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What did you drag across the world?
October 2005It has been a busy two months since our last issue.
The general idea was for us to take a break but, apart from spending a couple of days in Paris, it was work as usual.
Summer was still here and there were quite a couple of functions to take care of. Apart from a number of lambs on the spit we had to keep up with the demand for Boerewors and even had a stand at the Hoeilaart Wine Festival. (See the picture on the right)
One of the lambs on the spit was for the Belgian Cricket Association who celebrated the 100 year aniversary of the internationals between Holland and Belgium.
Perhaps we’ll get a chance to go away for a week or so a bit later when things are not so hectic.
Paris was lovely as usual and, together with Penny and Skye (June’s friend and her daughter from South Africa) we did lots of things.
The only damper on the evening was our taxi driver.
Once we were ready to go we called a taxi to take us from the hotel to the Moulin Rouge. Now I must say that everybody always talks bad about the Paris taxi drivers. How dangerously reckless they are etc. etc. But, over the years June and I have taken many taxis in Paris and have always found them great!
It was the most grueling journey I have ever had in a car. Crossing over three lanes in peak hour traffic at almost full speed was nothing for this “lady”. She seldom kept her eyes on the road and once she knew that we were going to the Moulin Rouge started to sing the “Can-Can” at the top of her voice but sadly much like someone who had “lost” it a bit.
Now you must know that June does not like me driving in Paris so once we arrived at the hotel we parked the car and took taxis everywhere.
I bet she wished that I had driven that evening!!
We did arrive eventually, a bit shaken but otherwise in good spirit. The food was great and the champagne even better but the show topped it all. Complete with horses on the stage and girls playing with pythons in a swimming pool. The dancers with their coloured feathers (as you see them on the pictures) were almost as in a fairy tale.
Certainly worth going to!!
Sadly there was no time to go to the Catacombs underneath Paris. That we’ll have to do some other time.
It’s only three hours and a bit from home so quite “do-able” in even a day. The afternoon we arrived we had booked a tour through the cellars of “Pommery”. One of the most famous and oldest Champagne cellars in France.
These cellars are enormous cavities underneath Reims, which were dug out by the Romans who mined there thousands of years ago. Madame de Pommery took these cavities and had them joined by passages in which you will find literary millions of bottles of Champagne!!
Once out of there we drove to the village of Verzenay, just South of Reims. This village is right in the middle of the vineyards and as you drive along you see the markers where they grow the grapes for famous Champagnes such as Moët et Chandon and Dom Perignon.
The actual Champagne area is very small but certainly worth seeing!
For the rest of the time we were at home or helping the children with the new homes they have acquired.
So, the end of the year is drawing to a close and in the Southern parts of the world the summer is on its way. Here we are looking forward to the autumn and the winter.
Long walks through the autumn forests with all the beautiful colours and nice log fires at night with a glass of red wine or a nice cognac!
Till the next time
With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person which almost went unnoticed last week.
The energy you devote to being annoyed brings you nothing of value in return. So choose to quickly let go of your need to be annoyed.
The time and energy you put into being offended adds nothing positive to your life. So decide to quickly let go of your need to be offended.
Winning petty arguments will do nothing to enhance your relationships. So find a way to quickly let go of the need to prove that you’re right.
There are many things that can hold you back. But they’ll hold you back only as long as you continue to hold on to them.
Each day is filled with plenty of valid reasons to be angry, resentful, jealous, frustrated, offended and annoyed. All that negativity can stop you cold if you allow it to take up long-term residence in your life.So make the choice to quickly let it go. And free yourself to soar above it all.
— Ralph Marston —
Did you realize that throughout the entire world, the only beverage that can rightfully be called “champagne” is made from grapes that are grown on just 30,000 hectares of vineyards, all located in the Champagne region of France?
Every vineyard here is classified, based on a number of criteria, soil quality and sun exposure being the most important.
What’s more, only three varieties of grape can be grown in the Champagne region: Pinot Meunier, a black grape with white juice, planted along the Marne Valley , Pinot Noir a black grape with white juice, cultivated on the Reims Mountain, and Chardonnay, a white grape with white juice, grown on the Côte des Blancs.
