Friday, July 30, 2010

The paranoids don't know the half of it

I'm being watched.

Besides secret agent batcat ('he'll never see me here') making sure I was working from his hide in the shelves above my computer, I also endured the indignity of a temp'ry sex change in that I was allowed to cook soup and chocolate bread for the CWA (Country Women's Association I think) soup and sandwiches fundraiser. The skirt was OK, after all the Scottish dancing (and if it was good enough for my Scots ancestors, it's good enough for me), but I draw the line at cooking in high heels. I'll do curlers in my hair (and beard) if I have to do it again instead - which I may seeing as B was invited to join today. I think that is a 'you're fitting in' compliment. I think it is rather like the WI in the UK, about which my knowledge stops at the movie'Calender girls'. Hmm. so.... Gardening, flower-arranging, pickles, jam-making and cooking... They got the wrong one of us :-). B's more inclined to chainsaws and brushcutters. Neither of us do flower arranging terribly well (although if I do say it myself I have a natural talent for the Japanese 'grabbed a bunch and shoved it in a vase' look that other people spend years trying to learn). But B is really good at fitting in and doing things that need doing quietly, and getting on with people, so I am sure it'll be fine. Besides, we give them something to talk about and laugh at. heh. I don't mind but just every now and then I find myself feeling like a giraffe making sorbet at a French cookery school. It's not so much the giraffe's cooking skills (which are not great) but the fact that it is doing so at all that causes everyone to marvel. Anyway, we made them 'boontjie sop' because it seemed appropriate. After all, that's boerekos, and this is farming country. It was popular, apparently. I've probably made more traditional Afrikaans food for functions here in six months than I had in twenty-six years back in the old country. People are curious and I suppose we're obliging that.
Anyway, back to editing.


  1. Kinda like me making "cowboy soup". Brown beans spiced with a dab of chili and cooked until they are a thick liquid. Not something that appears on our table but I get asked to make it for things like the church lunch. Pan bread and so on.

    BTW: Some of my best curry dishes use a curry that is brought back from SA by either my cousin or my sister.

  2. Dave, interesting times you are having there. If they ever do get you into high heels I definitely want the pictures ;)

    I have to ask what's in a boontjie sop? And what is boerokos?

    I figured at least one of them is food (hopefully).

    These crazy SA people who can't speak English !! LOL.

    Take it as a huge compliment getting involved in the CWA and being classed as a honorary women.

  3. Boontjie sop = bean soup (it's been soup - don't ask what it is now) Boerkos = farmerfood - typically simple country food made with dried staples and things off the farm, usually cooked for a long time - especially veggies.

  4. Quilly - same soup :-)
    Curry from Durban - odd fact many Indian visitors claim it is too hot. Like expats everywhere, Indian food in SA is 1)colored by local ingredients, 2)and yet more traditional than 'home'3)exaggurates 'home' features - like chili powder. I believe Durban curries are exceptional.

  5. Oh and Tan - I am amused and flattered to have my cooking wanted, and very pleased they want B to join them.

  6. Dave
    If the CWA accept you, you're in. It's a given in country towns. Congratulations - it didn't take 20 years :)

  7. @Tania, I think it was his chocolate bread. As this is the second time you've mentioned it, can we ask for a recipe? Just so that those of us who are playing along at home can try it ourselves :-)

  8. Tan, I think it's more like the locals are giving us a chance to fit in. Like any relationship, it takes ongoing work, and is never a 'ticked off, done that, can stop trying', unless maybe it is your birthright (and some of those still put a lot in). Well, it's not ours, and both of us like to do our bit - that's our background and culture, as much as it is rural Australia's. So I still reckon on another 19.5 years before most people assume that if we weren't born here we should have been.

  9. Sure Mike - I do it in my little bread machine but I am sure it can be done in a cool oven - I'm guessing 170 c.
    1 tsp fast yeast
    tepid water one cup
    1 beaten egg
    1 tbsp milk powder
    1 tbsp cooking oil (not olive - one of the neutral flavour ones)
    1/2 cup raw sugar
    3/4 tsp salt
    2 1/8 cups plain flour
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 cup of nuts (pecan or walnuts)

    Knead, allow to rise knock down allow to rise again, and bake - I'm guessing you could test it with a skewer at 45 minutes. You want it moist so don't cook it too long and put a tray of water in the oven too (keeps it humid)

  10. Thanks! Now I've got a project for yeast? I'll try plain old yeast, I guess. This should be fun.