Recent Blogs

Feature Friday Business – Mooliemarket: Handmade South African Jewelry

What do you do when you can’t find a specific piece of jewelry (that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg) to match an outfit that you’ll be wearing to an important upcoming event? Mooliemarket necklaceWell, if you’re Dr. Karen Moolman you take matters in your own hands and make it yourself.

Dr. Karen Moolman and her husband immigrated to the United States from South Africa in 1997. The couple have four sons, 2 in college and 2 in high school, and reside in Franklin TN. Since she was young, Karen Moolman made things with her hands, including sweaters and blankets and various other items. I recently had the opportunity to ask her what exactly led to jewelry making in particular and like many things in life, it was a combination of things. A necklace she’d received from her mother-in-law in South Africa had broken, she needed a particular piece for an upcoming event, and she was given a tremendous amount of supplies used in jewelry-making. The combination of these three events led to Mooliemarket, an Etsy shop where people all over the world can purchase her beautiful pieces. She uses semi-precious stones, pearls, and various metals.

Dr. Moolman truly has a gift when it comes to making jewelry. Each piece is stunning and a one of a kind that can’t be found elsewhere. I’m fortunate to own a few of her pieces and I absolutely love them and always get tons of complements.  But don’t take my word for it, check out her Etsy page for yourself where you’ll find pictures of her entire collection, which has an impressive 5 star review. For more information check out the page: Mooliemarket where you’ll find links for her Facebook and Etsy pages.


South African Milk Tart: Microwave Edition

South African Melk Tert, or Milk Tart in English, is another one of those classic South African recipes that has been around for generations and can be found in every region of the southern African nation. It dates back to the 1600’s when the Dutch first settled in the Cape. Since then it has been omnipresent in all parts of South Africa’s heritage and can be found in every grocery store, coffee shop, and church bazaar, just to name a few. What exactly is it, you ask, well I’ll tell you: it’s an impeccably delicious dessert consisting of a sweet, flaky pastry crust that’s filled with a milk, creamy custard-like filling made of milk, eggs, sugar, flour, and a hint of vanilla. It’s traditionally served in a round pie dish, but has been transformed into various other forms, even liqueur. The best part about this recipe in particular is that it uses incredibly time-saving shortcuts. This recipe can be made in using a store-bought pie crust and the filling is cooked in the microwave which means it’s quick, easy, nearly foolproof. I’ve yet to meet ANYONE who doesn’t like this dessert. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself and impress your friends at your next party or get together.

Ingredients

  • Store bought deep-dish pie crustMilk Tart
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Bake pie crust as instructed on packaging.
  2. Pour all 4 cups of milk in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave until it boils (approximately 5 minutes, depending on your microwave’s strength)
  3. While the milk is boiling, separate 2 of the eggs and beat the egg whites using a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form then set them aside.
  4. In a bowl add 1 whole egg, the 2 separated egg yolks, cornstarch, flour and sugar. Mini Milk TartsMix with a hand or stand mixer until it’s a creamy consistency.
  5. When the milk is boiling remove it from the microwave and pour one cup of the boiling milk into the creamed sugar mixture, whisking constantly as you pour (this is called tempering and will prevent you from making scrambled eggs).
  6. Once it’s combined pour the tempered mixture into the rest of the milk, whisking constantly as you pour. Whisk until everything is well combined.
  7. Put mixture back in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.
  8. Remove mixture and whisk again, then microwave for another 2 minutes.
  9. At this stage your mixture should be a thick consistency.
  10. Add the vanilla and margarine/butter and stir well. Then fold in the egg whites from step 3.
  11. Microwave on high for another 2 minutes.
  12. Remove mixture from the microwave, stir one last time and pour it into the baked pie crust.
  13. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
  14. Let the milk tart cool completely and once it has cooled put it in the fridge.

Enjoy!

