Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Joys of Living in Zululand.......Part 1.

I have spent the past week planning and scheming. The southern part of the park has been beckoning for ages and I wanted to spend my Saturday roaming around the area where the cheetah with the three cubs hangs out. I woke up very early, got myself ready, packed lunch and made a flask of coffee. Everything was waiting at the door and all I had to get ready was my camera equipment. And then the realisation hit me.....neither of my two batteries for my camera had been charged.

So, change of plan. I decided I was going on a roadtrip. I set off on the N2, travelling north. First stop, Mkhuze. After looking around the street market, I remembered that we bought some fillet steak at the supermarket a couple of years ago. It was VERY cheap. So I went to inquire if they still had specials on fillet steak.  Lo and behold, R73.00 a kilo. Needless to say, peppered fillet is on the menu the next time the family get together.

Further north is the town of Pongola. The town itself won't win any beauty contests but the setting is magnificent. I could easily live there. next time I go there I will make sure my camera batteries are charged and take some pictures.

I managed to find some preserving jars at a reasonable price at one of the supermarkets and set of for home. Just outside the town I saw a board for Vincents Pottery. Now if there is something that really gets me going, it is hand made things. I just love the amazing variation that something handmade has. Two people can use exactly the same materials and produce startlingly different results.

After an hour of chatting and discussing the possibility of hand wash basins for the new rooms we intend adding in the future, I headed home. By this time I was in a hurry as I wanted to put my new preserving jars to good use.

Besides the nearby game parks, Hluhluwe has another claim to fame. Pineapples.

Acres and acres of pineapples.

So my new jars got put to work and some of them are now filled with a delicious Pineapple Relish, or Chutney, or Pickle. Whatever you want to call it, it is delish.

So here is my recipe for Pineapple Delish
(makes 1,5 litres)

3 tbsp oil
1 tsp turmeric
2 cups finely chopped onion (350 g)
2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
5 cups finely diced pineapple ( 750 g)
1 - 2 chillies
1 cup wine vinegar
400 g brown sugar
2 star anise
1 stick cinnamon
1 tsp salt
a couple of sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup raisins
1 large orange, yellow or red pepper, finely chopped. (NOT green)

1. Lightly fry the turmeric, onion, garlic and ginger.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over medium to low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. 3. Put the lid on at an angle and cook slowly till the pineapple is cooked through. At this point I like to use my hand held liquidiser and turn about a third of the mix into mush. Leave the lid off and reduce to a thick consistencty.

1. If you like your food to have a kick, chop chillies including the seeds. If you prefer a milder version, remove the seeds.
2. Red onions give a nice dark colour.
3. For a yellowish relish, use white vinegar, bleached sultanas and white onions.

Part 2 and 3 of why I love living in Zululand will be up soon. Please come back and check it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment