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In this Newsletter
From the editor
October 1, 2004
Have you ever been to Spain and not knowing one word of Spanish?
Have you ever hunted for the three restaurants they mention on your reservation slip with the names Desayuno, Almuerzo and Cena only to find out (after searching for them for an hour) that these are not restaurant names but that they mean breakfast, lunch and dinner in Spanish?
Well, that was the start of our holiday last month. We had some good laughs!
I have been to most countries in Europe at some stage in my life but I had never been to Spain.
That is where we ended up on holiday in the end. It would have been fun to go to Croatia but it did not work out in the end and we decided to leave it for another time.
|The first thing we noticed when we landed in Alacanti and were taken by bus to our hotel is how dry it was. It reminded us very much of South Africa during a dry spell.
So, there we were on our first holiday since we went to Mauritius in 1996.
Since it was a last minute decision to go to Spain there was not very much choice as where to go so we ended up in Benidorm, just north of Alacanti.
Some of you might remember Benidorm as the place where Delboy and Rodney used to go to! Remember them? Well, I can tell you one thing. There were loads of Delboys there!
|We stayed in the Melia Hotel which is a four star hotel and it looked great (see above!) But, service and food wise it did not compare to some of the South African four and five star hotels we were used to. However, the swimming pool (see right, taken from our 23rd floor balcony) and the setting was incredible! We needed a good rest, lying by the pool, just doing nothing and that is exactly what we got!|
One of the first things we noticed was that everything was so cheap! If you like your little “toddy” at night just go to where we were. Most “hard tack” was € 5.00 per liter or two for € 8.00! Some is sold in plastic bottles! Good wine for around € 2.00 per bottle. In other shops most things were also around the € 5.00 mark. Some shops advertising “TODO” (which means “Everything” or “All”) at € 6.00 or even two items at that price. Of course you are not looking at superb stuff but it was certainly good enough to kit yourself out for a summer holiday!
One day we took one of the oldest tourist trains from Benidorm to Gata de Gorgos. The “Limón Express”. This is about an hour and a half trip in an ancient, restored train.
That was magnificent!
The service was superb. We were collected from the hotel and taken back there again afterwards.
In Gata we visited one of the oldest private guitar factories and saw them making guitars there. All handmade and not expensive at all!
The journey back was for many one big haze. The tour staff opened literally dozens of crates of champagne and kept on popping corks the whole hour and a half back to Benidorm. Some of it ending up in the glasses but a lot being used to spray the people! They virtually forced people to drink up! I am not really a big champagne lover and, needles to say, was quite sober upon our arrival.
All in all it was a good week and a good rest. Swimming in the Mediteranian, walking along the boulevards and visiting the Tapas bars at night in the old Town.
Sitting on “terrasjes” and just generally relaxing.
When we arrived back at Zaventem Airport where Gwendy came to fetch us it was cold and rainy! And me still in my shorts and shirt!
As soon as we came home we switched on the heating and I guess it will now stay on till next summer.
September was a nice and quiet month. It gave us time to consolidate and take stock of what to do for the remainder of the year.
The Biltong Buddy took off like a firecracker and well over one hundred are now happily humming away making biltong for their proud owners.
Just a little tip for those people though. If you find that your meat is not drying fast enough just replace the 15 watt globe with a 25 watt pear-shaped (candle) globe. It works like a dream and is a bit quicker!
So, with Christmas around the corner and winter on its way we are moving in to the last couple of weeks of this year. If you want to order anything from the web site for family or friends for Christmas please do so timely. It takes time to get to its destination from SA.
Keep well and we’ll speak again next month!
Food for thought
Absolute rubbish but some just might make you think
- Why is it that people say they “slept like a baby” when babies wake up like every two hours?
- Why do birds bob their heads when they walk?
- When people say if you eat dessert before dinner it will ruin your appetite won’t eating dinner before dessert ruin your appetite for dessert?
- What would happen if everyone was to flush their toilet at the same time?
- If you died on the International Dateline, and half of you were on 1 side and the other half on the other side, what day would you die?
- If people with one arm go to get their nails done, do they pay half price?
- If the weather man says “it’s a 50% chance of rain” does that mean he has no idea if its going to rain or not?
- When you snap your fingers, does the sound occur when your middle finger releases from your thumb, or when your middle finger hits the palm of your hand?
- Why are you IN a movie, but your ON TV?
- If shampoo comes in so many colors, why is the lather on your head always white?
- Why do people, such as S.W.A.T or Seals wear the bulletproof vests where you can see them? Wouldn’t people aim for their head or crotch?
