Monday, 12 January 2009

Surreal Sub-Zero Boerewors Braai

The first Friday after arriving back in the UK from our jaunt in South Africa and Australia and we were just recovering from extreme jet lag on top of enduring a cold snap of sub-zero temperatures. Desperate to light the brazier and hankering to re-live some of our South African experiences, this was an evening driven by pure obsession.

Bizarrely, not far from us there is a post office/general store at Farmoor near Oxford where you can get hold of almost anything exclusively South African, thanks to the slightly eccentric post master (Farmoor stores).

I called in on my way to our office in Oxford and couldn’t believe my luck when I actually got hold of a proper braai tool (grilling rack), the last one in the shop. I also picked up two one kilo coils of boerewors from the fridge (made in the UK by another entrepreneurial South African) and started planning the detail for the evening.

Wanting to make the most of the experience, I trawled the web for the best accompaniments and ideas for a boerewors meal and managed to find what I was looking for. A fellow blogspot member had an article titled The Ultimate Boerwors Roll; hot dog rolls filled with boerewors, a range of condiments, fried onion, avocado and cucumber. Perfect.

On my way home that Friday evening, I picked up some freshly baked rolls, English and Dijon mustard, a jar of tomato and chilli chutney, plus the avo and cucumber.

The temperature was approaching minus 3 degrees when I prepared the charcoal cooking fire in the outdoor brazier. It was cold and dark, but beautifully still and dry with an absolutely clear sky.

The boerewors cooked perfectly over the embers in my newly acquired braai tool and the family enjoyed hot boeries around the table with condiments of their choice simply served on a piece of kitchen paper.

A wine top up was required so I walked to the local Co-op and found (for the first time in this shop at least) a couple of bottles of Spier red from the winery at Stellenbosch that we had visited only weeks earlier. Even stranger that as I was browsing the shelves I was humming lines from the new Goldfish CD we bought whilst in Cape Town.

After our meal we were joined by our friend and neighbour, Caroline. The charcoal embers were used to start a proper fire fueled by well dried English larch from the local sawmill that I had been keeping in the garage.

We heated mulled wine on the fire and contemplated how surreal but perfect it was to be enjoying the outdoors while several bucket loads of larch kept us warm and happy.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Johnny's Kingclip Braai

We were privileged to be invited by our great friends John and Billie to a midsummer braai. It was a beautiful December evening and the views from their place at the foot of Table Mountain were stunning.

Their fabulous company and inspiring outdoor setting near Hout Bay was a memorable highlight of our trip.

John fired up his patio braai with some quality local hardwoods to get the embers going and started us off with a taster of some local boerewors ('farmers sausage' in Africaans).

Billie prepared another appetizer of grilled mussels in their shells, and some amazing cous cous and salads to accompany the massive fillet of kingclip.

Eight of us feasted on this delight. People, music, food, weather, dancing. You Capetonians know how to live!

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