drama.

    Alfonso Yurrita and his nephew, George (who unknowingly have been supplying me with anchovies for years), explain the procedure. The first box of fresh fish is winched up by crane on to a waiting cart. Here I get my first glimpse of their elegance and beauty, the open box glistening with silvery iridescence.
    Each anchovy has a back of midnight blue graduating down to a pale blue and silver belly that is mirror-like. The cart is then rushed into the auction room, where there is one solitary table, an ancient pair of scales and a one-kilo weight.

    A kilo of fish is quickly weighed out and then counted, a simple but essential ritual that will determine the quality of the whole catch. Size (especially for preserving in oil) is paramount, and the price will be fixed by this; 35 to 37 anchovies per kilo is perfect and is what you and I will end up with in the tin.
    Other sizes are fine for sauces and purées and the larger ones will be salted whole.

    Up in the auction room, the whole catch is being sold by a form of Dutch auction, where the price starts high and is haggled down. Mr Yurrita's buyer - all the buyers seem to be women - is called Elvira and she explains she has been doing this job for 37 years, and 'has anchovies in her blood'.
    I imagine the auction is just as it has been for centuries, with the exception of the mobile phones which keep buyers in touch with all the other catches now coming in along the coast.

    Today the Yurritas are buying four ton, and now another race is on: the fish fresh from the sea have to reach the brine as quickly as possible as this is critical for quality.
    The processing plant is just five minutes from the harbour; Alfonso explains all his plants are that near to the ports.

    Things are hotting up along the coast and we next visit Ondorra. By 11am, the harbour is packed with boats - a blaze of colour - and tangled rigging. Here too, the carts are whizzing back and forth and the auction room is packed, but the mood is a little sombre - the first landings are on the small side but luckily this improves as more boxes arrive.

    We lunch on the terrace of the Yurritas' house, in a stunningly romantic location overlooking the harbour at Mutriku and high enough for a clear view over the Atlantic where the swell of the waves is totally mesmerising.
    We eat anchovy tapas prepared by Amparo Yurrita: fillets curled round artichoke hearts; small crisp squares of toasted bread with chopped tomato, egg and anchovy; little boats made from crisp chicory leaves filled with a Roquefort and cream mixture and garnished with snipped anchovies; a purée of avocado combined with a thick, luscious anchovy paste.
    An anchovy fillet wrapped around a pickled chilli was a sensation. Next, a huge tortilla, and I write copious notes on the Basque way to prepare it.

    The Yurritas are patently in love with anchovies and proud of their quality. Recalling a huge poster I'd seen on the wall of the packing house, 'Cero Defectos' (no defects), I ask Alfonso what epitomizes this quality.
    Each anchovy, he explains, should be firm, its colour a rich pinky-brown with a visible sheen. Each fillet should be fully cleaned and trimmed with no trace of skin or bone, and whole with no breaks in it. It should be a good consistency yet tender; poor quality anchovies are either soft and soggy, or raw and tough.

    The next time I pull one of those rings and see the little fillets inside, I shall have much to think about - the silvery fish in all their glory, the colours, the people, their pride in their trade and, yes, the romance. All that in a 2 oz/50 gram tin!



    A year in the life of an anchovy

    The anchovies fresh from the sea, and still with their natural white flesh, are taken to the processing plant 100 meters from the harbour. Those that are not beheaded and gutted go straight into preserving salt to hold their freshness for a day or so.

    Next, the whole anchovies are washed in a brine solution then packed into large containers, with about 5 mm of salt between each layer of fish.
    A final layer of salt goes on top followed by a disc, which is weighted down by a large stone. This will keep the fish well pressed and eliminate air. As it shrinks, it is topped up with more fish and salt.

    The curing takes 6-8 months at room temperature and, in the process, the salt draws out the excess oil from the fish. Storage from then on has to be in a refrigeration room to halt the maturing process - except for the smaller anchovies, which go on maturing until they eventually soften, liquify, and are shipped to Lea & Perrins and other manufacturers of Worcestershire Sauce.
    For the fillets in oil, the next stage is de-salting. This involves removing the anchovies from the barrels and washing first in cold water then hot, and finally cold again. Yummy!! After this, the skins are rubbed off and the tail snipped with scissors. Now they go back into brine to re-absorb the salt lost in the curing, then packed into metal containers and machine dried.

    Next, each one is filleted by hand using a small knife: the anchovy is opened along the back, and one fillet is removed, trimmed and cleaned by scraping lightly with a knife. The back bone on the other fillet is removed, then both fillets are pressed between absorbent paper to pack into the cans with olive oil.

    After layering, the cans are topped up with oil, sealed then piled into containers for their journey all over the world.



    Here is a little recipe that I found very tasty and, of course, so simple to make!
    Give it a try sometime ....

    Spaghetti and Anchovies
    (Source: Mom)

    • Minced garlic
    • (olive) oil
    • 1 can anchovy fillets in oil
    • Cooked spaghetti, about 4 servings
    • Sautee the garlic briefly in a bit of oil.
    • Drain the anchovies and add to the skillet. Break them up as they cook, into a paste.
    • Add a little water if necessary. Remove from heat and toss with well-drained spaghetti. This will not be a wet sauce, but you can add a bit of water or oil.
    • Let sit a few minutes and serve with grated cheese (Pecorino Romano).


    * * * * 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!