**TIP: If you’re having a dinner party you can make individual Milk Tarts by using store-bought mini pie crusts.


Ouma’s Famous Coconut ‘Freeze & Bake’ Cookies

There’s nothing better or more comforting than being welcomed by the smell of freshly baked cookies. These cookies are no exception…at least so I’ve been told. I love hearing stories about my mom’s childhood growing up with her three brothers. I always heard about these mysterious cookies that my Ouma (my mom’s mother) used to make that could be frozen and later baked when they were needed. Unfortunately, I also heard that the cookies never lasted long enough to be baked at a later time, heck they didn’t even last long enough to make it to the oven! We all love eating cookie dough and from the stories I’ve heard, these cookies are even better unbaked and were consumed long before the oven was done pre-heating. I hope when you make these that some of them actually make it to the oven, but if not, that’s okay too. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coconutOuma's Famous Coconut Cookies
  • 1/2 lb shortening (just more than 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup brown sugar ( or 1/2 white, 1/2 brown for sweeter cookies)

Instructions:

  1. Using a stand or hand mixer whisk together the shortening and sugar until creamy and well combined.
  2. Add the eggs and vanilla to mixture and whisk/mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
  4. Add coconut to flour mixture and stir until mixed through.
  5. With the stand or hand mixer on low, slowly add the flour-coconut mixture to the batter until well combined and dough forms. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour dough onto a flat surface and form the dough into logs/rolls, approximately 1 inch thick.
  7. Wrap logs with wax paper and freeze (can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months)
  8. When ready to bake, remove rolls of dough from the freezer and preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
  9. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch slices & place on a lined baking sheet.
  10. Bake cookies at 400 F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

I hope Ouma’s Coconut Cookies bring you as much joy as it did for my family.


South African Amarula Fridge Tart: Dessert with Kick

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 11.10.24 AMThose of you who aren’t South Africans are probably wondering what on earth Amarula is. Amarula is a cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree through a process of fermentation. The sacred, protected African Marula Tree only bears fruit for a short time in the hot summer months. The real challenge though, is harvesting the fruits before the elephants arrive, who love the fruit almost as much as South Africans love the liqueur that’s made from the fruit. An Amarula Fridge Tart is another staple dessert in South Africa because it’s easy to make, perfect for any occasion, and absolutely irresistible. If you’re worried you won’t find it in the States, just check with your local liquor store, most are able to have it shipped if they do not already carry it. Give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 1 box of graham crackers or coconut cookies (Tennis Biscuits)Amarula Frigde Tart
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 300 ml Amarula (this is where the kick comes from)
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of flour
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ¾ Cup Sugar

Instructions:

  1. Place a layer of cookies on the bottom of a 9×13 dish or foil pan.
  2. Drizzle 100 ml Amarula over the cookies.
  3. Open the condensed milk and place large spoonfuls on top of each cookie, then spread/flatten with the back of a tablespoon.
  4. Add another layer of cookies and sprinkle with 100 ml Amarula.
  5. Heat the milk in a saucepan
  6. Take ½ a cup of the warmed milk and mix with the sugar, cornstarch and flour until a paste forms.
  7. Bring the remaining milk to boil and slowly add the paste to it, whisking constantly (that way you will avoid getting lumps in your mixture)
  8. Slowly bring the mixture back to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.  (Be careful that it doesn’t burn.)
  9. In a bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks very well using a hand or stand mixer.
  10. Then, slowly pour some (about 1/2-3/4 of a cup) of the warm milk mixture to the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly. (This is also as to warm it slightly and is referred to as tempering)
  11. Slowly add the rest of the hot mixture from the stove to the tempered yokes.  Mix well and set aside.
  12. In another bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand or stand mixer until stiff peaks form (it should be light and fluffy)
  13. Add the remaining 100ml Amarula to the egg whites and fold into warm mixture.
  14. Pour this mixture on top of the cookies
  15. Crumble up the remaining cookies and sprinkle the crumbs over the top of the tart.
  16. Allow it to cool and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

I hope you enjoy it!

*Original recipe from sapromo.com (SA Promo Magazine)

South African Food Scene: A List of Go-To Restaurants for Every Meal

If you’re visiting South Africa for the first time, figuring out where to eat can be a daunting task. But don’t fear, I’ve compiled a list of authentic and affordable South African restaurants for all of your daily food needs. From dinner to breakfast and coffee break to dessert, I’ve got you covered!

