Recent Posts by Zephora

Who is Gretchen Wolf

I'm sure by now, you have seen that I also dabble in writing of Novellas. I have self-published three already (linked below) and am currently working on a few. Having self-published under a pseudonym, I have on occasion been asked why. Who is Gretchen Wolf? Read on to find out...

What's in a name?

So, those who know the real me, will know I am married to a German. And as such, my last name is quite German - with funny umlaut letter included. And when I completed my first Novella, Hearts in Edinburgh, I knew that I didn't want to use my real name. For one simple reason: if I picked up an English Novel written by a man or woman with a name that sounded foreign (meaning not English), I would probably put the book back down. That is just my personal opinion. Yes, I know, many best-selling foreign language books have been translated into English. For me it was as simple as the reason I gave above. And so, it took a few days of back-and-forth between me a hubby, until I finally came up with Gretchen and he added Wolf.

Clean Romance?

I have in the past marketed my books as Clean Romance. I know it isn't a thing and it probably won't catch anytime soon. However, I have seen and read books that are marketed as Romance, yet have a lot of 'bite' to it (I am using this phrase because my friend Sandy loves a good bite in her books πŸ™‚ ) Now, while I am all for hot and heavy, I can't write those kinds of scenes, nor can I put my characters in those situations without cringing. Yes, you may call me a prude πŸ™‚ haha.

How did it all start:

About 2 years ago, the Kindergarten Miss E was attending, was having some staffing issues. It had been a very bad winter and many of the teachers were sick. Every other day a teacher was either off sick, or simply not returning after a lengthy illness, which left the kids being moved around from one group to the other. The Principle had then asked if there were any parents willing and able to keep their children home, to lighten their load at school. Just until they could sort out their staffing issue. And so, since I was a Homemaker, I decided to keep Miss E home. And that was when I found I had a story to tell. A love story. Over one single weekend, writing through the night Friday to Saturday, my first draft of Hearts in Edinburgh was finished. I put it away for a few days, never intending on going public with my words.

Self Publishing:

It was only after speaking with hubby, and his encouragement that I decided to put my little Novella out into the world. And so, on March 13th 2018 I published my first book over on Amazon Kindle. It was the start of something very special. It opened up a brand new world of Indie Authors to me that I never really knew existed. The journey lead to two more Novellas which I also published over on Amazon. RSVP Plus One and Richard 2.0 - both very dear to my heart.

It's been two years...

The last two years have been somewhat of a whirlwind for me and even though I've been working on a few stories, my heart is not really in any of them. And I don't want to publish anything, until my heart gives full consent. We have also just passed the six month anniversary of our International Move (more here), and I find myself a little more settled in our new home. So maybe, one of these days I will pick up my laptop and start writing again.

Have you guys purchased your copy of any of my three Novellas? Hearts in Edinburgh is my favourite and I really recommend you start with that one. Summer Holidays is coming and let's be honest, not all of us are going to be traveling. RSVP Plus One can be read in one sitting. And if you do happen to have an extra minute for a coffee, grab Richard 2.0 - you won't regret it πŸ™‚

How did I do with my self-promotion? πŸ™‚

Take care, Lovelies,

Why we moved

When we first started telling people that we were embarking on an International Move, some asked why. It wasn't as simple as "it's a great opportunity". A lot of thought and prayers went into this decision and I am now going to tell you exactly "why we moved"...


This is 'home'

My husband and I met in Dubai. We were expats and we enjoyed the lifestyle. However, after five years, we wanted a change. It wasn't a difficult 'yes' when we were offered a move to Europe. It was a fantastic opportunity for hubby as it would really boost his career. And for me: I was going to learn a new language. When we moved to Germany, I knew it wasn't a forever deal - I did not plan to retire there. And then we had a baby. Our family was now complete. Did we really want to start over somewhere else with a child? Why not?


Miss E has always loved the ocean and being near the water. Our trips up north Germany was always a highlight for her.

Our List:

We had been living in Germany for 5 years, Miss E was 4 years old. My feet had started itching - they wanted to move. Hubby and I started thinking and talking about our options - which were quite limited. I have no higher education and hubby is in a sort of 'specialised' field. Our list of 'must-haves' was very short: warmer climate or at least four equal seasons per year; access to beach. Yep, that was about it. Both hubby and I grew up with easy access to the ocean or beach and it was one of the biggest things missing in our lives. And Miss E felt the same way.


