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BUNNY CHOWS FROM DURBAN

Bunny Chow is actually not a name that I will normally associate with a food dish, but in Durban, KwaZulu Natal, with its large Indian community, it is a very popular dish.  It is things like this that makes us the Rainbow Nation and I am loving it. This interesting dish was first served for the plantation workers and the hollowed out half a loaf of white bread was an easy portable container.  It originated as a vegetarian dish, but over time meat was added – I am sure this is because South Africans just love their meat!  Like many recipes, such as melktert, every cook has his/her own take on the curry recipe filling the bread bowl. The half loaf of white bread acts as the bowl for the curry and gravy filling.  Traditionally you will also get a scoop of carrot salad on the side, which is welcome… Read more >

CHASING CHEESECAKE

          There are many recipes for cheesecake, and everyone claims that they have the best recipe under the sun, but I must say this IS one of the best recipes that I have eaten in a very, very long time. And as you can expect the Country Café also has its own secret cheesecake recipe, made by a local lad from Hoekwil. Locals and visitors come here on a Sunday morning to meet friends and have coffee and some of the famous cheesecake and while enjoying your treat the owner will come around to chit-chat, proudly inform you how many slices they have sold thus far. The café owner meticulously keeps track of each cheesecake slice that is sold in the shop as he earnestly tries to improve on his previous year’s total.  So, guys and girls, grandma and grandpa, go, go, go, to the Hoekwil… Read more >

“YOU ARE MY LIGHTHOUSE”

          This iconic lighthouse which sits upon a rocky feature in Mossel Bay was first lit on 15th of March, 1864, about 100 years before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes – by no means a modern observation post! So, why named Cape St Blaize?   It is so-named because Bartolomeu Dias, the Portuguese explorer, and his crew first landed in Mossel Bay on St. Blaizes Day (3 February) in 1488.  Originally the lamp was visible as a single red light for 15 nautical miles but after several upgrades and electrification on the 6th of April 1931, today it can be seen at 22 nautical miles.  Then in 1914 the lighthouse received its first foghorn and  later a radio beacon with the call sign ZRF was added. This manned lighthouse with a tower height of 14.9 metres is open to the public and is… Read more >

BRAAI – A WAY OF LIFE!

We have just celebrated Nasionale Braai Dag (National Braai Day) or, as it is officially declared as part of the public holiday system in South Africa, Heritage Day.  This is a yearly celebration on the 24th of September.  I think you can imagine what we as a nation do on this day – we braai!  Although we have 11 official languages in our country the word braai is understood across the board. Now there are no ”official” rules for having a braai.  The people of the Rainbow Nation each has his/her own preference on the when, how and what to braai.  Some of us like to have a basic fire place where you can sit as close as possible to the fire when it is cold – and do not mind smelling like smoke – and some of us like to do a classy braai in a build-in fireplace inside… Read more >

A LONDON RED BUS IN MOSSEL BAY?

A ride on a red London bus is still on my bucket list, but I was not really expecting to find a red London bus parked in the Garden Route.   This was a leisurely Saturday outing on a winter’s day in August in search for some good old-fashioned, value-for-money food.  And this is just what we found here. This no frills-no-fuss fish and chips take away is located on the water’s edge in Mossel Bay Harbour.  Things work simple here – decide what you want from the minimalistic menu, place your order, pay at the window, get your order slip and go on the top deck until your food is served in a white Styrofoam dish.  That’s it. With the smell of sea and fresh fish in your nostrils you have a fantastic view over the glistening water of the bay  towards the Outeniqua Mountains, which also forms the back… Read more >

FLOWER SPOTTING IN NAMAQUALAND

        Apart from September being tourism month in South Africa the West Coast is well known for its spring flowers, because in a blink of an eye it appears after some good rain. First you have to understand what Namaqualand is about.  This is a very dry area with little rain throughout the year.  Then when the warmer weather arrives, the vibrant flowers appear on the barren landscapes.  You might feel that you do not need any tips on flower spotting, – how difficult can that be? – but there are some points that you need to consider in making your experience memorable.  It is always difficult to predict when the flowers are going to bloom, as like many things in nature, they are weather dependent, but keep the following in mind to ease you into flower spotting: The flowers are dependent on the sun to show… Read more >

5 “LEKKER” PICNIC SPOTS IN THE GARDEN ROUTE

        Well let’s first start with the word lekker for those who are not familiar with the Afrikaans language.  It can be translated as a lot of things such as great, tasty, nice , scenic, pretty –  it all depends in what sentence it is used – but what I mean with lekker is more the use of pleasurable and relaxing with a scenic view.   There is not one word in the English language that can describe it quite the same. SPOT #1 : EBB AND FLOW (NORTH)  Situated on the northern banks of the Touw river it falls within the Garden Route National Park, but day visitors are welcomed.  You will be rewarded with some shade under old wild fig trees, a demarcated fire pit, clean ablution facilities and a Knysna Loerie (Turaco) or two. Need to know:  Report to reception and pay your day visitor fee. … Read more >

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