    Our new "Turbo" Home Biltong Maker is just incredible. We first bought the Biltong Buddy, years ago, then Rockey's New Age box and now this .... MAGIC!!
    There no words to describe how thankful we are that we found Biltongmakers.Com on the internet. So far away from home it has changed our lives and our biltong brings a little of South Africa back in our home.

    Thank you so much for an incredible invention!!

    Jan du Toit
    Melbourne, Australia
    28-09-2008

    This is just one of many, many mails we receive every day from all over the world.



    Rockey's New Turbo Machine

    And yes, Rockey's new 5kg Turbo Home Biltong maker has been an incredible success. So much so that we cannot possibly keep up with the orders that come in at the moment. The order processing time is therefore around 7 working days at the moment.

    One incredible thing about the Turbo Model is that you don't have to use the light. We found this out by accident when a customer called and said that it works perfectly without the heat from the globe.

    This proves once again that it is not so much the heat but airflow that is the main factor in drying meat.


    The Biltong Buddy

    How's that for a 7 year old Biltong Buddy and still going strong!! Of course the old Stalwart of all Home Biltong Makers the world over is still the good old Biltong Buddy. The other day we received some pictures of a Buddy that was bought in September of 2001 by Toby and Leslie Battell who now live in the USA and it is still going strong!!

    Have a look at the picture! Click on it and see it in all its glory!

    Not bad for a 7 year old machine and certainly very well looked after. Of course this is an old model and the design has changed somewhat over the years. One of the main new features is the window in the front panel.


    Rockey's New Age Home Biltong Maker

    The RNA-5 (as we call it) is exactly the same as its brother the "Turbo" model except that it does not have a fan. It is perfect to dry up to 5kg of wet meat and makes incredible biltong but in larger quantities than the Buddy.

    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.

    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.


    The specials for Christmas

    It is almost Christmas and especially with keeping surface mail delivery in mind it is now time to place your orders for your Christmas Tree presents from Biltongmakers !
    But hurry!

    Surface mail orders go by sea and can take anywhere from 4-10 weeks to reach you. So, don't put off what you can do today.
    Make someone very happy this Christmas and place your order today!
    Just click on Father Christmas to get to our shop (or click below).


    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

    A tip on salt in Biltong ...

    Salt is the one thing that can ruin biltong - too much, or too little.

    Many recipes call for you to use excess salt, and then wipe, rinse or shake off excess. You then also have to watch how long you leave it in the salt. These imprecise methods often lead to botched biltong.

    Biltong needs to draw in about 20 - 30 grams of salt per kilogram of meat. Start at 25 grams salt per kilogram, and then move up or down as per your taste, together with your other favourite spices.
    If you use this exact method, you need to allow at least 8 hours for the meat to soak up all the salt. Leaving the meat longer in this salt solution will not spoil it, as there is just enough salt for the meat to draw in, and no excess.
    Turn the meat every 3 hours, to ensure that all pieces get a turn to be at the top, and the bottom.

    I prefer fine table salt. The meat does not have to be wiped, rinsed or shaken, but can be hung up as is with all the lovely delicious other spices clinging to it.

    Happy biltong making!

    Roy Herselman
    Pretoria, South Africa



    Some more useful tips ...
    (do you have any, please let us know?)

    • Before you wear a new garment, put a little clear nail polish on the front and back of each button. Buttons will stay on longer when their threads are sealed.


    • Zippers won't stick if you rub them with the edge of a bar of soap.


    • To remove a hem crease, sponge the material with white vinegar and press with a warm iron.


    • White shoe polish will apply more evenly if you rub the shoes with a raw potato or rubbing alcohol before polishing.

    • For longer lasting pantyhose, try freezing them before you wear them. Just wet, wring out and toss in a plastic bag to freeze. Thaw and hang to dry.


    • Fresh eggs are rough and chalky . They will sink and stay horizontal on the bottom of a glass of water. The egg-white is viscous and close around the plump yolk. Old eggs are smooth and shiny. They will float in a glass of water. The egg-white is watery and the yolk is flat in an egg roughly 3 weeks old.


    • To remove pesky bottle tops and jar lids, don a pair of rubber gloves. Or twist a fat rubber band around the lid, then twist open. Works like a charm.


    • Use top-quality typewriter correction fluid to cover nicks, chips, and scratches on enameled ranges and refrigerators, porcelain tiles, and sinks. Works like a charm and it comes in a variety of colors.


    • Apply spray starch to doors and to painted walls along hallways and stairways where fingerprints accumulate. The coating will resist marks better.


    • Place a piece of white chalk in your silver chest or jewel box to absorb moisture and help prevent tarnishing of silverware and jewelry.


    • Freezers run more efficiently when they're three-quarters or more full. When provisions drop, fill milk cartons or jugs with water and put them in the freezer to take up empty space.


    • Wiping the inside of the fridge with vinegar helps prevent mildew because acid kills mildew fungus.


    • For a fresh smelling fridge, keep a box of baking soda, a can filled with charcoal or dried coffee grounds or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract inside of it.


    • Crumbled newspapers lining the vegetable compartments of a refrigerator will keep veggies crisp.


    • Drain de-clogger: 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar. Pour baking soda down drain first then follow with the vinegar. Close drain and let sit until bubbling has stopped then follow with a bucket of hot boiling water.


