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It was still dark outside as I was driving along Vijfstraten on my way to the abattoir.
Vijfstraten is a small one-lane road meandering through the leafy little village of Keerbergen where we live.
It was still early in the morning and my red bull had not yet had the desired effect.
I was not paying particular attention to anything. After all, I had been driving this same road for the past 9 years and apart from squirrels and an occasional cat there was nothing really to watch out for.
But, driving along I felt something was not right, something had changed somewhere.
I stopped, reversed, looked ....
And there it was! A brand-new traffic sign that had not been there yesterday?
I sat there looking at it and could not quite make out what it was that I had to heed or watch out for but then I looked closely at the picture on the sign and it dawned!
Frogs! I had to watch out for frogs crossing the road!!
So, no sooner back home and onto old faithful and onto Wikipedia.
Not much to read there really apart from the fact that it's Frog Breeding season and at that time of year Frogs think more about sex than cars.
Mmmm .. that makes a lot of sense.
It's more about having some fun really, I think. To be quite honest, if there were so many frogs crossing I should have seen at least one cropped body (or a live one) the past month or so.
But no. Not even one!
Ah well, this is Belgium and this is the country where we stop for ducks and squirrels and doves and chickens and so on and so on. It's all very nice I think.
You can sometimes sit in a queue on the road simply because some car, way up front, in front is waiting for a couple of Donalds and Minnies to get to the other side.
And can they dawdle! (the ducks that is ;-)
As you probably gathered, it's spring in our part of the world (hence the frog warnings) and you can just feel and see the whole world coming back to life.
The trees and the bushes are full of blossoms.
The gardens are full of crocuses, hyacinths, tulips and bluebells and too many other spring flowers to even mention.
Everywhere it is just one kaleidoscope of colours.
Everything is kind of breathing a loooong sigh of relief
Winter is over (again)!
It's good to have some warmth back in our bodies after yet another lengthy winter.
Lucky for us we had a whole month break in December when we went to South Africa .....
December was the first time we went back in 9 years.
The first week we were in Jo'burg meeting up with old friends and I spent some time meeting with some our suppliers and customers.
It was great to meet so many of the people I have been dealing with for such a long time and never really met.
Fernando, Malcolm, Liekie, Sandra and Charlie at Crown National, Shane at JJ Airfreight, Anna at Apak, Joe and Roland at Heneways and Avi and his staff at the factory.
Being in Jo'burg it was like we had never left.
I brought Susie (my GPS) along but did not really need her.
Of course there were changes in the road systems and a lot of new buildings had gone up but for the rest?
Everything was just the same!
Especially the braais!
My goodness no-one in this whole world can put together a braai like a South African!
And it simply did not stop for the whole month!
We soon winged our way down to Cape Town and, via the Klipdrift distillery at Robertson (of course), drove down to Knysna to spend the rest of our holidays there with our eldest son Derek and his family at their magnificent place right on top of the "Heads" on the Pezula Golf estate.
On the right is a picture taken from the 14th hole. Click to see it big. Isn't South Africa's coast just incredible!
In fact the whole family was together. Even Tony, my son who lives in Holland, came over with his whole family. An incredible effort and surprise!
Gwendy my daughter, now living in Cape Town, drove down in her magnificent 1960's restored VW Beetle! (What next will she get up to?)
It was great to have everyone together for the first time in many years.
I am not going to bore you with my thoughts about the country. Whether it has changed or not changed or waffle on about the security situation etc. etc.
I have my thoughts and will keep them to myself for while. But, it is still one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it is blooming cheap to live there!
I could not believe the prices in the restaurants and supermarkets. Even the house rents and prices.
But, especially the restaurants! And we went to many.
Where in this world can you get a full-on breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes and chips etc. for just €4.00?
Or a full-on seafood platter with 12 prawns, chips and all the sauces for just € 8.00?
And that was not just at Derek's restaurant but all over!
Come on!! Fish and chips (and a HUGE piece of Kingklip) for € 1.50! (No, this is not a typo!)
If you're ever in Knysna please visit the Swing Café, Derek's restaurant/nightclub. Good vibes, good food and good music!
Well, it has been a long time!
A lot of water has gone under the bridge and life has changed for many of us.
Hopefully for the better.
