Family Festivities

I’ve been wanting to post something about our Christmas and New Year Festivities… and I actually uploaded the photos on the 2nd of January.  Next thing I know January is almost over!  

We had a very relaxing festive season with the family.  We, like most people, ate way too much.  But the food was so delicious!  Carol and Lionel impressed again with a “Cubata” meal with bbq prawns, ribs, smoked trout and homemade bread!  Leo got his passport stamped for the first time when we went for lunch at Regals in Lesotho.  We almost scored free breakfast at The Cabin when someone accidentally paid our table’s bill instead of their own.

At least in between all the eating we were also active! Pete missed a win at our parkrun by a few seconds and Jane finally climbed to the top of “Die Stalle!” We swam a lot to keep cool and relaxed a lot to stay sane.  There was poker played on the night of the 31st… almost into the new year.  The Deens came to visit and Kate actually got Rex to jump in and out of the pool!  I think the doggies really miss her!  Leo was so spoilt with all the love and a ton of presents!  

Time did what time does and flew by far too quickly.  Happy 2017 everyone! Xxx

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Wedding in Kaapschehoop

Edit“Two lives, two hearts, two souls become one.”

South Africa really has a lot of interesting places!  Like this little village, Kaapschehoop, near Nelspruit in Mpumalanga…which I found out afterwards is where my mom’s grandparents used to stay!  

We arrived at this mountain, the day before the wedding, when the whole place was covered with thick mist…I think we were literally in a cloud. We could hardly see a meter in front of us.  The small community looked very eerie with its rock fields, fairy decor and roaming horses in the mist. There are apparently nice hiking trails in and around the area.

There are many wild horses walking around freely… people are not even sure how the horses got there in the first place.  Possibly left there after the anglo-boer war.

The next day all the spookiness was gone, the sun was out and it was perfect weather for a wedding.  Marise looked very pretty in her black and white wedding dress and she and Reuben make a cute couple.  It was also good to see the rest of the family…although baby Leo wasn’t too happy with all the excitement.

It was a good weekend and I’m glad I got to see the quaint little historical village.  Wishing Reuben and Marise lots and lots of happiness. 😊

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The Fork & Pot -A New and Unique Local Restaurant

“I’m so very fondue of you.”😝 

Yay! A new restaurant in the area…35km from Ladybrand…We had to go check it out… 

This brand new restaurant has a very interesting decor with a Western/Klein Karoo feel to it. There’s a windmill head attached to the roof of the bar, barrels with vetplante (succulent plants) in them and there are horse saddles attached to the walls.  The seats are comfy and the place is very neat and clean.

They have “normal” options on the menu like hamburgers, steak and tramezinnis…which I saw some of the other customers eating. That food looked nice and the customers looked happy…but we were there for their speciality…their fondue!  

The coolest part for me was when the table cloths were whipped off to reveal flat conduction plates built into the table.  So there’s no need for paraffin or matches or extinguishing fires!  And the heat is instant with the beep of a button!

The place and staff are still brand new, and apparently we were the very first big fondue table.

We tried one cheese pot, one meat pot and, my favourite, one chocolate pot.  The cheese pot came with bread and veggies.  The consistency was a bit tangy but the taste was delicious.  We ordered chicken and beef pieces with the meat pot.  Ooh, the chocolate pot came with pieces of white chocolate which melted almost instantly when placed on the conduction plates. Then there was also milk, peanut butter, bananas and a shot of Kulua which we could add to the melted chocolate…to make a delectably sinful dip…Mmmm!  The chocolate pot came with apples, strawberries, marshmallows and some cakes.  The cake kept falling into the pot but we weren’t at all upset to use a spoon to scoop the pieces out along with a mouthful of chocolate.

The owner, Marné, is a very friendly guy who has worked as a chef at a few other restaurants before starting The Fork & Pot.  According to him it is the only restaurant in South Africa where you can order a fondue. He says he still has lots of fondue ideas up his sleeve…So there’s still a lot to look forward to.  Marné and his dad came up with the name Fork & Pot while brainstorming name ideas. It’s a fun and catchy name!

