mercredi 16 décembre 2009

A Song Of Love

by Sidney Lanier (1842 - 1881)

Hey, rose, just born
Twin to a thorn;
Was't so with you, O Love and Scorn?

Sweet eyes that smiled,
Now wet and wild:
O Eye and Tear- mother and child.

Well: Love and Pain
Be kinfolks twain;
Yet would, Oh would I could Love again.

Beer Bread (Basic)

Ingredients :
500g Self Raising Flour
5ml Salt
1 x 340ml Beer of your choice

Method :
Sift Flour and salt together, add beer and combine.
Knead until dough is smooth.
Put dough in bread tin and let it stand for 20 minutes.
Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.

Additional ingredients (fried bacon bits, grated cheddar cheese, or some herbs like chopped rosemary/thyme) may be added to the ingredients to add another dimension to the taste.

I Many Times Thought / I Sing

by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

I many times thought peace had come
When peace was far away,
As wrecked men deem they sight the land
When far at sea they stay.

And struggle slacker, but to prove,
As hopelessly as I,
That many the fictitious shores
Before the harbor lie.

I Sing

I sing to use the waiting
My bonnet but to tie,
And close the door unto my house
No more to do have I

‘Till his best step approaching,
We journey to the day,
And tell each other how we sung
To keep the dark away.

Thai Chicken Drumsticks

Serves 6

Ingredients :
250ml coconut milk
45-50ml red curry paste
30ml lime juice
30ml fish sauce
30ml sweet chilli sauce
60ml chopped fresh coriander
12 chicken drumsticks

Method :
Combine the coconut milk, curry paste, lime juice, fish sauce, chilli sauce and the coriander in a bowl and mix well.
Slash the chicken legs twice on each side and place in the marinade, coating them well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Remove chicken from the marinade and place on an oven tray. Grill on both sides, turning and basting frequently with marinade, until cooked.

Can also be cooked on the braai or in a grill pan.

mardi 24 février 2009

The Worship of Nature

by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)

The harp at Nature's advent strung
Has never ceased to play;
The song the stars of morning sung
Has never died away.

And prayer is made, and praise is given,
By all things near and far;
The ocean looketh up to heaven,
And mirrors every star.

Its waves are kneeling on the strand,
As kneels the human knee,
Their white locks bowing to the sand,
The priesthood of the sea!

They pour their glittering treasures forth,
Their gifts of pearl they bring,
And all the listening hills of earth
Take up the song they sing.

The green earth sends its incense up
From many a mountain shrine;
From folded leaf and dewy cup
She pours her sacred wine.

The mists above the morning rills
Rise white as wings of prayer;
The altar-curtains of the hills
Are sunset's purple air.

The winds with hymns of praise are loud,

Or low with sobs of pain, --
The thunder-organ of the cloud,
The dropping tears of rain.

With drooping head and branches crossed
The twilight forest grieves,
Or speaks with tongues of Pentecost
From all its sunlit leaves.

The blue sky is the temple's arch,
Its transept earth and air,
The music of its starry march
The chorus of a prayer.

So Nature keeps the reverent frame
With which her years began,
And all her signs and voices shame
The prayerless heart of man.

Sweetcorn tart

Ingredients :

4 tbsp margarine
4 tbsp sugar
4 eggs
3 tbsp Maizena
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Aromat (or equivalent seasoning)
1 ½ cups milk
2 cans cream style sweet corn
grated cheddar cheese (optional)

Method :

Mix all ingredients, except milk and sweet corn.
Add milk and mix well. Pour into greased 30cm oven dish. Stir in corn.
Bake at 180°C for +/- 40 minutes.
Serve warm.

mercredi 18 février 2009


by Hazel Hall (1886-1924)
Tiptoeing twilight,
Before you pass,
Bathe light my spirit
As dew bathes grass.

Quiet the longing
Of my hands that yearn,
As you fold the flower
And hush the fern.

Guard me with shadows
To fortify
My failing purpose,
My tired eye,

That in your stillness
I may relight
My faith's frail candle
Before the night.

Mosbolletjies (Must buns)

Mosbolletjies are buns originating from the Cape winelands (South Africa), where they were made from dough leavened with must (or "mos" - the juice of the grape in the first stages of fermentation) instead of yeast. If fresh grapes were not available, raisins were used instead.

500ml (300g) raisins with seeds
600ml lukewarm water (+/-)
2,5kg cake flour
800ml warm milk
375g butter
15ml salt
400ml (320g) sugar
30ml whole aniseed

Chop raisins in a food processor.
Add lukewarm water and leave, covered to ferment for four days.
When the raisins have risen to the surface, the yeast (or must), is ready.
Strain yeast through a muslin cloth and keep the strained liquid.
Discard raisins.
Prepare a yeast mixture by adding 250ml of the flour to the liquid and mixing to a thin batter.
Beat slightly, cover, and leave in a warm place until the mixture doubles in size.
Add the warm milk to the butter and allow to stand.
Sift the remaining flour and salt together.
Add sugar, butter mixture, yeast mixture and aniseed, mixing well.
Add more milk if necessary.
Brush surface of dough with melted butter, cover, and leave to rise in a warm place overnight.
Knock down, cover, and again leave to rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.
Shape dough into balls and pack tightly in greased bread baking tins.
Brush with melted butter.
Leave in a warm place to rise until double in size.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180C (350F) for about 1 hour or until golden brown.

lundi 6 octobre 2008

Helen's Song

by Philip James Bailey (1816 – 1902)

The Rose is
Weeping for her love,
The nightingale.

And he is flying
Fast above,
To her he will
Not fail.

