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What did you drag across the world?
January 7, 2006It was a winter wonderland again last week.I just came home from a trip to Holland. The skies were dark, unusually so for 3 o’clock in the afternoon. During high winter in January it only gets dark around 4 o’clock.
There were a couple of things on the shopping list so I decided to quickly go out and get them.
Now I must be honest, I love that type of weather, everything turned white in an instant and the car’s wipers had a hard job keeping the snow from the windscreen.
The traffic was crawling along and at my first stop the shop’s staff was already out spreading salt all over the parking area. Coming out of the shop after a couple of minutes the cars were covered with a 5cm thick layer of snow.
I crawled back home and it was like being inside one of these pictures you see on postcards. The street lights shone dimly on the snow-covered roads and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion.
It is so picturesque this time of year!
A new year is upon us and we wish all our friends and customers all over the world a very healthy, prosperous and, most of all, peaceful 2006.
How time flies. It seems just like yesterday that we were sitting in a Japanese restaurant on the Schelde (river) in Antwerp celebrating the new century.
And so we are entering the New Year. Still recovering from too much food and drink and totally overweight. I must do something about it this winter because I don’t feel like looking and feeling like a big whale when the summer comes and we go on holiday! The last time I looked ridiculous in the swimming pool. I am sure that every time I got in the water level jumped by a couple of centimeters. I don’t even have to swim, my body fat will keep me afloat! But then I keep promising myself every year that I will do something about it and very little happens usually. Sound familiar?
The first change will be the appointment of agents in those areas where most of our customers are to be found. We hope to start off with the UK and Australia. The main reason for this is to bring down the shipping costs for our products. As all of you who have a Home Biltong Maker will most certainly know, the cost of shipping is quite high. At the same time, with stock in the major areas, the shipping time can be drastically reduced.
The second change is that we are stopping the monthly competition. Our competitions have run for the better part of four years now and it is time for a change. We are working on some very exciting ideas at the moment!
Well, that is it for this month.
In order to carry on with the monthly newsletter we are going to need some help from you, our readers. Any input whether big or small, will be welcome. You might have read an interesting article or found a nice recipe or you might even be brave enough to write something yourself.
So, from me, take care and till next month!
New Year’s Recipe
Take twelve, fine, full-grown months,
see that these are thoroughly free from
all old memories of bitterness, hate and jealousy; cleanse them
completely from every clinging spite:
pick off all specks of pettiness and
littleness; in short , see that these
months are freed from all the past;
have them as fresh and clean as when
they first came from the great
storehouse of time.Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one
equal parts. This batch will keep for just
one year. Do not attempt to make up the
whole batch at one time (so many persons
spoil the entire lot in this way), but
prepare one day at a time, as follows:Into each day put twelve parts of faith,
eleven of patience, ten of courage, nine
of work (some people omit this ingredient
and so spoil the flavor of
the rest), eight of hope, seven of
fidelity, six of liberality, five of
kindness, four of rest (leaving this
out is like leaving the oil out of the
salad, don’t do it), three of prayer,
two of meditation, and one well selected
resolution. If you have no conscientious
scruples, put in about a teaspoonful of
good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of
folly, a sprinkling of play, and a
heaping cupful of good humor.
Pour in love and mix with happiness.
Cook thoroughly in a fervent heat; garnish with a few smiles and a sprig of joy;
then serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness, and
a Happy New Year is certain.
So, there I was sitting in The Hague at Tony’s and Catherine’s house on Boxing day when it dawned on me that I actually had no clue what Boxing Day was all about!
Where does the name come from and how did it start? Does everybody celebrate Boxing Day? I know that in Belgium this day is like any other and is a normal working day.
So, I did a little research and this is what I found:
Despite the lively images suggested by the name, it has nothing to do with pugilistic expositions between tanked-up family members who have dearly been looking forward to taking a round out of each other for the past year. Likewise, it does not gain its name from the overpowering need to rid the house of an excess of wrappings and mountains of now useless cardboard boxes the day after St. Nick arrived to turn a perfectly charming and orderly home into a maelstrom of discarded tissue paper.
The name also has nothing to do with returning unwanted gifts to the stores they came from, hence its common association with hauling about boxes on the day after Christmas.
