Monday, October 27, 2008


Lorilee asked to explain what custard is.  I promised that I will do a little bit of research and found and explanation and a recipe.

In South Africa we are lucky to have several brands of instand custard powders such eg Moirs custard powder.  To this is then added fresh milk and sugar and the mixture boiled until thickened.

The other fantastic new product is the ready made vanilla custards such as Ultra Mel.

Very tasty and ready to serve with your favourite desserts.

An explanation of what custard is - per Wikipedia:

Custard is a range of preparations based on milk and eggs, thickened with heat. Most commonly, custard refers to a dessert or dessert sauce, but custard bases are also used for quiches and other savoury foods. As a dessert, it is made from a combination of milk or creamegg yolkssugar, and vanilla. Sometimes flourcorn starch, or gelatin are also added.

Custard is usually cooked in a double boiler (bain-marie) or heated very gently on the stove in a saucepan, though custard can also be steamed, baked in the oven with or without a hot water bath, or even cooked in a pressure cooker. Cooking until it is set without cooking it so much that it curdles is a delicate operation, because only 5-10°F (3-5°C) separate the two. A water bath slows heat transfer and makes it easier to remove the custard from the oven before it curdles.[1]

Depending on how much egg or thickener is used, custard may vary in consistency from a thin pouring sauce (crème anglaise), to a thickblancmange like that used for vanilla slice or the pastry cream used to fill éclairs.

Custard is an important part of dessert recipes from many countries.

I then found a real proper custard recipe on the link below:

Blessings until next time.


Sorry only now noticed an error in the bread pudding recipe, namely in the top layer- forgot the 2 eggs.  But ........... recipe amended.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I can just imagine everyone thinking that this is not something unusual - but I can promise this is not the usual bread pudding recipe, but a bread pudding with a difference - very light and very tasty.  I have received so many compliments when serving this pudding and almost everyone requests second helpings.  The most popular part is usually the sweet crust formed on the outside of the pudding.

Bread pudding has a very special place in traditional South African kitchens.

This specific recipe was featured on a popular Afrikaans TV program in South Africa called "Maak 'n Las" - the name of the program is an Afrikaans saying meaning "help with some money or something".  I have only adjusted the recipe a little bit as the original recipe was a bit too sweet to our taste.

(6 portions)

10 slices white bread (crust removed) - broken into small pieces
125 ml white sugar
1 liter fresh milk
62,5 ml butter
4 extra large eggs
10 ml vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.
Put the bread pieces in a large oven dish.  
Sprinkel a little bit of the sugar over the bread. Heat the milk and butter only until the butter has melted.  
Beat the eggs and add the milk mixture in small amounts at a time. 
Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
Pour the mixture over the bread and allow to stand until well soaked.
Bake for 40 minutes in the oven.

In the meantime prepare the top layer as follows:

250 ml soft margarine or butter
250 ml white sugar
2 eggs
10 ml vanilla essence

Beat the ingredients together.

When the pudding is done spread the top layer evenly over the pudding.
Bake again for another 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with custard and enjoy the compliments you will receive.

I am unfortunately currently very busy in assisting my ex-boss with some audit finalisations - so no time for a long blog.  

Have a wonderful blessed week. 

Maak 'n Las - Andries Krogman.


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Thought I should share the wonderful day we had yesterday when visiting the Kruger National Game Park. As we jokingly said at the end of the day - it was a day of viewing the big 5, small 5, all 5.  
From the minute we entered the park we were luckly - first one hyena, 
then about 5 hyenas,

-on the next turn off a male lion,

then rhino's, buffallo's, a female lion, a group of 5 lions,

again buffalo's and rhino's, then 6 lions which included about 3 young ones,

the a rare sight of two lions mating, a leopard in a tree and elephant. 

It was really a wonderful experience once again!!  I have included some photos of the day's viewing. Unfortunately the leopard was lying  behind a branch and we could see him clearly with binoculars but the photos are not very good.  But some very good photos of the rest of the animals.

We were also lucky to have some more good viewings at our home.  Early morning 7 giraffes visiting, a very thirsty tortoise and the evening at the "braai" our resident bush baby which we feed bananas every evening.

Today we are very sad having to go back to Gauteng - but still very happy being so fortunate and blessed to again have a stay in paradise.

For more info re the Kruger National Game Park I would suggest the following website :

Greetings from a very warm South Africa.


