A taste of home grown food

I love cooking shows and recently watched a program on Comfort Food. The dishes mentioned and made, were a far cry from my idea of comfort food. It forced me to look up the meaning of comfort food, Wikipedia defines it as ‘ traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling to the consumer, and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation’. The most important part of the explanation is most definitely the fact that it is determined by the individual or a culture.

My list consists of family favourites requested by my siblings and I, whenever we have family reunions. I have tried on many occasions to replicate some of my mum’s most memorable dishes, and mostly after lengthy conversations about the best method to obtain the same, if not better results. To have my mum judging my baking or cooking, is a great privilege – because I have always regarded her as an excellent baker and cook.  Her skills range from traditional African food to Belgian cuisine.

Matebekwane (sourdough dumplings) a mixture of flour and my mum’s secret ingredient, burnt maize meal. The maize meal is burnt with boiled water and left to cool, before mixing it with the cake/bread flour. It is steamed in a pot over large chunks of beef bone and meat. The only flavouring used is onion, salt and pepper. Divine, especially when sucking the marrow from the bones.

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Fatcakes (Vetkoek) a favourite of young and old, in our family. My mum’s are best! Even, my husband thinks so because it reminds him of the ones, he had growing up. I guess that settles any dispute!

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Ouma’s pudding is a steamed pudding, made with potato, raisins and dates. It has the weight and consistency of a fruitcake, and can last quite long. My eldest brother reminded us of this pudding a few weeks back. Definitely the high light of Sunday lunch, served with canned peaches from our backyard and creamy custard.

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Potchefstromers are spicy scone, and without dispute the one requested all year round. We love it and only people from Potchefstroom know the secret to making the most delicious of them, all!

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Ting (a sour porridge) a traditional Tswana dish made of soured sorghum. I love it! It is generally served with meat, vegetables or sugar. Nothing says comfort or reminds me of who I am and where I’m from, than the smell of ting simmering away on the stove!

The aroma of these dishes, brings back the longing for food uncomplicated and simplistic – devoid of the debates about allergens, GMO’s, preservatives and additives.

Just, real food made real good!

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Unapologetic Mom

Love is a powerful emotion, it is such that you will do things beyond your own expectations. This I learn daily whilst raising my three children. 
When your child is born; bonding and showering them with love , is the most fulfilling and indescribable act through which love is shown by a mother. It is the most amazing and rewarding stage of mothering. As our young ones grow, so does the demands of motherhood and the more offspring you have, the greater the demand. Having more than one child does not mean you are neglecting any of your children, you merely get to share your fabulosity with more people!
The past year I had to shift my parenting gears big time! My eldest is a pre-teen, at 12. My middle child, a 9 year old boy; and the youngest at 6 is learning to become independent. My mothering skills are being tested to the brim and so is my ability to stand up for my kids. One thing I realise daily, whilst interacting with moms of all spheres, is that there is nothing unique about my challenges- it might be something new to me; but not unheard of! The best I can do, is to share how I deal with them.
Whether you are a SAHM, working mom, single mom or whichever category you want to place yourself under; you are capable of doing much for and with your children. Forget about what everyone else is doing, trust that you are doing your best. If you believe you can do better, than do so. Set your own standard whilst learning from what everyone else are doing.
Love for my kids made me choose to do a few things, that made life more manageable and enjoyable.
Try this:
* Teach them the power of prayer
* Help them understand that they are responsible for one another and themselves
* Give chores
* Let them prepare meals
* Explain the value of money
* Participate in their school organisations (they spend most of their day in school, so you might as well be aware of what happens in school)
* Allow them to have pets
One thing my children know without any doubt, is that I will confront any person who dares to infringe on their right to being. That is a total non-negotiable area and which I refuse to ever be apologetic about! We have an African saying, ‘ You strike a woman, you strike a rock!’ You better believe it! 
As a mother you do not have to apologise for expecting your children’s humanity and rights to be recognised, bearing in mind that they in turn, should not disregard those of another. Basic rights include the much debated issue of education, each person have a different opinion as to what constitutes a good education. 
Education is still an unattainable right for many across the globe, and where it is available the standard remains questionable; but that does not mean you have to accept it. No institution is above the law and in free countries, it becomes your obligation to query the status quo and if possible set wheels in motion for change or create cognisance about important matters.
Common problems experienced in schools: – Bullying
– Special Needs Education
– Gifted learners
– Attitudes , Skills and Values of educators
– Facilities
– School discipline
Where do you stand as a mother? 
  • Do you protect your child by hovering on the perimeter or do you muster all your courage and join parent bodies that orchestrate change?
  •  Do you leave change to politicians and civic leaders? 

No, mothers get up and start involving themselves in what affects their most precious and fragile gift. We cannot allow the box officers (people who box us by their standards) to keep us from making a difference.

Mothers need to stand up, regardless of how frightened, inadequate or ill-equipped you might feel. That could be the best way you show your children that you love them, by standing up for more children than only your own.

The roar of a mum is as bad as her bite!
We can do significant things, in small ways.