Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Easy Berry Cheesecake

My middle daughter, who is a medical doctor, has no cooking or chef training besides those that she grew up with in our house. Amongst her delicious cooking skills, she does a beautiful and very popular berry cheesecake, which she recently demonstrated to two chefs. It is a very easy recipe made in three parts and is always a winner.

For the base:
1 packet of Coconut biscuits ('Tennis biscuits' in South Africa)
1/2 cup of melted butter
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin mixed in a bit of boiling water

Crush the biscuits and add the butter and gelatin mixture. Push the mixture into a round baking pan or a round cake glass bowl. Put in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

For the cheesecake section:
2 tins of sweetened condensed milk
2 tubs (250g) cream cheese or smooth cottage cheese
1/2 cup of lemon juice
Mix together in mixing bowl.
3 teaspoons powdered gelatin in boiling water

Add a bit of the condensed milk-cheese mixture to the gelatin and mix thoroughly. Then add this into the mixing bowl and mix. Pour the mixture over the cookies and butter base. Refrigerate for 2 hours until set.

For the berry top:
2 tins of berries or strawberries
Drain the juice from the berries in the tin and add gelatin mixture (2
teaspoons gelatin in boiling water) to the juice.
Pour this over the cake that has set over a big spoon. Then add the berries
and refrigerate again for 2 hours.

If the cake was prepared in a lined baking pan one can just remove it from the pan carefully and place on a cake plate. Alternatively it can be prepared and left in a beautiful glass cake bowl.

This recipe was always the most popular at family functions, school functions and more. The recipe will be carried over from Mamma Lalla to each generation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

My apologies for not continuing with my blog.  My knee that has given me problems from end of November is still not healed.
I have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.

What is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic pain condition.  The key symptom of CRPS is continuous, intense pain out of proportion to the severity of the injury, which gets worse rather than better over time. CRPS most often affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet.  Often the pain spreads to include the entire arm or leg.  Typical features include dramatic changes in the color and temperature of the skin over the affected limb or body part, accompanied by intense burning pain, skin sensitivity, sweating, and swelling.  Doctors aren’t sure what causes CRPS.  In some cases the sympathetic nervous system plays an important role in sustaining the pain.  Another theory is that CRPS is caused by a triggering of the immune response, which leads to the characteristic inflammatory symptoms of redness, warmth, and swelling in the affected area.

Something strange to me and medication is effecting my concentration.
Will be back soon. Regards

Sunday, February 1, 2009


I have been going through family photos and decided to do a few blogs on camping holidays that we have done in Africa.  I will add to these camping recipes as eating is a big part of our camping holidays and we don't believe in frozen instant camping foods - meals are all planned in detail and you will be suprised what we come up with.

Before I start I would like to mention that I have started a seperate blog with c
ake decorating photos, tips and recipes -www.mammalallacakes.blogspot.com/ .

The first trip that I would like to share with you is one of the last trips we did - namely to the Khutse Game Reserve which is situated in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana.  This is a very remote game reserve with only a few undeveloped camping sites.  

There is so much to show that I will have to do it in a few blogs.

Some info re the reserve:



This private reserve in the southern Kalahari and part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve was established to conserve and protect the smaller salt pans of the Kalahari. Its flat, endless plains of shrub and grass which anchor the restless sands of the semi-arid desert attract large herds of various antelope, these in turn attract endangered predators such as cheetah and wild dog. During the wet season, after a good rainfall, up to 150 different species of bird can be spotted near the pans. 


  • The Kalahari region is vast and unchanging, but by no means uninteresting. Other than the Khutse Reserve

  • You will find the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Mabuasehuba. 

  • This dry harsh land used to be home to the indigenous people of Botswana - the San or Bushman. They have left us many reminders of that forgotten time and an experienced guide can teach you their way of life and culture and how they adapted to the environment in which they lived. 


  • Game Viewing  Game viewing in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Khutse Game Reserve is the prime game viewing areas in Botswana during the wet season. A variety of antelope, such as springbok, gemsbok as well as zebra and wildebeest are most commonly seen in the park, there are also cheetah, lion, black-backed jackal and brown-hyena to be seen in some parts of the park. In the Khutse Reserve, the wet season brings

     over 150 different species of birds to the pans. 

  • Historic Trails: Bushmen remnants are everywhere to be found in this region which will teach you their way of life and culture and give you a few tips on how to survive in this harsh, remote environment.

  • 4 x 4'ing: Venture into the 4x4 paradise of Africa, comparable to the desert of Namibia and the tough trails of South Africa. This harsh, untamed land will make any 4x4 enthusiasts heart race. Be sure to know where you are going and pack enough supplies and fuel to last your journey. Its a mean, inhospitable and uninhabited land out there.


As there are no accommodation establishments in the Kalahari region, you have to get back to nature and camp out in the open. It is recommended that you travel this area with an experienced guide and be sure to find out what and how much supplies you need.

All supplies need to be taken with - water, petrol, food, camping equipment, everything. Thus quite an expedition.   There are only a few undeveloped camping sites in the park.  We only saw two other vehicles in the park in the 5 days that we spend there. My son and his wife went some months before us and they were the only people in the reserve for about a week. 

My husband and I went with two old friends and their daughter with her husband. The six of us went in two cars.  It is advisable to always travel with two cars.

This is the entrance to the Khutse Game Reserve.

Herewith a video clip of the condition of the road to our camping site.  It takes a few hours to travel to the camping site.

At last our camping spot which is situated next to a large pan. We set up camp as we arrived there.

In the centre we had our tent with an add-on large tent which we used as our dining area. Our friends slept in a trailer on the left side with a tent on top and the other two in a camping trailer on the right side.  The men also decided that we can't have a camp without our national flag.

The only ablutions is the bucket shower - for this we had to bring with our own water and to have hot water for the shower we warmed it by putting the water in special black bags and leaving it in the sun during the day.

There is also a long-drop toilet. Both these do not have a roof, only the wooden pole enclosure.

More photos to follow next time.  Regards.