The holiday’s roots can be traced to Britain, where Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen’s Day. Reduced to the simplest essence, its origins are found in a long-ago practice of giving cash or durable goods to those of the lower classes. Gifts among equals were exchanged on or before Christmas Day, but beneficences to those less fortunate were bestowed the day after.
And that’s about as much as anyone can definitively say about its origin because once you step beyond that point, it’s straight into the quagmire of debated claims and duelling folklorists. Which, by the way, is what we’re about to muddy our boots with.
At various times, the following “origins” have been loudly asserted as the correct one:
More elaborate versions of this origin involve boxes kept on sailing ships:
The title has been derived by some, from the box which was kept on board of every vessel that sailed upon a distant voyage, for the reception of donations to the priest — who, in return, was expected to offer masses for the safety of the expedition, to the particular saint having charge of the ship — and above all, of the box.
The mass was at that time called Christmass, and the boxes kept to pay for it were, of course, called Christmass-boxes.
Whichever theory one chooses to back, the one thread common to all is the theme of one-way provision to those not inhabiting the same social level. As mentioned previously, equals exchanged gifts on Christmas Day or before, but lessers (be they tradespeople, employees, servants, serfs, or the generic “poor”) received their “boxes” on the day after.
Since March last year we asked people to write in to us and tell us about something unusual that they had taken with them from South Africa when they moved overseas.
We did not get as many entries as we expected but some were really unusual. From a boat mast to a bowl of pebbles or flower petals to 20 fishing rods and a Bidizzo!We promised the person who sent us the most unusual entry one of our Rockey’s 5kg Home Biltong makers.The winning entry is not only because it is unusual but also because the person who sent it is, in our opinion the most determined and caring of all.
Therefore the Home Biltong Maker will go to Gavin van Heusden from Durban in South Africa.
Here is his story:
After eight years of living in the UK it was time to return home to South Africa. Leaving as a bachelor in 1997 I was returning a married man and my wonderful wife was expecting at the time!! This is where the plant in my life (Henry) comes into the story.
After deciding it was time we go back to our roots in South Africa the BIG MOVE got under way in November 2004. After everything was moved and all our suitcases for the last two weeks stay were packed and booted I was walking out the door for the final time with Henry in my arms. He was to be given to my cousin for safe keeping. This I believe was preoccupying me, and low and behold my jacket got caught on the door handle as I was walking through. I stumbled, found the lip of the step, slipped and launched into the air……trying to get my balance meant letting go! Watching the pot tumble through the air in slow motion was sickening but at the same time it felt like a fitting end for my plant.
One smashed pot later, and a plant that had snapped at the root system and leaf system I was cleaning up the mess before the new owners moved in. I actually found a few leaves still joined together and thought I would drop them in some water and see what happens. Well, what did I expect, after a few days there were a few roots off the bottom of the leaves. On the day of leaving we wrapped him in wet cotton wool and stuffed him into my golf bag. Expectations of survival were highly based on past performance and as expected we now have Henry on our balcony looking healthier than ever before.
I dragged a doomed plant, which I have known longer than my wife all the way across the world!!
Congratulations Gavin. Your Biltong Maker will be on its way shortly!
To see all the entries and to meet other South Africans in your area just visit our GuestMap!
Hi every one its been fun learning how to make biltong and hearing so much feed back thanks.
Lived in the good old U.S.A for 8 years know, got the biltong maker, good stuff!
This country is wonderful, but you still feel like going home sometimes, just to get the South African feeling.
Hallo almal hier van onder af. Ons is nou al 9 jaar hier en geniet rugby, sonskyn, boerewors en biltong!
Good OLD South Africa!
Great website, great newsletter, by great people – keep it up!
It’s just too good to be true. Finally my own homemade biltong
Nice to read about SA things. Love making my own Biltong here in Japan. I don’t even want to share it with my wife!!
Sunsets and biltong on the Med! What could be better! Almost like home!
You people are the pits and are irritating us with your disgusting products. We have moved on and do not eat SA food any more thanks.
Ons is regte egte biltong, braai en potjie mense. Biltongmakers is tops!
We live in Paradise, eat the food of the “Gods” have the lifestyle of the “rich and famous” make biltong eat boerewors and have created the opportunity for Aussies to sample real biltong, now I have a thief stealing it out of my kassie when I am away from home!
