Birthdays!

11 December. Jess is 23 and Tom is 19

Lellos and Lodders spoil them with gifts, lucky buggers. I told them Hey, after thirteen you don’t get any. They just gave me withering looks.

Tom cooked Petrea’s gift – a ‘tomahawk.’ Jess was away, so she dipped out. We waited for her, but she didn’t pitch.

We each ate a huge chunk, had some for breakfast and there’s still a bit left. Delish!

~~~oo0oo~~~

Mtamvuna River

Tom went fishing with Ryan – his first trip out of the house for ages! Ryan’s Dad Andy took them to The Old Pont on the Mtamvuna River, two hours south of home.

I joined them for a lovely braai – chuck, wors and garlic bread. Tom and Ryan braai’d the meat to perfection, but burnt the bread! Grrr!!

Overhead flocks of starlings and a flock of 22 Trumpeter Hornbills flew in the strong South-Westerly wind.

The next day they went to the coast at nearby Port Edward and Ryan sent pics of Tom on the rocks; and videos of dolphins in the breakers and a whale tail-sailing just behind backline.

~~~oo0oo~~~

Don’t Forget the Meat

Ithala with Kids-002

On the way to Ithala we stopped at a Boxer store in Dundee to buy supplies. I deliberately didn’t go to the Woolworths or a shopping centre as the boys had been talking about dodgy places. As I stopped Josh and Tom said “This place is dodge”.

Grabbing a trolley, I sent them off to buy the braai. “Buy charcoal, lighters, matches and meat”, I said. Then I thought “Better write that down”, so I tore my list in half and wrote down those four things for them:
Charcoal
Firelighter
Matches
Meat

We put all our goods in one trolley. I glanced at the meat they had bought while paying and stifled a grin: We were not going to be short on protein!
I paid, left the shop and loaded all the stuff we had bought into our trusty Ford Ranger bakkie.

“Oh! We forgot the charcoal”, they said.

“And the lighter and matches?” I asked.
Forgot that too.

In their minds they HAD remembered four things:
Meat, Meat, Meat and Meat.
They did the braai both nights and did a great job of it. While they were at it they spotted a Thicktailed Bushbaby (or nagapie) and a Large-spotted Genet in the headlamp light.

Thutty Yizz! (that's '30yrs' to you)

Aitch never held my culinary skills in high regard. Her favourite meal to mock was my chicken-onion-n-potato-in-a-pot special which she described as pale and tasteless. It wasn’t. It just looked bland. With a touch of salt and black pepper and enough red wine taken internally it was fine.

She was right about my braaiing skills, though. Luckily Tom’s genes skipped back about seven generations to when burning dead animals on a naked flame was considered an advance in civilisation, not like I believe it to be: a pointless exercise now that Eskom has been invented. So he is now my braaiing stunt double.

Tom braais

To show that I’m an early adopter and no Luddite, I’ll have everyone know that when Aitch met me back in ’85 there was already an AEG microwave ensconced in my bachelor flat, faithfully re-heating coffee, poaching eggs and heating up the half hamburgers I would find on my chest after a good night out.

Which same microwave gave up the ghost this week. That’s correct. My AEG microwave, bought on 26 March 1984 fizzled on me on the 26th of March 2014. How’s that for hi-fidelity?

And just to show I really will avoid playing the primitive pyromaniac if I can help it, here’s a picture of me pulling my shirt to hide that same microwave behind me at Kosi Bay, Zululand ca 2002. I snuck it into the kombi knowing their campsites had Eskom power and knowing that heating up Tommy’s bottles was a fiddle without it. So I took gas and I took firewood and I took Lion matches, but I used AEG electric microwave technology powered-by-Eskom’s coal burning to feed TomTom.

microwave in Kosi Bay 2002
– see the electric light burning by day to prove Eskom was a 24hr service back then –

Update: Now I’m pissed off it packed up after only 30 years:

NEWS STORY: 93-yr-old woman is pissed off her oven packed up after only 53 years!

In 1963 John F Kennedy was president of the US, the Beatles had released their first album, and Winifred Hughes of Crewe, then a mere 39yrs old, paid £79 for an ultra-modern Belling Classic electric oven. It turned out to be an amazing bargain. Winifred,­ now 92, has used it almost every day since, and she says, “it never let me down”. Sadly, just last week, the thermostat finally gave up, and Winifred says she is “heartbroken” her beloved Belling is no more.

53-yr-old stove

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Peter Brauer wrote:

“…which she described as pale and tasteless. It wasn’t. It just looked bland. With enough red wine taken internally it was fine.”

Wasn’t she talking about you??

~~~~~ooo000ooo~~~~~

Terry Brauer wrote:

You truly are the nuttiest oke I know. For a greenie this is like true confessions. Nuking your food.

Go Tommy! You inherited your mother’s skills . .

~~~oo0oo~~~

Faithful Apprentice

I am not known for braai’ing. Anything but. I avoid it if I can.

If God had wanted men to ‘barbecue’ he would not have invented ovens. Or some such excuse.

I am quite good at watching okes braai.

But living in primitive country it’s inevitable that I have to set fire to something every now and then and cook something on it. Tom does it for me now, and does it well, but I remember the first time he assisted me. When it came time to present the offerings he stood up for me:

He said: “The meat’s not burnt, it’s just the way we cooked it”