We love the ocean, clearly. Even when it was a bit chilly, we would bundle ourselves up and head out for some ocean air.


It wasn't just the beach though, we craved Vitamin D

Happy Family:

There were many days I would wake up in Germany and think of beautiful sunrises and amazing sunsets. And I was always disappointed when I looked out of my kitchen window to grey skies. Miss E often talked about how she wished she didn't have to wear gloves and scarves and the thick jackets during the long winters. She has always been a very bubbly, active child, but in the summer months, she bloomed - just like here mama. But unlike her mama, she kept her bubbly personality throughout the year. I couldn't. Winters were very depressing for me. I would go days without wanting to leave the apartment. It was only because I had to take Miss E to Kindergarten and collect her, that I would force myself to soldier on.


Summers were rather short, and so on the days we did venture out when the sun shone, we still needed sweaters

Our Decision:

It wasn't very difficult to decide to accept the offer to move to the Island of New Providence. Honestly, The Bahamas was never on our list of countries to move to, but we jumped at the chance to be near the ocean and wake up to bright skies all year around.


Sun and surf

So you see, our reason for moving was quite simple: sun and surf.


Miss E has enjoyed wearing her sleeveless dresses


We have not worn jeans in months...we don't own jeans πŸ™‚

Have you ever moved to a different country? What was your reason? Do you think it is easier moving with smaller children or teenagers?


Smiles all around

Till next time, Lovelies

Corona Bake Off – Round 2

To crepe or not to crepe! If you love Crepes and you love Cake, then you'll definitely LOVE the Crepe Cake. For Round 2 of our Corona Bake Off, the winner of Round 1 (read here for more), Sara decided we would take on the beauty that is the Crepe Cake.

What I love about this cake is that the options are endless. I mean you could literally make any flavour you want. And you could use any flavour combo, and it will probably work as well. I could NOT decide on my Crepe Cake. I wanted to keep it classy-looking, but also put in a punch of flavour.

The Chocolate & Strawberries Crepe Cake:


That Chocolate Mirror Glaze is so perfect

Sara decided on bringing together a combination that has worked for decades: Chocolate and Strawberries. She made Strawberry and Vanilla Crepes, sandwiched together with gorgeous Vanilla Mascarpone Cream. The entire cake was covered in a beautiful Chocolate Mirror Glaze. I mean, just look at this beauty! There was definitely no doubt she would win Round 2.


Nicely defined layers - well done, Sara!

And me?


I struggled with my drip on this cake and totally regretted it after the first drip - but because of the 'naked' sides, I couldn't take it off and had to just continue...

I eventually, after much deliberation (in my head), I settled on a Tiramisu Crepe Cake: Amaretto Crepes, sandwiched together with a creamy Amaretto Cream Filling. I kept mine a 'naked cake' and dusted the top cream layer with cocoa. In all honesty, I could have done better on my presentation and photography. My flavours were definitely there and those who were lucky enough to get a piece, all said they loved it. But at the end of the day, our voters are voting purely on looks, presentation and the description of the cakes.


I was happy that my layers set up well

The Winner:

In the end, the clear winner was Sara. That mirror glaze was so beautiful. My Amaretto was just not hitting the right spots with many people. And a few mentioned my presentation. Something I will definitely work on.


It was a no-brainer on this round that Sara would win.

Sara chose for Round 3 another classic: The Opera Cake. Head on over here for more...

Which one would you have chosen? Both our Socials are on lockdown, unfortunately as we make use of our personal profiles for the Challenge. But I'm curious what the readers of my blog would have voted for.

Till next Round, Lovelies.

Corona Bake Off – Round 1

Over the last few weeks, my friend Sara and I have been doing a weekly Bake-Off Challenge over on our Socials. I came up with the idea when I started feeling a bit bored in my kitchen during our lockdown and I wanted to mix up my baking a bit - and at the same time learn some new skills and hone my old ones.


I baked my Classic Carrot Cake, and used Pecans instead of Walnuts

What we decided was, we would bake on Wednesdays, upload our pictures labelled A and B on Thursdays and open voting to all our friends and followers for three days. On Saturdays at 8pm EST, we close voting and tally up the numbers. The winner is announced that night and on Sunday mornings, the winner decides what we create or bake the following week.