Breakfast – Wimpy 

Wimpy Breakfast

There is no time for sleeping when you visit South Africa for the first. With a full day of exploring ahead of you, you’ll need to start your day off with a delicious breakfast that will fuel you for the day. You can find exactly that at Wimpy. Every South African knows about Wimpy and just saying the name brings back so many fond memories. It is a diner style fast casual restaurant that serves a large variety of foods including burgers, steaks, etc., but they are best known for their impeccably delicious breakfasts. So, in order to start your day off right I recommend ordering a classic wimpy breakfast that comes with eggs, bacon, toast a slice of grilled tomatoes and more. It’s completely customizable and will give you exactly what your body needs for the day. If you’re feeling adventurous and indulgent I suggest enjoying your breakfast with a Wimpy milkshake (they serve shakes all day) in either strawberry or chocolate (if you really want to try something new though, give the bubblegum flavor a try, complete with rainbow sprinkles and all). If it’s too early for a shake, you can’t go wrong with a Wimpy Coffee, don’t bother getting a regular, go for the large. I promise you’ll thank me later.

 

Mid-Morning Coffee – Mugg and Bean

After a busy morning of shopping in one of South Africa’s malls or touring through Mugg and Bean coffee 2the city your body will be in dire need of some caffeine. After you’ve been there once Mugg and Bean will be your go-to place for coffee and other delicacies. South Africans, much like the Europeans, have a ton of coffee shops and in my opinion Mugg and Bean is the best of the bunch. With a modern yet relaxing vibe, you’ll get exactly what you need to get you by until lunch. I recommend either a Cappuccino or Latte if you need some caffeine, but if you’re not in the mood for hot coffee, they have a number of different options for you to choose from including smoothies, teas, milkshakes, Milo, and so on. If you’re feeling like a little snack I encourage you to try anything in their dessert case, you won’t be sorry. (My favorite is the carrot cake, but their decadent chocolate cakes and Mugg and Bean Cakecheesecakes and exquisite as well.) They also have a full menu of food options that you can choose from, if you have a chance while you’re on your vacation you should definitely have something off of their menu for breakfast or lunch. Their chicken mayo on a croissant is incredibly, but then again, everything on the menu is so no matter what you decide on you can’t go wrong.

 

Late Lunch – Nando’s

A few hours after your mid-morning coffee break and even more exploring, you Nandos Food and Logorealize that you’re starving! For something quick, easy, and super yummy you’ll have to check out Nando’s, another well-known name in South Africa, the UK, and even in some cities in the US. ‘ was started in South Africa by a Johannesburg native (people in the UK will tell you otherwise, that it was started in the UK, but don’t listen to them) and is famous for their peri-peri chicken (for more information about what peri-peri is check out my blog: Braai, It’s What We Do). Again, you can find a variety of dishes here, but you can’t go wrong with their chicken or chicken sandwiches. Either of which will hit the spot and hold you over until dinner later. I also recommend trying their Peri-naise (spicy mayo) sauce as well as other Nando’s original sauces that are at each table.

Dinner – Ocean Basket or Spur

 There’s so much to see that you spend the rest of the day adventuring and perhaps even taking a nap. Later in the afternoon it’s supper time and because I can’t determine which I prefer, you have two options.

  1. Ocean Basket – If you’re in the mood for seafood, look no further, Ocean Basket Ocean Basketis the place for you. Here you’ll find an assortment of different seafood dishes including prawns (no, I don’t mean shrimp. They are called prawns), calamari, fish, and so much more. I recommend ordering a platter with yellow rice, that way you have the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. They even sell sushi now, but the platters are your best bet.
  2. The Spur – If you’re feeling like something meatier, you should check out The Spur. a well-known steakhouse in South Africa. Much like tSpur 2he other places discussed here, Spur has a large menu with a big variety of options. I suggest you order either the ribs, the steak, or their burger. Each meal comes with chips (French fries) and fried onion strings, the most delicious thing ever. Spur also has their own line of sauces and you have to try their white sauce and their barbeque-like sauce, which takes the already yummy food to a whole other level.