- If you don’t pay your exorcist, do you get repossessed?
- How come when you go in the front door of a church, you are at the back of the church, and if you go in the back door, you would end up in the front of the church?
- If you eat regular rice crispies with chocolate milk will it taste the same as eating co-co crispies with regular milk?
- Why is Bra singular and Panties plural?
- What are those little things on the end of your shoelaces called?
- Do fish ever get thirsty?
- Why can’t we sneeze with our eyes open?
- On a hamburger bun, why is the top bun always bigger than the bottom one?
- Why do the numbers on the phone go one way, but the numbers on the calculator go the other way?
- Do bald men wash their head with soap or shampoo?
- If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?
- If rabbits’ feet are so lucky, then what happened to the rabbit?
The history of ….
Here is the contribution for this month.
Chocolate grew in popularity with the Spaniards, who had learned its use from the Aztecs at the time of the invasion by the Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés in 1519. Cortés tasted chocolate prepared by the Aztecs and learned how to convert the bitter bean into a wonderful drink. He brought this treasure back to Spain where the origin and preparation method remained a secret for nearly 100 years.
In France, chocolate was met with skepticism and was considered a “barbarous product and noxious drug”. The French court was doubtful and accepted it only after the Paris faculty of medicine gave its approval. A French queen finally saved the day. In 1615, Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII declared chocolate as the drink of the French court.
As the popularity of chocolate grew, England imposed an excessive duty of 10-15 shillings per pound. By the way, the duty was comparable to approximately three-fourths its weight in gold. It took almost 200 years before the duty was dropped.
In the United States, chocolate was first manufactured in 1765. It was introduced at Milton Lower Mills, near Dorchester, Massachusetts by John Hanau and James Baker who opened a processing house.
The Swiss began making chocolate in the mid 1800’s. Switzerland, at the time, had cows but did not have abundant commodities of chocolate and sugar. In 1876, M. Daniel Peter attempted to add milk to chocolate to produce a smoother chocolate. However, adding water to chocolate made the chocolate shrink, separate and generally disintegrate. Milk has water in it, and it took Peter 8 years of experimenting before taking his product to Henry Nestle, a maker of evaporated milk. Nestle had perfected the manufacture of condensed milk, and he and Peter hit upon the idea of mixing sweetened condensed milk with chocolate.
Chocolate was available only as cocoa or as a liquid until 1879. It was Rodolphe Lindt who thought to add cocoa butter back to the chocolate. Adding the additional cocoa butter helped the chocolate set up into a bar that “snaps” when broken as well as melting on the tongue.
It was World War I that really brought attention to the chocolate candies.
One of the more widely used and well known chocolates is the Cadburys Chocolate.
To paraphrase Martin Luther King: “I had a dream!”
That dream was to hunt Africa. I was realistic about it though and planned to do it with a good friend once the kids were grownup and we could maybe afford it.
In the meantime we were quite satisfied hunting Elk and Deer in Finland and reading books by the great African hunters like Hemingway, Ruark, Bell and Taylor.
Biltong was mentioned in quite a few of these books and we had a vague notion of some kind of smelly dried bushmeat that you ate instead of starving – and only then!
Our heavy opinions were probably due to the fact that very little meat is dried in Finland, this of course due to our humid weather (in Lapland some Reindeer meat is dried in the winter but I´ve never tasted it).
Well our plan of going hunting once we had our pensions had to be given up because three years ago I was diagnosed as having melanoma and I woke up to the reality of “It´s now or never”!
My friend, BE, backed me up saying that he´d find the money as long as I didn´t die.
The list goes on and on and on and………
One day Tino Erasmus (our host and PH) presented us with some biltong. “It´s a traditional food, you may not like it he said”. Polite as always I tried a sliver and another sliver and I was hooked! After that I started smuggling (I confess, guilty as charged) biltong from South Africa but sadly it never lasted for very many days as the kids ripped it out of my hands and I had to force-feed myself so that I´d get my share, preferably all of it!
Then one day I stumbled on to the Biltongmakers>Com website and after thinking it over for several seconds I placed my order for a biltongmaker!
I received the Rockey’s Biltong Maker three days ago and started my first batch. The meat used was venison from Elk and Whitetail Deer. I used the Quick Biltong Recipe that I found on the web site and the spices that came with the Biltong Maker. The whitetail didn´t work and that was probably due to poor meat quality (the dogs loved it though).
And now it´s gone!
