01 October, 2010

Banana Nut Cake

Add chocolate chips or make these into muffins. mmmm!
2 1/3 cup flour
1 2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas
2/3 cups chopped nuts
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/.4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour 13x9x2 inch pan.

Beat all ingredients on low speed, scraping sides of bowl constantly, 30 secs.
Beat on high for 3 min. Pour into pan

Bake for 45 to 50 min. Frost with Creamy vanilla frosting or just sprinkle with icing sugar.

Maple Oat Cookies

These are a healthy, nutty, crunchy delight! My friend found this recipe on a korean website and we baked them together. Its really versatile - add any sort of nut, seed, coconut etc - whatever tickles your fancy!

Makes 20-24 cookies


1 1/4 C wholewheat flour
1- 1.5 C plain oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
100g butter
2/3 C brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup nuts (or seeds etc)

Mix together butter and brown sugar. Beat the egg in a seperate bowl and add to the sugar mixture. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, then add to the sugar mixture. Add oatmeal and nuts.
Shape into balls and place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake on 360 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Chocolate Squash Cake

This is a delicious, chocolatey cake and you can use zucchini or yellow squash. Once the cake is cooked you don't even notice it!

Heat Oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13" pan.

Cream together:

1/2C butter
1/2C oil (or applesauce)
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat in 2 eggs. Then stir in 1/2 C yogurt or sourcream alternately with 2 1/2C flour.
Add 3/4 C cocoa powder and 2 tsp expresso (optional). Fold in 2 C shredded zucchini and 1/2 C chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes and frost with chocolate icing if desired!

Carrot Cake - Joy of Cooking

This is a lovely, flavour-filled cake from the recipe book "Joy of Cooking". Use apple-sauce instead of the oil and it makes the cake really moist.

Grease and flour two 9x2" round pans, two 8" square pan, or one 13x9" rectangle pan.

Whisk together:

1 1/3 C flour
I C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt

Whisk together and then combine with the flour mixture: 2/3 C vegetable oil (or applesauce) and 3 eggs

Stir in: 1 1/2C shredded carrots, 1C chopped walnuts (or cashews), 1C raisins, 1/2 C crushed pineapple, drained lightly (optional)

Bake 25-30 minutes for rounds/square pans or 30-35 minutes rectangle pan.
Allow to cool and then frost with cream-cheese icing, or brown butter frosting.

Quick Brown Butter Icing
Heat 6 T butter in a sauce pan on medium heat and stir constantly. Gradually whisk in 1 1/4 Cups Icing/powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Scrape into bowl and beat til smooth. Use immediately.

23 August, 2010

Custard Powder Biscuits

These are a childhood favoutite of mine - I love their buttery flavour and the way they crumble in your mouth as you bite into them!

Since custard powder is not readily available in the States, and I was desperate to make these, I decided to try a substitute. I used cornstarch (cornflour) in place of the custard powder and added an extra 1/2 tsp of vanilla. It worked wonderfully!
I've heard you can find custard powder in some Asian food stores but haven't looked myself...

7 oz butter
1/3 cup icing/confectioners sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup custard powder (or cornstarch + 1/2 tsp vanilla)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp milk

Cream together the butter and the icing sugar. Add the flour, cornstarch and vanilla and beat well.
Add the milk and mix firmly until dough forms a large ball.
Roll into small balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press each one down with a fork and bake on 300 for 15 minutes or until lightly browned (Be Careful! It is very easy to burn the bottoms of these - be sure to check them continually) Remove from cookie sheets and allow to cool on wire racks.

Makes 35-40 cookies.

17 August, 2010

Tomato-Mango Chutney

So this is my first try at my mom's old recipe - she makes it at home all the time. I have memories of it bubbling away on the stove, the whole house filled with deep, rich smell of spices! We always have several jars stashed away in the pantry.
The chutney goes with anything - on sandwiches/rolls with cheese, in fried rice or with pasta, in stir-fries, as a dipping sauce for sausages or chips...anything!

There are several changes from the original recipe; I've added a few things and left some out. It has a bit of a bite which I love! And the aroma as it bubbled away on the stove reminds me of home...

(Makes 1 med. sized bottle of chutney)

2 Cups (heaped) tomatoes, chopped
1 small mango/apple chopped (approx. 3/4 Cup) This is optional, you could just add more tomato
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped small
1/3 Cup white vinegar

Place all the above ingredients in a medium sized pot and simmer on med-high until soft. Slowly add 1/4 cup more vinegar. Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

Add and stir in 1/4 Cup white sugar and 2 Tbsp brown sugar.

Add 1/4 tsp of each the following spices:
                    curry powder
                    cayenne pepper
                    dry mustard
                    ground cloves
                    ground ginger
Add 1 bay leaf, & 3-5 peppercorns

Turn down to Low, cover and leave to simmer for about 1 hour. Add 1-2 Cups water (depending on how vinegary you want it to be...). Cover and keep simmering for another 1/2 hour. Then uncover and let simmer for a final 1/2 hour.

When done remove the bay leaf and peppercorns. Leave chutney to cool. In the meantime warm the jars/bottles in hot water. Pour chutney into bottle(s) - there should be a layer of liquid sitting on top - and seal with melted wax.

Or pour into containers and refrigerate/serve immediately. My dad says the chutney is best if you leave it to age a little... :)

11 August, 2010

Fridgecake - Search for the BEST recipe!

Having at last moved into a new apartment and unpacked most of my kitchen things, I decided to try a new fridgecake recipe. I have been searching for the best recipe/combination of ingredients and the one below is my latest experiment/attempt - if anyone knows of a top notch recipe please let me know!

Fridgecake is a chocolatey treat that I loved when I was a child, though my mother herself did not make it very often - I mainly had it at the houses of friends. I recently discovered that it has Scottish origins/connections and is called Tiffin. It is a fairly versatile recipe; you can play around with the ingredients you wish to include, so long as you keep the basic quantities the same. The recipe below is for a fridgecake that I made last night.

1 C (2 sticks) butter/margarine
2 T honey (golden/corn syrup works too)
2 T cocoa powder (or several slabs melted chocolate)
1 package (200g) *Marie biscuits/cookies (several options for this - see below!)
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 C coconut flakes
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C nuts

Melt the butter and honey together. Add the cocoa powder and mix well.
Place the Marie Biscuits in a plastic bag and beat/crush until it is a mixture of crumbs and chunks. Add this to the butter mixture and combine. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Press firmly into a 7x11" brownie pan (or any dish of a similar size) and refrigerate overnight.
Cut into squares and enjoy! It is best to keep them stored in the fridge...unless of course you finish them all at once ;)

*There are several different options for the crushed cookie/biscuit ingredient. I have only ever used Marie Biscuits, which can be found in Zimbabwe. I was delighted to find them in American grocery stores too! - they are usually in the International or Spanish Foods section with the GOYA products. Other possibilities vary depending on where you live:

UK - Digestives
South Africa - Tennis Biscuits
USA - Graham Crackers

10 August, 2010

A Woman's Arsenal

One of my high school teachers once told me, "there are two things that a woman must have in this world; education and a driver's license." I was bemused, and mulled over her words, particularly the necessity of a driver's license. Despite my confusion, I dutifully labelled her statement IMPORTANT and filed it away in the cabinet of my mind.
This teacher - a woman I admired and respected - intended or realized the lasting impression those words would have on me. They soon became etched into my subconscious, released to the roiling caverns of my mind where, for years they have been buffeted about as by a restless wind; appearing suddenly in my memory and then vanishing again.

The statement deserves careful scrutiny for it makes a bold claim, stating that a woman must posses two particular things in order to be a success. Many would argue against equating a license with something as valuable as eduction; possessing an education in this day and age is invaluable for obvious (and much talked of) reasons. It provides job security and advancement, the chance for self-sufficiency, to be released from reliance on a husband as sole or primary provider. Besides the economic and social opportunities, education furnishes the woman with a mind (See Martha Nussbaum's Woman and Human Development for more more on this) - with the intellectual capacity to make her own decisions, to question the status-quo, to strive for change. Much has been said on the subject of education and women and I will not add to the volumes of information and opinion.
The driver's license however, is much more of an oddity and requires further puzzling. What would make it a necessity? What does it offer to a woman that other assets (such as education, wealth/land, political independence etc) do not?

I have had a hard time getting my license. My brother and I got our provisionals (i.e. permits) at the same time and he was far more confident, competent and eager in driving. I had a general fear of driving and was quite happy to let him commandeer the practice time. Furthermore, what with my father's sabbatical and my  own move to college, the past half decade has not been the most 'settled' time. Add to this the fact that Zimbabwe changed its license-obtaining laws (adding several more steps and making it even more difficult and terrifying) and you have a world of giant fiends all bent on keeping me unlicensed.
Last December however, after five years of battle, I finally triumphed, conquering the opposing forces and claimed the prize! I cannot tell you the thrill, the wonderful happiness, the feeling of immense accomplishment and pride. I felt like the imprisoned captive who, having been beaten down and humiliated, assailed by doubts, fears and failure, at last climbs the wall, faces the monster and wins her freedom! The glow of pride still sits in my heart.

On the day I got my license my teacher's words - naming my prized license as one of the two essential assets of a woman's arsenal - came back to me with new meaning and power. What began as simple acceptance of and agreement with a respected teacher had gradually became belief. I had come to adopt her words as absolute fact, as Truth and thus felt it imperative that I achieve them. Anything less would be failure.

And what have I gained? How has obtaining the license empowered me, and why did I strive so hard to get it?
The bronze disk (Zimbabwean licenses are cast in bronze metal) has bestowed on me a new status, making me equal with my brother and increasing my value in the eyes of employers, friends and family, for now I can be called on to perform a valuable service.
The license has given me wings; the freedom and independence to fly away when the need arises, the mobility to escape or even pursue, to provide for myself without having to continually rely on others. I have a new limb - I was crippled with immobility and had to be carried around by others, but now I am the one doing the carrying, I am armed with a new power and strength.
More personally however, my driver's license has given me identity. At long last I have a legal, recognized document to counter the bias which denies that a white girl can be African. My claims to home have been recognized, my sense of belonging has been validated and proved.

So my teacher was right, though she did not realise the effect her words would have on my life. As a white African woman, my recently obtained drivers license is just as important an asset as my education. In fact, in one instance it is even more important, for it offers power, freedom and identity that my education could never give.

02 August, 2010

Aware of my Alienness

I have been living in America for two years now and people often ask me, "So, how has it been adjusting to America?"
My routine answer is usually something like, "Well, I don't think I'll ever fully adjust."
Most will then nod and smile sympathetically, knowingly.
But they don't know. They don't know what it is to be a stranger, in a strange land.

There are moments when I feel an uneasiness tingling through my body, like a cool chill that raises goosebumps on my flesh. In these moments I seem to awaken from as if from sleep, look out at the strangeness around me and wonder, 'Where am I? What on earth am I doing here, in this unreal world?'
It is at these times that I feel my alienness most acutely, and my foreignness seems to rise to the surface, seeping past the mask of normalcy in which I have shrouded myself.
This feeling is triggered by the most mundane, simple and every-day things of American life - men in baseball uniforms, the overflowing isles of Wal-Mart, the smell of a cold, air-conditioned room, the sight of snow - things that, to an African girl from Zimbabwe are wild, extraordinary and other-worldly. They make me feel that I am living in a dream or experiencing the unreality of a Hollywood movie.

Travelling on the train into Boston this weekend I felt such a feeling creeping into my consciousness. The city of Boston, with its graffiti words spray-painted on the back walls of apartment buildings, its black fire-escapes, reminiscent of movie stars like Tom Cruise or Matt Damon, its slim, well-dressed, high-heeled females carrying Styrofoam mugs of Dunkin Donuts Coffee - this city often sparks off an awareness of my own alienness. It churns up buried emotions - a disquieting mixture of excitement and fear. Excitement at the plethora of possibilities and opportunities this rich, wide world has to offer, with its accessibility to wealth, possessions and travel. In such a place I sometimes feel that I could truly do, have or be anything! The future is open to me and its unknown potentials are exhilarating!

