Saturday Stream of Consciousness – Grill

The one word prompt for this week’s Stream of Consciousness is Grill.

All over Southern Africa if one wants to grill meat it’s over a braai that one will do it.    Barbecue is what it is called in most other countries.  But just to be clear – Braai is really not the same as barbecue – we do NOT grill hamburgers or hot dogs on a Braai!   Wood is  key – it must be hard and dry so that it burns hot and long.  The whole process of sitting by the fire for an hour or so while having sun-downers is all part of the ritual.   In the Western Cape we have the alien invader, Rooikrans (red-eye wattle) which is excellent to use as braai wood.


A typical braai scene

The word braai is shortened from the Afrikaans word,  braaivleis,  loosely translated to grilled meat.

The word can be used as a noun or a verb.

We are having a (n) braai where braai means a meal that includes meat cooked over the fire.

We will cook on the (n) braai  where the word means a construction in which one makes a fire and meat is placed on a braai grid and cooked over this fire.

Dad will (v) braai the meat where the word means grill.

South Africans are so crazy about braaing that many have both an indoor and outdoor braai at their homes.   The die-hards will braai no matter what the weather

086 Braai in the rain

My grandson, Jay, Braaing in the rain

– we have even been known to braai in the falling snow.


Crazy South Africans braaing in the snow – Verbier, Switzerland – that’s me in the pink hat

It’s also not only meat that we will braai.  Fish is a very popular choice and every fisherman I know has his own unique way of doing a snoek or yellowtail over the coals.   The Earl’s specialty is Yellow-tail basted with what was once his secret sauce.  He recently shared the recipe, much to the horror of his children,  in an article in Ski-Boat Magazine!

001 Simon and Grandpa braaing a fish 2015-01-02 01-15-46 PM 4000x3000

Grandfather teaching Grandson the fine art of braaing a fish

Not only is meat, fish or chicken grilled over the braai, other foods can be cooked in the braai coals too.  Sweet potatoes wrapped in tinfoil are absolutely delicious cooked this way.  Constantia sandwiches are another winner.   Place cheese, onion and tomato sandwiches on the grid and toast on both sides.  Delicious.   A favourite way to cook butternut squash – stuff it with a mixture of chutney and tomato and onion mix, wrap in tinfoil and cook in the hot coals.   I could go on with many more delicious ways to braai your veggies.

The Braai is traditionally the domain of the Man of the House but no braai is complete without the salads – usually made by Mom. Potato salad, rice salad, pasta salad, Greek salad – any salad will do.

From it’s humble beginnings as a method of cooking while out in the bush, The South African Braai has become an elaborate way of entertaining and is an integral part of South African Social Life.   Don’t mess with the Braai Master -His braai is sacred and his woman let’s him think so – It’s one way of not having to cook the whole meal herself!


The Braai – Best way to enjoy a meal with friends!


Share Your World – 9 April 2018

This week’s answers to  questions from Cee’s Share Your World

Been anywhere recently for the first time?

Not exactly unless you count the new home of my daughter and son-in-law. We have often been to Plettenberg Bay but haven’t stayed there in a while.  The kids have moved from KZN to Plett and we’re currently visiting them.


Jubilee Farm

The most recent new place I visited was Thailand but that’s almost a year ago now.  Does it count?


James Bond Island

List three favorite book characters.

Jo – in Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Beeda – In Confessions of a Gambler by Rayda Jacobs

Scout – In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

George – In The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton

The Grinch – In How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss


The Grinch

What is your favorite non alcoholic drink: hot or cold?

Coffee – Hot – Black – Strong – Sugarless


What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

Being here on Jubilee Farm has made me smile every day.  Great to be bonding with Daughter, Son-in-law and Grandchildren.  Walking around the farm and drinking in the views is rejuvenating.



Kruger National Park – Day 21

30 November 2017 Lower Sabie to Skukuza

It’s hard to believe that we have been in the park for three weeks now.  Each day has had something special and we are still loving every moment.   We now have the pack up and go routine totally sussed and everything went smoothly for our departure to Skukza this morning.  Pat’s hand is very much better and she felt that she could cope helping Tony with their tent but The Earl insisted on giving a hand – we don’t want her using her wrist too much and causing it more damage!

We hit the tar road at 6:45 and Pat and Tony took the scenic route.   Our first road block – elephants of course.  This photograph is taken through the windscreen but I couldn’t resist the cuteness of the baby rolling on the tar.