The kids ripped it out of my hands and after a few mouthfulls said “Just like in Africa Dad!” My wife loved it (and was surprised) and my neighbour ate several pieces asking “What do you call this?” and not hearing my answers.
So I´m now thawing out another five kilos of meat and I´ve sent my wife to the store to buy coriander.
What can I say?
It works! The recipe is great and the end result fantastic!
I´m pretty sure that I have brought biltong to Finland.
History will remember me!
(Thank you very much for such a nice story Curt! All the best – Ed)
You can order the new BILTONG BUDDY now by going to our order page or you can have a look at it first by clicking on the link below.
Details of the New “BILTONG BUDDY” can be found here.
More and more people like Curt, are making larger batches of Biltong at one time. Rockey’s New Age 5kg Biltong maker is just ideal for that purpose!
Details on Rockey’s machine can be found by clicking on this link.
Here are some general tips for this month
If you have an answer for these people please mail them?
I am making biltong in Canada and I could not find brown vinegar.
What can I do?
We have been getting the question about vinegar often lately. It is difficult to find brown vinegar in most parts of the world. Does anyone have a suggestion as to a good replacement for brown vinegar? – Ed
Hi there Biltong Team!
I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I was given a Potjie Pot which was not cleaned properly or oiled. It has now got a very rusted look.
Do not worry!
Some time ago I did a Potjiekos for a group of about 100 people (size 25 Pot) and, it being the end of summer (and being lazy), just left it where it was for the whole of the winter.
After the pot is clean wash it well with hot water and soap and let it dry.
Hi there – thanks for your interesting newsletter – it keeps me linked with ‘home’.
I live in England and have not managed to meet any South Africans here where I live – I wish I could!
South African Sweet Potato Fritters
One of the tricks to great fritters is to use clean oil and to make sure that the oil is hot enough before beginning.
These fritters can be accompanied by a spicy hot sauce when served as an appetizer course. Alternatively, they can be lightly dusted with sugar and served as a dessert.
Combine all ingredients, making a soft batter and fry spoonfulls in shallow oil till both sides are lightly browned.
Take 30 grams of ground cinnamon and mix with 180 grams of sugar. Sprinkle over pancakes as much as desired and keep rest in bottle for later use.
Cook together and add one teaspoon caramel essence before serving over the pumpkin fritter
(By kind permission of Pete from Pete’s web site)
(Continuation of last month)
Nico’s Kapater Story
Danielle gave birth to our laatlammertjie here in Far North Queensland on 06/07/04 at the Proserpine Hospital. The “baby catcher” was a Doctor from South Africa, nogal a Botha!
Think you better sit down!
It took a lot of “motivation” to go for the removal of my Kapater derm.
My first shock came when an Aussie mate’s mother told me she will do the knip of my hair en skeer ou Jonas se krulkop so mooi bles dat ek eindelik hoendervleis op my knatersak gekry het!
Step two was Jonas word ontsmet.
I felt so sad for die Mannetjie but still the end was not in sight!!
They took my weight, blood pressure, and the rest, made me sign on the dotted line, wished me well and trolleyed me into the theater!
Almal had pink gloves on and to my shock from the 1/2 a dozen standing there most were my Skippy’s best mates! (for those uninitiated, Skippy is Nico’s wife-Ed)
Half under the drugs and nearly asleep they (the gang) started the operation!
My balsak snipped open and a kilometer or two of flexi pipe removed!
I woke up an hour or so later and had the shock of my life!
They kept me another two hours and then Skippy arrived! She laughed so much I thought she had a jolly good idea what they were planning to do with me!
Good grounds for a “de-wors” hey!!
Well I came home and the ball bag decided to swell to the size of a horse! I thought for a minute they had stuck a cocoa-nut or two in it. It was so sensitive I could not touch it!
Jonas looked like a Volkswagen Combi with a PUTCO bus enjin stuck to the side of it!!
I phoned my trusted mates and they all popped over the next day and wanted to see the scar and toolbag as they all wanted to go for the snip at a later stage!
It took a lot of courage to drop the pants, and see the pain in their eyes when they saw Jonas, now Alan! Made me get tears in my eyes!
Sorry ou Jonas!
The Ooh’s and Eina’s and dammit ou pel dit lyk fokkin seer made me wonder why in the hell I did it!
At least Jannie said he now understands why we have blou bal apies in Africa! That is a warning to us humans what doctors will do to us in Hospital!
It has now taken two weeks to get the Allan Hendrikse paint colour code off and away from Jonas! He looks nice again. Real human I should say!
Do not go for this op!!
I now have scared so many others away, that the baby boom in this region will continue for ever and ever!