The sides of this cake made by Sara looks so delicious!!! I ate nuts for hours after seeing her pictures

Our first week was so exciting. Sara won by a landslide and I totally agree with those who voted for her: her cake looked amazing! We had to bake and put our own spin on a classic: The Carrot Cake.

I used my classic recipe, one I have been baking for years. I changed one thing: I added Pecans instead of Walnuts.


As always, my carrot cake was super moist and yummy!

Of course it was difficult for our voters, because they were voting purely based on looks and presentation. Maybe one day, we can perform a proper bake-off, with an audience and judges who get to taste our bakes too. What do you say, Sara? Would you be up for it?


Look at those layers - no wonder Sara won this round

Check out Round 2 here - Sara chose a Crepe Cake

Have you guys ever watched The Great British Bake-off? What do you think of shows like these? Have you been baking interesting things during the Corona Lockdown? Tell me in the comment section below, I'd love to hear.

Till next time, Lovelies, keep baking!

Our International Move – Part 3

We have landed!!!! This post follows on from our International Move - Part 2. Now that we have landed, here's how Part 3 went...

After 30 hours, which included an overnight layover in Toronto Airport as well as Bahamas Immigration and Customs, we found ourselves walking out into 28 degrees C sunshine and blue skies. Hubby had welcomed us to the island with Mickey Mouse and a very large car for all our luggage and Miss E's carseat. As we made our way to Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, our driver took us on the scenic route and became our tour guide. We got our first glimpse of the beach and Miss E squealed in delight. We were finally in Paradise.

Goodbye Germany, now for the first leg of our journey

My dear friend, Danni was monitoring our flight and sent me this when we ha landed

"Hello Toronto, Canada"

Not that we saw much since we arrived late that evening

"We're coming, Papa!" Our second and last flight to New Providence, Bahamas

Acute Exhaustion

Three days into our stay I woke up with chills and in pain. My body was fighting something. I tried to stay optimistic that it was just adjusting to the climate, weather and maybe also jet lag? But by Day 5, both Miss and I had to urgently go to the doctor. She was diagnosed with a bad case of the flu and I was not only suffering from a cold, but also acute exhaustion - yep, that is a medical diagnoses. The medication we were prescribed would only start working in 24 hours, so we were literally out for the count. We had this beautiful resort to explore and enjoy, but we were stuck in the hotel room, cuddled together under warm blankets, both sleeping for hours at a time. At night I was shivering one minute and then a fever the next. I have never ever in my life felt like this before.

Somehow, Tinsel found his way to Nassau as well and welcomed us with snacks

She was born for this...The pure joy she exudes when she sees the beach - it overwhelms me sometimes

Thankfully our medication kicked in and we both felt well enough to go out and walk on the beach. It did us good. We also managed to go with hubby to look at a few homes - we couldn't stay in the hotel forever.

On Christmas Eve we checked out one of the Resort Restaurants and when we back to our suite, Santa had already arrived. We made it special for Miss E and she enjoyed. She was a bit sad that she would have to say yet another 'goodbye', this time to Tinsel who would head back to the North Pole for hibernation. He promised to be back.

Miss E met Santa and Mrs Claus

On Christmas Eve, she wished her friends and family a "Very Merry Christmas"

Christmas Eve Dinner

Santa made a stop in our Suite


New Year's Eve saw us eating Pizza in our suite. Hubby had to go back to work and Miss E and I went to bed. He came back at 23h45, woke us up for the New Year's fireworks. I decided to skip it as I was exhausted, but Miss E was excited. So off they went and rang in 2020 with many of the hotel guests. I slept through it all.

It was raining on New Year's Eve and Miss E was a bit sad

About an hour later, we were blessed with this beautiful rainbow...I took it as a sign that things were going to get better

New Year's Breakfast with this Munchkin

Praise!!! She is like a fish in water πŸ™‚

On January 4th, we moved into our new home. A fully-furnished (down to the teaspoons) three bedroom home in a lovely family-friendly neighbourhood. Miss E grabbed her scooter immediately and went out onto the street. Weeks went by, where I was struggling to get any maintenance work done - no one sticks to appointments. I was not yet mobile, so couldn't go to the stores for supplies etc. I was also trying to make sure Miss E was settling in. We also wanted to get her into some sort of Kindergarten, like back home. But that is also very different here...And did I mention: we also found ourselves dealing with head lice. Yep, you read that right: head lice!!!!