Dessert – Milky Lane

Milky LaneLast, but not least, you’ll want something sweet to wrap up an exciting and eventful day. Go to the nearest Milky Lane, which is normally in relatively close proximity to The Spur. Milky Lane is famous for their ice cream and waffles, but offer a diverse range of ice creams and other sweet treats. Depending on how much room you have saved for dessert I recommend ordering one of their waffles with ice cream, if you don’t have that much room you must at least get a soft serve cone with a Flake, a pure chocolate bar made of ribbons of shaved chocolate. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

I hope the next time you visit South Africa that you’ll give these restaurants a try. They truly are impeccable, affordable, and a must when you’re in South Africa. Enjoy!


Feature Friday – Little Eden B&B: The Ultimate Relaxation Destination

If you’re in desperate need of a weekend getaway that allows you to rest, relax, and restore your energy look no further than Little Eden Bed & Breakfast.

 

Little Eden B&B opened to the public in the fall of 2014 by South African emigrants, Francois and Maggie Van Eeden. Owning their own business was nothing new to the Van Eedens as they owned a B&B and Coffee Shop in South Africa and currently own Bison Countertops in Ashland City. The couple left their native land in 2003 with their three young children and spent time in North Carolina and Georgia before finding their forever home in Charlotte, Tennessee. The couple and their children became citizens in 2015, something they were all very proud of, shortly after having opportunity to build their dream home in 2014 on a stunning picturesque piece of land that covers over 115 acres on the country line of Dickson and Cheatham county. The location is strategically placed in that it is no more than 30 minutes from Nashville, Clarksville, and Dickson, which is ideal for any kind of travel, whether it’s for business or personal reasons.

 

The beautiful location is perfect for romantic getaways, when you need to escape the busyness of life, or just want to experience a weekend in the country. The property itself has numerous trails, a half-acre pond stocked with fish, animals of all kinds, a small chapel built by hand that’s perfect for reflection, the most picturesque views, especially those of the sunrises and sunsets. Maggie Van Eeden loves to spoil her guests and works hard to make them feel special and at home at Little Eden. The house is always beautifully decorated, both inside and out, and visitors stay in one of three themed rooms (The Lavender Room, The Country Room, and The Western Room), each with their own bathroom. In the morning guests are treated to a delicious homemade breakfast which often times features fresh eggs from the farm’s chickens.

I absolutely love Little Eden B&B and it’s warm, loving, and welcoming owners. If I could I’d spend every weekend there. I encourage you to make your reservations and experience this little piece of heaven for yourself. For more information on how to make your reservations and so on visit Little Eden B&B.


South African Peppermint Crisp Tart: A Triple Threat Winning Recipe

I know what you’re thinking, what on earth is a triple threat winning recipe? Well, it’s simple:

Peppermint Crisp Targ

  1. It’s ALWAYS a crowd please and the first dessert that’s finished (most of the time you’re really mad about this because the longer a Peppermint Crisp sits in the fridge the better it gets.)
  2. It’s extremely simple and quick to make for those days when you have to scrap together a last minute dessert.
  3. It’s downright delicious and is sure to become a go-to recipe that you can make anywhere in the world with a few modifications. (Plus, it works for all occasions and during every season).

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine definitely is! Don’t take my word for how good it is though, try it for yourself following the recipe below:

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can caramel condensed milk (La Lechera Dolce De Leche for those in the US)
  • 1 package of either coconut cookies or graham crackers (Tennis Buscuits in SA)
  • 1 large tub of Cool Whip (or heavy cream if you want to put in extra effort)
  • 1/2 bag of mint chocolates (like Dove Mint & Dark or Andes Mints)

Instructions:

  1. Using a grater or food processor, grate the chocolate until it’s in small pieces  and set aside (be careful not to make it too fine that it turns into chocolate dust. You want some texture.)
  2. In a mixing bowl, add Cool Whip, can of caramel condensed milk, & about 1/2 of the grated chocolate. Mix with hand mixer until smooth and well combined.
  3. In the bottom of a 9×13 dish layer the cookies. (If I’m really lazy, going to a braai or event I’ll use a foil pan that I can throw away for easy clean up.)
  4. Add 1/2 of the mixture from step 2 and spread over cookies.
  5. Sprinkle 1/2 of your leftover grated chocolate over the filling.
  6. Repeat steps 3 – 6.
  7. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

If you don’t believe me when I say it’s one of the best South African desserts around I dare you to try it for yourself. Make it this weekend and have it be the most talked about dessert by all your friends and family!


