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Saturday, October 02, 2010


It has been a while since posting. As usual, it has been hell at work. The boss told us that she was irritated that we had taken a long weekend, not working the Saturday after the public holiday. She said there was simply too much work to finish by the end of the month, which was Thursday. WHAT. E. VER.


I have found more interesting information on my great-grandmother. This is going to be one of those long-winded explanations: We were invited to a braai (hat we thoroughly enjoyed!) at Ilze and Cassie last weekend, the day after National Braai Day (24 September), said Saturday. In any case, we dug out the Box of Family Recipes from its mouldy grave in Mother's Personal Store Room (she grew up that way). I have now in my possession the personal favourite recipes of the Barnard, Nortjé, Heyneke, Verster, De Beer and other clans. A whole big box of them. See the photograph.It seems my obsessive recipe collecting is genetic...

I have also been given new information and I have updated the first post about my great-grandmother accordingly.

I knew that the box contained some of her prize-winning recipes. And, Bingo!, I found this gem: a vegetarian stew that was one of her signature dishes. Here is the recipe in her own handwriting, and an article as well as the recipe that was published in the Landbouweekblad (like Farmer's Weekly Magazine) in November 1957. She called the dish "Tjou-tjou".

And here is the recipe, modernised, metricised and Anglicised:


450g carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
450g parsnips, peeled and cut into rounds
3 large onions, preferably green with stalks, chopped finely
3 medium potatoes, cut into cubes
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and quartered
85g dry macaroni
30g sheep's fat or butter
salt and pepper to taste

Sauteé the onions in the fat or butter until light brown and soft. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough water to cover. Allow to stew over low heat until done. Serve warm.

As soon as I can find some parsnips, I am going to make it; I can't wait to taste it. It will be one of my great-mother's favourite tastes! Maybe I will add some freshly grilled, crispy garlic bread to complete the meal.


The reason I took the box from Mother is to try to sort though it. Throw out whatever's unwanted or unpractical. I have narrowed it down to three categories:

1. Handwritten family recipes and recipes from friends, e.g "Tant Marie se Souttert",  "Cheddarrol - Hettie". These are sacred and cannot be chucked. Ever.

2. Personally tested recipes from magazines and newspapers. Cannot all be chucked, but stupid ones can be culled.

3. Unknown or untested recipes. The bulk of the box's contents, I suspect.

I will keep posting about the recipes, especially if I find interesting or delicious dishes. I've already found the next one I want to try: my great-grandmother's bran rusks. I have been told that they are irresistible. 

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