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March 04 2006It’s Spring! (or so we thought)
“Oh, look” June said. “It’s almost seven o’clock and it’s still light outside! And so it was. Slowly but surely we are moving towards Spring, the mornings when it will be light early again and those long warm summer nights when you can still sit in the sun at 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening.
On the 1st of March it was officially Spring in the northern hemisphere. The same as the 1st of September is in the bottom half of our world. That’s when the swimming pools open in South Africa and summer is on the way!
That morning there were no swimming pools opening here in Belgium but instead the clouds opened with a heavy downpour of snow. It was gray and sombre outside and June hardly got out of the driveway to go to work!
But, as the morning progressed the clouds disappeared, the sky turned a brilliant blue with the sun “beating” down on the white winter landscape outside.
It was beautiful!
That’s when I say to myself that this is what winter should be like. Had it been weekend it would have been fantastic to go for a long walk through one of the forests nearby and stop for a hot lunch with a steaming glass of gluhwein.
But, it was the middle of the week so we had to work and the best we could do was to turn up the central heating and curl up in the lounge with a nice hot drink that night.
We sent some pictures I took to friends in South Africa and most of them mailed back that we were mad to stay in such a cold climate. Well, sometimes is gray and nasty outside (a total of 30 hours sun in February) and that is when you wish for some sun on your body but when the skies are blue and it is cold and crisp outside with a thick blanket of snow……………You must have done it to appreciate it!
I have added some pictures of that “Spring day” for you all to see.(Click to see them big)
So, we are moving to the summer and all of you down South are going the opposite way! We are looking forward to a nice warm summer with many an afternoon and evening on a “terrasje” somewhere having a drink and just enjoying watching the people go by.
Nothing like it!
You can also click here for the latest update of our boerewors information leaflet.
Well, that was it for this month.
Please keep on writing to us.
Just like it is so nice for us to hear about other people and how they live, it would be nice for them to read about you!
Till next month,
Where does our South African “Boeremusiek” come from? What is the history behind it and how did it all start? It is sad that there is virtually nothing to read up about Boeremusiek, not even on the Internet! But, what we found makes interesting reading.
Sit back, make yourself comfortable and read AND listen to this story………
What is “boeremusiek”?
What is the character of “Boeremusiek”?
What are the origins of “Boeremusiek”?
“Boeremusiek” is largely European in origin and it would be a misconception to think that it was brought to South Africa by the early settlers. Most of it was imported fairly recently but acquired a flavour of its own and remained in vogue here long after it went out of fashion abroad.
How did it get to South Africa?
There where also music teachers who noted down local tunes. The first person to do this was Charles Ettienne Boniface (1787-1853) who arrived in the Cape in February 1807
(Short excerpts from the book by Wilhelm Shultz, “Die ontstaan en ontwikkeling van Boeremusiek”)
And now……sit back and listen!
Just click on any of the songs below
– You need a media player of some sort installed on your computer –
Wie maak Boeremusiek lekker
Daar’s ‘n wind wat waai
Ek laaik haar
That is the way most of our Home Biltong Maker users think. And no wonder! With the price of Biltong and the terrible quality you get most of the time, it must be “heaven” to have a piece of your own, home made Biltong. Biltong that tastes like YOU want it to taste and not the way someone else made it.
Here are just a couple of comments from very happy Home Biltong Makers in different parts of the world.
“This is the fabbest biltong I think I’ve ever tasted!
Congrats on such a success!
Best regards to all the Biltong Team.
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.
Rockey’s New Age Home Biltong maker will still cost only R 795.00 instead of R 850.00
Click here to go to our on-line shop.
We live in Michigan,USA. Have been here for 10 years after leaving South Africa. I don’t know if your readers are familiar with SKYPE but is is a wonderful Internet service that allows you to make calls over your Internet COMPLETELY FREE to other SKYPE users or calls to regular phones for really cheap rates (around 2 to 3 c per minute).
We have been using it for months and nothing else out there beats it. Calls are as good, if not better than regular phone calls. Great for keeping in contact with the folks “Back home”!!
Their website is www.skype.com.
Keep up the good work !
(I totally agree with the above. SKYPE is great and FREE!. We make regular video-calls to South Africa and the quality is good provided you have a fast connection. – Ed)
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 @ email@example.com
so we can help other people who might have the same questions in the future)
I was wondering if it’s possible to dry biltong in a fan assisted oven on the lowest heat possible?
Does one have to hang the biltong under a fan and, if so, will an aircon do?
Hi there all you Biltongmakers
Thank you for your great web site, it helped me a lot, but I need to ask you if you could help me in making Kabanossi.
What happens if the Aliens reply?
By James ClarkeAn international team of scientists is persisting in trying to connect with aliens living in outer space. The Sunday Independent reported that an elaborate “alien-hunt facility”, with almost 400 signal-detecting dishes, is being built in the mountains northeast of San Francisco.
It will be able to transmit into deep space and receive.
The question is: what happens if we receive an intelligent message?