But there is fear too - fear of losing myself, of forgetting where I have come from, or worse, of being forgotten. This world is changing me; I am no longer the girl I was when I left Africa two years ago. Even now, when I speak to my family on the phone and hear their voices filled with duty in taking my calls, when the e-mails become less and less as they become busier... when I am not missed - then I know that I am being subconsciously forgotten. 
My ultimate fear is that the alienness that I feel here in America will return with me when I go back, manifesting itself in new, terrifying ways in that place I call home. To be an alien in my own land, my own family - that is my fear.

Korean Iced-Tomatoes

My roommate is Korean and yesterday she showed me how to make a cool, tomatoey snack - something that she enjoyed as a child. It is simple but surprisingly delicious!

(For 1 serving) :
1 med tomato, cut in thick wedges
approx. 1/2C ice cubes or crushed ice
approx 1-2T sugar

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, stirring to cool the tomatoes and spread the sugar.  Then enjoy; eat the tomatoes, sip the water at the bottom of the bowl and crunch the ice!

27 July, 2010

Aunty Sue's Granola

Not sure where my aunt got this from but it's delicious!

Mix Together:
     5C Oats
     1C wheat germ
     1C shredded coconut
     1/2C sunflower seeds
     1/2C sesame seeds
     1/2C nuts
     1/2tsp salt

Heat together:
     1/2C honey
     1/2C sunflower oil
Then add another 1/2C oil to heated mixture.

(When I make this I often cut down on the oil and honey so that it is less sweet and mor healthy)
Mix with the dry ingredients and place on 1 or 2 baking/cookie sheets. Bake for 30 minutes on low heat - until crispy. Be sure to continue to check and stir the mixture so that it does not burn. Once cooked, turn off the oven and let the granola dry in the oven.


A taste of home...

3C oats
1C branflakes, crushed
2T sesame seeds
2T wheat germ
2T bran
2T brown sugar
2T milk powder
1/2C chopped nuts
1/2C raisins
1/2C coconut

Mix together and add any sort of other seed or cereal or nut (sunflower seeds, pumkin seeds etc)
Delicious with milk or yogurt. Also great in rusks!

Cinnamon Rolls

Every Christmas my mom makes a lot of these and then freezes them. During December and especially on my birthday and Christmas day we have them for breakfast with a cup of tea. They are a sweet, nutty, cinnamony treat! The original recipe is from an old Betty Crocker Recipe book.

Sweet Roll Dough:

     Dissolve 1 package active dry yeast in 1/4C warm water.
     Stir in 1/4C milk (scalded then cooled)
               1/4C sugar
               1/2 tsp salt
               1 egg
               1/2C shortening (softened)
               1 1/4C flour

Beat until smooth. Mix in up to 1 1/4C more flour until easy to handle. Knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until double (from 1.5-2.5 hours) - or until an impression remains in the dough when touched. Punch down.

Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 15X9" rectangle. Spread with 2T soft margarine/butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 1/4C sugar and 2tsp cinnamon. (optional - sprinkle with handful of raisins) Roll up and pinch edges to seal. Cut into approx. 15 slices.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4C margarine/butter. Stir in 1/2C brown sugar, 2T corn syrup/honey, 1/2C pecan or walnut halves. Spread this mixture in the bottom of a 9X13" pan. Place the rolled slices on the pan and let rise in warm place until double (30 minutes-1 hour). Bake 25-30 minutes.

Eat them fresh and warm or stick them in the freezer and pop one in the microwave whenever you want a treat!

26 July, 2010

Walnut French Toast

My own experiment - and it worked! The fried walnuts give this a wonderful flavour.

2 eggs
1/4 C milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
handful of chopped walnuts
4 slices bread
oil for frying

Beat the eggs til fluffy. Add the milk, cinnamon and vanilla, Add the walnuts.
Heat 1T oil in a frying pan on med-high heat. Dip the bread into the egg mixture and let soak, turn over for the otehr side. Press the walnuts into the soft bread (you may have to scoop some on top of it). Fry on each side.