Our first home-cooked meal in our new home

She is loving the her Mama, she blossoms in the sun

Our only turned 5 this year

This is why we moved here...


After much research, it became very clear that we would be enrolling Miss E into an International School. That being said, our options were limited and also quite different in terms of curriculum. We decided that the British Curriculum best suited our needs and after some conversations with other parents, we knew that was the right decision. We visited the school and met a few of the teachers. The Director took us around and Miss E could even sit in on a lesson while mum and dad walked around a bit. It felt like the right fit. And Miss E started on February 3rd.

First day of school...we had not gotten her uniform as yet. She was so excited and nervous at the same time

This was an emotional day for me and her teacher was kind enough to update me throughout the day

Settling in

Settling in, finding our rhythm - it was not all a walk in the park. I had to learn to drive on the left-side of the road; find my way around shopping; get a uniform for Miss E; sort out our home; and all the while also trying to get connected with other mums. It was exhausting and there were days when I couldn't function without several cups of coffee - which is saying a lot, because I generally don't drink more than three cups per week. Miss E was also not settling in at school - which was not a surprise. For about five weeks, I would drop her off and she would cry and not want to stay without me. It was heart-wrenching, having to leave her there and walk away. Several times I would sit in my car in the parking lot of the school, crying.

She has found a new hobby with her Dad

Did I mention we got a horse πŸ™‚

Book Week at school. I didn't have a sewing machine at the time, otherwise she would have gone as a Sneetch

Finally she is old enough to start another hobby


And then, just as both Miss E and I were finding our feet and rhythm, just when we were both setting in, the first confirmed case of Covid19 was announced on the island of New Providence. Friday the 13th March was the last day Miss E went to school - the last day I would pick her up from school, the last day she would see her teacher, whom she had come to love. It was the game-changer. We had finally started to feel like this is home. We could see ourselves settle here...and then we were told to stay home. And we did.

Shortly before the lockdown, I met a friend here for a coffee after dropping our kids off at school. We had such a wonderful time together, we ended up having lunch too

In conclusion...

Our move was not easy, no. It had ups and downs and we went sideways and under and zigzag. We got through illnesses and exhaustion and emotional distress; we climbed up high and fell down low; we hit peaks and found ourselves treading water. However, after six months here - three of those in Lockdown - we really do see our little family settling here. Of course no one knows the future, but we certainly feel like we could have a good life here. It ticks most of our boxes in terms of climate, people, access to travel. We do think of the Caribbean in terms of 'home' and we certainly feel extremely blessed to have this opportunity. Given the option, we would definitely not change anything. This is where we are and this is where we intend to remain.

Miss E is happy...even through everything we have put her through since September 2019, and with a new school and making new friends and then a Pandemic...she is blossoming so well

Have you enjoyed reading about our Big Adventure? What would you like me to write about next? Let me know down in the comments and I'll see if I can oblige.

Till next time, Dearies. Stay safe and stay awesome!

Around the World – India

Have you ever been to India? Maybe eaten in an Indian Restaurant? It is awesome how diverse our weekends have become in our home. When Miss E looked on her map, she picked India because there is a picture of a man on an elephant and she found that very interesting. When I told her…
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Around the World – Brazil

So when we started on this journey of preparing, cooking and enjoying foods from around the world, we gave Miss E the responsibility of picking our next country for the following weekend. And after a very successful Heritage Weekend, where we celebrated South Africa and Germany, she went to her world map and pick.......Brazil!!!

Oh my goodness! What a choice! Bom Dia! At first, I knew this was going to be a very flavourful journey indeed. But as I started looking at recipes, I realised this was also going to be a very sweet ride. When I searched for desserts, I came across many that made use of either sweetened condensed milk or Dulce de Leche - the latter being made from the former.

Dulche de Leche:

I went to three different grocery stores and eventually asked my neighbour (who is from Brazil) if she had had any luck, but Dulce de Leche is not available here. So what is a girl to do? Make her own, of course. It was super easy: just put a can or two of sweetened condensed milk on their sides in my slow cooker and pour enough hot water to cover the tins. Then cook on slow for 8-10 hours. I did that on the Friday, then took the tins out and allowed to completely cool overnight. The next morning I opened the tins, scraped all that delicious Dulce de Leche into a bowl and gave it a quick beat with my electric mixer until smooth. It was good to go. There is still a mason jar half-full with yummy goodness in my fridge - I really should use it in something soon.