The scientists have agreed on one thing: “Don’t answer it!”
They prescribe that “no response should be sent until appropriate international consultations have taken place”.
This decision comes as a great relief to me. The last thing I want is for Planet Earth to attract the attention of some giant planet which might then send a space bus load of lizardmen, 70m high in their stockinged feet, who come tramping all over us as if we were ants seeking the intelligent life that replied to their transmission.
Since space probing by radio waves began in 1959 the most intelligent signal received has been from a garage-door remote-control device. One can imagine an international team discussing how to respond to a garage door.
Ever since scientists set up Seti (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) in the United States, this column has advocated that we do the opposite.
Rather go for a Kohdasu policy (Keep Our Heads Down and Shut Up). This is because I fear that if there is intelligent life out there, its beings might be bigger, meaner and greedier than us earthlings. The last thing we want to do is attract their attention.
They might harvest us to extinction, just as we have done to various species on our own planet.
They might collect us in bags for sale in open-air markets on Planet Zug, selling us by the scoop like supermarket nuts.
They might carry our skyscrapers and railway trains back with them for their mountain-sized kids to play with – after shaking out all the ants.
Or, as I have said before, they might be cold, slimy, smelly creatures who take a shine to us and with hearts overflowing with affection crawl into our beds at night for warmth and company.
The one ray of hope in all this is that if we do receive a signal it will probably be millions of years old. This is because if there is indeed life out there it will be on a planet zillions of light-years away.
On the other hand what’s to say they can travel a million times faster than light and can send remote-controlled vacuum cleaners to suck up and bring home little samples of distant planets – such as South Africa?
Tell me, Don
Donald Rumsfeld is giving President George Bush his daily briefing on Iraq and ends by saying: “Yesterday, three Brazilian soldiers were killed.”
“Oh NO!” shouts the president, clasping his head, “That’s absolutely disastrous!”
His staff are stunned by his despairing reaction.
Finally, Bush looks up, turns to Rumsfeld and whispers, “Don, how many million are there in a brazillion?”
A philosophy professor gave a one-question exam after a semester that had dealt with a broad array of topics.
The class were already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board: “Use everything we have learnt this semester and prove that this chair does not exist.”
Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour but one was up and finished in less than a minute.
Weeks later he found out he had received an “A”.
His answer was just two words: “What chair?”
We had this one a couple of years ago but when I saw it appearing again I just knew we had to have it again.
There’s nothing like it!
One day when I am appointed Minister of South African Culinary Affairs I will decree that a monument be erected to the Frikkadel.
Now hold on, before you shudder in horror. I am not talking about those ghastly pale meat ball concoctions, generally referred to as Mystery Balls and commonly associated with watery gravy and boiled vegetables — served in canteens, hostels, roadside eateries and military establishments.
No friends, I am talking about a proper meatball, put together with fresh ingredients, love and care, and fried to golden perfection.
It is probably the most versatile of local dishes: my mother loves it with vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy; my wife prefers it cold with a salad; my neighbour loves it with boiled cabbage, and my children and I make “boere-hamburgers” with our Frikkadels — complete with cheese sauce, sliced onion and tomato, lettuce leaves and gherkins on a roll, served with a generous portion of chips!
It is absolutely superb with fresh pasta and a simple tomato and onion sauce. Or enjoy it cold with salad, or make sandwiches for the children.
Top up your wine, sit yourselves down and let me tell you the secrets of a really good Frikkadel.
To make 10-16 Frikkadels you will need
For a nice spicy flavour add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic and a finely chopped chili or two when you start mixing the ingredients.
For a really good sauce to serve with the Frikkadels (and particularly nice if you are serving rice or mashed potatoes with it): Slice two onions thinly and fry over medium heat in butter or olive oil until soft, then add a tin of whole peeled tomato, coarsely chopped; a pinch of sugar, black pepper and salt.
Let’s raise our glasses and drink a toast to the Frikkadel!
A big South African hello from Dubai, where rice is served on top of food and certain hand signal regarded as very rude back home, simply means “wait a minute” or “hold on”. Where people’s driving skills are 70% worse than the Taxi’s back home and phoning someone at 2am in the morning to discuss a business opportunity is normal.
Being away from home in such bizarre surroundings somehow brings out the patriotic spirit in a person, but never before have I experienced it like this.
One of the areas us South Africans have greatly influenced are the supermarkets as well.
The local supermarket like Spinneys and Choitrams stock Boerewors and attempt to make biltong as well, (a bit dry for my liking).
If you are lucky enough to get there on the right day and time you might be able to save (or negotiate) the last packet of boerewors from a fellow South African, whom has already stacked 20 packs in his trolley for the freezer. Other South African product that involved in the shelf emptying race are OUMA Rusks, Pronutro, Rooibos tea (a rarity), Mrs Balls Chutney, All Gold and Iwisa PAP.
At night we gather our findings and get together for a Potjiekos or braai, listen to some Afrikaans music and talk about the weather back home.
We moved to Melbourne about 2 and a half years ago from Cape Town. We absolutely love living here. There is only a couple of things that we miss here.
