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We were browsing through a bookstore a while ago when I noticed a small recipe book with the title in Afrikaans on the spine 50 van die Beste Tradisionele Suid-Afrikaanse Resepte or 50 of the Best Traditional South African Recipes. With an air of scepticism I picked it up and looked at the cover, not because I have a poor impression of South African food, the little book just seemed a tad bland due to a dull cover design. And I judge a book by its cover.

But this one proved me very wrong. As I flipped through it I was taken back to my youth through 50 recipes that were staples at dining room tables several years ago. Gortsop (gord soup), waterblommetjie bredie (water lilly stew), melkkos (milk-soup), kerrie perskeslaai (curried peach slaw), and of course desserts like asynpoeding (vinegar pudding) and souskluitjies (sauce dumplings). And it was all beautifully illustrated in full-color pictures of the food in seriously retro serving dishes.
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I had to admit that I was very wrong for being so sceptical at first. It is really a neat little recipe book that pays homage to the rich cultural traditions of South African cuisine which the dishes themselves highlights. Our food is, after all, a unique blend of African, European, Malay, and Indian culinary traditions.

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Alexander decided to pick it up immediately so I can start cooking Suid-Afrikaans for him. I have tried my hands at a few of the recipes and they came out with varying degrees of success. I will try to blog about my successes and so be able to not only rediscover for myself but also share with you my gastronomic past with you.

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