Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A taste of home.

I live in the UK but I originally come from South Africa. Every now and again I dig out the recipe book and indulge myself in a few recipes from home. So last week after a " when will you make some more rusks again? " plea from my family I got baking.

Buttermilk Rusks ( South-African recipe )

Rusks are a national institution in South Africa, especially Ouma’s rusks. Dry and dense, they were designed to last a long time for pioneers travelling in the wilderness. They can be eaten as they are or dunked in tea or coffee for that early morning snack or mid-morning break.

Ingredients: ( Makes about 15-18 rusks )

500g self raising flour
1 egg
100ml sugar
95g butter, melted
250ml buttermilk
½ tsp ( 2.5ml) baking powder
1 tsp (5ml) salt

1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
2. Beat the egg, sugar and buttermilk together.
3. Cut the wet mixture into the dry ingredients with a knife.
4. Knead the dough lightly, gradually adding the melted butter while kneading. This will take about 7 minutes.
5. Roll dough into balls about the size of a golf ball and pack the balls next to eachother into a loaf tin. The balls should reach about ⅔ of the height of the tin.
6. Bake at 180 degrees C ( 350 degrees F) for about 45 minutes.
7. Turn out onto a cooling rack and when cool enough to handle break into individual rusks.
8. Lower the heat of the oven to 100 degrees C ( 200 degrees F ) or less and dry the rusks in the oven. Turning them every 30 minutes.

(Recipe can be doubled etc. )

 Just out the oven see how they are packed in.

 The finished product. They keep for a few weeks in an air-tight container (if the family doesn't eat them all first).

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Welcome to 2012...

Hello, welcome back and happy new year. Its been a very busy last few weeks but I have managed to find a few moments to put a few words down. I had a visit this morning to our wet soggy garden and my visitor a wonderful green woodpecker also known as the Green Yaffle Bird.

Yaffle is the 'Olde English' word for the Green Woodpecker or Picus Viridus. The Green Yaffle is an ancient symbol of prosperity and knowledge. Stretching back to the first cities of ancient Babylon, the bird has appeared as a Divine messenger, giving knowledge to humans, often of the future, and being associated with the blessings of good fortune from the heavens. From the oldest of Greek myths to the widespread folk tales from across Europe, these same themes appear again and again. The bird is also associated with being able to unlock all locks and open all doors. Further investigations into the symbolic meanings of a woodpecker also suggest it may be a sign to :

Fly back to our roots.
Nurture our ideas in the womb of our core passions.
Use our heads (intellect) to think up innovative solutions to overcome barriers.
Communicate our ideas in more creative or non-traditional ways.
Stop and consider the opportunities available to us at this time.
Look at projects in unique creative ways to bring new life to a project.
Listen more clearly to subtle energies, there is a message that only our intuition can interpret.

So I'm taking this little visit from my feathered friend as an omen or a good prosperous year, full of creativity, prosperity and blessings.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012....let the fun begin.