Friday, March 27, 2009

I have to vote...

On April 22, South Africans will be voting.

I'm not political by nature, in fact politics bores me. Which is dangerous. If I want change to occur, I should go make my mark. What's frustrating is that there are no candidates or political parties that even come close to being the ideal to vote for. Each one is as corrupt as the next, all they want is a slice of the pie and will promise anything to get it.

For 14 years the ANC has run this country, they've run it into the ground as far as schooling, health and public spending is concerned. As a political party, they promised many wonderful things in the first election, some of which they have achieved, others have fallen by the wayside. What they have managed to do is to tarnish their reputations as freedom fighters. They have fallen off the pedestal...and yet their support is unwavering. Why is that?

Not only is the ANC's president a man of such dubious character, but they are allowing Winnie Mandela to stand for government. While both might be of the old guard freedom fighters who kept black support going during the worst of the Apartheid era, neither one deserves to sit in government. They are both tainted with a shady recent past, Winnie Mandela almost at the end of her suspended sentence for fraud. Jacob Zuma still has no idea if he will be charged with corruption charges (which is looking all the more unlikely if news stories of the retraction of the charges is to be believed).

COPE is no better. Started by ANC stalwarts sick of the corruption within the ANC, they have the Rev Allen Boesak on their party candidate list. WTF? He is also part of the old guard, but a convicted criminal who stole money donated for disadvantaged communities. He stole from the poor for his own gain. Now that his criminal record has been expunged, he sees fit to stand for government.

These are some of the candidates of the political parties I have to vote for this April election.

If only the Independant Democrats' Patricia de Lille was standing for president. I'd seriously consider voting for her to run this country. She might be highly controversial (anyone remember her telling whites to move back to Europe as we cannot be considered true Africans?) but she tells it like it is. I think she's one of a few politicians who actually mean what they say.

So, to vote or not to vote? That is the question...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

School holidays

Schools in Gauteng close from tomorrow until the 15th of April. Yay for school holidays.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chocolate Whore

If, like me, you are a chocolate whore, you might find this little recipe interesting...


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous). And why is this most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night! you are going to print this out straight away, aren't you?

The above recipe was forwarded to me by my very good friend Trudie. Trudie's a chocolate whore...just like me.

She came over the same day and we made two. We're still debating the endless variations that one could adding brandy instead of vanilla, adding white chocolate instead of brown, bits of peppermint crisp instead of chocolate chips....oh, something's just occurred to me, I need some chocolate cake!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Welcome to blogging my friend!

I recently met up again online with an old school friend of mine. I last saw Wendy at the end of 1982...I think....when we moved to different high schools.

Anyhow, Wendy, welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Winter is almost here, it’s still dark when I wake up at 5.10am and by 6am the sun is just peeping over the horizon. By 5pm it starts getting darker and colder. Winter always means dessert, usually one baked in the oven so the whole house is toasty warm and smells of vanilla.

Today I am making sago pudding, tapioca to the rest of the world. Sago pudding can be as plain or as dramatic as you want it to be.

For me, it’s all about the jam (that's jelly in Americanees).

A basic recipe :

1 cup / 250ml sago in 500ml water
600ml milk
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 stick cinnamon
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Apricot jam

Basically, it is as simple as soaking the sago in water for 30 minutes or so, heating the milk and adding the soaked sago, cinnamon stick and butter. Then cook for about 10 minutes, stirring continuously until the sago starts going transparent. Remove from the heat and carefully add the beaten egg and sugar (you don’t want scrambled egg in your pudding!) Now for the fun part! Butter an ovenproof dish, dab generous amounts of apricot jam all over the bottom of the dish and pour the sago mixture into the dish, removing the cinnamon stick. Sprinkle the ½ teaspoon of cinnamon over the top. Bake for about 30 – 45 minutes at 180C or until the top of the pudding is all bubbly and brown.

I like it with a generous portion of piping hot custard.

Oh, we’re having that after we have oven baked fillet….

