Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Voer Challenge

[Voer: To Feed]

Over at Voer, the glove has been thrown down.

I suspect it's intended only for Voer contributers, but I am going to behave like a groupie and pick it up. Here it is, in its original Afrikaans, sloppily translated by me. But first a digression: while my own spoken, and especially written, Afrikaans grows rustier by the minute, up-to-the-minute blog Afrikaans, and especially about food, is an unexpected pleasure. I grew up speaking Afrikaans to my dad (Father to child: "Ja? ja wie?" Child to father: "Ja, Pa!"), and English to my mother, and so it still goes. My father spoke to me only a little, and required me to say even less, so my English is immeasurably better as a consequence. Ja nee. Things have improved hugely since then.

So, back to the point: below, as written by Arcadia, with Eengleesh by the cat, I mean me.

The challenge is a retrospective of the year's food, with outstanding dishes featured.

beste poeding en/of koek (in my huishouding is dit altyd en koek) - best pudding and/or cake (in my household it is always and cake)
beste ontbyt - best breakfast
beste ete in ‘n restaurant - best meal in a restaurant
mees teleurstellende dis van die jaar, asook die grootste flop - most disappointing dish of the year as well as the biggest flop
beste dinner party - best dinner party
beste spur-of-the-moment ete/happie - best spur of the moment meal/snack [happie = little bite, which is nicer]
kookboek wat die meeste gebruik is - recipe book most used
beste dis van die somer - best dish of summer
beste dis van die winter - best dish of winter [can we add spring??]
dis waarop jy die trotsste was - the dish of which you were the most proud
sexyste kos - sexiest food
beste piekniekkos - best picnic food
beste seekos - best seafood
grootste nutritional slumming oomblik - biggest nutritional slumming moment
gunsteling kosmark - favourite food market

This is a great list. Not least because it brings back good smells and tastes and textures, but also because everything we eat is connected to a time in our lives and a place and sometimes a person, or people, or their absence not hindering a solitary pleasure, or pain, made better by what we ate.

So let's kick off with the first item:

Best pudding or cake? Hm...I'm less a sweet person than a salty one but I really like baking. I do so seldom, but it feels good when it works.

Below, the Singing Kettle's 24 Carat Cake. Moist, crumbly, full of carrots and pineapple. Exceptionally yummy for breakfast with strong coffee.

Puddings, desserts. Again, for dinner parties I tend to pull out the stops, and there have been precious few this year, otherwise I like to eat fruit. This little pot au chocolat was made to say goodbye to my dear friend Constanza, who left New York for North Carolina in the summer. I think it was a small bar of dark chocolate, melted and folded into whipped cream (one pint), and some spoonsful of ground almonds. The latter made it for me - a slight granular friction as the smoothness passed over the tongue.

And this really is a pudding: arborio rice cooked with half-and-half and raisins, and poured over cooked apples, pureed, sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with a suspicion of cinnamon... Baked and consumed. This is really a meal on its own with some sweet wine and maybe cheese to end...

And tonight it is raining, as it has been all day. I'm listening to Savuka, and the cat is making buns on an old sweater...I'm about to have a supper of New York State prosciutto, "Biellese Jambon Sec", picked up from Stinky Brooklyn, with the last of my Kanonkop Cabernet, a salad of arugula, celeriac remoulade, and some very nice cheese: Robiola Bosina - still thinking of last night's excellent dinner at Inoteca, where a pomegranate, wild leaf and goat cheese salad made me fall in love with the place all over again.


  1. Well you did it again: I am feeling hopelessly starved and shamelessly obsessed with food and everything around it. :-) Especially the deserts.

    Hm, that will be a future post: dessert in the desert. What shall be chose?

  2. so impressed jy't deelgeneem! en daai sjokoladepotjies lyk absoluut heerlik.

  3. With only a few words remaining from a former SA beau, I find myself awfully tempted!

  4. Centvingt - it may turn out to be desert in the dessert! Hmmm, crunchy...

    Arcadia - baie dankie vir die uitdaging. Ek sien uit om meer te lees by Voer.

    MIT...a former SA beau...? Eenteresting.

  5. Afr/Eng pairings are very rare, what with the legacy of the Boer War snot en trane van di knonsentrasie kampe and diametrically opposed political views,Nats/Progressives, my father(Marie's gradfather) read me Wolf en Jakkals (Afr children's stories) and when my Mother dropped my brother at his Afrikaans school in Bloem he demanded that she NOT say "Goodbye darling" as he would be called a rooinek...epithet used by Afrnrs for English people

  6. Did he go to Grey, Judi?

    I think my brother Francois had a very hard time at his very English school, Michaelhouse, where the boys called him rockspider, opposite epithet.

    But then not all Afrikaners were Nats :-)Thank God.


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