Krazy for Kruger: An Inside Look at a Day on Safari

Kruger Image

For as long as I can remember a trip to Kruger National Park has been a part of every journey that my family and I take back to South Africa to visit my Ouma and the rest of our family. Kruger is as much a part of who I am as the Afrikaans language that I speak. For those of you that don’t know, Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves that stretches over nearly 2 million hectares, which to give you perspective is only slightly smaller than Belgium, and features a large diversity of wildlife, historical sites, and archaeological sites. A trip to South Africa wouldn’t be complete without going to Kruger and spending a few nights in camps and spending the day driving around looking to see what exotic creatures you can find. What exactly is Kruger like from a visitors’ perspective? Just keep reading and you’ll get a glimpse into what a day is like on safari in Kruger.

 

A typical day in Kruger starts bright and early, often times before sun rise. After scrambling about in the hut because you stayed in bed an extra 5 minutes everyone jumps in the car and heads to the gate where early risers like yourself are waiting for the gates to open and for the day of game sighting to begin. Animals are most active early in the morning because the temperature is cooler and the animals are calming down after a nightly hunt. So, to optimize your chance of seeing the big five (lions, leopards, cape buffalo, elephants, and rhinos) you sacrifice your beauty sleep. And trust me when I say it is well worth it. After a few hours of hopefully seeing a variety of animals ranging from Springbok, zebras, elephants, giraffes, an array of birds, baboons, and if you’re, lucky one of the big cats it is time to stop at one of the rest camps for coffee, a morning braai, and mingling with others about what they’ve seen and what roads to take next.

 

After a late breakfast, it’s time to hit the road again in the hopes of seeing more wild animals. You can sometimes go hours without seeing anything and other times you can see everything which is what makes a safari at Kruger so much different than anything that can be found in the US. Unlike a zoo where animals are guaranteed to be in a particular spot, the animals in Kruger and other game reserves move around from place to place. You’re in their territory and it’s up to them if they want to see you or not. A lot successful sightings also has to do with luck, and lots of it. You also have to keep your eyes open for the slightest movement in the bush or trees because of the animals’ ability to camouflage so well with their surroundings. In Kruger, it truly is a combination of being in the right place at the right time and just plain luck.

satara_960_472_80auto_s_c1_center_center

After the drive, which can either feel like hours or minutes depending on how much you see, it is time to check in to your new camp for the evening. Kruger itself has 12 camps within the park that visitors can choose from. Each of these are enclosed by electric fences that keep visitors safe and the animals out. Depending on the size of your party and your personal preferences, guests have the option to stay in a hut, a bush tent or in old fashioned tents or RV’s. We normally stay in huts with at least 2 bedrooms. Each hut has a kitchen with amenities and of course an area for the evening braai. Each camp also has a ‘park shop’ where guests can find almost everything that they need for a comfortable stay, including jewelry and other gift items. Staying in these huts is probably one of my favorite parts because you’re completely secluded from the outside world. There aren’t televisions or computers in the huts and Wi-Fi/cell reception is pretty spotty. All you hear is the laughter or your neighbors and the beautiful sounds of God’s creations. The later the night gets the more animals you hear and often times you can be awoken by the roar of a lion in the distance. After dinner and late-night conversations, it’s time to go to sleep and dream of the beauty that you witnessed that day and smile knowing that you get to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

Trips to the Kruger and seeing the immaculate size and beauty of the animals really gives you a greater appreciation for mother nature and for the absolute magnificence of God’s creations. If you ever have the opportunity I recommend that you go to the Kruger. It’s an experience unlike any other, one that will leave a lasting impact on your life.