    • Store eggs with the large end up to keep the yolk centered.

    • For perfect hard-cooked eggs, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit on the burner for 10-15 minutes.


    • Refrigerate candles for several hours before lighting; it will cause fewer drips.


    • Have you ever peeled garlic or handled it and your hands smell to high heaven? The next time that happens, take any stainless steel bowl, pan or other stainless steel kitchen gadget and rub your hands on it. It will take away the smell of garlic.


    • Lemon extract will remove scuff marks from luggage.


    • Dry Mustard will remove onion odors from your hands or cutting board. Rub in, then rinse off.


    • Place bay leaves in kitchen drawers and in flour and sugar sacks to keep crawling insects away.



    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 2008 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 2008 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.



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



    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

    Hi, This is a question from Israel.
    We call it a poyke pot, and I wanted to ask you as an expert - what does the size represent?
    I tried to think about it and found no reason in the sizes, like why is a size 1 pot 3 liters and a size 4 pot 9.3 liters. What do the numbers represent?
    I couldn't figure it out! Can you?

    Thank you,
    Margarita Balaklav
    Israel
    margarit.bala@gmail.com



    QUESTION

    I have a question about my Potjiepot and I hope you can help me with it.
    I brought it 3 years ago from South Africa (in our backpack!) and yesterday used it again since a long time.
    Before we started cooking in it, we cured and seasoned it as told in our Potjie cooking-book. (and we've used it several times)
    So yesterday I just washed it and oiled it before starting. Still, our food tasted rusty afterwards and it occurred to me that it still stains from the inside.
    Do you happen to know what i can do about it? Do we need to scrub it again? would a fire inside help in this case?
    I don't know... hope you are a specialist in this....!
    Thanks in advance!

    Best regards from Holland!
    Judith Snijders
    Holland
    judithsnijders@hotmail.com



    QUESTION

    Hi there, Please can somebody help with regard to the salt.
    We have purchased one of the Biltong Buddies, but I have a huge problem that I hope some one can help us with.
    I cannot find Rock Salt anywhere here in Alberta, Canada.
    I have only seen Coarse Salt and Pickling Salt. Both of these are like small peppercorns in size and very very salty.
    A friend of ours here in Canada used one of these salts, but the biltong was too dry and very salty.

    Much appreciated for anyone's help.

    Penny McLoughlin
    Alberta, Canada
    machome@shaw.ca



    QUESTION

    Hallo!

    Earlier this year I visited South Africa and remembered the good taste of biltong and boerewors, and now I am going to try to make my own.
    I wonder if you can dry biltong in the kitchen oven?
    Looking forward to hearing from you

    Best regards
    Yvonne Sjölin-Caesar
    Valdemarsvik, Sweden
    info@vikensplat.se



    QUESTION

    Hello ...!

    Fabulous site.. I shall be ordering some boerewors spices soon!

    A question if I may .... (well you did say if anybody wanted an SA recipe ... just to ask!)

    I have searched high and low for a Samoosa pastry recipe.
    Most people in UK just use Filo or Spring roll pastry… But it's not a patch on what my Gran used to make on the farm when I was little.
    I remember her rolling it out, oiling it, folding it over and rolling again over and over till it was almost totally saturated with oil. It was tough and crisped up when the Samoosas were cooked.

    And to cap it all, it stayed crisp for days…

    Not like the stuff over here which goes soggy just half an hour after cooking.

    If you could help me find a recipe for this I would be very pleased..

    Kindest regards
    Graham Page
    England
    dark-magic@boringmoo.co.uk



    FEEDBACK

    In response to the letter by Anne Paton that we published in our last newsletter as well as the piece by Bill Gates in our "Food for Thought" section in the same edition we had the following feedback.

    Hi, just a note to tell you that the letter from Anne Paton was actually written 10 years ago. She is now 81 and says I quote from her response to its surfacing: "I am no longer a citizen of the country. I now live in England and want nothing to do with the South Africa. I have no regrets about leaving."

    And the Bill Gates thing - This is not from Bill Gates. It's an excerpt from the book "Dumbing Down our Kids" by educator Charles Sykes.

    Still, the letter from Anne is pretty powerful and incredibly sad whilst the Bill thing is unbelievably true.

    Regards
    Jeremy Dannheisser
    Minuteman Press
    Hyde Park, Sandton, South Africa



    I quite enjoy reading your monthly newsletter for all the humour, recipes, contributions etc. and applaud your decision to drop the crime statistics, as they serve no useful purpose in my opinion.

    To that end, why not also drop the overtly racist inclusions like the "dumb white kid" that also serve no useful purpose other than to inflame inherent racist passions. There are ALWAYS two sides to every story but some people can only ever see and believe that their argument is the only one that holds sway.

    A bit more balance please.

    Thanks for the Koeksuster recipe. I thought I had a few great ones many years ago, but this one beats them all.

    Regards
    Mel
    Australia.



    In reply to the many questions we get regarding a sausage maker the following feedback.

    Kenwood (as in Kenwood mixer) produces a sausage attachment for their Kenwood Chef kitchen appliance. I believe they also make a mincer on its own with sausage spout.
    When I got to New Zealand I bought a Kenwood Chef so it gets used for all the normal things and I get the benefit of using it to make sausages and they are awesome.