A jar full of delicious yummyness

Bem Casados:

Anyone who has ever been to a Brazilian wedding (or had Brazilian guests at their own wedding - Bettina) would know what these are. In English, it is literally called 'Wedding Cookies'. Sponge Cookies soaked in simple syrups, sandwiched together by Dulce de Leche. It doesn't get sweeter than this. They were yummy, even though the consistency was not that good - owing to the fact that I had to make do with Potato Starch Flour and the recipe called for Potato Starch. I had never used either for baking before and so wasn't sure how different the end product would be. My neighbour was kind enough to say that they were nice.

These were very sweet, I could only eat one...every hour πŸ™‚


Oh. My. Goodness. This One-Pot-Shrimp-in-Coconut-Sauce was a freaking bomb!!! I love shrimp in general, but this dish knocked it out of the park for me. It was a huge it with the family, even though Miss E doesn't eat shrimp, she enjoyed the sauce very much. I highly recommend this dish. It was super easy to make and I used an immersion blender instead of a regular blender, simply because that's what I had on hand. This is the recipe I used.

This was so good. It's gone into my recipe book for regular meals


I had one more treat up my sleeve, since the Bem Casados had turned out to be too sweet for me. These Bolinhos de Chuva is sort of like a beignet. And they are supposed to be shaped like raindrops, but I couldn't get the dough consistency just right. They tasted yummy though, so the shape I am not complaining too much about.


All in all, I really enjoyed cooking over our Brazilian weekend. Our tastebuds were definitely put on a rollercoaster ride. And even now, weeks later we are all still talking about that Shrimp.

Have you ever been to Brazil? Are you from Brazil? What id your favourite Brazilian dish or dessert? Tell me in the comment section below.

Catch you on the next post! Stay safe and keep cooking,

Around the World – Germany

At the time of my blog launch, this post was already a few weeks old, but I wanted to post it anyway as it still forms part of my Around the World through Food series. Enjoy!

This past weekend, we celebrated our heritage through food. I was born in South Africa and if you'd like to read about what I cooked and prepared from my birthplace, click here. Now, for those of you who do not know, my husband is German and I lived in Germany for six years. As part of our Around the World through Food series, hubby was in charge of preparing some German dishes...


This was quite funny - we hadn't actually spoken with each other about what we had planned for our respective menus, so he didn't know my South African breakfast was a sort of Crepe / Pancake. So his breakfast was a German Pfannkuchen. And it was delicious!


This was delicious!!!

On my very first visit to Germany 11 years ago, hubby took me into the 'Innenstadt" of the town where his parents live. And he bought me a Currywurst. It was so yummy. And I would request to eat it every time we visited Germany. When we moved there in 2013, I would often eat this at Kirmes (carnival) and at Christmas Markets. So I was very excited when hubby served this for lunch. The sauce he made was amazing!!!

This is how Miss E wanted hers


Now this might not be a very German Dish, but it is something that reminded hubby of his childhood. He served up a delicious Pork Fillet and Vegetable Bake (Auflauf). I love a good vegetable bake as much as the next person, but that pork fillet was soooo good - super tender and melt-in-your-mouth perfection. My tummy could not have been happier!

Pork Fillet and Veg Bake with a glass of White Wine. Perfect Combination

Did any of his choices surprise you? Were you expecting a Crispy Pork Knuckle and roasted potatoes? Or perhaps a bowl of 'GrΓΌnkohl' with meat? When you think of Germany, what food first comes to mind?

I know my hubby would be interested to hear your answers. So comment below.

Till next time, Miss E gets to choose our next country...

Our International Move – Part 2

Following on from Part 1 of our International Move - which you can read over here, we continue where I left off...

So hubby boarded his flight which would take him to Nassau, Bahamas via Toronto Canada. Miss E and I were now without a car - I hate driving - and made our way back to Neuss by train. When we got home, we were both emotionally drained and physically tired. I ordered some pizza for dinner and we fell asleep in each other's arms.