Braai, It’s What We Do

With South Africa’s 11 official languages it can be difficult for people to communicate with one another. There is one word though that is known and understood across all of the national languages: Braai. What’s a braai you ask? A braai (pronounced ‘bry’), is the South African version of a barbeque, but to compare it to an American barbeque is an insult to Saffas everywhere. A braai is so much more than just throwing meat on a grill, to us, it’s a part of our culture and how we identify ourselves as a society. We don’t just braai over three day weekends, we braai year-round for every occasion: from funerals to birthdays, graduations to farewells, heck, we braai even when we don’t have an occasion to. Braais are so important to us and such a large part of our culture that on September 24th we celebrate Heritage Day, otherwise known as National Braai Day. Simply put, to braai is in our blood and encompasses a large part of who we are as South Africans.

 

For South Africans, a braai is about more than just the food, it’s an experience and an all-day affair. Braais normally start in the early part of the day when the men start to prepare the fire. Using a gas grill can be considered a sin in South Africa, depending on who you talk to, so preparing the grill takes a great deal of time. While the men surround the fire enjoying a dop (the Afrikaans term used for a refreshing alcoholic beverage) and keeping a watchful eye over the coals, the women are busy inside preparing the sides, desserts, and appetizers, and keeping the children at bay. When the fire is finally ready, the braaiing part of the braai actually begins. What do we braai? Anything and everything. Most braais have at least two proteins that range between steak, lamb, pork, wild game, sosaties (kebabs), and boerewors (a sausage native to South Africa). We do braai chicken, but most Saffas would tell you that chicken is a vegetable, not meat. What truly separates an American barbeque and a South African braai is the amount of flavor and spices that we manage to get out of our food, especially the meat. We LOVE flavor and our culture has a great deal of it thanks to the Cape Malay populations love of chutneys, curries, and other aromatic flavors as well as the peri-peri, which was introduced by the Portuguese settlers, both of which have been imprinted on the South African palate.

While the meat is the main attraction, the meal would not be complete without a delicious spread of side, salads, and puddings (desserts). One of my favorite braai side dishes is a braai broodjie, a sandwich, cooked on the grill, consisting of tomatoes, onions, cheese, and a sauce made of South African mayo and Mrs. Ball’s Chutney. Other sides include pasta salad, South African homemade potato salad, a variety of vegetables, and of course, pap and sous. Pap and sous is another very traditional dish served at almost every braai. Pap is made of white corn meal and can be compared to what American’s know as grits, except it is not cooked in milk or with an obscene amount of cheese. Sous (sauce) is a combination of tomatoes, onions, a little bit of sugar, and salt and pepper that is cooked low and slow and is served over the pap and sometimes the boerewors as well. Depending on the season, dessert varies from ice cream to melk tert (milk tart), from to fridge tarts to malva pudding, sometimes even a combination of these. But just because dessert has been served doesn’t mean braai has come to an end, oh no the braai has only just begun. Braais last until the early hours of the morning and often times leads into breakfast the next day. Braais truly have a way of bringing people together where they tell stories, laugh, cry, or even a combination of the three. To have a braai you only truly need good food and good company. I truly hope each of you reading this gets to experience a true South African braai at least once in your life, because honestly, it is one of the best experiences that you’ll ever have.


Feature Friday – Carnivore Meat Company

Carnivore Meat Company, a butcher shop in Franklin, TN, provides customers with high quality natural products at competitive prices. They provide customers with a unique experience and products that can’t be found anywhere else in the state of Tennessee.

Carnivore Meat Company was opened approximately two years ago by husband and wife SJ and Virginia Botha. Prior to immigrating to the US and moving to Williamson County so that their children could attend Williamson County schools, the couple lived in South Africa where they owned and operated their own restaurant. SJ, who grew up on a wild game farm where they processed and prepared venison, was used to fresh, high quality meats, free of hormones and additives. Given that butcher shops are a rarity in the US, SJ and Virginia saw an opportunity in the marketplace and decided to open their open specialty shop called Carnivore Market, later renamed Carnivore Meat Company. Only a year after opening, they had grown so popular that they needed a larger space and decided to move from Downtown Franklin to the Factory at Franklin, where they can be found today.

I know what you’re thinking, how can this place possibly be any different from a grocery store or American butcher shop. Well, I’ll tell you. Not only are their products completely free of antibiotics, they offer a large variety of sausages, sosaties (South African kebabs), biltong, droëwors, cold cuts, salamis, and jerky, all made fresh in house. As if that weren’t amazing enough, they even keep a supply of traditional South African chocolates and other goodies in stock for their Saffa customers and Americans who feel like trying something new.