    Cheers
    Paul and Glenda Bing
    Ohakune, New Zealand


    Stoeptalk

    We ran this story in December 2005 but had to publish it again this month simply because .... well, read on and see how small our world really has become ...


    When Charlie shuffled and 60c was a lot ...
    By James Clarke

    Our stoep Some older readers may recall the Phoenix Restaurant in Bree Street, Johannesburg, when the city was a real city and people came to town in the evenings to see a film or eat out, or simply to window shop.

    One could stroll about and one was hardly ever murdered.

    The Phoenix, a very German restaurant, was across the road from the East Africa Pavilion. In the Pavilion the waiters wore red fezzes and white, floor-length robes and in the corner sat a punkah wallah – a man who pulled a string that caused a huge rectangular screen hanging from the ceiling (a punkah) to move back and forth creating a cooling draught.

    The waiter at the Phoenix was named Charlie and he looked and shuffled about just like Manuel, the waiter from Barcelona in Fawlty Towers.

    Charlie always had his thumb in the soup. It was expected of him. You took your friends there just to show them Charlie.

    When we journalists were feeling flush in the 1960s we'd hotfoot it to the Phoenix and have an Eisbein and chips washed down with a Hansa draught beer from “South West Africa”.

    Charlie appeared humourless but that was a false impression. I remember us ordering four coffees and Peter Hawthorne (who later joined Time) saying, “Charlie! Make sure my cup is clean, hey?”

    Later, Charlie shuffled back with the four cups of coffee and said, deadpan, “Now, which one of you wanted a clean cup?”

    The maitre d' at the Phoenix was a young fellow named Gerhard Maritzen and the other day I found myself in a restaurant called The Berliner in Coachman's Crossing, in Peter Place, Bryanston. And who should own it but Gerhard himself. He is now 64.

    And on the wall was a menu from the Phoenix in 1967.

    An eisbein with sauerkraut was 60c. It was the most expensive thing on the menu. A mixed grill cost 40c.

    The soup of the day was free and one wasn't even charged for Charlie's famous thumbprint.

    A dozen oysters cost R1,25. Crayfish was 60c, the same as sole meunière.

    These dishes were all way beyond our pockets of course because, as journalists, we had to take a vow of poverty.

    A plate of a dozen LM prawns was certainly beyond our pockets – at R1,30.

    For 45c you could order roast pork and apple sauce with vegetables; German pot roast and dumplings; braised ox tongue in Madeira sauce and a host of other dishes.

    Cheese with bread and butter was 15c – unless it was fancy cheese. Then it was 17c.

    A tankard of draught beer was 25c. A bottle of Chateau Libertas was 70c (32c in bottle stores). If you were seriously wealthy you could order a bottle of Zonnebloem Cabernet at R1,40.

    At Gerhard's Berliner I ordered roast duck, potatoes and vegetables and a tankard of draught beer. I then had coffee and a port. When the bill came Gerhard charged me 1967 prices – 70c for the duck, 20c for the beer, and 13c for the port and 7c for the coffee – R1,10.

    We fell into conversation with Gulhan, the waiter at the Berliner, about "the good old days" and I recalled how, around 1968, I was cross with my wife because she had allowed the month's grocery bill to hit R62.00.

    “How can you spend R62.00 in a month for groceries for a family of four?” I asked angrily.

    I think she replied, "Just watch me!"

    Gulhan said how nice it would be to go back to those times, so when my bill arrived for R1,10 I gave him R1,20 and told him he could keep the change.



    And then ..... in April of this year I received a mail from Sonia Robinson who now lives in Australia ..... please read her mail.

    Amazing!




    From Sonia Robinson
    Sent: 07 April 2008 06:20
    To: lo@biltongmakers.com
    Subject: - The Phoenix & Uncle Charlie


    Dear Lo

    What a small place Cyberspace has made the world!

    I was feeling a bit nostalgic the other day so I decided to explore the internet in the hope of finding some information regarding our old restaurant - The Phoenix in Jo'burg on the corner Bree & Harrison Street.

    Your web page displayed itself - (what a great website !). Under the "Stoeptalk" by James Clarke was a (I think it was in 2007 or 2005) a delightful article about Uncle Charlie and the incredible value meals you could get at the Phoenix in those days.

    I just had to write to you (and your readers of course) about the Phoenix.

    My Dad Fritz Ott (Pappilein, Mom Anita Ott (Mutti) and my brother Fritz Ott (Bubi) jnr - owned, lived and breathed the Phoenix!

    Pappilein bought it off dear Mrs. Eiverson at what must have been before the Dead Sea died. It seemed like we lived at the Phoenix for an eternity, was it 30 years?

    There are numerous memories as a child growing up in Jo'burg, but none are as vivid as growing up in what truly was then one of the most popular German Restaurants in town - The Phoenix!

    Bubi and I where always on the look out for a giggle and decided to play "I spy with my little eye". Needless to say we had the most varied selection of patrons to spy on believe you me!
    Some of them seemed to adopt a most unusual glow and what they obviously thought was a superior singing voice to Mario Lanza!( surely the Glüwein and Beer was not to blame!?)

    Anyway, this day we surreptitiously placed ourselves on the overhanging veranda roof, clinging on to the gutter for support.
    Down below the restaurant was alive and buzzing - as always.