Biltong is a drug….a lekker Seffrican drug.
After 8 years I’m a bit of a”Rooinek” but still a”Jaapie” at heart and our “Ankle Biters” love to “Braai”.
Life is great, when you are a boerseun, eating boerewors and biltong in Boedapest!
Every time I get the newsletter, it costs me a fortune to go to the local butchery for biltong. Love your site and the newsletter.
Very pleased that I purchased the biltongmaker and so are my friends!!
Love our Biltong Maker. Still miss SA Biltong, it is the best!!!
I LOVE this site – biltong is the food of the gods – it should be illegal to not have any in your freezer, cupboard, biltong maker…..
Everyone should be born with a Home Biltong Maker!! It’s a little bit of home wherever you are!
You can say goodbye to your friends and family but NEVER to biltong, boerewors and braaivleis.
Everything local and lekker starts with “B”; Biltong, Beer, Boerewors and Biltongmakers.com!
We love our Biltong Maker!!!
It’s great reading and makes one feel part of a South African family, although we are, in Johnny Clegg’s words, “Scatterlings of Africa”
You too could be making your own Biltong in a very short space of time.
Details on ROCKEY’S 5kg Home Biltong Maker can be found by clicking on this link.
You can have a look at the BILTONG BUDDY here.
Well, the festive season is no more but that does not mean that we cannot carry on with giving you the best value possible for all our products.
Until the end of January the following products will be on special:
Click here to go to our on-line shop.
Quite a lot of people have been asking us to convert cooking measures such as from American to European metric etc.
(Happy Cooking! -Ed)
We have all had a problem with flies on our meat at some stage. A fly can lay thousands of eggs in an instant. These eggs will very quickly turn into maggots and then you can throw your meat away.
It was brought to our notice that some people try to use a higher wattage and different shape globe than supplied with the Biltong Makers. They do this to try and decrease the drying time. Not only does this not work but it it also dangerous!
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 @ firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can help other people who might have the same questions in the future)
Thanks for a splendid news letter.
I have one of your units and LOVE making Biltong in Arizona (perfect “it’s a dry heat” ) for it.
I think this is a great site, with all the recipes from good old South Africa.
Nothing like the traditional sounds of South Africa
By James ClarkeOne of the attractions of Kruger National Park – that tranquil corner of South Africa where one can cruise along knowing that all who are there are there to enjoy what you enjoy – is that it brings out the best in us. Nobody is in a hurry.Strangers swop news on what they have seen and there’s the camaraderie of the camp at night, especially as families and friends gather in the cheerful glow of their braaivleis fires.
But somebody recently complained of one particularly anomalous sound – the grating noise made by those heavy wood-and-steel Kruger Park chairs as they scrape on the well-polished stoep floors.
Yet on a recent visit to the park I realised that if I were far away from home – say languishing in Australia trying to whip up some interest in kangaroos, or swatting mosquitoes in Canada where nothing has happened since 1759 – then the recollection of that very sound – the scraping of a Kruger Park chair – would fill me with nostalgia.
I would be wretchedly homesick.
I then contemplated producing a recording of characteristic South African sounds for sending to friends who have emigrated – ah, there are so many of them – to induce them to return.
No commentary – just sounds. Perhaps, perhaps, with the occasional strains of kwela music in the background.
In that record I would certainly include the raucous call of hadedas, who always sound as if they are scared of heights.
I’d record the cheerful morning song of the black-eyed bulbul and, of course, the far-carrying cry of the fish eagle.
Ah yes, and the distant roar of lions heard from Satara camp.
I’d have the strident voices of Zulu women talking to each other across the width of a suburban street, and the rhythmic songs of strikers toyi-toying among impatient traffic.
I would also include the sound of Johannesburg traffic, permeated by the deep drumming sound (which is all one hears, thank goodness) of the latest nightclub hit coming from out of a passing car, driven by somebody whose sound system is probably worth more than the car itself.
I’d include a summer thunderstorm as it moves nearer and nearer, and then the sound of the first heavy drops of rain striking broad leaves, and the torrential rain that follows at 4.30pm and as it diminishes (at 4.52pm, op die kop).