Knocked out...Goodbyes are so exhausting

The next day we headed to hubby's family by early morning train to spend the weekend saying our farewells. Damn that was hard! I hate goodbye's in general. But knowing that you won't be seeing someone (be it family or friend) for a very long time, ya'll know how hard that is. At the time, I wondered if it had been a good idea to book this little getaway: the FEELS we both had was draining. I was not sleeping well, Miss E was missing her dad. And it was hitting me hard that I still had a million and one things to do before boarding our flight - how was I going to manage it all!!!

Quality time with one of her cousins

One last walk with her other cousin

Distractions helped...

What helped was that we still had some things to look forward to: There were several things happening at Kindergarten that Miss E was really looking forward to; I had weekday mornings to get through more packing and selling and organising; and I had some dates set up with my girl friends for some last hooras! It was good. It was certainly a very good distraction to the chaos that was my home.

At the same time, I didn't want Miss E's routine to be completely disrupted: yes, Dad wasn't home; and there were boxes all over the house; everyday she had to say goodbye to beloved toys as I either sold them or packed them up (books and plush animals mostly). We had LOADS of Mommy-and-Me time. We made the most of our afternoons and evenings together alone. I took her to the movies to watch Frozen 2. We jumped in rain puddles, went for walks in the park after Kindergarten. And we spent many evenings eating picnic-style in the living-room (it just wasn't the same eating at the dinner table without dad).

I kept this movie date as a surprise and Miss E was super excited when she knew what was going on.

Mommy gets her first Mulled Wine of the Season...helped to lift the spirits.

"Riding" a bicycle on a carousel

Exhaustion didn't stop me

Two weeks after hubby left, I had managed to pack up the last of our things we were putting into storage. I was exhausted: I had packed, unpacked, re-packed and weighed our 6 suitcases about 6 times; Miss E didn't want to talk about moving anymore and we were both just exhausted. I decided we would just take a break. My brothers-in-law arrived to collect the last of our boxes which they would put into storage for us and yet another farewell was had. Miss E and I stood waving them off and when we returned to our very empty apartment, Miss E said "and now?" and we both burst out laughing because those two words echoed through the house.

Packed, unpacked, repacked...this was not fun

On December 1st, we had a visitor: Tinsel the Elf had arrived in style - Miss E found him lying in a 'bubble bath' in the bathroom basin. It was the best distraction I could have come up with for Miss E. And he was such a great sport with popping up in crazy places all over the house.

Tinsel arrived in style

Saying a home

Finally our last day in our apartment arrived - the only home Miss E has ever known. Oma and Opa had also made the trip down to Neuss to help us get to Frankfurt for our flight. That morning I sent Miss E with her grandparents for breakfast and I got our suitcases out to the front door to be loaded into their car. I did one last sweep through the apartment, checked behind every door, even did one last emotional video of our home. Then the lady who was moving in arrived for handing over of the keys. It was a very emotional experience. Miss E had also arrived home and we said 'goodbye' to our apartment. She too, had tears in her eyes. We were closing a chapter, and I reassured her that our next chapter would be amazing.

I shed more tears than she did on her last day of Kindergarten

These kids have been a part of our lives for over 5 years. And I don't know when I will see my Godson again πŸ™

Trying to get a posed photograph of this group is hysterical. I think I took about 15 photos...

Our last farewell was to our neighbours downstairs. Miss E was exhausted by then and didn't want a long drawn-out goodbye. We headed to the city afterwards and made our way to the train station for our train to Frankfurt. Once we arrived there, she was feeling loads better and even asked if Tinsel knows that we won't be in Germany anymore and if he was going to visit her in The Bahamas. We checked in our luggage and paid for the excess, then went to our hotel where we would spend the night. Oma and Opa were booked into the hotel as well. Next morning, we enjoyed breakfast together and in a very good move, the grandparents decided it would be best to bid us farewell at the hotel, rather than at the airport.

"Please, no more goodbyes, mommy" - sad to leave

But we are going to see Papa in less than 48 hours!!!

Our last night in Germany

Sometimes we just have to let it out, so that we can feel better...

En-route to the airport, there was a lot of crying on Miss E's part. And it was very difficult to console her, even with the idea of seeing her dad in 30 hours and swimming in the ocean. So I just let her cry.

This could not have been a more perfect send-off if I had planned it. Christmas "Angels" at the departure lounge at the airport

Once we were boarded and settled in our seats, I started to feel like the pressure was finally off. And that is when my body decided to relax...which allowed to for the real exhaustion to hit...check out Part 3 for the start of our new adventure.