The swelling is down, the colour is back and the mates have sympathy! But be assured my friends, before I ever have anything removed in the distant future I will make sure I book into a hospital a thousand clicks from here and use an alias!
Groete from Kapater Botha!
This is a genuine enquiry we received on September 15,2004. We get many like these but this one we had to share with you.
Hi Biltong Team,
I have read your articles on biltong on the web site and it is very interesting.
Now she said, picture a Muslim in his garb with Biltong as a surname.
I said to her that it sounded tasty.
Thanks and kind regards
Spoilt for choice is supposed to be a coach’s dream. However, it can also make things dreadfully difficult for the poor man, too. More than anything else it presents a huge challenge to his honesty.
This is the dilemma staring Springbok coach Jake White squarely in the face.
His big moment, the so-called Grand Slam tour (if the Boks can beat the Four Home Nations on the trot), is around the corner.
The Currie Cup final is only a month away, and soon White and the national selectors will have to sit down and make some very difficult choices.
However, what is certain is that Smit, who enjoys a special rapport among the players, is indisputably the best available captain.
There is also the Lions youngster Schalk Britz to consider, though at this stage, he is probably a season off the pace. But his turn will undoubtedly come.
How many hookers can White take on tour is question number one. Number two is: can the rugby public take on trust the assurances from both White and Sarfu president Brian van Rooyen, that the quota system is a thing of the past?
Transformation is a word the rugby hierarchy have been juggling with for some time, and as a process, at times it seems to defy exact definition. Indeed, it would not be unfair to say it means many different things, depending on the circumstances.
Whatever spin it’s given, however, it has to be admitted that solid servant though he may be, Hanyani Shimange is not the country’s second-best hooker. Unless White wants to stand accused of favouritism or a bias against a very fine player, he must somehow make a plan to include Gary Botha in his overseas squad.
Indeed, it’s something of a Botha/Bulls migraine that must have White regularly calling his pharmacy these days for those well-known senior person’s headache powders!
This reference, of course, is to the Bulls’ other Botha of renown – namely centre, Ettienne – whose consistent delivery of high-class performances has been a highlight of this year’s Currie Cup.
Yes, the best of centres generally come in pairs. Remember how Danie Craven chose Tjol Lategan and Ryk van Schoor as his midfield without hesitation, even though Lategan was sometimes left out of the Western Province team by the provincial selectors?
De Wet Barry and Marius Joubert – a solid pairing forged in the heat of Test match battle – are White’s current choice for the Boks. This year, in a series of internationals leading up to the Springboks’ Tri-Nations triumph, the pair played a significant role.
But Ettienne Botha – strong and robust, with plenty of flair besides – and the Lions’ Brian Habana, whom White has already identified as a diamond in the rough, could develop into an equally effective combination.
Another who deserves the special attention of the Bok coach is Lions scrumhalf Enrico Januarie.
There’s still the “player without a province”, Luke Watson, and flyhalf Andre Pretorius, if fit, who deserve serious consideration. Several others, too, merit closer inspection.
Until now, White has proved an innovative coach with vision, unafraid to back his own instincts. Now he stands before his most demanding test.
It is one that, with the extension this week of his contract until after the 2007 World Cup, will define his role in the modern development of this country’s rugby.
(This article was originally published on page 14 of The Independent on Saturday on October 02, 2004)
The winner of the September competition is Jaco van der Westhuizen from Potchefstroom in South Africa!
Congratulations Jaco, your Potjie Pot is on its way to you. With the summer on its way in South Africa you will have loads of fun cooking up a storm!
The prize for the October
The winner for the competition for October 2004 will receive one of our brand-new Biltong Buddy Home Biltong Makers as well as enough Biltong Spice to make 20kg of Biltong!!
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.
If you are one of our subscribers why don’t you write something yourself?
Just like you enjoy reading about what other people are up to, they might enjoy reading about you and your family.
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!
It would be so nice to hear from you!
We are coming to the end of the season and will probably be making one more large batch of boerewors. So, if you want to stock up for the winter now is the time to do so. 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 and € 7.50 if we deliver to you. (Benelux only)
Please keep in mind that we also do Boerewors rolls and Potjiekos for up to 100 people as well as “Lamb-on-the-Spit” for functions. So if you are planning anything please let us know?
Interested parties can mail us at email@example.com for details or phone us at +32 (16) 53.96.25.
During September we took delivery of another batch of size 3 and 4 Potjie Pots. There are still some left.
For those who are interested please call us at +32 (16) 53.96.25
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