Why the long absence?
Well, I am not going to make any excuses. Priorities changed and something had to give.
In this case our newsletter.
I must be quite honest in saying that I missed putting it together every month; it was always such a lot of fun.
And then of course the feedback we received, the contacts we had with South Africans all over the world and the interaction we saw between expats everywhere. We were really global!
Somehow I feel that Biltong is a kind of universal "language/link (whatever you want to call it)" that binds most South Africans together.
They may be anywhere in the world and not even knowing each other, but .... just mention "Biltong" and all walls seems to disappear and people are instant friends.
This is the one reason I have done this newsletter.
The other reason is that I just had to listen to the many, many people who are still writing to us asking for a new newsletter. We even get calls at all odd hours (perhaps they're forgetting the time zones ;-))
People send us their email addresses just wanting to make sure that we have the correct one because they are worried that they had not received a newsletter for a while.
When in South Africa in December so many people asked; "When is there going to be another one?"
Well, here it is.
I hope that you get as much fun out of it as you did all those years ago and as I have had doing it.
It took a while because I did not realize how "rusty" I had become!
I would love to do another one after this. It's been so much fun. But, I would need some help and input.
That is, after all, what this is all about. The interaction between the so many South Africans who live away from their home land.
So, if you have enjoyed this one why not put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and let's hear from you!
Hopefully till a next time!
A woman is sitting at home on the patio with her husband drinking a glass of wine and she says: "I love you".
He asks: "Is that you or the wine talking?"
She replies: "It's me ........ talking to my wine".
(We've all seen it before but it is still nice to remember ...-Ed)
Before the Internet or the AppleMac... Before semi-automatics and crack cocaine... Before SEGA or Cartoon Network... Before Playstation and MTV...
Way, way back..........
Can you still taste and smell..........
If you can remember most or all of these, then you have LIVED!!!!
Pass this on to anyone who grew up in South Africa who may need a break from their "grown up" life!
The Daffodil Principle
~~ Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards ~~
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday, "I promised, a little reluctantly, on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and so I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house and hugged and greeted my grandchildren, I said, "Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in the clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see bad enough to drive another inch!"
My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother."Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.
"I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car." "How far will we have to drive?" "Just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."
After several minutes, I had to ask, "Where are we going? This isn't the way to the garage!" "We're going to my garage the long way," Carolyn smiled, "by way of the daffodils."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand-lettered sign that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car and each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, we turned a corner of the path, and I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.
It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it down over the mountain peak and slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns -- great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, saffron, and butter yellow. Each different colored variety was planted as a group so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.
There were five acres of flowers. "But who has done this?" I asked Carolyn. "It's just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house that looked small and modest in the midst of all that glory.
We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster:
There it was...."The Daffodil Principle." For me, that moment was a life-changing experience.
I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun -- one bulb at a time -- to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountain top. Still, just planting one bulb at a time, year after year, had changed the world. This unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. She had created something of ineffable (indescribable) magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.
The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time -- often just one baby-step at a time --and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time.
When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world!
"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years. Just think what I might have been able to achieve!
"My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask....
"How can I put this to use today?"
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation, or when we retire. The truth is there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... and remember that time waits for no one.
There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
So work like you don't need money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like no one's watching.
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!
The Brand-New Biltong Buddy!!
This month sees the launch of our brand-new Biltong Buddy MK-VI!
We have put a lot of work in this and are very happy with the result.
The new Mark-VI Biltong Buddy Home Biltong maker operates with a heating element to aid the drying process of the meat.
It holds a maximum of 2kg of wet meat and is an ideal addition to your kitchen appliances for making your own "stukkie" biltong.
We have often wondered about the length and trouble they go through on those biltong making videos your get.
Making biltong the South African way (the way most butchers do it) is as easy as 1-2-3 ...!!
Cut the meat in slabs resembling pieces of biltong, spice it, let stand overnight, hang and voila!! Superb biltong!
With the Rugby WorldCup on the horizon you'll be the envy of your friends!
Do a deal with them ... you supply the "stukkies" Biltong and they bring the beer!!!
Some of the advantages and features of the New Mark-VI Biltong Buddy:
Have a look at the pictures here and tell us what you don't like about it! We think it's magic!
The new Biltong Buddy Mark-VI is now available from our on-line store at www.biltongmakers.com
An interesting fact!
Did you know that there are customers all over the world who are still using the old Mk-II Biltong Buddy!
This is just one of many, many mails we receive every day from all over the world.
My little biltong maker has kept me sane and smiling ......
For years, my little biltong maker has kept me sane and smiling. Even my husband wonders how such a small thing can produce so much happiness. It works like a charm, is really easy to use, and makes the best biltong ever.
I first bought my baby Biltong Maker in late 2002 after six months of living in Amsterdam with no biltong. The cravings were just too much and I decided to make it a Christmas gift to myself. I actually found a supplier of biltong in The Netherlands where I could order online, but the complicated Dutch payment system was too much for a poor girl from Mafikeng.
So the hunt was on. Thanks to the Internet, I discovered The Biltong Maker.
It arrived a few weeks after Christmas, thanks to a short stop with Dutch customs. Luckily I had a wonderful butcher nearby who helped select and slice the meat, even though he shook his head in doubt when I described what I was doing. But he was very expensive, so I learned to buy the right cuts of meat in wholesale stores and markets.
Now I could make the best biltong, and cheaply too!
The guidance and recipes on the Biltong Maker site are amazing - you're up and running in no time at all.
Vienna, VA 22181
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.
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:
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.
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 our Birthday ... again!
This month it is 16 years ago that we made our very first Home Biltong Maker.
As most of you will know by now we did not really invent the original 2kg Biltong Maker.
Kel had an old Cardboard Biltong Maker box and worked a new idea around that one.
Now, sixteen years later, thousands of people all over the world are making their own Biltong!
We could tell you some stories about some other products that we have shipped across the world but we will leave that for another newsletter!
So, it's April and it's our birthday and we thought we had to do something special for our customers.
Since no-one will send us a present (he-he) we will give you something to celebrate about.
Here we go:
From date of publication of this newsletter till the end of May this is what will happen!
(With an order for one of our three Home Biltong Makers)
A choice of .....
Get rid of mosquitoes ...!
Mosquito Spray? ... Worth a try!!
I was at a garden party a while back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone.
A man at the party sprayed the lawn and patio floor with Listerine, and the little blighters disappeared. The next year I filled a 1/2 liter spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes.
And voila! That worked like a dream.
It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children's swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don't leave home without it. Pass it on.
One of our friend's comments:
I tried this on my patio and around all of my doors. It works - in fact, it killed them instantly.
It will last a couple of days. Don't spray directly on a wood door (like your front door), but spray around the frame. Spray around the window frames, and even inside the dog house.
"Die goedkoper weergawe is Plax.
Helfte goedkoper as Listerine en werk net so goed.
Gebruik dit al lank, want boer mos met hase en jy kan geen gif buite gebruik met hulle in die tuin nie.
Enige iets is beter as die ander goed wat so sleg ruik. Plax of Listerine ruik en smaak beter!!"
Some more useful tips ...
(do you have any, please let us know?)
An idea for Potjiekos lovers
This comes from Barry in South Africa. Give it a try and let us know what you think about his idea ..
Here is something that your readers may find interesting.
I'm a great Potjiekos maker, and I go for 'beesstert' (oxtail) Potjie most of the time.
I had gotten myself a pipe and stand which stands at the bottom of the pot with your food around the pipe, and works similar to the old coffee peculator. But you must make sure that all the onion bits are all removed before you place the stand at the bottom and before you place your 'sealed' meat around the pipe.
The onion bits quickly clog up the pipe if they are left in there. The onions go in much later after you have placed your potatoes and carrots in. During this time, I also pour almost a liter Coke into the pot (size 3 pot) and this really tenderizes the ox tail and gives it a some what sweeter taste to it.
The idea of the peculator pipe is to get your gravy and spices in the bottom of the pot to the top and over your veggies.
My mouth is actually watering just talking about it.)
Contact me if you wish for more info.
Good vision in a Downpoor!
We are not sure why it is so effective but just try this method when it rains heavily.
This method was told to us by a police friend who had experienced and confirmed it.
It is very useful...even driving at night.
During a heavy downpour most motorists turn on the HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the windshield wipers. Yet the visibility in front of the windshield is still bad......
In the event you face such a situation, just put on your SUN GLASSES (any model will do), and miracles! All of a sudden, your visibility in front of your windshield is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain.
Make sure you always have a pair of SUN GLASSES in your car. You are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but also might save your friend's life by giving him this idea. Try it yourself and share it with your friends!!!!
Amazingly, you still see the drops on the windshield, but not the sheet of rain falling. You can see where the rain bounces off the road. It works to eliminate the "blindness" from passing cars. Or the "kickup" if you are following a car in the rain.
They ought to teach this little tip in driver's training. It really does work. This is a good warning.
I wonder how many people know about this???
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 2011 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 certification 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.
Welcome to Apartment Oberholzer in Vienna, Austria
Winter or summer, our charming Viennese building will make you feel right at home. As our guests' well-being is a matter close to our hearts, the quiet residence offers every convenience from a microwave, dishwasher and washing machine to Satellite TV.
The Vienna city center is within 10 minutes walking distance. Public transport is right at the Guest house.
Our well-kept, 54 sq meter newly renovated non-smoking holiday flat is suitable for 1-4 people.
It is central, quiet, charming and very reasonably priced.
For further information please see our website www.netland.at/wien/oberholzer
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 @ email@example.com
so we can help other people who might have the same questions in the future)
First we have some questions that continuously crop up in our mail box. The answers are simple and will solve most problems instantly!
QUESTIONS ON SAUSAGE CASINGS
Sausages are made in one form or another in almost every country in the world. It's the way butchers use the bits and pieces that fall of the meat when trimming (off-cuts).
If your butcher or supermarket has sausages, the casings for these are available. The easiest way to find out where to get them is to ask your butcher!
In most cases he will even sell you some if he makes sausages himself.
As to what size to use? You know how thick boerewors and droëwors is. Just ask the butcher for the size you see in his display cabinet or get the phone number of the people who he buys them from.
We do not ship sausage casings. Not because they would not survive the trip. They certainly will. But simply because they are available right there where you are!
PLEASE GIVE ME A PRICE FOR A BILTONGMAKER AND THE SHIPPING
Instead of emailing us for a price just use the 'PRICING AND SHIPPING' link on our home page www.biltongmakers.com. It is much quicker and easier and you'll even find a currency converter to see what it will cost you in your own money.
You will find this link on the left-hand side of our home page.
Follow the easy instructions you find there and you'll find out the exact pricing for everything.
Gas bottle adapter?
I am trying to find an adapter for my wife's Skottel Braai that we got when we went to SA to visit family.
I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find an adapter to fit an American Gas Bottle!
Do you have one or know how I could obtain one?
My biltong is hard on the outside and still pink on the inside
I recently purchased some biltong in SA from a butcher and the outside was dark, soft and shiny and it was really nice, although there was no fat on the meat the paper it was wrapped in was a bit oily.
When I got home I tried making my own but the outside is always rock hard with the inside very soft, it tastes nice but it is just the texture that I cannot get right.
Your help would be appreciated
Kalahari Boerewors Recipe
Does anyone have a receipe for Kalahari Boerewors please?
Many thanks in advance
Jan Adrian Venter
What is the Dragon herb?
This one comes up regularly so here it is again. This time from Lee-Anne Marais from Cape Town.
In one of your recipes you say we must use "Dried Dragon" I have looked it up on the net and have learnt something new. I have never heard of it before and neither have a lot of our suppliers of food products!
The herb called DRAGON is Tarragon and available from all good food stores and super markets.
You can get it as a small plant (like parsley, mint etc) or in a dried form in a small bottle.
Here is an extract from what we found on the web.
"Tarragon was used by the ancient Greeks as a remedy for toothache.
Today we know that tarragon contains an anesthetic chemical, eugenol, which is the major constituent of anesthetic clove oil, making its use for temporary pain relief understandable.
During medieval times there was a belief, called the Doctrine of Signatures, which stated that a herb's appearance revealed its medicinal value. According to this philosophy, tarragon was thought to cure snake bites, due to the serpentine shape of its roots.
Even tarragon's species name, dracunculus, comes from the Latin for dragon, again referring to the shape of its root, and adding to the myth of curing bites from venomous beasts and mad dogs."
How do I cook boerewors?
I live in Israel and just purchased 2 kg boerewors from a South African gentleman who was a butcher there.
I have read your article about how to cook them. As an inexperienced boerewors cooker I have a question.
Do you leave the entire link whole and grill it till done and then and only then slice up the sausage into portions? Or is it possible to cut up rather long sections to make grilling easier?
I hope that this does not seem like an absurd question to an experienced person like yourself.
(No question is absurd David and I bet that many people have asked themselves the same questions or simply end up with something they don't like. -ED)
OUR COMMENT TO THIS QUESTION
Thank you for your email.
No questions is absurd. It actually makes good sense.
The traditional way is to grill the rolls and then cut it into pieces after it has been cooked.
The reason behind this is that the meat then cooks in its natural juices and the fat that is in the sausage. That way it will retain the juiciness and softness it is supposed to.
If you cut it up beforehand the juices will just run out and the fat will set the fire alight!
It's always handy to have a jug of water next to the fire to sprinkle on the flames when these flare up.
Alternatively you can shape the longer pieces into smaller sausages (just turn them into smaller sausages). That way the juices will also remain. Watch out!! Don't ever prick the sausage with a fork or damage the casing because, once again, the juices will disappear and your sausage will certainly be not as nice as it could be.
THE BILTONG TEAM
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.
Paul and Glenda Bing
Ohakune, New Zealand
Taxiing to a dead stop!
By James Clarke
TOGETHERNESS Amadeus Tshabalala jinks his Toyota mini-bus taxi (with BMW hubcaps) through the rush-hour traffic.
He is a confident man of high spirits, as evidenced by the stickers on his rear window: "God loves Taxi Drivers" and "Defeat Constipation - Travel by Taxi".
On the front of his taxi, above a dent which, ominously, is in the shape of a large traffic cop with his arms akimbo, is a placard reading: Northern Suburbs Express - Inaugural Flight.
Using the word "flight" is Togetherness' little joke. He could well have used the word "fright" for such is his sense of humour.
We are witnessing (dear reader) the inaugural journey of a township taxi which hopes to establish a daily service between the quiet, leafy, mainly white northern suburb of Jukskei Park and Johannesburg city centre. It is a 25km journey that takes Togetherness 8.5 minutes if it's not too busy and assuming he can occasionally drive on the pavements to avoid queuing in traffic.
The percussion waves from Togetherness' powerful radio cause the vehicle's sides to rhythmically flex. He hoots as he drives. Togetherness hoots at anything he sees - including trees and pretty girls - as is the custom of township taxi drivers.
Aboard the taxi are a dozen white people. They do not come whiter. Their whiteness is not due to fear; it is due to stark terror. Take John Hilton. Never in his life has he experienced zero to 100 km/h in six seconds - not in heavy traffic.
Denise Smith's colour had changed to green-white as quickly as the last traffic light changed to red - a colour which, as is traditional among taxi drivers, Togetherness ignores. He looks over his shoulder - for a full minute - asking passengers their destinations. Elsbeth Brown, sitting right at the back, says. "Randburg centre!" She really wants to go all the way to Johannesburg centre but, suddenly, Randburg seems preferable.
She worries about how she will make her way from the backseat, but only fleetingly because the taxi has now reached Randburg and has stopped as suddenly as a plane might stop up against a mountain.
Now everybody is in front in a warm, intimate heap.
Elsbeth alights as gracefully as anybody can with one knee locked behind the other. She is vaguely aware of passers-by loosening her clothing and shouting: "Give her air!"
Togetherness bowls happily along Jan Smuts Avenue overtaking a police car that is chasing a getaway car. Then he overtakes the getaway car, exchanging boisterous greetings with the driver whom he appears to know. Togetherness is steering with his elbows because he needs his hands free to check the morning's takings and to wave to girls.
He announces: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain. We will shortly be landing in Johannesburg. Please make sure your seatbelts are fastened and your seats are in the upright position. Thank you."
Piet Smit is chewing on a seatbelt that is made of leather. Togetherness had them specially made because he felt first-time passengers would need to bite on something.
Togetherness now merges with the mainstream of in-bound traffic. He merges with it in much the same way his Zulu ancestors merged with the British at the battle of Isandlwana.