I would include the sizzle of meat on a braaivleis fire, the sharp hiss of a can of Castle being opened.
But to ensure that the listener knows that a braaivleis is not just any old Aussie or American barbecue, I’d have the background sound of suburban hadedas going home to roost at sunset.
I’d include the sound of crickets and the bushveld nightjar that we call the litany bird with its quavering call of “Good Lord deliver us!” The sound of a packed Ellis Park stadium singing Nkosi, sikelel’ i Afrika, followed by the roar as the match starts, and then Shosholoza.
I’d have a snatch of SABC news read in a strong Sotho or Zulu accent, and the rumbling voice of a Ventersdorp boer pontificating about the Bokke.
I’d have the high-pitched, highly accented voice of an East Rand woman complaining about Beauty pinching the sugar again.
I’d have a Soweto choir and a few minutes of pounding Zulu drums and the foot stamping and the ululating.
Have I missed anything out?
Ah yes, and I’d end by repeating the scraping of Kruger Park chairs and then the characteristic squeak of the heavy-duty spring on the fly screen door as one enters one’s rondavel to retire for the night. I’d then let the sounds of the Lowveld night take over.
That’d bring ’em home.
Often cooked together with tripe and known as “Pens en Pootjies”, this is a great Cape specialty. Serves: 4 Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes
My daughter Lesley lives in Anchorage, Alaska and loves it.
Best wishes to all for a very happy New Year!
Links to the sport pages
Even early days will be tough for the Bulls
A rugby year of blunders and burst bubbles
Positives and negatives from the rugby season
The winner of the December Competition!
Jannie Theron from Cape Town.
Congratulations Jannie. Your Biltong Maker has been shipped and will reach you shortly!
Please let us know how the first batch of Biltong turned out?
The correct answers for the competition questions for the month of December were:
Question 1: 26-20 to France – Question 2: PST Rigid Styrene – Question 3: Canberra
The December Competition was the last one in the series. We have been running our competitions for almost four years now and will stop with them, for a while at least.
We are busy looking at something different and very exciting so keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground!
As a South African orientated web site we are constantly looking to contact more and more South Africans across the world.
Not only to tell them about how they can make their own Biltong but also to give them a chance to share their stories with other South Africans the world over.So, here is your chance to help us.If you know about a South African family or friend living near you or perhaps somewhere far away, why not tell them about us and then us about them.
Perhaps you can send us their email address so that we can mail them a copy of this newsletter.
If they like it they can stay on the mailing list, if not they can just let us know and we will remove them from the list.
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 email@example.com
During the last month many people went to the trouble once again of submitting their friend’s and family’s names and we would like to thank all!
Now that we have started new year it would be nice to get some contributions for the newsletter from all our readers.
Many people are subscribed to our newsletter and many more are joining every day. Mostly they do so because they enjoy reading it and like to hear from people in other parts of the world.
They 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.
Perhaps you have some advice to give?
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!
It is winter in our part of the world now and no-one will be going outside for a braai anymore.
But, that does not mean that you cannot have Boerewors rolls any longer! Boerie rolls are great for indoor parties and even as a meal!
We will be making our last batches for the year shortly and suggest that you place your orders for the winter timely to avoid disappointment.
You can contact us on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or mail us at Boerewors-Benelux.
The price is € 7.50 per kg
The Potjiekos season is over for this year. No more nice sunny days to stand around the Potjie, beer in hand just enjoying yourself.
We make our “Potjie” in our size 25 Pot (see left) and you can have a choice between Beef, Chicken and Lamb.
The Chicken “Potjie” is the most popular because it is a really inexpensive way to entertain.
To book please give us a call on +32 (16) 53.96.25
(Please note that our “Potjiekos” can only be done outside because we cook on gas or coals!)
As with the Potjiekos our Lamb-on-the-Spit is also something of the past this year (unless you want one in the snow!).
Lamb on the spit is a way of entertaining as only known by very few mainly because it is thought to be very expensive.
Together with the lamb we will treat you to a big pot of curried potatoes as well as a choice between a pasta salad or three-bean salad.
Booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32 (16) 53.96.25
-May and June 2006 are almost booked out-(As with our “Potjiekos” a Lamb on the Spit can only be done outside because we cook on coals!)
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