Tuesday, 30 July 2013


In 1979 a young Afrikaans singer called Sonja Heroldt, released a song called 'Waterblommetjies', written by Anton Goosen. The first two lines of the song  go 'Waterblommetjies in die Boland, Waterblommetjies in die kaap', which roughly translated means, 'Little water flowers in the land above the coastal plain, Little water flowers in the Cape' which doesn't have the same ring somehow! However, the song was an instant hit, it is hauntingly beautiful and it is a song that is still played today. It has been recorded by many Afrikaans singers and it takes me right back to when my children were small!  (Find  it on You-tube and listen to it.)

The Waterblommetjie flower

The song then goes on to sing the praises of a particular bredie or stew that is made from the flowers of the Waterblommetjie or Cape pond weed! The plant is endemic to our part of the world and is widely used to add to the flavour and bulk of the dish. They flower in winter and spring and grow in ponds that traditionally dry up in summer. The bulb then dies down and remains dormant until the winter rains arrive and then they grow again!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Wonderful Wonderbag!

Just about a year ago I remember starting my post off with a joke about Eskom (our Power Supplier) and the Prince of Darkness. Well, here's another one:

What did South Africa use before candles? And the answer is................Eskom!!!

We have been warned again about using and saving electricity, every evening on the radio and TV, there are red/orange or (very rarely) green 'adverts' telling us that our usage is too high and sharing hints like wear a blanket, hug a hot water bottle, pop a beanie (a woollen hat) on your head, shove an extra pair of socks on, read with gloves, you get the picture? The words 'load shedding', 'rolling blackouts' and 'power outages' are bandied about like threats, and our tariffs are going up with a promise. The new power station that was supposed to be completed and on-line by the end of this year is now only going to be 'ready' by the middle of next year, if we're lucky, so the chances are very very good that we shall suddenly be plunged into darkness just as the programme we are watching gets really interesting!

So, for a while now I have been thinking about alternate ways of producing a meal! Or rather, how can Rob do his potjies and soups without using electricity! We are lucky in that we have a gas hob, and our wood burning stove works well for re-heating, but for the really slow cooking stews an oven is a necessity. Or is it?

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Mason Williams

That name may not mean very much to a lot of people out there, but all will be revealed in time. Stay with me! I must admit, it meant nothing to me until I delved further! Intrigued? I hope so!

Mason Williams (Thanks to Google)

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Jasus Ialandii or West Coast Gold!

When people think of the West Coast, the word ‘crayfish’ springs to mind. This, in turn, conjures up mental images of happy, bronzed tourists lounging on the beach sipping wine while someone ‘chucks another prawn on the barbie.’ Am I right? Every tourist blub mentions the wonderful seafood, especially crayfish, which abound in our coastal waters.

Perfectly braaied

West Coast Gold! (Pics thanks to Google)

And they do. Abound I mean. But there are rules and regulations that prevent you from simply wading into the water with your net and scooping a few to serve with savoury rice, mayonnaise and subtly flavoured garlic butter for lunch. Before you head out to sea in a correctly licensed boat to catch your legal quota of 4 crayfish per day, you must first have a permit which last season cost R92. Also, crayfish can only be caught in season (usually mid November to end of March) and between the hours of 08:00 and 16:00, not before and never after. If you don’t have a correctly licensed boat, well, you can ring-net or scoop-net from the shore. No diving from a boat and no oxygen tanks are allowed, but a snorkel is ok! All simple so far and easy to follow. But, here is the tricky part, read below:

Monday, 1 July 2013

Life With Basil!

To those of you who love cats but do not have a ginger one, I say, get one! It is now just over three months since Basil Jones (to give him his full name) arrived on our doorstep and life has never, but never, been the same! We have had kittens before, many times, but we have never encountered one who is so involved in every aspect of our lives! Our other three simply get on with life, they arrive for breakfast, sleep most of the day, pop in for a little nibble now and then, sleep, lie around at night, and  sleep.

Basil, aka Captain Chaos! (All pics, thanks to Rob)

As I write this, Basil is upstairs batting an empty eye drop container round the bathroom floor. He arrived in a rush as I was cleaning the bathroom and dived into the rubbish bin. He 'helps' me sweep, dust and wash up.

Washing up duty.