    Hundreds of scrumptious meals pouring out of the kitchen and countless gallons of German Beer were being consumed. We were in particular awe at the sight of a certain lady's platinum coloured Beehive hairdo and decided to see if we could land some smelly Sauerkraut right slap bang in the middle of her bizarre edifice.

    In order to achieve this we had to peer over the edge just that little but further than usual and in doing so ...., well, the last thing I remember was seeing my dear brother spattered in Auntie Beehive's soup plate. Luckily only his behind and pride where hurt!

    Does anyone out there remember a good section of the Phoenix burning down? Well, that happened like this; Bubi and I decided to try our hands at smoking cigarettes. We lived what we called "oben" - upstairs. The best place to achieve this was to sneak under the bed and light up. In the process the mattress caught fire and before we knew it the fire had spread downstairs to the bar/restaurant area.

    Thank goodness no one was hurt but for our poor prides, petite backsides and Pappileins bank balance!

    We identified with every little corner shop that stayed open late and sold the "infamous" skinny mini slabs of Cadbury chocolates and gold coins for 1 cent.
    I still buy them today but for $5!
    In those days it was quite safe to explore the streets at night on your tricycle, dressed in your "jarmies"!

    Oh, how well do I remember "Uncle Charlie", the finger in the soup and his quick manner which everybody adored, he was a total part of the whole scene a total part of what was the "Phoenix".

    People used to queue up just for the honour of being served by him!
    He was MY uncle Charlie, my Godfather and holds a very special place in my heart - even 43 years down the line!

    I will till the end of time recall trying to help him out with serving meals and when his back was turned I mimicked his famous Charlie Chaplain walk and in total admiration practised his talk.

    Wer hatt die saubere tasse bestelt? " - Which one of you ordered the clean cup?

    The Phoenix and our dear Uncle Charlie was a long time ago but memories are as fresh as yesterday.

    Sincerely


    Sonia (Schatzi) nee Ott



    As we always do when we receive mails from people, we ask if we can use their story in our news letter. This was Sonia's reply to us ....

    Good morning Lo

    It's morning here , in New South Wales, Australia. we are 8 hours ahead you - isn't it strange to think we see the sun rise before you do!

    I must say , it was a big stab in the dark writing to you. Websites come and go, email addresses change .... so I was so chuffed to receive a reply from you.

    Of course I don't mind you using my letter in a future newsletter , who knows maybe there will be a lightbulb moment for someone and, in a way we can honour Uncle Charlie who passed away a long time ago and my darling Pappilein who passed away 14 years ago, rather tragically in Rhodesia.

    My mom and brother are still (just) surviving in what must be one of the most trying periods in Zimbabwean history.

    Hope you have a really good day ,

    Regards
    Sonia



    Recipe Corner

    Braai Recipes

    Beer marinated Beef Steaks
    (Serves 4)


    Your shopping basket must have:

    4 large (lean) Beef Steaks ( cut of your choice) (So'n stukkie vet daaraan is ook lekker!)

    For the Beer Marinade:
    • 60ml olive oil
    • 185ml beer
    • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 small onion, finely sliced
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 5 -10ml soy sauce
    • 15ml brown sugar

    Now, grab a beer and get to work:
    • Mix together the marinade ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil.
    • Remove from heat and cool completely.
    • Place steaks in large dish so they don't overlap.
    • Pour over the marinade and leave for 1-2 hours.
    • Braai over hot coals for 4- 5 minutes per side for rare and 7-8 minutes per side for medium, basting frequently with marinade.
    • Any leftover marinade can be re-boiled and served with the steak.



    Pap with Tomato and Onion Gravy

    Stywepap
    • 1 liter water
    • 10ml salt
    • 30ml butter
    • 375g (625ml) mealie meal

    Tomato and Onion Gravy
    • 30ml oil
    • 2 large onions, sliced
    • 1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
    • 1 x 400g can of tomato puree
    • 125ml dry white wine
    • 15ml Worcester sauce
    • 5ml mixed dried herbs
    • 10ml brown sugar
    • 5ml salt and freshly ground black pepper

    How to make it:

    • Pour water into large pan, add salt and butter and bring to the boil.
    • Pour in mealie meal to form a pyramid in the pot.
    • Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes.
    • Now stir mealie meal thoroughly using a wooden spoon.
    • Replace lid, lower heat to minimum and cook for another 20-30 minutes.
    • Serve with tomato gravy.

    For the gravy:
    • Heat the oil in a pan.
    • Fry the onions till soft.
    • Add garlic.
    • Add remaining ingredients and allow gravy to simmer for 15 minutes.
    • Serve hot spooned over pap




    Bits and pieces from South Africa

    I managed to find someone else (the one other?) that thinks the same about SA .... It has been taken from the News24 column (still my homepage):
    Bye for now, Carla

    Staying in South Africa
    (By Georgina Guedes 18-09-2008)

    I have just returned from two weeks in London. I had a wonderful time, saw my friends, ate at some fine establishments, used fabulous public transport, but at the end of it all, I am very, very happy to be back home.

    I was in London to attend a friend's wedding, and the week before the wedding, I took part in the hen party, which started out as a fairly laid-back affair, but soon turned to debauchery.

    The London Eye on a beautifull sunny day last June At some point, a group of girls - all of them South Africans living in London - started to discuss South Africa. They mentioned that a friend of theirs, living in South Africa, had sent them an email discussing the glorious weather that we'd been having.