Carnivore is an incredible place and we as Tennesseans are lucky to have them, but don’t take my word for it, I urge you to pay them a visit yourself and try some of their delicious offerings. I promise you won’t regret it. For more information on their location, hours, and website visit the Carnivore Meat Company page.


How to Make South African Sausage Rolls

There’s nothing better than biting into a freshly baked sausage roll.The best part is that they are incredibly quick and easy to make.  There’s no surprise why it’s known as one of the most popular snacks in South Africa (to find out what other foods make the list of best and most popular snacks check out my latest blog Top 10 Saffa Snacks .) Below you’ll find the recipe for sausage rolls and I promise you it will become a staple in your household.

Sausage rolls 2

Ingredients

  • 2 rolls of Jimmy Dean’s rolls of ground sausage
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Store bought puff pastry, thawed

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine ground sausage, breadcrumbs, grated onion, Worcestershire, and egg in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Using a rolling pin, slightly roll out dough and cut in half. Set aside.
  4. Form mixture into the form of a log (it should be long enough to fit the length of the longest side of the halved puff pastry)
  5. Place formed log on side of dough and roll in the form of a sausage until the dough covers the meat.
  6. Brush water lightly onto edge of the dough and seal together.
  7. Repeat until all of your ingredients are used.
  8. Place the rolls, sealed edges down, on a lined baking sheet.
  9. Using a knife, cut diagonal slits across to top to allow air to flow.
  10. Beat an egg and brush a thin over top of sausage rolls.
  11. Cut rolls in either small or long pieces, depending on occasion (larger pieces for lunch, smaller pieces for appetizers or snacks)
  12. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  13. Serve hot or cold.

Enjoy!


Top 10 Must Try Saffa Snacks

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  1. Biltong

Biltong is South Africa’s version of beef jerky. Whether we are on the road, watching a Rugby or cricket match, hosting or attending a braai, or just relaxing at home, biltong is a staple snack that most if not all households enjoy. Unlike American jerky that is ground, formed into strips, and dehydrated, biltong is made with high quality beef, seasoned well with spices, and hung to dry naturally in temperature controlled cases. Biltong is lean, a great source of protein, and doesn’t contain any added sugars which truly separates it from its American counterpart.

  1. Droëwors

Droëwors, which looks like an American Slim Jim, is another staple snack in South Africa. It is made of high quality ground meat, usually beef and lamb or beef and pork, that is spiced, formed into a thin sausage, and hung to dry. It is also very lean, a high source of protein, and a delicious snack that can be eaten anytime and anywhere.

  1. Jaffles

A grilled cheese sandwich on steroids – jaffles are round toasted sandwiches filled with a delicious, but messy filling such as mince or pulled chicken. The best part about them though is that the jaffle maker that they are made in seals the edges of the sandwich so that none of the yummy filling will escape. The jaffle maker itself was designed to be used either over open flames or on a gas stove and last forever. We’ve had ours for longer than I’ve been alive! Jaffles, like vetkoek, is very versatile and can contain almost anything you’d like and can be eaten with either a savory or sweet filling. They are enjoyed on all occasions, especially during sporting events or while traveling.  Our family traditionally eat jaffles with a savory filling made with mince (ground beef) and a sauce containing ketchup, chutney, and a variety of spices. Regardless of what you fill them with, jaffles are a crowd pleaser.

  1. Koeksisters

These are by far one of my favorite parts of the South African food scene. Koeksisters (pronounced cook sisters) are pieces of braided dough that are fried and immediately dunked into an ice-cold syrup containing hints of ginger and orange. This process allows the warm dough to soak up the sticky, sweet syrup while still maintaining its slightly crisp exterior. Koeksisters are served either chilled or at room temperature, depending on the host, and are usually enjoyed with afternoon tea. For those with a sweet tooth like myself, it is difficult to eat just one and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

  1. Sausage Rolls

The name speaks for itself – a sausage rolls are round log-looking pieces of puff pastry that are filled with a fragrant and mouth-watering filling made of ground beef, or a mixture of ground beef and pork. They can be served either hot or cold and in bite-sized pieces for appetizers or full-length for a quick lunch. South Africans find any excuse to eat sausage rolls and can be found just about everywhere, whether it’s your local Spar (a grocery store like a Kroger), the petrol station on the corner, or at the local bakery. They are often enjoyed at school rugby games, at church bazaars, or as appetizers at braais or parties.