He stops at his usual disembarkation point in the middle of a busy intersection and picks his teeth, patiently, while people sort out their legs and teeth before groping their way towards a street pole around which they can throw their arms.
By the time his passengers' eyeballs have settled back in their sockets, Togetherness is halfway back to the northern suburbs.
Pork Belly Roast
A Pork belly roast is such a fun and easy thing to do and it takes no time at all.
Pork is also a very inexpensive meat and a nicely roasted large Pork belly on a dinner table looks stunning and never fails to impress guests.
Your shopping list
Super-hot gepekelde eiers !
Kan jy sê super-hot-gepekelde-eiers ... ?
Nie met een van hierdie in jou mond nie!
Dit is Majorly warm en maak seker dat jy dit kan hanteer voor jy dit probeer!
Hard kook die eiers en steek 'n paar keer duidelik deur die wit aan die dooier
Dan volg die onderstaande resep
(Die gepekelde eiers sal vir ewig hou as niemand hulle eet nie ;-))
Letter from Cape Town
Hello everyone, No, I am still here. However I am retired now. I went off on early retirement in May 2008 (at 59) due to medical reasons ie: acute heart problems, constant heart-fibrillation, diabetes, thrombosis, depression etc, etc. Guess my days are numbered.
I keep busy doing the things I never got round to doing, I vacuum the house, (a domestic engineer now), prepare food for my wife who still works and I do handy-man things around the house. I would like to think that I also protect my house by being here, but these days, they even break-in and rob you whilst you are at home.
My strong points are language; English/Afrikaans and I would like to do translations for an income as one of my family members does, but he lives in Germany. He speaks of a Euro per word for translation work. My German is not nearly good enough for German translation work. However, as an unknown, it is difficult to get a break.
Depending on which side of the fence you stand on, the general feeling here in S.A. is either that of euphoria or of utter despondency. The euphoria referring to those who commit fraud and corruption here on a daily basis and manage to get away with it. The government have just announced that they are thinking of abolishing TV licenses, but in its place, they want to add a 1% or 2% surcharge to every taxpayer, which really means that 7-million people will pay and the remaining 38-million will not. There is also a National "free" Medical Aid on the cards in the future which will also be added to our tax responsibility on an annual basis.
The free housing supply to all who are needy (3-million so far) is still on schedule according to the minister of housing Tokyo Sexwale, but they have lost billions to shady building contractors who build sub-standard HOP-houses and flee once they have been (handsomely) paid. Apparently, corruption does not differentiate on skin-color. However, he seems very keen to apprehend the perpetrators.
Add to that the constant black cars with black windows (sic) that scream through busy intersections with wailing sirens and with blue lights flashing, just before impacting with an innocent citizens car at a traffic light and the typical "Banana Republic" vision really starts to take place.
Some cabinet ministers are allowed to "buy" personal vehicles of up to R1.2 million while the people who voted for them, rummage through rubbish-bins to look for something to eat. The new President, Jay Zee, seems to have the right objective in mind in striving to provide decent service delivery, mostly from lackluster municipalities who do exactly as they please, but it is still early days. We'll see! Clean water supply is a major developing problem and nothing is done by anyone to stop contamination and seepage from nefarious origins which in turn poisons the underground water table.
The share-prices on the JSE fluctuate daily due to the world crisis and a return on investment that was adequate some years ago is no longer sustainable. We all are making an extra hole in our belts, literally and figuratively. The constant dropping of the repo-rate by the reserve bank leads to a vicious circle as only the people who live beyond their means benefit from it. The rest of us who actually have savings, lose out as our income rate is cut accordingly. Its a case of heads you lose, tails you lose! Survival is paramount and I really feel sorry for the really poor.
The daily murder rate here will put the American/Afghanistan war deaths to shame yet no-one seems to really care for South Africans. No-one here has the guts to bring back the death penalty to serve as a deterrent to violent crime. Perhaps the U.N. will one day send-in a peace-keeping force to protect the innocent citizens here? However, so far they have done absolutely nothing to assist innocent citizens in Zimbabwe and the head clown still reigns there quite happily and he still commits his despicable atrocities daily. So I wont hold my breath!
