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What did you drag across the world?
November 2, 2005One of the most incredible things you experience when you live in Europe is how the different seasons are so absolutely defined. Winter is REALLY winter here complete with the snow and ice and cold and, of course, the nice warm homes, open log fires and long cozy evenings.
When it is spring you just FEEL and SEE nature coming alive again in an almost unbelievable way. It is as if everything wakes up from a long, long sleep and almost overnight you start seeing the trees turning green and flowers blossoming.
A good summer can give us temperatures of 35C or more with looooong warm evenings sitting outside until the sun goes down at 10:30 or so.
And then there is the autumn…..!
That’s where we have been for the past couple of months or so.
Autumn in the northern hemisphere is a spectacle of colours almost too beautiful to behold. You can see and smell it is autumn and feel it! The gardens are full of toadstools in all kind of colours. The one you see here was one of the many in our front garden. This is a “real” one. One under which you will find little elves and “kaboutertjes” at night!
Here in Belgium we have had the most incredible autumn yet with temperatures averaging 20-25C. Even now, as I am sitting here it is still 19 degrees outside with a cool breeze blowing the spent leaves from their high perches on the trees outside slowly making their way to the ground where I (#$&*~!) have to spend hours blowing them onto heaps and then into the undergrowth.
But the shedding of the leaves is preceded by a spectacular colour show. Formerly green leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red.
Many millions of tons of leaves have to be cleared every year not only in gardens but also of the roads by huge trucks fitted with large “vacuum cleaners”
The railways spend millions on keeping the tracks clear because the leaves leave a deposit on the tracks, which turns them into a virtual skating ring. Trains can’t drive because the wheels just slip along the rails.
Autumn is a time where most train commuters are always late for work.
I love autumn. Especially this year with its incredible temperatures and ….. well, what can I say?
Have a look at some of the pictures on this page and click on the ones on the right to see them in their true format. But remember, no picture could ever do any justice whatsoever to seeing it in real life.
But, for the time being we are stuck in the present.
So, on this philosophical note I must leave you.
Till next month.
You put a lot of energy and effort into living. So on a regular basis, take time to fully experience your life and the world in which you live.
Spend some time that has no purpose other than to take in all the richness of which you’re a part. Let go, for a while, of the need to analyze, to criticize, to judge and react.
Allow your thoughts to be still. Feel the wonder, the goodness, the beauty of simply being, and knowing that you are.
Experience life, not in order to gain any advantage or to impress someone. Experience life because the depth of its richness has no limit.
The more fully you experience and appreciate life, the more you’ll find yourself needing less and having more. Experience life, and you’ll clearly see how truly rich you already are.
Life is a gift so precious that it has no equal.
Experience life, and give that gift to yourself and others.
´n Reeks artikels oor kos sal nie volledig wees sonder om oor ons nasionale erfenis, potjiekos, te praat nie. Van die mense waarmee ek gepraat het voor ek hier kom sit het, het my op die vraag “Waar kom Potjie” vandaan geantwoord: van die Voortrekkers. Ek moet erken ek het ook nogal so gedink. Tot my verbasing is dit nie.
Die ontstaan van die hutspot of potjie gaan sover terug as 1573. Op 15 Oktober 1573 het die Spanjaarde die Nederlandse stad Leiden beleër. Maar die Nederlanders was nie bekommerd gewees nie want hulle het genoeg kos in die stad gehad. Op 21 Maart 1574 los die Spanjaarde Leiden soos ´n warm patat. Die mense was verheug.
Maar ewe skielik op die 25ste Mei 1574 beleër die Spanjaarde weer Leiden. Dit is net hier waar die moeilikheid begin. Die mense het nog nie tyd gehad om kos bymekaar te maak nie en niemand kon in of uit die stad gaan nie. Die kos was maar skraps. Gelukkig het die mense begin om gemeenskapsetes te maak. Almal het maar stukkie kos aangedra van wat hulle gehad het. Al hierdie flentertjies en skraapsels is in een pot gegooi en gekook. So het hulle maar elke dag saam geëet.
Daar is verder min bekend oor die hutspot en hoe hy begin het om deur Europa te trek. Elke jaar word die hutspot gemaak op die dag wanneer die beleg van Leiden beëindig is. Die mense het duidelik nie net die hutspot bly maak op die vakansiedag nie. Van Nederland het die hutspot België, Frankryk en Engeland toe gegaan.
Natuurlik op 6 April 1652 het Jan van Riebeeck so ´n paar hutspotte aan boord van sy skepe gehad. As mens daaraan dink is die potte net reg gewees om mee te kook in so ´n wilde ongerepte land. Maar dit is nie al manier wat die potte hier in die suiderpunt van Afrika geland het nie. Die ontdekkingsreisigers het die swart potte by hulle gehad om hulle kos in te maak. Op een of ander manier het hulle seker maar die potte geruil vir gunste en gawes by die plaaslike bevolking.
