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Here we go! And……late again. But, if you knew about the computer problems I have had you will surely forgive me!
I have just been told off by my dear proofreaders that I sounded very down in my editorial this month.
So, I will do it again!
I am not really down. My head is just full of “Muisnesten”. Too much going on inside there right now I guess.
January was a month full of happenings and, because of that it just seemed to fly by!
The one bit of good news is that we won the one-day cricket series. It was excellent and we enjoyed it very much, especially the bright blue skies everywhere most of the time!
Just a moment, our cat (Miss Muffett) is knocking at the window. She keeps on doing that after I let her out. When she has had enough she knocks on the study window and wants to be let in again. A wonderful life she has! I sometimes wish that I could come back as a cat! (In our house that is!) At least she always gives a little purr of thanks when I open the front door to let her in.
But, let me continue.
January was a busy month as I said. There are a lot of changes taking place with our web site and (especially) the shop that is attached to it.
In addition to that I discovered that our web site looks just fine on an 800×600 resolution screen. But try one of the new flat panel screens with a higher resolution and it looks too terrible! So, that also has to be resolved.
But that’s enough of boring you with my troubles. They are not really troubles though. I enjoy doing it!
So it is February and we are well settled into the New Year. The weather is holding out just fine. As I am sitting here tapping away on my keyboard it is raining outside. Quite welcome I must say. It means that the temperatures are going up and the end of the winter is in sight. Not that this will happen overnight but soon perhaps.
The garden is also looking great and I am still very happy that I did all that work with the leaves and branches back in the autumn. It will mean so much less work this coming spring. An added bonus has been that we had a great looking garden all winter! I do miss my old gardener, Polite though sometimes. But what the heck, it’s good exercise!!
The other day when I was driving down to Luxembourg I stopped off at this beautiful little castle I found somewhere near exit 23 in the E411. It dates back to the 14th century and now they have this most exquisite restaurant in there. I must take June one Sunday for a nice long lunch.
Some other news is that Derek, Jeanine and the boys are thinking about moving to the UK. They are there right now looking at schools and houses in the Tonbridge area. Isn’t life funny though? Tonbridge is the little town where we took Peter and Carol to his sister’s birthday party.
For more on Tonbridge and its history you can click just here.
So after that bit of useful information I am going to have some lunch. Some leftover chicken from our chicken lady. I will tell you all about her when I get back.
Back again. The chicken is finished. Miss Muffett had the bits and pieces I left and the dishes are washed!
Now about this chicken lady.
Here in Belgium you get lots of people with big and small trucks or trailers selling chicken on the spit next to the road. I never saw this back in South Africa but here it is a very big thing. Some of the trucks or trailers are small and just hooked up to a car but others are so huge that they can cook 400-500 chickens at a time!
Our chicken lady has just a small trailer hooked behind her 4×4 and all she can do is a miserly 100 chickens.
Every Friday she parks near us and most Fridays we go to her to get a chicken for supper. These are probably the best chickens I have ever tasted! I don’t know what she puts in her marinade but it is really good!
Well, let me leave you on that appetizing note!
Till next month.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire; and where there’s fire outside in the gigantic deep freeze that is Boston in winter, you’re still likely to find a South African or two connecting with their roots, huddled around a hot grill. It might just be my wife, who is also South African, and me. Or we might include friends we’ve made since moving to Boston almost two years ago.
The word braai has many meanings. It can refer to the act of grilling (“please braai the meat now”); the equipment used (a grill is a braai to many South Africans); and the social occasion (“you’re invited to a braai“).
For many of us, it is a rite of passage. Some of my earliest memories are of watching my dad pile the wood on the grill and then experiencing the delight of setting the newspaper or kindling on fire with a match (or two or three). In slow steps – learn, then do – one is eventually allowed to participate in the act of braaing. By its very nature, nearly every braai became a unique father-son bonding experience. There was always something to learn, something to speak and joke about. Staring into a fire is strangely inspiring.
I learned quickly that it’s more art than science, as is apparent by these tips dad shared with me at an age when I could barely see over the top of the grill. First of all, he taught me, the heat should be spread evenly over the whole grill area. Second, a good indication of the correct heat is to hold your hand over the grid and count to 10. If you have to pull it back before then, it’s too hot. Any later, too cold. Third, you can always regulate the temperature by moving the grid up or down. It’s best to start high and move down as the coals become cooler. And finally, put the chicken or meat that needs to cook the longest on first. After the steaks are put on, add some thin pieces of wood to braai them in the flames. Vegetables such as potatoes in foil, onions, and squash are placed under the grid in the red-hot coals.
The “bring and braai” is the most popular kind of gathering and certainly Dad’s favorite. Similar to a potluck party, this is a grand social event where family and friends converge on a picnic spot or someone’s home with their own meat, salad, or side dish in hand. Meats are the star of the South African braai. They typically include marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops, steaks, sausages of different flavors and thickness, and when someone has really splurged, a rack or two of spareribs. Fish is also popular.