    But then, a week later, the same friend wrote to tell of the hijacking of a family member, and the unanimous conclusion among all the overseas South Africans was that a bit of good weather wasn't worth the daily risk to your safety.

    It's an interesting conundrum, and those of us living in South Africa have obviously made the other decision - that weather, space and quality of life are worth the risk of becoming a victim of crime.


    The London Lifestyle

    I love London, I love visiting there, and I love how cultural activities catering to just about every interest and way of thinking are available every day. But every time I visit and stay with a friend, I look at their lifestyle and am very grateful that it's not mine.

    Life in London is hard work, and it's expensive. There may be a world of cultural and epicurean opportunities available to everyone who lives there, but they cost so much that they can't be taken advantage of that often. And as soon as they have kids, people have less time and less money, and babysitters are so expensive, that they actually never leave the house.

    The weather is terrible. It's there every day. Every day, the dank, damp, endless grayness casts a shroud over London. It's miserable. Aside from the impact this has on mood, the laundry never dries.

    The weather is a big factor, because in London there is no space, so a family of four might live in the equivalent of a starter apartment in South Africa. The entire interior space is perpetually draped with laundry, because it won't dry in the fine drizzle perpetually soaking whatever postage stamp of exterior place the home might have.

    So you want to get out, and you can, but you need to don a rain coat, take an umbrella, put the rain cover down on your child's pram, and then you wander haplessly in your local park (because getting on the public transport in this get up is pretty intolerable and no one drives in London), where you can't do anything much anyway, because all of this paraphernalia doesn't lend itself to unbridled romping in the fields.

    The public transport is great, and as a visitor to London, for me, the novelty hasn't worn off. I ride the tubes for the joy of riding the tubes (and locals think I'm odd). But I could see how having a daily route to work, in peak times that required me to be sardined into a cramped and often smelly space with a thousand other bored commuters could start to get me down. Londoners hate the tubes, and with a little imagination, it's not hard to see why.

    Click this to make your mouth water!  No fish and chips like in England!! And as convenient as the public transport might seem, it does limit you to your own area. Best friends who live at opposite ends of London don't see each other for months because the idea of traveling the distance is unbearable. And if you don't make arrangements months in advance, you won't even get to see the people in your own area - that's just how London works.

    There's no popping in for a braai when the fancy takes you, no dropping in because you were in the area, and no casual phone calls to say, "we're having breakfast down the road, why don't you join us?"


    Be part of the solution

    Then there's South Africa. As a nation, we have huge problems - there's no denying it. But we're also a country with so much potential. I want to stay here and be part of the solution, part of a country that can show the rest of the world that democracy can work in Africa, and decisions can be made for the good of everyone.

    And people talk about the racism (from both sides), and the crime, and the financial uncertainty, but I think that most South Africans are an optimistic bunch who just want what's best for their country.

    On my first evening back home, I took my dog for a walk in my local park. As we made our way along the trail, I encountered so many people - black and white - who make eye contact, smile and say hi. This is in stark contrast to London, where a greeting is met with suspicion, or if it's returned, a curt nod of the head is all that will be proffered.

    I felt great to be home, among people who really do want to make a connection. We're going to be OK. We've just got to try to get the national mood up.

    Georgina Guedes is a freelance journalist. She loves her house, her garden, her dog, her park, the weather and the people of her country.





    The death of Johannesburg
    (by Liezl MacClean)

    Johannesburg is a unique city – it is the hub of South Africa's and the subcontinent's linkages to the global economy. It is Africa's only world city with many assets other cities all over the world would be proud of. Nonetheless the trends indicate that Johannesburg is slipping to the bottom of the list of secondary world cities in terms of a number of important indicators. Its deterioration would be perceived as reflecting a nation in serious trouble. A failing Johannesburg means a failing South Africa.

    Hence a blog created to illustrate the collapse and physical destruction of Johannesburg in the “New South Africa”. The blog entitled "The Death of Johannesburg" shows a range of before and after images of what Johannesburg once was, and the shocking reality of what it is today.

    The once proud Carlton Hotel where we had many an incredible evening at the main reef bar!) It starts with welcoming you to Bree Street, which was one of the main thoroughfares running through the city centre of Johannesburg, from east to west and used to be one of the major economic centers, as well as being a residential area.

    "Today, it is a slum, another shattered, filthy, ruined monument to the New South Africa," the blog states.

    Moreover it shows The Carlton Hotel, once the flagship in the world of construction, which was a rich status symbol for Johannesburg; an internationally renowned establishment where the moneyed and the famous wined, dined and slept in style.

    The five-star hotel - in an upside-down Y-shape that abutted the lofty Carlton Centre, South Africa's tallest building - was always a proud reminder to Jo'burgers that their hospitality was among the best in the world. Henry Kissinger, Francois Mitterrand, Hilary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Whitney Houston and Mick Jagger were among the hotel's guests during its history.

    “The 600-room hotel, which took seven years to build, opened in 1972 - and closed in 1997 -- because it became too dangerous for people to stay there, attacked as they were if they dared venture out into the surrounding streets,” according to the blog.

    Today it stands empty, a slowly crumbling and deserted ruin, stripped of its finishings.

    Another problem Johannesburg's inner city faces, is the amount of immigrants living in the abandoned buildings.