Die plaaslike bevolking het gou gesien dat die swart ysterpotte baie beter kook en hanteer as die gewonne kleipotte wat hulle gebruik het. En so het die potjie vol pap ook sy plek gekry by die swart bevolking, en met hulle migrasie af na die suidpunt toe het die pot ook saamgekom.
In Kaapstad in die vroeë jare het die pot behoorlik gekook. Eers het die mense net kos daarin gaargemaak. Verder het hulle agtergekom dat hulle die potjie ook as ´n oond gebruik en stukke vleis daarin gaarmaak, maar die einde was dit niet, want hulle het ook agtergekom dat mens ook brood in die pot kan bak. Maar met al die skepe met hulle vreemde speserye en geure het die potjie ook begin om meer geurig en smaaklik te raak.
Natuurlik was hierdie 3 in een pot ‘n natuurlike keuse toe die Voortrekkers die lang pad moes aandurf noorde toe. Die voordeel van die potjies is dat jy nie vreeslik baie nodig het om hom aan die gang te kry nie. ´n Klein vuurtjie en ‘n paar stukke hout en siedaar gaan die pot aan die kook. Die ander voordeel is ook dat as mens die potjie stadig kook kan taai vleis lekker sag word. ´n Ander voordeel, ook vir die Voortrekkers, is dat die aand as jy klaar geëet het kan jy die volgende dag net jou potjie optel en aan die wa haak en daar gaan jy.
Hier in die Sewentigerjare het ons moderne wesens die potjie in al sy glorie laat herleef. Mense het begin agterkom dat as jy potjie maak dat daar ekstra paar uur lekker kuier mee gepaard gaan. Baie potjiekos-kompetisies is gehou en daar is tot ´n potjiegilde in Pretoria.
Die potjie se grootte word bepaal deur die hoeveelheid water wat hy kan neem. ´n No 1 pot neem 2 Quarts water en ´n no 3 pot 8 Quarts water.
Deesdae is omtrent elke mens ´n potjie kenner. Elkeen het maar sy gunsteling manier en gereg wat hy as sy eie beskou. Miskien moet ons dankie aan die Spanjaarde sê vir die beleg van Leiden. As dit nie vir daardie beleg was nie sou ons kultuur beslis armer gewees het.
Did we not want to take everything, thinking that if we got rid of something we might not be able to replace it wherever we went to?
Then, once on “the other side”, we either realized how lucky we were to have taken all those “special” things or how stupid it really was.I for one remember that is was very difficult to part with all the things we had gathered over so many years.
But some of the things …….really!!
I can just think of the SEVEN braais we took! There was our Cadac gas braai (with every conceivable attachment!), our Weber, spitbraai, large cast iron braai, another (smaller) Weber, our gas bottle with the large cast iron top……just to mention some!
In this part of our newsletter we are inviting you to write in telling us what YOU took with you when you left.
We will have a small Competition to see who writes in with the most unusual item that they dragged with them across the world!
We will be running this competition until the end of the year so submit your entries as soon as possible.
The person with the most unusual item (and we will want to see a picture of it!) will get one of Rockey’s 5kg Home Biltong Makers!
So, here we go!
This one is from Nico Botha in Australia
From Lorraine and Derek Austin in Brisbane
From Paddy Johnson in Australia
From Kerry Booysen-Finch in Holland
From Tanja Köhn in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
From John and Mel Berry from Loxahatchee, Florida, USA
From Jacki Martin in New Hampshire in the US of A
I love the newsletter – thanks for the great stories!!
From Gavin van Heusden in Durban, South Africa
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!!
Come on all you SAers out there you still have till the end of this year to submit your entries!
Jan van Niekerk
You too could be making your own Biltong in a very short space of time.
Our factory has informed us that a small batch of Biltong Buddies was supplied with a round 40 watt golf ball shaped globe. This only applies for Biltong Buddies shipped between 1-7-2005 and 30-09-2005.
We apologize for this inconvenience.
During November you will be able to get the incredible BILTONG BUDDY Home Biltong Maker at only R 565.00.
That is more than R 150.00 below the normal retail price!
Make use of this opportunity because we expect a price increase from the factory before the end of the year.
As an added bonus we will give you a free packet of one of the famous NICE ‘n SPICY Spice packets complete with recipe with every order placed for one of our Home Biltong Makers.Click
here to go to our on-line shop.
Just a suggestion – in your newsletter you have a section where you ask subscribers to list odd/strange items that they took with them when they emigrated from SA.