And nestled in the very heart of the Champagne vineyards, is Pommery, shining by its excellence.
If you wake at dawn during the months of September and October in the Champagne region, you may catch a glimpse of the grape harvesters setting to work. The Pommery Vineyard alone mobilizes over 1,000 workers. Armed with pruning shears, they cut each bunch by hand, to preserve the wholeness of the grapes, which thanks to careful tending, day after day, season after season, are at last fully ripe.
The grapes are transported directly to the traditional wine presses located in the Pommery Vineyard. And at last comes the magical moment of transformation, when 4,000 kilos of grapes will be used to produce 2,550 liters of precious grape juice – and not a drop more!
Three grape varieties are used in Champagne — Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Meunier dominates the vineyards, growing on about 40% of the total acreage It is easier to grow and is less prone to frost damage. This grape makes up the base wine for all but the very finest champagnes and is grown only in Champagne. Pinot Noir is second with about 35%. It is responsible for the depth of fruit and longevity of the wine. Chardonnay accounts for the remaining 25% and adds lightness, elegance and breeding to the blend. The lack color in most champagne is the result of a gentle pressing, so as to extract the juice but not the color of the black grape skins.
The chief difference between the various Champagne brands or houses, is in the making of the cuvée, or the blend, as introduced by Dom Pérignon. A house builds a reputation based on the particular style of blend of its nonvintage wines. So each year the wine must be consistent. The large houses store millions of gallons of wine from various vineyards and grapes for blending purposes. It is reasonable to assume that once you find a house style you like, it will be available year after year as long as that house exists.
In especially good years, some vintage champagne is produced. Some feel that the extra depth in taste is well worth the extra cost of these wines. Eighty percent of the contents of vintage champagne must contain grapes from the declared year. Not all of the grapes from a declared year go into vintage champagne. Twenty percent are held back to be used for blending purposes.
Champagne is bottled in 10 different sizes:
Only the half-bottle, bottle and magnum are always released in the bottle in which they underwent the second fermentation. For this reason and because it is the largest of the three, the magnum is the preferred size. The three largest sizes are rarely made today.
“Wine improves with age. The older I get, the better I like it”
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
Come on all you SAers out there let’s see some more entries?
First attempts not bad. Simple option of marinating the meat in Balsamic vinegar and the spice that you provided with the Biltong Maker. Next attempt will be a little more creative.
First attempt was a mad rush to get biltong made asap. Next task is to find a cheaper butcher.
Thanks very much, you have made a happy family even happier.Regards
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
You too could be making your own Biltong in a very short space of time.
During October you will be able to get Rockey’s 5kg Home Biltong Maker at only R 695.00.
That is almost R 200.00 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 our famous Plaas Boerewors Spice with every order placed for one of our Home Biltong Makers.Click
here to go to our on-line shop.
Each packet will cost only R 25.00 and that includes the mailing of it!
The only spices available at the special price are:
A lot of people cannot get the brown vinegar recommended for making Biltong.
Here is a tip from one of our readers how he solved the problem:
Although we do get brown vinegar in the United Arab Emirates I have sometimes used the following substitution and it gives the biltong a great flavour.
Martin Le Roux
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)
I very excitedly bought the 5kg machine a couple of months ago but have been very disappointed with the results of my 2 batches so far as I have been plagued with mould. The first batch I managed to nurture through the last few days by cleaning off the mould with vinegar every morning and night. The second batch I threw away as I got quite sick and did not have the energy to go through this cleaning process again!
I followed all your instructions meticulously and am therefore very hesitant to try another batch as I do not know how to prevent it from happening again.
I must explain that I live in the coastal village of Kommetjie in Cape Town where we get winter rainfall, fog and mist and I am convinced the biltong maker can not cope with the damp conditions. My suspicions are supported by the length of time (10 days) the first batch took to dry. I must add I prefer my biltong moist inside so its not that I was waiting for it to dry all the way through!