However, as long as we still have Johnny Walker whiskey to block-out the daily shocking thoughts and visions, we can (must) hold on and survive. Second on my list is biltong and the occasional (expensive) braai, third. I cannot understand it, but I am developing a vegetarian approach to life lately with meat taking a lower priority. Yes I know, terrible outlook, but curiously true.
I am curious now as to who was looking for me with you. Was the enquiry from S.A.? Please see if you can remember.
In conclusion, a joke;
Koos and his wife were on holiday in Pattaya and they stayed at a beachfront hotel. As an early riser, Koos snuck out of the hotel at 6 in the morning and took a stroll, but a pretty street-whore saw him and offered her horizontal refreshment to him at $200.
He started to barter and offered her $20. She disdainfully turned around and walked away.
Later, after breakfast, Koos and his wife went shopping and he again bumped into the same pretty tart who started to laugh hysterically.
She pointed a long finger at his wife and said: "See what you get for $20 mister!"
All the very best to all of you.
Commercial farmers leaving SA
The Times newspaper has reported that South African farmers are leaving the country in large numbers for a variety of reasons, including unbearable working conditions. Farmers are leaving the country because of poor working conditions for neighbouring states, such as Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Soviet State of Georgia among others.
There were 120,000 commercial farmers in South Africa in 1994 and only 37,000 remain, which has led to SA importing some of the food it used to produce, said AgriSA vice president Theo de Jager.
The country was now starting to import grains such as wheat. It was also on the brink of importing meat and poultry, which was being produced less and less in the country.
Farmers cited new laws, unionisation of farm workers, expensive water, electricity and other necessities, a shrinking supply of arable land, and the threat of land reform as reasons for farming in South Africa becoming unsustainable.
Many farmers believe that the latest threat, the New Security of Tenure Bill, will be the last straw driving farmers from the country, as it allows workers to plant crops, keep livestock and build houses on the farm on which they work.
Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Gugile Nkwinti's spokesman Mthobeli Mxotwa said the New Security of Tenure Bill was meant to "stop cruelty against farm workers."
"Workers get kicked off farms and dumped along the side of the road". The Land Tenure Act and Extension of Security of Tenure Act were found [to be] toothless - evictions continued unabated.
"We decided to tighten the new bill in order to give farm workers rights. By the way, we also extended those rights to land owners."
04 April 2011
What do you miss most about South Africa?
We all miss things about South Africa.
It may be great to be an Expat and some of us live in some of the most idyllic parts of the world.
We have all the safety we longed for while still at home. Our children can play in the street without fear, we don't have to call the security people when we want to go out at night ... and yet ....
We all miss things about South Africa. All of us do!
So, here is a little place where you can tell us what it is that YOU miss about back home. Just the 10 most important mind.
We'll publish them in our next newsletter and it will be fun to see how many of us miss the same things ...
Here is a start:
The 10 things I miss most about South Africa
Bits and Bobs from people around the world
Hallo there all expats and Saffies around the world!
This is how I make MY biltong!
Hope you guys are doing well, I really enjoy the news letter and hearing from expats all over the world making biltong. For about 25 years in South Africa, we hunted every year in June, bagged a Kudu and a couple of Impala and would cut everything up for biltong. We would then hang it up in the garage and dry it with fans
I moved to the USA 6 years ago and after initially struggling a bit, we found what we needed to make really nice biltong.
We normally buy 6 to 8 rump steaks, specially if Safeway (local supermarket) has a deal on the meat.
I cut them in strips, probably an inch thick. I then use Baleine course sea salt and red wine vinegar. I bought Crown National Biltong Seas Safari spices with us from SA (probably same as the spices you sell)
I then take a big enough container, sprinkle vinegar, salt and spices, and put one layer of cut meat, sprinkle all 3 again and then put a layer of meat and so on. This is then put in the fridge for 2 days, then hang it in the garage on wires and dry it with a good fan.
I think the secret is the meat laying in the mixture of salt, spices and vinegar.
Your biltong Buddy also works very well but I can just not make enough at a time!
Hopes this helps somebody, any expats in the US are most welcome to connect if they need help.
Take care and keep up the good work.
Another couple "shorties" that keep flowing in daily
A little known fact ...
The first testicular guard ("ball box") was used in cricket in 1874
and the first helmet was used in 1974
It obviously took men 100 years to find out they also had brains ;-))
Indian Cab Driver
A drunk woman, stark naked, jumped into a taxi at a Durban Cab Rank.