25 July, 2010

Goodbye 7 Pine

I have been house-sitting for a couple of my professors for the past 2 weeks. Being so far from home and living in the campus dorms has made me miss some of the simple things of a "normal" life; taking care of pets, having my own kitchen & pantry, sitting outside drinking ice-tea and reading the paper (or just doing the cross-word in my case...). But house-sitting gives me a chance to do some of the "domestic" things I've missed. It was two weeks of wonderful relaxation!

Sadly the two weeks is done.
This poem is a little tribute to my time there :)

This place has been my own;
A space
In time and life to be alone;
To escape and hide myself
From reality.

I shared it with no one;
It was solely mine,
For a time.

I shall miss you, 7 Pine.

24 July, 2010

banana smooothie...mmmmm!

Need a use for a rotten banana? Don't throw it out! Stick it in the freezer. Then, when you feel in the mood for a fruity treat try this! Sweet, cool deliciousness in a glass!

1 frozen banana, peeled and chopped in chunks
1 small apple, peeled and chopped in chunks
1/2 ice cubes
approx 3 heaped T plain yogurt
1/2 tsp cinamon
1T honey
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 C milk

Blend together. Taste. Adjust to your own taste and mood. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

23 July, 2010

Lentil Sausage Soup

One of my professors made this for a class dinner once. Its a delicious soup and very flexible - add what you will and make it your own!

1 Italian sausage, hot or sweet
(or use mince/hamburger) meat
1 onion, chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot chopped
1/2 cup lentils
19-oz can tomatoes, including juice
4 cups chicken broth (or bouillon)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup rice

Remove casing from sausage.  Break sausage into several pieces.  Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Drain off any liquid and fat.  Break into small pieces.  Stir in other ingredients, except rice.  Cover and microwave on high until soup boils, about 20 minutes.  Stir in rice.  Than microwave on medium until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  Stir in green onions, if desired.  Add salt if needed. (makes 6 cups)

Blender Mayonnaise

Store-bought mayonnaise was something of a luxury growing up; it was a treat we only got from South Africa or from over-seas because of the shortages in Zim. The local version (when you could find it) was good but has a strong, tangy, vinegary taste that is overpowering in any dish.
This is an easy and quick recipe for mayonnaise that my mom and I made often - it is whipped up in a blender and is just as good as the store-bought varieties. Its a receipe from an old book of my mom's and I'm afraid I do not remember the name of the book.

1 egg
1 T white vinegar


½ tsp salt
¼ tsp Dry mustard
1/8 tsp Paprika
Dash red pepper

Add ½ C oil with blender slowly running

Stop and add 1 T lemon juice. Blend.

Then add another ½ C oil with blender slowly running.

Push down sides with spatula. Blend until fully combines. Refrigerate.


This is my Grandmother's recipe - adjust as needed!

6 parts flour
4 parts marg
2 parts castor sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Press into pan and cook for approx ½ hour at 325.

Ginger Nut Biscuits

These are a delicious ginger biscuit/cookie that can be made crunchy or chewy; whatever your heart so desires! This is another recipe that my mom would make - filling the house with a scrumptious, warm, ginger aroma.

Cream together:
     1C margarine/butter
     2C sugar
     2 eggs
     1C golden syrup/honey/corn syrup

Add in together:
     4C flour
     2t ginger
     1t cinnamon
     1t mixed spice
     2t baking soda

Set oven temperature to 375. Shape into balls and bake on ungreased baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

Chewy - remove from tray immeditely and cool on wire rack
Crunchy - leave to cool on the trays

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

I found a coconut cupcake recipe on the foodnetwork site - then I made my own adjustments...

3/4 cup butter/margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tsp grated lime/lemon zest
1 1/2 T lime/lemon juice (bottled or freshly squeezed)
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/3 cups loosely packed sweetened coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl and folding in after each addition. Add the vanilla, zest, juice and mix well. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In 5 parts total, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry. Mix until just combined. Fold in the coconut.
Grease a muffin pan or line with paper liners and fill almost to the top with batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer cupcakes to a baking rack to cool completely.
Frost if desired.