It has therefore been a very trying and expensive experience so far. Do you have any suggestions, is there something I can do to reduce the drying time – perhaps a hotter bulb, what about installing a small fan to improve the air circulation, must I store the machine away for winter and only use it in summer?
I have just started my first batch of biltong and have a question I hope you can help me with.
I want to start a business making droëwors for dogs. This is something I have never done before.
My name is Johan and I have been living in New Zealand for four years now. I made my own Biltong Drying Cabinet. It is 1.8 meters high, 560 wide and 600 deep. It has an extraction fan at the top and a 75 Watt globe at the bottom.
(Please email a copy of your replies to the editor at email@example.com)
Here are a couple of reasons:
To enter the Message Board/Forum you can click on the link below or go to our home page www.biltongmakers.com on the right-hand side in the middle.
In reply to the request by Yvonne last month for a recipe for Monkey Gland Sauce we received the following from Lois Sinclair in Ireland. Lois writes: This is purely my own concoction through trial and error, so you have only me to blame if it tastes kakkas, but my family have always eaten this with hums of enjoyment.
For 4 steaks (sirloin, striploin, rib, whatever you fancy)
Let me tell you a tale …….
During our trip I tried some of each and extolled the various finer points and critisisms to which he replied; “Ja Ja” in an offhand manner.
When we left he bundled up great armfuls of each and plonked them all in plastic crates (all totally mixed) with the request for us to deliver them to the ranch owners home in Harare. His parting quip was; “Ja man make sure Wendy gets de tong quick…. she really loves de tong!”
Isn’t ignorance bliss?
This mail was received from Hans Busscher in South Africa
I would like to pose a question!
I see adverts for Biltong Makers, South African recipes, talk of braais and all sorts of things South African in your newsletter!
Surely when you move to another country you adopt the customs and foodstuffs of that country? You can’t keep hankering after Mrs Ball’s Chutney, Castle Lager and Potjiekos forever? 😉
My family and I came here (to South Africa) from the Netherlands in the late 1930’s and we embraced this great land with open arms. We adored its food and customs and have done so ever since.
It must have been difficult for many South Africans to leave this wonderful land, so perhaps a bit of nostalgia is to be allowed!
Regards to all South Africans where ever they may be.
The following was submitted by Theo Truter from Johannesburg
No amount of money will turn Zim around
“I still hear the sounds of people being beaten in prison. I will never forget it. It’s terrible” said opposition MP Roy Bennett.
Bennett, a member of the Zimbabwe opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), was in 2004 sentenced to a year’s imprisonment by the country’s Parliament for pushing Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa to the floor, after the minister accused Bennett’s ancestors of being thieves.
He told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday that the “worst part of being in prison was hearing the screams of people being beaten in prison. You hear kids screaming, but this was a different sound.”
Speaking at the Johannesburg Press Club, an emotional Bennett gave a detailed account of his experiences in jail and what he witnessed.
Referring to the prisoners, he said: “When are they going to take matters into their own hands? Their integrity has been broken. It is very difficult to stand up as people and fight it when there is no assistance.
Most were imprisoned in the first place because petty theft was their only means of survival.
I witnessed people getting beaten. They were taken into a cell, told to lie down on their stomachs and had the bottom of their feet beaten.
He said he avoided the beatings by telling guards, “If you want to beat me, then you beat me where I am standing,” and refusing to go into the cell where the beatings took place.
“I know my rights. I have access to legal representatives. I have access to you,” said Bennett, pointing to those attending the press club gathering.
“I’ve reported the loss of my property and I’ve reported what happened to me and my wife,” he added. “Those people have access to nobody. Ninety percent of prisoners in there don’t have visits. A visit means the world to a prisoner.”
In prison it is a privilege to work in the kitchens. Kitchen workers are in a position to steal food and bribe other prisoners, or make deals with the wardens. “Because of the poverty in Zimbabwe, they are plundering the prison’s food. Prisoners don’t get what they are supposed to get.”