Till next time, Dearies

Around the World – South Africa

Playing catch up on the blog, this post was written when we started our Journey Around the World through Food Weekends...

This past weekend, we embarked on a culinary journey around the world. And we headed to my birthplace, South Africa. How did it go? Read on...

South Africa has some of the most diverse customs, people and food. You can't go wrong with a lekker 'Braai' (BBQ); almost everyone and their aunt knows how to make a good Curry; and if you haven't yet tasted a Peppermint Crisp Tart, you haven't lived!

Miss E helping mommy make a 'melktert'

Suffice it to say I can braai with the boys; share a Masala steak Gatsby with my chommies and steal a slice of Milktart from my sister's fridge whenever I go visit. Sloppy Joes does not even come close to vetkoek; and don't get me started on pickled fish.

Talent in the kitchen to me is adding a little of this and a pinch of that. And of course we can't forget a heaped teaspoon of this spice - yet my teaspoon is not the same size as your teaspoon. When you know that Tuesdays is Frikadel, White Rice and Tomato Smoortjie - then you grew up in a coloured home in the 90's.

Milk Tart going into the fridge to set

Man! This post brings back memories. But I digress, I wanted to write about us celebrating our heritage through food. So anyway, I woke up on Saturday morning and Recipe book in hand, headed down to my kitchen to start on breakfast...


Now I grew up eating 'post toasties' (did I get that right?) - which was essentially corn flakes. And the way we enjoyed it was with warm milk. To this day, I can't eat my morning cereal with cold milk. But since I wanted to mix things up a bit for our 'Heritage Weekend', and we eat earl during the week, I decided to make South African Pancakes - or Pannekoek. Which one could agree is a cross between the dutch Pannenkoek and the French Crepe. I followed this recipe and they were scrumptious! I also only made half a batch, since I didn't want us wasting any food and we are only three people. Miss E enjoyed her first one as it should be eaten with cinnamon and sugar. Her second and third one, she insisted on Nutella.

These were so good, I forgot to take a picture of the plated dish πŸ™


Growing up, going out to eat was a luxury. It was not something we did often, instead we kept those 'restaurant' visits for special occasions. Like birthdays. And back in the day, Spur Steak Ranches were THE family restaurants. The food was always yummy and they had large portions. We often would share one or two starters and then almost always not finish our main meal, instead taking the leftovers home in what was called a 'doggy bag' (is it still called that?). And one of my favourite starters (and remember back in the day, the kids never got to choose the starter, so I always hoped my mum would pick it) was the Spur Crumbed Mushrooms. Oh, it was heavenly. Deep-fried to perfection and they always brought a white dipping sauce, that I now think may have been like an aioli?

Crumbed Mushrooms and Fried Chicken - nomnomnom

Anyway, I searched all over the web for an original recipe, but couldn't find one (remember, I also wanted to make use of pantry items that I already had on hand.) So I just used a basic crumbed mushroom recipe and tweaked it a bit using ingredients I already had in my cupboards. Of course I couldn't just serve mushrooms either. So I made something my mum used to make ever single Sunday after church: fried chicken. Both of these complemented each other very well. And my homemade aioli dip was a huge hit with Miss E as well.


This was a no-brainer. It was always going to be a Curry. I just couldn't decide if I wanted to make vetkoek or roti to go with it. So of course I messaged both my sisters, who make both roti and vetkoek very often. It was unanimous: roti for the win. Only, I have never made roti in my life. I've seen it being made. But the method looked too daunting (almost like when I look at an overlock machine - scary). I don't know why I was so scared though - it was not that difficult.

Curry and Roti - my first time making Roti


Now this was one I didn't have too much faith in. I was hoping it would work, but my ingredients was way off on the recipe and it didn't turn out very well. I made a Milk Tart, which is a cold tart that is enjoyed all over South Africa. For some reason, my filling did not set, even though I made the tart the previous day.

This was a bit disappointing as the Milk Tart did not set.

We thoroughly enjoyed our South African Day and the food I prepared. And I certainly enjoyed going down memory lane with the dishes and the smells in our home.

Miss E wanted to surprise me by coloring in the flag

What is your favourite meal or dish or dessert from your homeland? Do you get to make and eat it often? Let me know, I am always looking for new dishes and prepare for my family.

Happy cooking!

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