Now the other thing is “skorsies”. If you make a potjie it is absolutely wonderful to have them on top with pips and all. The English ruled South Africa and Australia and yet they only took ‘Skorsies’ to South Africa not Australia. If there is anyone in Australia that knows where we can get a few ‘skorsies’ or a few seeds, we would love to hear from them.
We live on the outskirts of a small town called Creswick. In South Africa we always wanted to live on a “kleinhoewe”/small holding but just could not do it on accord of the crime situation. Here we get to live our dream. We have sheep, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, fishes and a guinea pig – oh yes a few possums that eat the dog food that we leave outside at night.
Every time when the parrots come and graze on our lawn, I get that feeling that someone’s very “expensive” pet has flown away. Then afterwards I realize that they are only wild birds.
We love living here and still cannot come to terms that the crime situation here is nearly Zero. We don’t lock our cars. We only realized after 4 weeks that one of our back doors was open and when my husband leaves last for work, he forgets to close the gate and the front door. When we get back in the evening. we had that weird feeling that our home was burgled, but no, nothing gone.
Here are a lot of South Africans living here. The weather is about the same as in Cape Town and we adapted better that I ever thought. The kids are doing great at school and have lots of friends.
We miss our family but Aussie friends here are so genuine that they feel more like family than friends.
All around our town is a forest with beautiful lakes. There is all over stainless steel barbies (braais) that work with gas or electricity. You can braai all your meat on the gas plates for free and nobody pinches the stainless steel plates for scrap metal.
This is a wonderful country but we do miss our family and South African friends. Regards
To the team at Biltong Makers
I received my 5kg Biltong maker in Prague on the 2nd January 2006, via family who went to SA and saved me the expensive shipping cost. Needless to say, in exchange for some “pukka” Biltong!
I am already on my third batch and going great guns! Attempts to dry biltong in fan-oven or a food dehydrator did not render the desired results. It somehow tasted to “cooked”! Since my English partner loved the taste of the improvised method we decided to give the “real” thing a try. Now it is “Footie, beer and biltong”!
The American Jerky that is available here is prohibitively expensive and in addition , our novice attempts tasted a lot better. We gave some to our Czech and expat friends to try and received a positive response. Even South Africans living here, were impressed. The result being, we are now in the biltong making business. Our first orders went out today. I suppose we will be greeting the staff at Makro and the spice shop on a first name basis soon.
Finding some of the spices here can be a bit of a drag, especially whole coriander, but between a resourceful “Boere-meisie” en a determined “Brit”, we stopped next to a spice truck at the market, enquired whether he had coriander, and voila, a new contact plus a discounted price. We do Coriander, Teriyaki and Spicy, so far. The experiment with Turkey went very well and also caters for the folk that don’t like the taste of the beef too much. Hopefully the next step will be “Droe Wors”!
If anyone wants to swap recipes or compare , just let me know. I have visited every website regarding recipes and tips to compile my own taste. I have also found that the strength of salt differs, believe it or not!
P.S. I believe you are thinking about distributors for machines and spices. When you a ready for Europe, please bear me in mind.
Thanks for a great Website and Newsletter. It brings South Africa to Europe for us.
Here is a poem sent to us By Nico Botha from Australia
It is a poem by Danette Kotze
Black Label op Paternoster se stoep
Agter sing ‘n tafel “Ou Ryperd” op Transkaroo se wysie
Oorkant die straat hou klein seuntjies groot krewe vas,
Tietiesbaai se volk stap heen en weer verby,
Die wolwedans skemer word skielik skelm donker,
Die plastiektafels is taai en die glase bly leeg,
Bywoningsgetalle vir ontbyt is maar min
– Danette Kotze
It is way past Valentine but still worth reading ……
Valentine, oh Valentine,
You’re my Crime-Stop, my Tracker, you’re my AZT,
The list is endless and this isn’t all,
Stormers coach set to dim bright spark Bolla
Springbok Sevens seeded third for Hong Kong
Bok coach not worried about lack of tries
-Where can you watch rugby on TV?-
Click here to find out where in most countries!
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.
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 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 are already well into the 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!
This year we will be concentrating on our Country Boerewors.
We will be making our first fresh batches early April.
Please call us on +32(16)53-9625 or mail us at email@example.com
The “Potjiekos” season will be starting again soon!
We are hoping for April but definitely in May we will have our first “Potjie” of the season!
This includes everything from the “Potjie” itself to the plates and eating utensils. For an extra € 2.00 we even make the Pap!
For venues more than 50km from our home base in Keerbergen there is a small transport fee.
Booking is essential and you can do so on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or email us!
(Please note that our “Potjiekos” can only be done outside because we cook on gas or coals!)
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. Garlic or bread rolls are included as well.
We have already received many bookings for the months of May and June. If you are planning a function or party with a lamb on the Spit in mind it is advisable to book early. Remember that we are doing these functions only during weekends.
Booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32(16) 53-9625 or email us.
-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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