When he was transferred to the Chikurubi farm prison without notice, Bennett witnessed the treatment of guards “by their own government. It was absolutely brutal.”
Zimbabweans live in fear of victimisation for having anything to do with opposition politics.
“The whole system is communist and dehumanising. The whole thing is political. The police are there on a political basis” he said. “Whatever the prisoners are suffering, the guards are going through the same oppression. All they want is something, anything. They will do anything to make a life for themselves.”
Bennett became emotional when he spoke of his wife and said that she was his “big hero” through his ordeal.
Comparing President Robert Mugabe now to what he was in the past, “there’s absolutely no comparison”, he said. When he was younger, he had “wonderful hopes” for Mugabe, but now “the world sees Mugabe as the person who slapped the white man in the face”.
“Zimbabwe is an incredibly friendly country. The people are friendly. Now they are destitute and have no hope. Back then, everybody was able to make a living and move around.”
When asked at the press club gathering whether he expects trouble when he returns to Zimbabwe on Monday, Bennett said: “We’ll face those problems when we meet them.”
Regarding the loan agreement, Bennett feels “no amount of money will turn that situation around. I don’t see how the loan is going to stop the suffering.”
If the money does not go to help the people, “you might as well put the money in a pile and burn it”.
“South Africa has huge problems on their doorstep that are about to unfold. I will never understand the stand that President [Thabo] Mbeki and the African National Congress have taken against Zimbabwe.”
South Africa will experience huge problems as a result of Zimbabwe’s meltdown, said Bennett.
“They could have done something about the situation five years ago, but now it’s too late. There will be massive starvation in Zimbabwe, with people leaving to try to find somewhere to eat, live and survive.”
He said about 1 500 people a day are leaving the country, mostly headed for South Africa.
Bennett said he is out of the loop concerning the MDC’s strategies due to his recent absence. He, however, proposes that the MDC should carry out a plan of passive resistance.
“But my personal view is that the MDC must stop buying into Mugabe’s agenda and start calling the shots.
“We need not attend Parliament, nor [ruling party] Zanu-PF functions. We do not need to legitimise the government.”
This came in from Carole James from Worthing, England
Happy in Zim, even though ………
A bit frightening or what?
An Israeli doctor says: “Medicine in my country is so advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks.”
A British doctor says: “That is nothing, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks.
A Canadian doctor says: “In my country, medicine is so advanced that we can take half a heart out of one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks.”
A Zimbabwean doctor, not to be outdone, says: “You guys are way behind, we just took a man with no brain – made him President, and now the whole country is looking for work.
(Looking at all the entries this has really been “Zim month!!” -Ed)
We received this from John Richardson in Johannesburg. Take time to read this and please don’t mind some of the language!
John writes; Please read this. It is brilliantly written and I think this guy should be knighted, whoever he is!!!
More drivers need to fight the scourge of the lawless taxi drivers.
The author deserves an award for this!
His name calling talent is truly inspiring and we have all been a party to the experience …………
This morning, yours truly, decided to sneak in a pinch of top-secret and highly professional canoe training at Emmerentia dam, before the first farts of the sparrows could escape their imprisoning sphincters, and even before the glories-of-mornings of most non-gay South African men could rise to view the possible prospects of “before work” swims.
Yep, I was up and onto that little patch of water before sunrise, tearing around it at record-breaking pace, sneaking in a wee bit of pre-Duzi training in order to wrestle the crown away from the well slow and soft Martin Dreyer (present Duzi champion, for those of you not in the intellectual canoe mix) next time around.
I was happily chilling in my car, cruising along at about 60kph, in pretty much bumper-to-bumper traffic, with nobody going anywhere any faster, it was simply not an option.
Yep,enter Sipho “I’m a d_ckhead without a brain cell” Ndlovo, driver of a Toyota Hi-Ace with 4 wheels, 1 brake pad, no lights, half a steering wheel, about 30 people inside and 3 masking-taped windows, yep, standard issue for a South African taxi driver.
