Marietjie’s mum used to say "I love you as much as fig jam" when she liked someone a lot, and she was right: green fig preserve is lovely with wholegrain bread and butter, irresistible on a cheese platter, and goes very well with buttermilk pudding. The whole preserved figs are also delicious on their own, especially when lovingly served up on cake plates with tea or coffee, as they did in the Old Cape.
There are many recipes for boerewors, but this recipe for traditional boerewors from Sannie Smit, is a simple basic recipe to start from.
These biscuits do not require cooling down after baking; they are pure bliss hot from the oven. In fact, they are a bit like a cup of thickly brewed Mexican hot chocolate: creamy, chocolaty, and lightly spiced with cinnamon and a dash of chilli.
Marietjie's mum enjoyed sewing and during the 80's she attended Knitwit classes for home dressmakers, which taught quick and easy ways to work with knit and stretch fabrics. They also exchanged fast and easy recipes, and this recipe was known as Knitwit Bran Rusks.
While it is expensive to buy Dukkah in the shop, it is quite economical to make at home. This dukkah is from Julie le Clerc’s book Taking Tea in the Medina. It is a mild blend, and our whole family loves it.
Instead of using ready-made curry mix, this recipe for Cape Malay lamb curry combines basic spices (ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves) into one of South Africa’s best curries. The long list of spices may let it sound complex, but is surprisingly easy to make.
“Shall I bake a cheesecake?” Marietjie asked, and proceeded to spread her recipe books on the table. She could not quite find what she wanted and started to devise a new recipe on the spot. Jaco had his doubts, but can now report that he worried too much. His wife’s new recipe turned out to be just right in his view – and he’s been looking for the perfect New York style cheesecake for a very long time.
An Alsatian bit Marietjie when she was only nine years old. A good friend of Marietjie’s mother brought a plate of homemade meringues as a get-well-soon gift and that is exactly what Marietjie did: Betty-June’s meringues were that good. Her meringue recipe stood the test of time, and become a firm favorite with our own daughter and her friends here in New Zealand.
A firm favourite with kids and peanut butter lovers alike, these nutty biscuits make great lunchbox treats, but are at their best when served with milk or coffee.
This creamy lemon spread will add a soft citrus-zing to cakes, shortbread, scones, pancakes, meringue: the list goes on and on. It is especially good (well, good in a naughty way) when combined with whipped cream to fill tartlets.As with all classics, there are many ways to made lemon curd. This recipe is our favourite.
Although you can cook it in a microwave, a butternut is at its best when oven-baked for about two hours at 160°C: it will be colourful, soft, easy to peel and de-seed, and wonderfully flavoursome. And you can use it to make a lovely velvety butternut soup.
Lepelsteeltjies is another much loved South African combination of savoury and sweet: they are tiny biscuits made from cheddar cheese, with a wee bit of apricot jam in the centre.They are not easy to pass by: the only safe way to store them is behind lock and key. Luckily, lepelsteeltjies will get stale if you leave them too long, so you’ll have the perfect excuse to liberate them.
Every winter, our friend Hannie organises a mid-winter pumpkin feast to lighten the winter greyness – if only for one weekend – and her colourful, sweet pumpkin fritters are one of the star attractions.Recipes for pumpkin fritter sauce often use more sugar, but Hannie’s cinnamon caramel sauce is just right. In fact, it is delicious.
The French, without doubt, makes the best onion soup in the world: it is a perfect combination of smooth textures and flavours.While every region and bistro across France has its own version of this classic dish, very few non-French restaurants seem to be able to make a decent bowl of French onion soup.We cannot understand why, because it is a simple enough dish to prepare at home, as we do on cold and wet winter nights (that is, frequently).
Ginger tart is an old South African treat: it appeared in the South African “Kook en Geniet” (Cook and Enjoy) recipe book as far back as the 1950s.
Mixing sweet and savoury is typical South African: we grew up with combinations such as grated cheese and apricot jam, or cheese and golden syrup, on sandwiches or vetkoek. Although it was a little unusual at first, Jaco’s colleagues quickly became partial to these small marmite and cheese cakes, baked in muffin pans for morning tea.
A baked fruit salad pudding combines the comforting richness of a wintery oven-baked pudding with the fresh flavours of fruit salad (better known as fruit cocktail, or "vrugte-kelkie" in South Africa). It is the kind of dish that reminds you that spring is only a couple of month away!
A Springbokkie is a shooter made from Amarula Cream and peppermint liqueur. It is a very patriotic drink, not only because a Sprinkbokkie reflects the gold-and-green of South Africa’s national rugby team, but also because Amarula’s the world’s second best selling cream liqueur (Bailey's Irish Cream being the first).
Peppermint crisp shooters (peppermint crispies for short) are the liquor equivalent of the incredibly popular peppermint crisp tart. They are just as bad for you as the real tart, and just as irresistible.
If your charcoal fire is anything like ours, it’s always warm enough to braai (barbecue) just one last little something after the meat and wors (South African sausage) have been braaied to perfection. For us, that last little something has got to be braaibroodjies, because a braai is simply not perfect without these delicacies: crunchy brown on the outside, but soft and wonderfully flavoursome inside.