    These poorer residents are driven to cheaper accommodation in abandoned buildings run by 'slumlords' who subdivide the building into rabbit warrens of rooms with inadequate ablution facilities.

    Last month the City of Johannesburg welcomed the legal certainty surrounding unsafe buildings, according to an article published on BuaNews.

    The city pointed out that it was already following an approach of meaningful engagement with residents in a statement responding to a Constitutional Court judgment.

    Bezuidenhout street (now Miriam Mebeke Street) towards Rockey street) "The Constitutional Court's judgment vindicates the City's position that it was within its administrative rights to eliminate unsafe and unhealthy buildings and to remove people from such structures for their own safety," according to the city’s official website.

    The city managers often find themselves in the invidious position of being criticised when they evict people from these unhealthy and overcrowded living conditions, and equally condemned, if residents die as a result of fires in these unsafe buildings.

    Parts of the city no longer consist of an integrated network of streets and neighbourhoods but rather a set of arterial roads giving access to a proliferation of cluster developments enclosed by high walls and security fences. Private developers trade on the reputation of Jo'burg as the crime capital to sell these safe and secure gated communities. Entry and exit occurs via private car with little chance of neighbourly encounters outside of the gated community. The only pedestrian activity in the road is that of domestic workers walking to the nearest taxi stop.

    What has happened to the most prosperous, advanced city in Africa?

    Johannesburg is no longer a mining city; it is neither a significant manufacturing city nor a public sector city; it is not a leading leisure or tourism city. In many respects, Johannesburg stands or falls by its 'World City' status; the fact that it is home to corporate headquarters, finance houses, legal, accounting, advertising, IT, and media services of a subcontinent.

    Those responsible for managing the city and planning its future therefore bear an enormous responsibility for maintaining its ranking as a world city.





    Can you imagine ...

    Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:
    • 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
    • 7 have been arrested for fraud
    • 19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
    • 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
    • 3 have done time for assault
    • 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
    • 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
    • 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
    • 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
    • 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
    373 in total or approximately 70%!

    Can you guess which organization this is?

    Give up yet?

    It's the 535 members of the SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT -
    (The same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line!)



    Around the World

    Bits and Bobs from people around the world

    Hello Biltong Team!

    I've just found your cooking converter and as a professional chef I find it very interesting. I've already saved it as a Favourite!

    I'm a bit of a sloppy chef and what with working all over the world I find my recipes, as I've adapted things over the years, are often a mixture of Imperial, Metric and a few cup measures which is okay for me cos I'm used to working with these bashed about recipes.

    But when people ask me for a recipe I'm often embarrassed at how much of a mess the weights and measures are!

    I'd really like to see added to your fantastic cooking converter all the weights of a cup measure of the various different baking ingredients.

    Obviously a cup of butter is heavier than a cup of flour and a cup of sugar is somewhere between the weight of the fat and the weight of the flour, but by how much would be great to know! That way I could sit down and standardize my recipes without going to the bother of actually weighting everything myself!

    Even without this info your cooking converter will be a great help to me. Thank you for posting it!

    Regards
    Rachel Muse
    England




    Hello Readers,

    My name is Ian Dunn.

    My family and I moved to Christchurch New Zealand in August 2001. We were from a tiny little Dorpie called Dannhauser in Northern Natal where I farmed and my wife worked at a private hospital in neighbouring Newcastle.

    We felt that things would improve in South Africa after 1994, but to our disappointment things went from bad to worse.
    After having neighbours, friends and family either attacked, murdered or badly assaulted we decided that the Grass Was Greener on the Other Side.
    To cut a long story short we arrived in New Zealand as residents, and were given all the benefits of a Pukka New Zealander such as schooling, medical etc. etc

    The river Avon in Christchurch, New Zealand (click to see it big) One of the first things that struck us was how clean everything was, and I am not just talking about the streets.
    You can stand on a bridge and look at the bed of the Avon River which flows through Christchurch. That's how clear the water is in the middle of a town!

    All the parks have kids playing areas, with swings, slides and Foofy Slides( Flying Foxes here) and kids are playing in them without any worries.
    I also am still very aware of the fact that the pavements are clear, no hawkers and/or fruit markets which is so normal on the typical South African sidewalk.

    Initially we rented a house and after living on a farm it was difficult to accept that we were now not allowed any form of animal in the house.
    So for 3 years we would go to the local pet shops and look at the puppies on display so we could get a little bit of an animal fix.
    After saving for 3 years we could afford our Mortgage and are now proud owners of our own house, a Jack Russel and a Black Labrador!

    After initially buying Biltong from some fellow Expats who charged exorbitant prices, I was so excited to discover the Biltongmakers Web site, and promptly ordered a Biltong Buddy (the 2 kg Biltong Maker).
    This works like magic but has one drawback .... it's too small for us because no sooner have I made a batch and it is gobbled up!

    Luckily wors is readily available at supermarkets and butcheries so we can have typical SA Braais on balmy summer evenings.

    We love living in New Zealand and our children have just flourished at school,sport and you name it.

    We often talk about life back in Africa, however here is one family that knows it made the right decision leaving.

    The grass here is greener for us!!

    Cheers from a very Cool Christchurch.

    Ian Dun and family (and dogs)
    Christchurch, New Zealand



    Come on guys and dolls. Your story here the next time?






    Something to smile about

    Another couple "shorties" that keep flowing in daily









    Don't eat chicken sandwiches, no matter what .....