While the fire is lit and tended to, the kitchen (or makeshift kitchen) bustles with preparations: Vegetables are chopped or grated for salads, a large pot of cornmeal bubbles into “Krummel Pap,” and its accompanying Tomato and Onion Sauce slowly stews. (See recipes.)
As the meat comes off the fire, it is placed in a metal or ceramic roasting pan to stay warm. When all the meat is ready, the salads and side dishes are placed on tables and the feast begins.
At every braai hosted by the writer’s family, this traditional South African dish appears on the buffet table.
‘Krummel Pap’ (Crumbled Cornmeal) With Tomato and Onion Sauce’
Tomato and Onion sauce
An advantage of this is not only that you can see the Biltong hanging but is stops people from removing the lid to have a look. Taking off the lid interferes with the convection process and increases the drying time.
Rockey’s 5kg Biltong Maker has always had this window.
Details on Rockey’s machine can be found by clicking on this link.
Unfortunately all the special pricing has come to an end.
But…….. this month we will be giving away TWO PACKETS OF OUR SPECIAL Nice ‘n Spicy spices with every Biltong Maker ordered.
In response to the query regarding the importation of our spices in to Australia we have had many mails from people in Australia telling us that they have never had any problems with receiving spices.
We keep on getting many mails from people who want to know how to cure a Potjie Pot before using it.
I noted your Potjie curing method and it is similar to mine.
Once sanded and polished I also boil a load of old veggies in the Pot repeatedly for the day until the water is clear. Then I heat the Potjie until very hot and chuck in fatty bones you get from the butcher for your dog.
I am in South Africa and we get visitors from England quite often that are most impressed with Potjiekos.
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)
I would like to enquire please as to whether your biltong makers make use of a fan as well?
Our domestic Home Biltong makers don’t have a fan fitted. When we developed the machines we tried them with a fan and it made no difference at all. In fact, it interfered with the convection process.
I am the owner of a little Biltong shop in Worcester. I am making my own biltong and chilli bites but would now like to try my hand at making Fruit & Chutney Bites.
I searched the web and contacted some of the spice suppliers in Cape Town but they could not help me with a “Fruit & Chutney” spice or a recipe.
Do you know of a pre-mixed fruit & chutney spice or can you supply me with a recipe to make this spice for the bites ?
Your help will be appreciated.
Dear Biltong Team,
I am looking for a recipe for “beer sticks.”
Hope this makes sense and hope you can help?
My name is Sandy van Vuuren.
Can anyone help me with some suggestions and perhaps some contacts where to look for importers of chocolates in South Africa?
Any help will be much appreciated.
This is great sliced thin and covered with gravy made from the pan juices thickened with cornstarch.
(With kind permission from Pete’s web site)
From a very happy Campervanner
We have taken quite a lot of bad mouth from Aussies getting upset to see us having a shower outside the ablution block at the Lagoon, or at the Sailing Club.
My question is have the Aussies never seen a naked tourist taking for grant what is free on offer??
The camping on the beachfront is unique to any place in Australia, as nobody bothers to tell you to stay in a Caravan Park or at a Municipal or Shire allocated camping site.
My suggestion is hot water showers at the Lagoon as we battle to wash our clothing in cold water.
Our special thanks goes to the waitress at Hogs Breath for all the food she sneaked out the back to us, and the beers were as cold as …….
The food, friends, camping, drugs, and most of all, the cleaning of the BBQ spots by the council while here in the Whitsunday’s is by far the best.
I do think the amount of money we have saved by not staying in a Caravan Park is a gift from the community, but we did invest in some of the drugs on offer.
We have saved the amount of $580.00 during our stay by parking in Muddy bay, and if the other 63 camper vans all did the same over the last four weeks, we all saved a massive $35,840.00!!
Hey, you all made our stay just like we, as the Queens subjects, expect to be treated by a colony of Her Majesty the Queen!
My last point is this; To the companies in Airlie Beach and Cannonvale who were going to pay us cash in hand to do do the dishwashing. It’s OK to keep our wages and threaten to phone Immigration because we all had a good laugh when we used the dishwasher as a toilet!
Good-Bye Airlie Beach and Cannonvale – Here we come, Brisbane and Sydney!!
Lots of lovies from
Reg, Paul Stacey and Megan.
PS. My last thanks to Michael the Aussie fruit picker who gave me his Medicare card to see the Doctors for the rash from New Years Eve.
Also a special thanks to the Mountain Valley Caravan Park. Your toilet blocks are the cleanest and you have lots of free toilet paper to take to the Campervan for our trip down south.
Any good spots down south?? Perhaps the local paper should start a “camping along the roadside” column.
Got to go!
Reggie Rasta from Stockwell.
I will phone the Queen and tell here how splendid an idea it was to see how you (the Aussies, her servants) treat us, the British subjects. We will be back in a few months for more free accommodation once the requests for hot showers and electrical power points at the Muddy bay Camping sites have been approved and installed.
(The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the editor of this newsletter.)
We asked Jackie last month what a screen reader is.
Here is her answer:
A screen reader is a software you get to read everything to you that is on your computer screen. There are two firms in America providing it: The one is G W Micro and the other one is Freedom Scientific.
Okay, firstly I must say it is definitely not cheap to be blind because these systems, depending of course on what the exchange rate is, are very expensive.