With the benefit of hindsight, what would they have sold and what would they have bought before leaving SA?
Please send your tips to the editor at the firstname.lastname@example.org.
We heard that one can call South Africa for only 1 cent per minute from Europe. Apparently you must dial the prefix 003001439 and then the normal number.
For those people who have problems with fruitflies (those nasty very small creatures) while making Biltong in one of our biltong makers, just use a piece of very fine netting (much like net curtaining) to drape over the machine.
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)
After realizing from sad experience that quite often fresh steaks from supermarkets are not very well cured (or aged) and may be quite tough, I was wondering if your readers had any thoughts on how to improve the overall tenderness of meat before braaing or hot frying.
Vacuum packing perhaps?
All the best, wherever you may be.
What is the difference between Jerky and Biltong except, perhaps, from the spices and the drying process.
Step onto stoep for smells and sounds of home
By James ClarkeIn September I mentioned how I’d like to make a record of South African sounds to send to South Africans who’ve emigrated – sounds that would make them want to come home.
I received an enormous response, half from readers overseas who read this column on the Internet.
Some responses were quite sad.
In that column, I mentioned the “cheerful morning song of the black-eyed bulbul”. This prompted Neville Clarke (no relation) in Sydney, Australia, to remind me of a verse he’d kept from Stoep Talk many years ago – Song for Non-Morning People:
I woke early one morning,
Glenda Jones sent the column to her sister, Nola Doddemeade whom, I gather, lives somewhere overseas. She responded by suggesting I try to synthesise some typical South African smells.
She listed jasmine at dusk; boerewors on a braai; the bush just before it rains; the bush just after it has rained; vetkoek frying; a veld fire; mealie porridge cooking on a wood fire; a pool dosed with HTH; and Durban curry.
Gwendoline, who has lived in Windsor, England, for the past few years, wrote: “I loved the column. And yes, it makes me want to be back putting up with violent crime and the soaring cost of living.
“Your column is the one place I still find that lifts my spirits. Since I have moved to the UK I have faithfully read it on IOL. I’d say you too are a wonderful sound of SA.”
This, of course, made my day even if it did cause Threnody to roll her eyes into the back of her head so they looked like a pair of picnic eggs.
Carl de Kock of “Mission, TX” in Texas wrote: “I am an ex-South African boertjie now calling Texas my home. Your article did indeed bring back many great memories. The question is: are the more modern sounds becoming traditional – the sound of the security gate locking when you lock yourself into your home; the sound of gunshots at night?
“Depressing stuff. Regardless, South Africa is still a country with the potential of a great future. Keep your writings coming. We avidly read your column.”
A farmer’s wife in Queensland, Australia wrote a long letter to say the column made her homesick but then she recalled how her family were terrorised on their farm in Mpumalanga and how happy her husband is today doing farm work that, back home, took several hands to do, badly.
This one is from Japie de Jager from Walvisbay in Namibia
I would like to share this recipe with all the “BBQ” Braai fans out there.
Japie de Jager
Mushroom Mince Dish
Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.
Moenie kla nie
However interesting it is to live in a foreign country, I’m always grateful to return to the RSA, knowing there are bigger problems around than what we complain of in SA.
Biltong is not rotten meat!
Someone sent me your website link which I find very interesting because I am a biltong fanatic who enjoys making our own Biltong …. naturally, without the industrial spices that all the butcheries in South Africa use.
I have a belief in making food and Biltong with natural spices and ingredients, such as our forefathers used to do, and I applaud your approach in publishing recipes using natural spices etc. I also am delighted that the Biltong culture is being exported and embraced in countries in Europe and America.
I would encourage you to dispel some of the myths that some uninformed and poorly educated people outside of South Africa believe.
Best wishes from
We don’t know what doctor wrote this but we like him!!
Health question and answer session
Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it… don’t waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that’s like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain…Good!
Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU’RE NOT LISTENING!!!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they’re permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO . Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It’s the best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ is a shape!
Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
An elderly couple was sitting together, watching their favorite Saturday night TV program.
FOR SALE BY OWNER
Brave cricket pays off
Top men in line for place on SA Rugby board
Now tearful Os has won them all
The winner of the October Competition!
Mrs Isa Kahn from Mevasseret Zion in Israel.
Congratulations to you Isa!
Your MP3 Player complete with all accessories will be mailed to you shortly. We have even fitted the batteries for you and recorded a couple of songs so you can try it out the minute you receive it.
The prize for the November Competition
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.
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.
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!
It is almost Christmas again and it would be nice to get some contributions for the December newsletter from all our readers.
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.
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 autumn in our part of the world and not many people will be going outside for a braai anymore.
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 somthing 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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