Already golden
Eve appears;
He wings his way along;

Ah! look he comes
To kiss her tears,
And soothe her
With his song.

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart throbs.
He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

Philip James Bailey

Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients :

Biscuit base :
1 cup crushed digestive biscuits
1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling :
½ cup (100 grams) cream
juice of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 cup cream cheese (preferably Mascarpone)
½ cup castor sugar

Lemon sauce :
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon corn flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon rind, grated
½ teaspoon butter

2 - 3 drops of lemon essence
a drop of yellow food colouring (optional)

Mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture into the base of a 17.5 cm loose bottomed pie dish. Chill until firm.
Whisk the cream in a clean dry bowl till soft peaks form. Keep aside.

Mix the lemon rind, lemon juice, cream cheese and sugar till smooth. Fold in the whipped cream gently so that it does not curdle or split.
Spread the filling over the biscuit base and chill until firm.

For the lemon sauce, combine the sugar with ½ cup of water in a saucepan and heat till the sugar is dissolved. Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the sugar syrup. Heat stirring continuously till the mixture thickens. Add the butter and mix well. Cool and add the lemon juice, lemon rind, lemon essence and yellow food colouring . Mix well and keep aside.
For the garnish, remove the cheese cake from the mould and place on a serving plate. Pour the lemon sauce on top and refrigerate again.
Serve chilled.

lundi 29 septembre 2008


by Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

O memory, thou fond deceiver,
Still importunate and vain,
To former joys recurring ever,
And turning all the past to pain:

Thou, like the world, th' oppress'd oppressing,
Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe:
And he who wants each other blessing
In thee must ever find a foe.

Beef Stroganoff

1kg fillet steak, membrane removed, cut into thin strips
225g button mushrooms
275g small onions, sliced
75g clarified butter, otherwise unsalted butter
1 teaspoon cornflour
275ml sour cream
2 teaspoons French mustard
6 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Season the meat with a generous amount of black pepper. Set aside in a
cool place. Wipe mushrooms if necessary, slice each one in half. Put 2
tablespoons of the sour cream into a small bowl, and add the cornflour.
Mix until creamy and well blended. All these preparations, including the
cooking of the onions and mushrooms can be done ahead of time.
About 30 minutes before serving, melt half the butter in a large
frying-pan over low heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until slightly
Add mushrooms and increase the heat to medium.
Cook, stirring frequently for about five minutes, until the vegetables are golden but not browned.
Lift the vegetables out of the pan and keep warm.
Increase the heat to high, add the rest of the butter and let it become hot. Once hot, add the strips of beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning and keeping the centre of the meat medium rare.
Reduce heat and return vegetables to pan. Cook, stirring, until all the ingredients are mixed through. Slowly pour on the sour cream, allowing mixture to get hot.
Turn into a warm serving dish, add chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles or rice.

mardi 6 mai 2008

Four Things

by Henry Van Dyke(1852 - 1933)
American Poet and Presbyterian Minister

Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his record true:
To think without confusion clearly;
To love his fellow man sincerely;
To act from honest motives purely;
To trust in God and Heaven securely.

Quotes by Henry van Dyke
Happiness is inward, and not outward; and so, it does not depend on what we have, but on what we are.

There are two good rules which ought to be written on every heart - never to believe anything bad about anybody unless you positively know it to be true; never to tell even that unless you feel that it is absolutely necessary, and that God is listening.
There is only one way to get ready for immortality, and that is to love this life and live it as bravely and faithfully and cheerfully as we can.
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.
What you possess in the world will be found at the day of your death to belong to someone else. But what you are will be yours forever.

What we do, belongs to what we are; and what we are is what becomes of us.

Chicken biryani (breyani)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 - 1.5kg boneless, skinless chicken pieces cut into chunks

1 teaspoon powdered cardamom
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 whole cloves
1 teaspoon star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
(Note : The above spices are also available and packaged as a ready-made biryani mix in most supermarkets or spice shops)

1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon masala (usually sold as biryani masala)
5 cardamom pods
1 small stick of cinnamon
500g basmati rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
In a large skillet, fry potatoes in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until brown, drain and set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet and fry onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and golden. Add spices, salt and the tomatoes.

Fry, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes are cooked soft.
It may be necessary to add a little hot water if the mixture becomes too dry and begins to stick to the pan.
When the mixture is thick and smooth, add the chicken pieces and stir well to coat them with the spice mixture.

Cover and cook over very low heat until the chicken is tender, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
Wash rice well and drain in colander.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and add onion and cook until brown. Stir in the masala, cardamom and cinnamon and then add the rice.

Stir continuously until the rice is coated with the oil.
In a medium-size pot, heat the chicken stock and salt.

When the mixture is hot pour it over the rice and stir well.
Add the chicken mixture and the potatoes, then gently mix them into the rice. Bring to boil.
Cover the saucepan tightly, turn heat to very low and steam for 20 minutes.

Do not lift lid or stir while cooking. After about 20 minutes the biryani should be ready to be served.

mardi 22 avril 2008


by Charlotte Brontë (1816 - 1855)

Life, believe, is not a dream,
So dark as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day:
Sometimes there are clouds of gloom,
But these are transient all;
If the shower will make the roses bloom,
Oh, why lament its fall?
Rapidly, merrily,
Life's sunny hours flit by,
Gratefully, cheerily,
Enjoy them as they fly.

What though death at times steps in,
And calls our Best away?
What though Sorrow seems to win,
O'er hope a heavy sway?
Yet Hope again elastic springs,
Unconquered, though she fell,
Still buoyant are her golden wings,
Still strong to bear us well.
Manfuly, fearlessly,
The day of trial bear,
For gloriously, victoriously,
Can courage quell dispair!