Charming Chutney

Chutney is an important feature of traditional South African cooking, and particularly those South Africans with Dutch and Malay heritage.  It's an essential accompaniment to curry as well as being an ingredient in a number of traditional recipes including bobotie.  As are apricots - in chutneys, in jam - and which are also eaten dried, … Continue reading Charming Chutney

The big (beer) bang

I must have been seven or eight.  We had been away for the weekend.  I don’t recall the reason.  I suspect it was the annual trip to the agricultural show at Gonubie outside East London (South Africa).  For a number of years after we moved to Grahamstown, this was a regular thing.  Dad judged the … Continue reading The big (beer) bang

It’s not just about Covid

It's no secret that I take on paid-for writing work. Like all gigs for clients, sometimes one hits the mark and sometimes one doesn't. One job involved looking at the impact of the pandemic on people's mental health. I admit to having found myself in a rather deep rabit hole. A function, I suspect, of … Continue reading It’s not just about Covid

Those Ice Cream Days

Summer's heading our way.  Although it doesn't feel like it today as a galeforce wind howls around the house.  Having a foretaste of summer earlier in the week, it feels as though winter's returned.  One of the things I really enjoy about summer is a frappé. No, not the Greek one, but the one that, … Continue reading Those Ice Cream Days

Hayley’s going to Change the World – with our help

On Monday, my helper came to work and told me that her niece had won a scholarship to go to a conference in New York.  She went on to say that, as is often the case, the scholarship wouldn't cover everything, and that the family would be holding fundraising events in the village.  Starting at … Continue reading Hayley’s going to Change the World – with our help

Contemplating the incomprehensible

A friend and I had a conversation at the market this morning.  Little did we know that exactly what were discussing - and fearing - she more than I - had come to pass. Incomprehensible. My heart aches for her:  the burden she has carried over the last few years and, particularly over the last … Continue reading Contemplating the incomprehensible

Seriously sizzling – these siss-sters

I have been making koeksisters for the McGregor Market for more than six years having last made them in the early 1990's.  At that time, I thought they were horrendously enormous and occasionally trotted them out with tea or as a dessert. Fast forward twenty or so years:  the world is much more health conscious … Continue reading Seriously sizzling – these siss-sters

Revisited: Punishment or revenge?

A woman in my family is a rape survivor. August is Women's month in South Africa with the 9th being the anniversary of the Women's March to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, protesting the proposed pass laws which would effectively rent families apart. The month is now dedicated to women in a country plagued by … Continue reading Revisited: Punishment or revenge?

Granny’s Triffids

I must have been all of five years old when I learned about triffids.  Or so I thought.  They were in the new vegetable garden of the new house we'd moved into not long before Granny came to visit. Dad, the horticulturist he was, and having grown up with an alotment, composted the garden from … Continue reading Granny’s Triffids