Monday, March 09, 2009

Rugby, a state religion

On Saturday afternoon a crowd gathered at Loftus, house of worship for the Bulls Super 14 team. Their opponents, the Stormers. This particular Saturday game though was no ordinary game. From the start of the day it was obvious that many people were coming to settle a score against a Stormers player, one Luke Watson. While an average player, Luke Watson has been mired in controversy ever since his forced inclusion in the 2007 Bok training squad and his subsequent no show during our very successful World Cup campaign. And then there's that speech of his, the one where he said he felt wearing the green and gold was a burden, and that he struggled to stop himself vomiting on it.

For other religious practitioners, this would be akin to denying the existence of Jesus. You don't mess with the green and gold. You also don't say that you want to puke on the Bok jersey, unless of course you have a death wish.

Now I am a staunch Stormers supporter, part of a legion of religious fanatics who take our team, and our game, very seriously, even though I no longer live in Cape Town. It is not in the phsyche of a Stormers supporter to boo at his or her team members, ever. Newlands faithful have never been a booing type of supporter. It is considered bad taste. That is more a tactic practiced by our arch enemies, Bulls supporters, you know the type of fan I who boos his own players, one who is fickle in his support. Newlands faithful have always been there for their team, even in the worst rain storms, the worst game droughts where a losing streak seems to carry on forever.

Going into the stadium in my white and blue shirt posed no problem. The good-natured ribbing from Bulls fans was to be expected. After all, we'd have done the same if this had been Newlands instead. Sitting amongst all those people though...and the stadium was felt lekker to see that even though we were two opposing religious fanatical sides, we had one thing in common. Our intense dislike for Mr Watson in his arrogant belief that he is akin to a god in the rugby arena who can go unpunished for his utterings.

There were supporters on both sides sporting logos on t-shirts like LUKE YOU MAKE US PUKE.....LUKE YOU ARE A P**S, not to mention banners all over the stadium proclaiming just what supporters wanted to do to Luke Watson.

The game started well enough, the teams ran onto the field of play and the crowd half heartedly booed. After all, the Bulls supporter is typically against any team other than his own. All the way through until just before the first half ended, the crowd booed whenever Luke managed to get his hands anywhere near the ball. Then in the 36th minute...

Luke was caught by a Bulls player on the side line. The crowd took this opportunity to boo even harder and with more enthusiasm than they had been up until that point. Luke lost it, waving his hands at the crowd only to be booed harder, and to be laughed at. I don't know which was worse, the booing or the laughter. Either way, I found myself and all the Stormers supporters around me boooing and laughing along with the Bulls supporters.

Luke, you should have expected the entire country to be booing you. You insulted not only Dutchmen but an entire grouping of people who love the game, a game that has not only united all colours of this Rainbow Nation of ours, but one that has given us a purpose on a Saturday afternoon for much of the year.

Once again, you have acted before thinking, and once again you have fallen far short of what it means to be a rugby player in this country. The Boks carry the hopes of an entire nation and while the Super 14 franchise is only between clubs at a premier level, each team carries the hopes of their regional supporters. Fanatically religious supporters at that. We never forget. We never forgive.

You might turn out to be a better player at some point in your future but you will never have this fan's support.

Monday, March 02, 2009

More on Obsessions

I made bread today, for the first time ever! mmmmmmmmmmm!

I will be making more.

Bread is the food of the gods.

Hot out the oven bread with butter...nothing better! The scent wafts up your nose, into that part of your brain that is primeval and just screams at you until you look down....and see the bread board covered in crumbs...the loaf a distant memory....

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Last year, whenever someone asked what I would like to receive for Christmas, I told them vouchers for a particular bookstore. So for Christmas I received a few envelopes. Same thing for my birthday.

With those vouchers, I bought books. Cookery books. My new obsession. Well, reading them and then attempting to recreate these masterpieces, sometimes with hilarious consequences, other times with rave reviews.

I am trying to broaden my horizons, the kitchen seems to be a great place to start.