The Indian driver opened his eyes wide and stared at the woman. He made no attempt to start the Cab.
"What's wrong with you Love, haven't you ever seen a naked woman before?"
"I'll not be staring at you lady, I am telling you, that would not be proper, where I am coming from". "Well if you're not bloody staring at me Lovie, what are you doing then?"
"Well, I am looking and looking, and I am thinking to myself, where is this lady keeping the money to be paying me with."
On the subject of Colonoscopies...
Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous..... A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominately male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:
The power of advertising ...
Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter. The man at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?"
"Eight," the boy replied.
The man continued, "do you know what these are used for?"
The boy replied, "not exactly, but they aren't for me.
They're for him. He's my brother. He's four.
We saw on TV that if you use these you would be able to swim and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do either."
And last but not least .... Why we love children ...
I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked!
As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'
On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother.
The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'
A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar.
During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'
A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room.
When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover.
The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'
While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old.
Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report.
My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'
Snippets from the papers
Where to now for the Proteas?
Graeme Smith's era has come to an end, not on the high he would have hoped for, and not on the high he probably deserves.
Lions to employ kicking coach
Lions coach John Mitchell has announced that they will be employing a kicking coach to help the struggling Super Rugby outfit.
White up for Brumbies interview
World Cup-winning coach Jake White has applied and will be interviewed for the head coaching job at Australia's ACT Brumbies.
Plenty at stake at Augusta
Lee Westwood, Phil Mickelson, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods have extra incentive to win the U.S. Masters this week.
Sharks “desperate” to bounce back
The Sharks will be desperate to get back on the winning track when they host the Stormers after two consecutive defeats.
Wie Ondersteun JY?!?
Our Birthday Competition!
Competitions are always fun and I remember from the past (I go back to 2005 now!) that we used to have a new competition every month!
We had fabulous prices as well such as Biltong Makers, Potjiepots, Barbecue tool kits, MP3 Players (remember Isa in Israel?) and even a whole barbecue!!
But we have had to move with the times and when things became busier in other areas we had to let something go.
First is was just the competition and then the newsletter.
That was a pity really because we always had lots of fun putting it all together!
But the requests to have another newsletter and another competition never stopped coming in.
I am very grateful that all the hard work we put into the newsletter since 2002 has had its rewards in the unbelievable feedback we always had and are still getting!!
Our 16th birthday seemed to be a good occasion as any to have another competition.
So for the many of you who have asked for this competition here it is!
It will be a once-off and will now run through to the end of August when the winner will be announced.
Just click here to go to the competition page or follow the competition link on our web site www.biltongmakers.com
The prize? ....
One of our very handy and smart looking barbecue tool sets (see picture). Just in time for those summer braais (in the northern parts of this world that is ;-))
Now, isn't that smart!!
For those who are members of Facebook we have devised a competition as well.
All you have to do is go to The Biltongmakers.Com! Facebook page and simply click on the "like" button you will find on top.
That done your name will automatically go into the hat for the draw that will take place the moment we have reached our target of 500!
The winner will be announced in a future newsletter, by email and on the Facebook page!
The prize for this competion?
One of our Rocky's all time favourite Home Biltong makers complete with instruction booklet, hooks, sample spices and dowels to hang the hooks on!
It is so easy to make your own Biltong with this incredible invention and it's fun too. And the best part is that you can make your own Biltong just the way YOU like it and at a fraction of the cost!
Rocky's New Age Home Biltong maker is used around the world from South Africa to England and from Russia to the "steppes" of Siberia and from Greenland to the sweltering climates of Florida, Australia, Singapore and Hongkong
Biltong is the universal language of all South Africans and we help them "talking" to each other wherever they may find themselves in this world!
So, to all of you who have been asking for this I can only say one thing ... get going!!
This from a previous winner!
Dear BILTONG TEAM,
Wow.....I'm blown away. This is the first time I have ever won anything. I'm looking forward to receiving my MP3 Player.
Once again many thanks, for the great web site. I so enjoy the recipes given and all the information you provide us with.
Remember the following:
You can enter right now by clicking on the competition link on our home page.
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 the firstname.lastname@example.org
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