He had more than likely participated in the demonstration march last month with hundreds of other taxi driver idiots protesting about having had their ‘vehicles’ impounded for not being roadworthy. The rocket-scientists couldn’t understand what wasn’t roadworthy about a taxi with a bobejaan spanner for a steering wheel, or one without brakes (they reckon a handbrake is just as good as the foot brake pedal). Anyway, my mate Sipho decided things weren’t flowing fast enough for him so started weaving in and out of the traffic, arm hanging out of his window like a baboon’s tail hanging from its ring piece.
I heard this aeronautical engineer-like taxi driver coming from about 5 cars back, because everyone was hooting and slamming on brakes to avoid the accident that he was trying his damnest to cause. After he narrowly missed the back of my canoe as he swerved in behind me I made a stubborn little vow that he definetily wouldn’t be cutting in front of me like that, and so began the fun and games.
The bum-wart first tried the standard tactic of intimidation, just gradually cutting me off, in the typical “you’d better slow down and let me in, or I’ll crash into you” method. Well, I used the typical “F_ck you faeces-brain” tactic, with one hand on the hooter, the other pointing straight at him, with my foot firmly on the accelerator, until he backed down like Mike Catt had done in 1995 when Jonah Lomu ran straight over him.
This had a snowball effect, which had me chuckling the whole way back to my humble abode.
This made old Maccatini madder than a spitting cobra with a red hot cactus lodged up its rectum. No skin off the f_cking taxi drivers nose, he just accelerated more, and tried to cut in front of the double-cab in front of me, this after he had hooted at me and showed me a middle finger accompanied with a few swearwords, something that made me want to beat him harder than Campbell hit the gay boy who stabbed him repeatedly with a pen all those years ago!
Well, the fella in front of me had obviously also been observing the proceedings, and likewise refused to let Sipho Dickdribble Ndhlovo in so the acceleration by the monkey continued, while he tried his hardest to outstare the double-cab driver.
I saw it coming, and was smiling my full-tusk smile even before they hit!!
Anal-bum-wart hit that pavement at about 70kph, 31 passengers bumped their heads on the roof of the Hi-Ace in poetic unison, adding an extra 31 dents to the already-f_cked minibus, and the two front wheels were ripped off the chassis as the bus slid to a delightful halt.
Thankfully no passengers were hurt, which made it the most fantastic thing to witness. Sadly though, Sipho, arm still hanging out of the window,was also unscathed. However, his car was more f_cked than that prostitute at PE harbour named Deloris, and his mood was somewhat down-trodden.
I hooted and made sure he got the full-frontal of my biggest-ever super smile, as did the driver of the double-cab, and then to my absolute joy, looked in my mirror to see every driver behind me doing exactly the same!
The brain-cell-lacker had received his well-earned treatment! I was happier than Hudders when he passed his board, or at least as happy!!
So folks, what a peachy morning it has been so far. The sun is shining, it’s Friday, I’ve done my training, Long Tom Roodt is back in the country, there will be a lot of thirst quenched this weekend, and Sipho, Faeces-face Ndlovo is one mini-bus short of a taxi!
Now that is justice….!
How did Van Rooyen survive?
Kallis hardly ever running on empty
The winner of the August/September Competition!
Joyce Nel from Santiago, the capital of Chile!
Congratulations to you Joyce!
Your barbecue/braai utensil kit has been posted to you and we hope that you will get much use out of it!
The prize for the October 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!
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.
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!
During the summer months we are available to cater for Boerewors rolls for parties and functions from 50 persons and more.
You can contact us on +32 (16) 53.96.25 or mail us at Boerewors-Benelux.
(Fresh Boerewors is also available @ € 7.95 per kg)
As with our Boerewors rolls, we are also available to do a “Potjiekos” for a minimum of 50 and up to 100 people.
We make our “Potjie” in our size 25 Pot (see left) and you can have a choice between Beef, Chicken and Lamb.
Booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32 (16) 53.96.25
(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.
Once again booking early is essential and you can do so on
+32 (16) 53.96.25(As with our “Potjiekos” a Lamb on the Spit can only be done outside because we cook on coals!)
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