Monday, 4 February 2008


My family emigrated from South Africa when I was six, and although we haven't retained much of the culture (we speak English at home, for example), we still enjoy some of the special foods of SA.
This weekend my parents held a South African night, inviting a host of friends for an evening braai (barbecue) outside on the verandah.
On the menu were great rings of boerwors ("farmers sausage"), biltong (dried spiced beef, somewhat like jerky), droewors (dried sausage), salads, lamb chops, chakalaka (a vegetable stew), boboutie (a curried meat loaf with a custardy topping), maize meal and mealie meal loaf.

The Afrikaans word for corn is "mealie", so essentially this is corn bread. But whatever you call it, mealie meal loaf tastes delicious. Serve warm slathered with butter, or spoon generous ladles of bean stew or chilli over the top.
This recipe comes from Mrs de Villier's iconic South African cook book, Cook and Enjoy It, although I did add the cheese and herbs. (As an aside, an early edition of this book, which my mother received as a wedding present, had a chapter titled "Maidless Meals". Just to be sure the mother of the family could turn out something when the maids were away!)
1 1/2 c milk
2c mealie meal (corn meal, or polenta)
1t salt
4T butter
1/2 c cheese
1t mixed herbs
3 eggs, well beaten
2t baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and butter a small loaf tin.
  2. Heat 1c of the milk and blend the remaining milk with the mealie meal.
  3. Add the meal, salt, cheese and butter to the hot milk and mix well.
  4. Cool and add the eggs, herbs and baking powder.
  5. Blend well and turn the mixture into the tin.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes.

For dessert we served koeksisters (plaits of sweet dough, fried and soaked in spiced syrup -- they really are as decadent as they sound) and milk tart. Divine!


Beck said...

Hey, my maid's away today! :)
That looks yummy (and it's gf) - why am I so HUNGRY all the time?

My Inspired Heart said...

The menu sounds wonderful....although my family calls it 'cornbread,' I agree that it is very tasty! Looks like a fantastic time! Blessings to you :)

anselene said...

even siting right here in sunny south africa my mouth is watering thinking of the delights your guests enjoyed at the braai maybe it is more a question of "wish we were there" to share the special company
love the pics of brekkie adorable!