Skukuza is only 35 km from Lower Sabie on the tar road and we did not stop for much as we just wanted to get to camp to set up.  We were just done when Tony phoned to say they had arrived. We met them at reception and took them to our site.  They decided not to join us for brekkie as it looked like rain and they wanted to set up before it came.

The Earl and I went to The Cattle Baron and sat under the Sycamore Fig enjoying the ambience. The service today was slow but when you’re in Africa you don’t really care.  When we finally got our eggs and bacon it was delicious – and the coffee was good.   While we were waiting we watched the starlings, weavers and sparrows in the tree and then The Earl said, “Hey there’s a green pigeon.”  Our first for this trip!  Where had they been hinding?


This elusibe Green Pigeon and three others posed beautifully for us


The spectacled weaver has a quizical look

Today was more of a rest day as it turned out to be quite hot – the rain never came.  We took a short afternoon drive and these were the highlights.


Golden Breasted Bunting – he sang beautifully


Trumpeter Hornbill


Dung Beetle cleaning up the bush – such an amazingly hard worker


Dark form Wahberg’s Eagle – I think


A useful tool is the elephant’s trunk


Can’t resist the cuteness


What was he thinking getting right into the tree


Yellow-billed hornbill

This might sound repetitive – but it was a braai again tonight.  Honestly there’s no better way to eat in the bush!


Share Your World #29

Here are my answers to this week’s share your world

What is the perfect pizza?

My favourite pizza is never on the menu of most pizza places but I’ve seldom had a problem having them make it up for me. I call it a Greek Pizza – the toppings are fetta, olives, spinach and avo – delicious.

What is your favorite time of day?

I am a morning person but now that I’m retired I don’t get up early in winter! Summer is a different story – I love an early morning walk and swim on the beach.

When in the bush mornings are the best time to get those stunning sunrises and to catch the early activity of the birds and game.

Show us two of your favorites photographs?  The photos can be from anytime in your life span.  Explain why they are your favorite.

The first photograph is precious because it shows all four grandkids really enjoying each other’s company.  It was taken in 2014 when we were all together in Struisbaai.


The next one is special for a similar reason but here they are under the milkwood tree with their precious grandfather – and they’re all smiling at the same time!


Complete this sentence:  I’m looking forward to…. 

our trip to Italy!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

 It was wonderful having my grandson, Jay and his friends stay with us for a few days and I’m grateful that he doesn’t think he is too old to show affection to his gran in front of his mates.


The boys dwarfing Granny!

I have come down with diverticulitis this week and look forward to getting over it quickly!


Spending Quality Time With Friends

We recently had our very good friends, Heather and Peter, spend time with us.  It was an enormously happy time and the Weather Man obliged us with some stunning sunny days.

It was great to show them the improvements we’ve made to our home although they’re not quite finished yet. We enjoyed meals together, immersed ourselves in catching up on each other’s lives and it was a treat to take them to our favourite birding spots.  We have so many shared interests so it was great to have an extended time together to enjoy each other.

The sunny days made it all the more exciting and although winter birding is not as productive as spring and summer we managed to do pretty well each day.   Tuesday found us on the Arniston Road.


Jackal Buzzard


Rock Kestrel


Denham’s bustard


Denham’s in the foreground – steenbok in the background


There were hundreds of our national bird, the blue crane in the farmlands


A malachite sunbird enjoying the aloes


A bee, his only competition


Cloud Cisticola?  Not sure about this LBJ’s identity


The Arniston Hotel where we enjoyed a great lunch




Arniston fishermen coming in from a day at sea

On Wednesday we chilled at home till later in the afternoon when we set off to Agulhas Light house.  On the way we enjoyed some birds and then went to see the light house museum.


There were literally dozens of African Black Oystercatchers on the rocks


A little egret soaking up the sun


Enjoying the lighthouse museum

After the museum we took a drive to Suiderstrand picking up a couple of birds and enjoying the views.


The famous “Pietie se huis” which is now part of the Agulhas National Park Rest Camp.


A Black Shouldered Kite with a hapless mouse for dinner




In the evening we introduced our old best friends to our new best friends over a stunning braai of ribs, chops and sausage

The next day we took off down the Elim Road and were thrilled with all the birds we found before having lunch at The Black Oystercatcher Wine Estate


A gaggle of Spur-winged geese


Cape Robin singing happily



A delight to find a fish eagle


Scores of Denham’s Bustards about


Flamingos on the Salt Pans


The Black Oystercatcher


Lunch was excellent – we all had the sticky chicken salad

The sun was setting when we returned and so we popped in at the harbour to see how the boats had done.  A few fish were caught but not as much as the fishermen had hoped!