    A little boy and a little girl attended the same school and became friends.
    Every day they would sit together to eat their lunch. They discovered that they both
    Brought chicken sandwiches every day! This went on all through the fourth and fifth
    Grades, until one day he noticed that her sandwich wasn't a chicken sandwich.
    He said, 'Hey, how come you're not eating chicken, don't you like it anymore?'
    She said 'I love it but I have to stop eating it.'

    'Why?' he asked.
    She pointed to her lap and said 'Cause I'm starting to grow little feathers down there!'
    'Let me see' he said.
    'Okay' and she pulled up her skirt.
    He looked and said, 'That's right. You are! Better not eat any more chicken.'
    He kept eating his chicken sandwiches until one day he brought peanut butter. He said
    To the little girl, 'I have to stop eating chicken sandwiches, I'm starting to get feathers
    Down there too!' She asked if she could look, so he pulled down his pants for her!

    She said 'Oh, my Goodness, it's too late for you! You've already got the NECK and GIBLETS!!!





    A man of few words

    Mildred, the church gossip, self-appointed monitor of the church's morals,
    kept sticking her nose into other people's business.

    Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

    She made a mistake, however, when she accused Henry, a new member, of being
    an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup truck parked in front of the
    town's only bar one afternoon.

    She emphatically told Henry and several others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.

    Henry, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and
    walked away.

    He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

    Later that evening, Henry quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's
    house . . . walked home . . . and left it there all night.

    You have to love people like Henry.



    Lie-Clocks

    A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks for?"

    St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."

    "Oh," said the man, "Whose clock is that?"

    "That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

    "Incredible," said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

    St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

    "Where's Jacob Zuma's?" asked the man.

    "Zuma's clock is in God's office. He's using it as a fan."





    Sport talk

    Snippets from the papers

    Secret of bizarre Springbok rituals
    Former logistics manager of SA's Under-21 rugby squad, Neil de Beer, has shed some light into the secret initiation involving new Springboks
    Full Story ...

    Switch-station will light up 2010 stadium
    A new state-of-the-art Swiss-built electrical switch-station on the Foreshore will make sure there's enough power to light up Cape Town's 2010 stadium
    Full Story...

    On the chopping block
    South Africa's rugby emblem could soon be a thing of the past if ANC critics have their way
    Full story ...

    How Madiba saved the Springbok
    There are many stories told of how Nelson Mandela saved the Springbok emblem from extinction, but the best is the tale of a meeting with Mluleki George
    Full Story ...

    Worry about 2010 VIPs, not the creeping costs
    Hooligans "are welcome" to attend the World Cup and as for other "undesirables" - by 2010 they may well be VIP guests, cabinet has heard.
    Full Story...

    Blatter admits having two 2010 back-ups
    Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said the organisation also had had a contingency plan for Germany in 2006.
    Full Story...



    New Sport Magazine

    The other day we received a mail from Jason Whitfield telling us about a new sport magazine in London. Have a look here. Perhaps you find something interesting in there.



    Let's hear from you too!!

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

    You are probably sitting at the computer right now so how about a small (or big) contribution? 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.
    Let our readers enjoy your story!

    You might have a nice recipe to part with or perhaps a question to ask? Or perhaps you have read something of interest that you might want to share?
    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!)

    Summer is well on its way and our boerewors has once again proven to be a hit with South Africans and local people alike for the 7th year in a row!
    We are making fresh batches of around 150 kg every week at the moment and are hardly keeping up. Especially our neighbours in the South of Europe are shipping it by the "truck load"!

    This is the first year we actually ran out twice!
    But, 'n boer maak 'n plan' so we 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 in 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!(See the recipe section!)

    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.
    Like with everything else the price has increased slightly because of the increase in the price of meat, spices and casings. Our spices from South Africa have gone up by no less than 43% and there is a big shortage of casings we are told because China is buying up whatever they can get hold of!

    Our normal price at the moment is € 9.25 per kg but for the time being we will keep it at only € 8.45 per kg!!


    You can also place your order by simply clicking here.


    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 € 45.00 € 30.00 per 1kg 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 13 years supplied their Home Biltong Makers to South African expats all over the world 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 South Africans living away from the Mother Country!
    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 55.00 45.00 per 1kg vacuum pack or Euro 5.50 4.75 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 countries outside the EU we must mention that we are not responsible for packets confiscated by customs.


    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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    Pig or Lamb on the Spit

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

    Well, this summer (so far) has certainly seen some lambs and piglets on the spit! On August 23rd we did our last one for a while. We need a rest!!

    Although we are now well into the Autumn there is still a chance to have a spit party! Spitbraais (barbecues) can be done well into October.
    So, if you want to be part of the fun and really impress your friends, colleagues or other acquaintances, book now!

    Lamb or pig 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!

    Now, of that doesn't get your taste buds going, nothing will!! We will do a Spit Barbecue for parties of between 30 and 50 people from just € 19.50 per person.

    Together with the meat we will treat you to a big pot of curried potatoes, a tomato/salsa salad as well as an incredible Tzatziki (cucumber, yoghurt and mint) salad. Garlic or bread rolls are included as well. And, don't forget the mint sauce with the lamb and the apple sauce with the piggy!
    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 October are already 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 or pig on the Spit can only be done outside because we cook on coals!)

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