  1. Crunchies

The South African Hidden Valley bar – these oatmeal bars are incredibly yummy, healthy, and filled with nutty goodness. They are perfect for an on-the-go breakfast or anytime snack. They are also very easy to make and taste much better than any store-bought oatmeal or granola bar.

  1. Vetkoek

Vetkoek, pronounce ‘fet cook’ is a piece of round, fried dough that is filled with a savory and immensely flavorful mixture of curry mince. Crispy on the outside, but soft and pillow-y on the inside, these decadent beauties are perfect on any occasion and travel extremely well. The best part of vetkoek is that the delicious filling doesn’t seep out of the sides or make the bread soggy, which is the problem with American sloppy joes, the closest comparison. They are very versatile as well and can be filled with nearly anything. Other than the mince, South Africans love to fill them with either apricot jam and grated cheddar cheese or grated cheddar cheese and golden syrup, which is a cross between honey and maple syrup.

  1. Meat Pies

The name here also speaks for itself – meat pies, which are similar to an empanada, are either baked or fried pastry dough containing a variety of fillings. The most common pies are filled with a fragrant curry mince (ground beef), succulent chicken curry, or rich steak and kidney. These pies are served warm and make quite a mess due to the vast amount of filling and the crusty, flaky and butter crust. Meat pies are definitely a staple food in South Africa and satisfy nearly any craving.

  1. Beskuit (Ouma’s Rusks)

There is nothing better than a fresh piece of beskuit or a rusk in the morning with a cup of coffee or with an afternoon cup of tea. Beskuit, pronounced buh-skate, is similar to a biscotti and comes in a large variety of flavors, the most common being buttermilk and muesli. For those who are not big on eating breakfast, beskuit is perfect because it provides just enough energy and wholegrains to get you through the morning. While it’s best to dunk into a warm beverage, beskuit can be eaten plain as well, but there is nothing better than allowing the beskuit to soak up warm coffee or tea. YUM.

  1. Slap Chips 

Just like in the UK, Europe, and Australia, South Africans refer to French fries as chips. Slap chips (slap pronounced like cup) are the king of all chips and can only be found in corner cafes that normally sell fish & chips and Russians (which are a type of sausage that is similar to, but better than a hot dog). Slap chips are served wrapped in paper and doused in vinegar and salt. The best way to eat them is to rip open a corner of the paper package and eat them while they are still piping hot. The word ‘slap’ means limp or soggy and that is exactly what these chips are. They are soft and pillow-y on the inside with a slight crisp on the outside. While they aren’t the healthiest of snacks, they are comforting, satisfying, and exceptionally delicious during any time of day, especially when the weather is cold.


Welcome to Savouring South Africa

I’ve recently been given the opportunity to start a blog campaign and I knew right away that a blog focusing on different aspects of South Africa was what I wanted to do. South Africa is one of those places that leaves a permanent mark on your soul. For those of you who’ve had the privilege of visiting, you know exactly what I’m referring to, but for those of you who’ve yet to make the long 21-hour journey via plane I hope this website gives you some idea of what South Africa has to offer. Not only does it have beautiful landscapes and delicious foods, it also has some of the kindest people that I’ve ever met. I think my favorite part about South Africa as that regardless of where South Africans are in the world, when there is a crisis we lend a hand and help each other out in whatever way we can. South African’s also know how to have a good time and look for the good and find the humor in every situation, regardless of the circumstances. This blog will touch on all of these aspects. The verb ‘to savour’, according to the dictionary, means to enjoy an experience, activity, or feeling as much as you can for as long as you can[1], and that is my goal for this website: to allow you as the follower to savour in each aspect of my native land and its people. With that said, I invite you to join me as I Savour South Africa.

[1] http://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/british/savour_1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s