One of the ski-boats returning from a day at sea

Friday’s weather matched our mood as we bade farewell to our friends as they made their way back to Cape Town on a cold and wet day.

What a delight to have been able to share those few days with our dearest friends!










Share your world #25

Here are my answers to Cee’s Share you world Week 25

How many languages do you you speak?

English is my Home Language. Most English speakers are lazy about learning other languages as no matter where you go in the world you can almost always find somebody who knows English.  But I like languages.   I speak my second language, Afrikaans, fairly proficiently.   Now that I live in a community that is 90% Afrikaans speaking I am becoming even better.   I will soon be spending two months in Italy so have begun a Duolingo online course in that language and I’m loving it.

My father was Greek but all I ever learned in that language was a few greetings, to count and to swear!

What are some words that just make you smile?


Stunning, super and fabulous are words I use a lot and I guess they make me smile. A sentence that would make me smile – We’re going to Kruger!

If you were the original architect of one existing building, which building would you select?

When I was in Australia I couldn’t get enough of the Sydney Opera House – so I guess it would be that one!

Would you rather have telepathy or telekinesis?  (Telepathy is the communication using your brain waves, telekinesis is channeling the energy onto physical objects to cause substantial, observable physical changes.)

Telepathy – My husband thinks I already have it and can’t understand why I don’t know what he wants before he asks.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I am grateful for an amazing week with friends visiting us and the fun we had birdwatching and exploring the area of the Southern Tip of Africa.

Next week I am looking forward to a quick visit to Cape Town to collect my British Visa and to collect my repaired car.  Also I am anticipating that all alterations here is Struisbaai will be complete!


Share Your World #22

Here are my answers to Cee’s Share Your World Questions

Every country in the world has lost men and women in some kind of Armed Forces.  When does your country celebrate  their deaths?

We remember Poppy Day – 11 November – but it is not a public holiday.

Here in South Africa people lost their lives in their fight for freedom and so perhaps Human Rights Day celebrated on 21 March is when we remember those who lost their lives in that kind of war.  Specifically the events of Sharpeville are remembered.  On that day in 1960, 69 people died and 180 wounded when police fired on a peaceful crowd who protested the Pass Laws.

Similarly 16 June – Youth Day is an important day of remembrance. On this day we reflect upon  the young protesters who were ambushed by the apartheid regime police in Soweto on 16 June 1976. Over 500 youths were killed.  They were students from a number of Sowetan schools who took to the streets to protest against having Afrikaans at the medium of instruction in their schools. About 20 000 students took part in the protests which took place over a few days.   This was in 1976.

What is your favorite holiday or holidays?

Of course this has to be Christmas although I find it stressful to have to think of how  best to celebrate.   With as large an extended family as we have, it is difficult to please everybody. So over the years, the way we do it has changed several times and is changing still.  But in the end whatever we do turns out to be fun.

Easter is also great – who can resist all that chocolate?

How do you celebrate that holiday?

With overindulgence of course!   Last year we celebrated in Cape Town – very unusual!  We had a tree and opened gifts  before breakfast. Then at midday we had a roast turkey and roast lamb with all the trimmings.  We did not have the traditional pudding but usually we do.  This time we had my sister in law’s amazing trifle.

Even though our grandkids are quite big now, we still have an Easter Egg hunt.  Great fun.

I know that some people take holidays very seriously and while we appreciate the significance of each one, we treat the day as we would any other – grateful for what they signify but we don’t attend events that make a big thing of them.

What are you grateful for in the week that’s past?

A great deal!   So much change has taken place in our home.  The highlight was receiving our recovered recliner.  I just love the colour and it makes a huge difference to our lounge.  The workshop extension to the garage is almost complete, the desk unit in the lounge is in use and the bedroom cupboards and bookshelf in the braai room will hopefully be completed by the weekend.


This chair had become quite shabby but I had a sentimental attachment to it so I couldn’t part with it – love the result of the reupholstering. 


Our new double work station

What are you looking forward to in the week to come?

Our Schengen Visas are ready for collection and I need to apply for the UK Visa.  Am I looking forward to that?  Well it will be a chore and another trip to Cape Town but at least it’s a step closer to what’s needed to go on an overseas trip – and who can complain about that!  It is also great to see the kids and friends back in our old home town!