Yum Yum Coffee Cake

Another from my mother; I'm not sure where it comes from originally but the cake turns out fluffy and light - mmmmm!

½ C marg (softened)
1 C sugar
2 eggs
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
1 C sour cream/buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Cream together marg and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to marg/sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream. Lastly add the vanilla. Spread half the batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle half the filling (1/3 C brown sugar, ¼ C white sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 C chopped nuts) then spread remaining batter over that. Lastly put the remaining batter on top. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes - til inserted toothpick comes out clean

Mini Sweet Potato Scones

Another recipe that I found online (allrecipes.com) and tweaked a little...

Mix together and set aside:
2 1/2 Cups flour (if using self-raising flour omit baking powder and salt)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

In a seperate bowl cream together 1/2 Cup butter/margarine/applesauce and 1/4 Cup white sugar, 2 Tablespoons brown sugar.

Add 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest/lemon juice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix in 1 Cup grated (raw) sweet potatoe.
Stir in to flour mixture.

Drop 2 inces apart on ungreased cookie tray. Bake on 350 for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and leave on tray for 5 minutes before removing to cool on wire rack.

Spread/drizzle with mixture of powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Add water to desired consistency.

Sweet Potato Cake (or muffins!)

This cake recipe is another adaption from an online source (sorry I can't remember where!) The potato gives it an eye-catching orange hue and a sweet flavour that is quite addicting! I have made it as both a cake and as muffins and both are delicious!

3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins (optional)
2 1/4 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 9"cake pans or one 9x13" pan. (or grease/line a 12 muffin muffin-pan)

Mix together buttermilk, potatoes, and raisins in a medium bowl and refrigerate. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and ginger. In a large bowl, cream butter or margarine. Gradually add white and brown sugars, creaming until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly.
Beating only until smooth after each addition, alternately add dry ingredients in fourths and potato mixture in thirds to creamed mixture. Turn batter into prepared pan(s), and spread evenly.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. Cool, and remove from pans.

Ginger Pudding

This is a unique take on the traditional South African malva pudding. Serve hot with ice-cream or whipped cream, or cold with hot home-made custard.

1c. sugar
1 egg
1T butter
1 T vinegar
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp bi carb
1 T apricot jam

Mix all  of the above ingredients together. Add 1cup of milk and then 1cup of flour. Pour into a greased 11x7 inch pan and bake at 400 F. for 35 minutes.

1 c. milk
1/4 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 cup sugar

Boil together about 5 min before pudding is due out the oven and pour hot sauce slowly over pudding. Set aside and allow sauce to soak into the pudding before serving.


Another family favourite. My frist memory of these is when we first went to South Africa for a family holiday at the beach and would sit drinking tea and eating rusks early in the morning.
This recipe makes quite a large batch of rusks - I usually devide it in half...

500ml sugar
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk or lacto
300 grams margarine/butter
1 kg self raising flour
10 ml salt
25 ml baking powder
5 cups muesli/granola (muesli recipe found here )

Melt the margarine/butter then add the sugar, eggs, and buttermilk. Mix dry ingredients and add to mixture, mix well. Mixture will be sloppy. Divide into thirds, and then divide each third into small balls. Place in greased cake pan(s) side by side (can use 9x13'' or round cake pans or loaf pans). Bake at 180 or 350 for 45 to 60 min - until cooked fully through.
Break balls apart when cool and then cut into rectangles (about four rectangle per ball) Cake may be crumbly!
Place gently on cookie sheets and bake on low til dry and crunchy. This may take several hours.

Hungarian Crumb Cake

I have no idea where this recipe came from but mom made it at home all the time. It is one of my favourite cakes - a delicious, most spice cake with a crumb topping. mmmmm!

2 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
½ C shortening (i.e. margarine or butter)
1 egg beaten
2 T molasses/honey/golden(corn) syrup
1 C sour cream/buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350. Sift together flour, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. Cut in shortening and mix till crumbly. Reserve 1 Cup crumbs for topping. Add beaten egg, molasses, sour milk and soda. Mix well and pour into greased 8" square pan or a 9" round pan. Sprinkle reserved crumbs on top. Bake 30 minutes.