The Fork & Pot is located in a new center just outside Clocalan. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Ladybrand.  The center already has a few other little shops too. 

The Fork & Pot is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:00 – 22:00 and on Sundays from 10:00-15:00.  

It’s definitely a unique experience and a place well-worth visiting.

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Healthier Rusks

I’m excited because my parents are driving up to visit this weekend.  So in preparation I’ve been baking a bit to have some snacks and treats in the house.  

I like these rusks because they are yummy with tea and coffee and they are not too unhealthy…  

You will need:

3 large eggs
500mls buttermilk
60mls sunflower oil
5mls vanilla essence
1 grated apple
100g sunflower seeds
100g pumpkin seeds

1 and a half cups cake flour
1 and a half cups Nutty wheat
3 teaspoons baking powder
half a cup brown sugar
half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
half cup desicated coconut
half cup Jungle oats
half cup crushed All Bran flakes


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
Beat together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla essence.
Add grated apple and the pumpkin&sunflower seeds.
In another bowel, mix dry ingredients together. Add the egg mixture to the dry mixture.
Pour mixture into oven tray.
Bake for 45 mins at 180 degrees Celsius. (or until a clean knife comes out clean.)
Allow to cool.
Cut into pieces.
Place rusks on a baking tray at 100 degrees Celsius for 8 hours until dry.

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Jane’s Pancake Recipe

“If I tell you I love you, will you make me pancakes?”
I always remember my mom’s pancakes on a rainy day….yummy!😊And they are delicious when the sun is shining too!
Here’s the recipe:

You will need:

4 cups cake flour
4 cups milk (can substitute some milk for water for thinner consistency)
6 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup oil
1/2 cup brown vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Mix milk/water and flour (cup by cup) with electric mixer.  Add eggs, oil, vinegar and salt and mix.  Add baking powder and mix again. 

 If mixture is too thick add a bit of water to make it thinner.  

Serve with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.  Or any other filling of your choice.

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Homemade Fudge

So we finally got Jeff to make his famous fudge for us.  I think the last time he made this was at least 15 years ago!  But he still looks like he’s in control.

You will need:

1 cup milk
1 tin condensed milk
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (dissolved in 1 teaspoon water)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Oven pan smeared with butter

Add together milk, condensed milk, sugar and salt in a pot and mix on low-medium heat on stove.

When mixture starts to boil add cream of tartar.

Keep an eye on mixture, stirring almost continously until thick. (and the mixture is a deeper caramel colour.). This takes about 40 minutes.*

Once you take the mixture off the stove add the tablespoon of butter and teaspoon vanilla essence and mix again.  Press mixture into oven pan about 1cm thick and cut into blocks.**

*There’s a fine line between making perfect fudge, toffee and over-cooking! (Might take a bit of practice.) You can put a bit of cold water in a cup and add some of the mixture to this water.- If it forms a small ball and is no longer toffee consistency, then it’s ready.

**Invite people over.  Don’t eat too many blocks by yourself!  Too much sugar is not good for you.

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Meringue with Caramel Yoghurt Topping

This is sort of a combination of meringue and a basic pavlova. It’s best to make these the day before you intend on serving them.

You need:

(To make 6 big meringues)

4 egg whites
180g castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons Maizena
spray n cook/wax paper

For the topping:
Caramel yoghurt
Sliced Banana
Flake or grated chocolate

Glass bowl
Electric Mixer
Oven Tray

Put 4 egg whites in glass mixing bowel. Remember there must be no egg yellow, not even a little bit. Beat the eggs until you are able to form peaks.

Mix the maizena with the castor sugar and add bit by bit to the egg whites while still beating with the electric mixer. Mix in the vanilla essence with a spoon.

Spoon mixture into prepared oven tray. This should be enough for 6 large meringues.

Preheat oven and bake at 140-150 degrees Celsius for about an hour and a half. Then turn the oven off and leave meringues in the oven until the oven has completely cooled down.

Just before serving put a blob of yummy caramel yoghurt on each meringue, some banana slices and sprinkle with the grated chocolate. Delicious and relatively healthy as far as puddings go.

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