The only thing it can not read of course are graphics.
Sometimes it can be very frustrating in front of the computer because the voice system is understandably very big and it takes quite a lot of space. This can lead to a “hanging” problem.
But the rewards of being able to sit and read to my hearts content is infinitely bigger than the frustrations. I am addicted to reading everything I can lay my hands on. This was already since childhood and now even more. I can search for anything I can think of on the Internet and within a few minutes I have all the information I could wish for right in front of me.
On a Saturday I can sit for hours and just read and read and read. Never getting enough. The only thing that is really successful to draw me away from here, is my knitting. I am even more so addicted to knitting, touching all kinds of wool and yarns.
Okay, enough for now. If I start on a subject I love, it is very hard to stop me.
And as someone once said: Since then, no one has ever had any peace again!!
Lekker bly en groete van huis tot huis.
South Africa have climbed from seventh to fifth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI Championship table, overtaking England in the process.
South Africa’s 4-1 series win over the English has boosted its rating from 101 to 106, enabling it to climb above England and the West Indies – who they tour next month – in the official ODI table.
England began the series in fourth place on 109 points but its rating has fallen by six points and it has slipped to seventh in the table.
In the ICC ODI Player Rankings, Jacques Kallis has slipped from top place in the batting rankings (a position he held briefly in the middle of the series with England), but Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock, South Africa’s other two leading players, both improved their rankings.
England’s only batsman in the top ten is the injured Andrew Flintoff, with Marcus Trescothick dropping 15 places over the series to end in 20th place.
Sapa-February 14, 2005
Cocky Kevin makes Graeme grumpy
Is Kevin Pietersen getting under South Africa’s skin?
Despite South Africa’s narrow victory in last night’s run orgy at Buffalo Park, skipper Graeme Smith wasn’t exactly full of smiles afterwards.
Pietersen’s unbeaten century in 69 balls took some of the shine off South Africa’s seven-run win that extended the home team’s series lead to 3-1 with just two matches to go.
Indeed, if he hadn’t been starved of the strike in the later overs, Pietersen – who was once again booed to the crease and booed again when he reached 50 – might have brought off a brilliant win for his team.
“He’s played very well, you can’t take that away from him,” Smith said, but his body language betrayed him.
But England captain Michael Vaughan has time for Pietersen. “He’s quite cocky and he’s got lots of composure. I like that. When Flintoff gets back in the side there’s going to be lots of hitting power in our middle order,” he said.
Asked why they had lost the game, Vaughan said that it wasn’t because of England’s batting.
“We didn’t want to repeat the mistakes at Newlands. Our plan was to build our innings and get within hitting range at the end. We did that, and you saw how close we came to winning. It wasn’t our batting that lost us the game, it was the fielding. We just gave too many runs away.”
Smith should have been a happier man. After going down 1-0 in the series with a flaccid display at the Wanderers, South Africa have gone from strength to strength with their top and middle order firing on most cylinders. The captain has struck two centuries in the last three matches, with last night’s effort a masterful, tactical innings that enabled man of the match Justin Kemp to savage the England bowling at the other end.
This article was originally published on page 20 of Cape Argus on February 10, 2005
Congratulations to you Prem.
The prize for the February Competition
The winner for the competition for February 2005 will receive a beautiful Digital Camera!!
Click here to see a picture of it on the competition page!
To enter the competition all you have to do is to visit our home page at www.biltongmakers.com and click on one of the two competition links.
The winners of all competitions are notified by email.
Some of the other prizes for the year
So, don’t wait!
You can enter right now by clicking on the competition link on our home page.
As a South African orientated web site we are constantly looking to contact more and more South Africans across the world.
So, here is your chance to help us.
If you know about a South African family or friend living near you or perhaps somewhere far away, why not tell them about us and then us about them.
If the response we receive is large enough and, directly due to your efforts people place orders with us, you could be rewarded by receiving one of our products totally free of charge.
What an easy way to perhaps get your own Home Biltong Maker without having to pay a cent for it!
You can mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
During August many people went to the trouble once again of submitting their friend’s and family’s names and we would like to thank all!
Many people are subscribing to this newsletter every day. Mostly they do so because they enjoy reading it and like to hear from people in other parts of the world.
There are many people in the world who would love to hear from you too!!
Why not put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard!), and tell us about anything interesting. About life in your part of the world, what you do and how you live. Perhaps something that happened to you.
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Of course it does not have to be about Biltong or food. Anything that is of interest is welcome!
Share it with other people around the world!
There are still a few packets left so be quick because the next batches will only be made in April.
Boerewors keeps very well for a couple of months provided it is wrapped/packed well and kept frozen at around -20 Celcius. (More than -18C).
The price is € 8.50 per kilogram for the smaller quantities under 50kg. Over 50kg it is € 7.00 when you come and fetch in Keerbergen
We can be contacted by mail at email@example.com or by telephone at +32 (16) 53.96.25.
Our new stock of Potjie Pots have not arrived as yet. We will keep you posted as to when they are here.
For those who are interested please call us at +32 (16) 53.96.25.
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