Saturday, June 1, 2013

South African food

The kitchen table today.

...while the rains came down outside, shooting white water from the gutters and from high on the cloud-shrouded mountain. As I write the water beats around the house. A clock ticks, I can smell wood smoke. Somewhere in the wet dark my dad and Vince are driving back from a rugby game at Newlands.

Earlier today the Frenchman and I squelched through the bumper to bumper parking lot at our local shopping centre, Constantia Village, and inside we shopped for a few last minute essential items for our trip. Duct tape (because you have to), raisin buns (see previous remark) and dry ice packs. In the enourmous fresh produce section of Pick 'n Pay I could not resist these guavas and the first waterblommetjies of the season.

Waterblommetjies? VAH-tuhr-blaw-mee-keys. In Afrikaans literally, little water flowers.

Aponogeton distachyosan aquatic plant native to the Western Cape, and in season in winter when road side ditches fill with rain water and ponds overflow. Now their pretty little white flowers have begun to turn to fleshy seed capsules. Their flavour is lightly astringent and lemony, with a texture not dissimilar to artichoke heart. Traditionally eaten slow-cooked with pieces of lamb, in a bredie.

We will buy our lamb for our trip (it's South Africa, one travels with lamb) on the road, at the Travalia farmstall south of Three Sisters in the Great Karoo, recommended by my cousin Andrea, who must be one of the foremost road travel authorities in the country. We have benefited enourmously from her expertise.

Thanks, Coz...


  1. On a trip we took once to the Drakensberg, we filled an entire soft-sided cooler with frozen meat in Cape Town, took it as carry on on a plane to Durban, then drove with it up to Giant's Castle. Lots of lamb of course. It stayed very cold, with all of it starting out frozen. Once there, we had a cottage with a fridge.

  2. Thanks for the inside tip! I haven't spotted them yet, and this weather definitely calls for waterblommetjie bredie. Thinking of you two off on your adventure tomorrow, wishing you a safe and wonderful trip.

    1. Thank you Rosie. Hope to see you when we return?

  3. Would be fabulous! Just give us a yell. Enjoy the lowveld x

  4. Suitcase space must have been tight: as a man, VInce is supposed to have duct tape within reach at all times!


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