Friday, October 17, 2008


Griddle cakes on the open fire

I am writing whilst looking out at the most beautiful surroundings - the African bush veld.  We are currently at our bush veld home for 5 days.  Although still having to do accounting work during the day I luckily have big windows and can still enjoy the views and all the wild animals visiting during the day.  Unfortunately we are currently experiencing terrible drought in the area but today it looks as if we can have the rain we are longing for - we have all been praying every day as the animals are very hungry.  We have bought game pellets and game blocks for the animals and my husband has a full time job feeding the animals.  

Some of my blog friends have requested more photos and I am so glad that my blog compose mode is now working.  I have heard about google's new chrome browser and after loading it my blog compose mode is available.  I can defnitely suggest looking at -Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.

Below some of the animals that have visited us at our home the past two days.

 New baby warthogs - must be only a few days old.

Back to cooking and baking:
When in the bush and more relaxed my cooking skills defnitely improve.  I would like to share today what I do with bread dough.  We have a grocery retail group called SPAR in South Africa and packets of ready made bread dough can be purchased from their bakery section for those who don't have the time to make their own dough.  But it is just as easy with the new instant yeasts available to quickly prepare your own bread dough.

White farm bread recipe:

10 ml Instant Yeast - in SA several brands eg Anchor or Gold Star 
4 x 250 ml White bread flour / cake flour
7 ml salt
7 ml sugar
25 ml butter
325 ml warm water

Mix dry ingredients together.  With fingers rub butter into dry mixture.
Add water and mix with a wooden spoon and then with hands until able to knead the dough.
If needed add a some more warm water.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes to form a soft dough. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Knead again.

For a farm bread - form into a bread the size of pan - cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave to rise again until double in size - for about 30 mninutes.  Bake for 30 minutes in oven at 200 degrees celcius.  

For a "pot"-bread form into a round ball, flatten and bake over the open fire in a flat bottom cast iron pot.  This is especially when camping in the bush.  The pot is then put on a small triangle stand with only about 8 hot coales underneath and a few hot coales on the lide.  If camping in a area such as Botswana or the Kalahari it works wonders to dig a shallow hole in the soft sand, put coals into the hole, then the traingle into the hole, the pot on the triangle and a few hot coals on the lid - your own self made camping oven.

Other uses for bread dough:

1/ Griddle cakes 
     When having a "braai"(barbeque) we love having "rooster koek" (griddle cakes) - the bread dough is made up into small balls which have been flattened a bit and left to rise to double in size.  I find it helps to bake it on a piece of tinfoil until firm over the open fire.  When firm the tinfoil can be removed.  Turn around often until brown both sides.  
Enjoy with fresh farm butter and home made preserves.

2/ Pizza

  Let the dough double in size in a covered bowl the second time, form into 3 round balls for 3x pizzas. The balls can be left in the fridge in a plastic bag for a few days until needed. 
For a pizza -  roll with a rolling pin into a flat round circle.  Cover with a tomota paste, herbs, season to taste and add ingredients to taste for a home made pizza.  Bake in a very warm oven until done.

3/ Bread with a filling

My daughter taught me to make this tasteful bread.  After dough has doubled in size the second time, form into a square shape and then either roll with a rolling pin or flatten with hands until about 1,5 cm thickness.
Sprinkle with olive oil and then add the any of the following ingredients in the centre along the square:
 - garlic / grated cheese / slices sweet green or red peppers /sliced spring onions / diced tomatoes / spinach / sliced olives / peppadews
 - diced country ham / diced salami / or any other cold meats
 - actually anything to taste
Sprinkle with olive oil, herbs and seasoning to taste.
Fold the sides over to the middle and flatten the sides as to ensure that the mixture will stay inside. Sprinkle top with olive oil and mixed dried herbs.
Bake in oven until nice and brown and done.
Very tasty and I always receive many compliments when made.

4/ Vetkoek ( a South African favourite - directly translated as "fat"cake - it is actually fried cake)

Form small round balls of bread dough - leave to rise until double in size.  Warm cooking oil in a large sauce pan - must be quite warm.  
Add a few balls at a time into the warm oil and fry until brown on both sides - balls need to be turned around all the time.  
Drain on paper towels and enjoy with farm butter and the favourite honey or your favourite preserve.
For a savoury "vetkoek" - fill with savoury mince.

These are a few of my favourite uses for bread dough.  A quick and tasty meal can be prepared at any time with very little effort.  

Herewith a photo of the summer salad recipe featured in a previous blog.

Have a lovely weekend!!



Thursday, October 9, 2008


We had a wonderful week last week with my daughter and her husband visiting us from the UK. A short and very busy visit, but so wonderful to have them here. She has posted some photos and details on her blog the linen cupboard - so I will not go into more detail re the wedding. This week has been hectic getting up to date after a few days off last week.

I am still having errors on my blogpage and can not load photos, but my daughter promised to load the photos from her computer.

I decided to tell more of our wonderful bushveld holiday home in Marloth Park, Mapumulanga, which borders on the Crocodile river which is the border of the well-known Kruger National Game Park in South Africa. Marloth Park is a holiday township with free-hold stand and is situated on the Crocodile River on the southern boundary of Kruger National Park. Marloth Park is about 450km from Johannesburg - thus take us about a 4,5 hours drive from Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Marloth Park is unique in that the wild animals are allowed to roam freely around the unfenced houses. The holiday township is quite big with about 4'000 stands with park areas in between the stands. The rules are quite strict and the homes has to blend in with nature. Animals roaming freely in Marloth Park include Impala, Kudu, Zebra, Nyala, Bush Buck, Reed Buck, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Warthogs, Duiker, Zebra, Mongooses, baboons, monkeys and bushbabies. There is also leopard and hyienas in the park - but they are not seen very often. We also have our own small private game reserve in the holiday township called Lion Spruit, which has Impala, Kudu, Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra and many other. The Crocodile river is about 200 meters from our house and Elephant, Rhino, Lions, Leopard, Water buck and Hippo's can also often be seen down at the river when we go on our morning or afternoon walks. There is a fence between us and the Kruger National Park, but we still have beautiful views of the river and the animals as you will see in my photos.

This photo is of the zebras standing by our patio.
Bird watching or ‘birding’ in Marloth Park is wonderful due to an incredible diversity of birdlife. Marloth Park is actually the closest a person can get to the Garden of Eden.

We try to go to Marloth Park on a regular monthly basis and then stay there for 3 -4 days. We would love to retire there one day. When there we always go to the Kruger National Park for a morning or day game drive - the Crocodile gate of the park is only a 30 minute drive from our house.

We are very fortunate and very blessed to have a home in this beautiful natural surroundings. Both my husband and I are nature lovers and this home was just the ultimate for us.

The weather in the area is usually very warm throughout the year. Summer temperatures about minimum 15>20 degrees Celcius and maximum 35 > 42 degrees. Winter temperatures min 5>10 degrees and maximum 18 > 25 degrees.

My daughter will add some photos of our house and the animals in Marloth Park.

Not forgetting about the food - cooking in Marloth is the best. There I have the time, energy and patience to cook. Our dinners mostly is done outside in our "boma"-area which is very popular in the South African bush. Meals are mostly a "braai" - which is in English a barbeque. Meals will consist of a home-made bread, "roosterkoek" (small round pieces of bread dough baked on the open fire on grid), one or another salad, baked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes (baked whole with the skin) and then one or another meat dish. Meat dishes will be usually grilled on the open fire eg fillet steak, "boerewors"(a South African speciality sausage), lamb chops, "sosaties"- different kebabs. In the next few blogs I will share some special South African "braai"-recipes with you. This is where we "braai" at the house.

My special and very easy bread recipe is a Beer Bread - this I even make when on a camping safari in one of our favourite game parks such as Etosha Game Park in Namibia, Botswana Game Reserve or the Kgalagadi Game Reserve.

* * * * * * * * * * *



500 gram Self-raising Flour
5 ml salt
1,5 bottles Beer (300ml size)
250 ml grated Cheddar / Mozarella cheese (or combination of both)
5 ml Dried mixed herbs

Mix all ingredients together. Bake in a lined bread pan @ 180 degrees celcius for 45 minutes.

For variation:

- Bake without the cheese and herbs

- Replace the cheddar cheese with 125 ml Blue Cheese - this is outstanding with a very unusual taste.

- Add a tin of either sweet corn / cernel corn.

* * * * * * * * * *

When camping I use a large round black cast-iron pot - very popular for use when camping. The one I use have a flat bottom with no legs.

This is an example of how the pots with legs look:

"Potjiekos" are made in these pots and are a subject I will save for another time.

Have a wonderful blessed week until my next blog post.