Posted by: The Saffa Mom | December 14, 2010

Can we really remember a taste?

I am an English South African. Let me emphasize- English.   

My knight is an Afrikaans South African. Let me emphasize Afrikaans.

“My Afrikaans is shocking. I don’t try. Shamefully. I listen, and when I get too tired- I switch off. It is exhausting translating everything- you practically hear everything twice. I am in no rush to learn the language fluently, or any other language”.   

According to him, the country belongs to his native Dutchmen who moved in and took over. (And therefore belongs to him.) Let me also add however, that if he was given a smidgen of ownership rights over South Africa, we may, just may have a communist country. So much for all the people who fought for democracy. Haha.

Being Afrikaans, My knight is very passionate about his culture, food and music being the major characteristics of that. Keep in mind that his passion is not for HIS cooking, or HIS singing, but his people’s.

All passionate people tell stories. I will hear endlessly  about everything his mom and gran may have cooked, baked, or made. Nothing can beat their banana bread recipes, or their chocolate cakes, or a wedding dress that was once made. Very difficult for me to compete though, as my knight’s mom is no longer with us. “His mom’s dumplings- I just need to find out how to make his mom’s dumplings”. Mmmmmm…..rushing for that one.      

Being an English South African, I think we LACK culture. To be honest- we take a bit from here and a bit from there, choose all the good things and hope to incorporate them. Awfully sad- but very true. If any English South African can contest that- please do (I would love to have some ammo to use when I am defending us poor soul “rednecks”). I did not grow up learning about how to be an awesome wife…. about how to clean, cook, bake and make wedding dresses. I think that is a cultural thing. We dont have even have a specific dance!

Up until now I have not rushed around trying to find any of these recipe’s to actually TAKE ON (Emphasise on how HARD this could possibly be). Yes, I enjoy cooking…..however as soon as I now have ten people coming to dinner, I DON’T WANT TO cook!!! Too much pressure!!! Now could you imagine trying to make sweet dumplings, which I have never actually seen, never mind tasted and knowing that I am competing against a “memory” of taste.

“The fact is that we never remember EXACTLY what something was like…. if we did we would not find ourselves with hangovers, or in fact with more kids!!!” Or do we disagree on this one?

So, yesterday, I happen to walk past a book store- that I really battle NOT to walk into- ever, and in the window is a book called “BOEREKOS”. (For those NON South Africans- a BOER is a word for a Afrikaans, and KOS is a word for food.)  Suddenly, I am whipped by this emotion to run in, buy it, and get my butt into gear cooking, baking and making real BOERE KOS that will just make my knight’s heart melt, and forget all about every other meal he has ever had. (Something else to consider is the fact that my knight’s gran may be coming for Christmas lunch, and maybe i can really do something that would impress?)

I casually walk in, no rush, do I really want to spend money I don’t have on presents for me, or presents for everyone else? Perhaps I will wrap it up for him, knowing that he will hand it to me anyway!!! (Like every good BOERE, he won’t cook…. or may never admit to it. He merely braai’s.)

I lean over the window front, grab the book and start paging.

It is all in Afrikaans.

I don’t even page anymore. I am now irritated.

The fact is that all Afrikaans people already know how to make Afrikaans food!!! It is groomed into them from birth, perhaps conception. Why oh why would THEY buy this book?

It is “us” non cultural English people that are trying desperately hard to be accepted, that need it!!!

And we need it in English.

I didn’t buy the book.

But I did think “Julia Child where are you?”

HEY!!!! There is an idea!!!!! Perhaps I should do a Julia on the BOEREKOS recipe book?  Make a blog out of it. HAHA. Might be good for my Afrikaans. Perhaps a task for the New Year. What do you think?  

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Responses

  1. Hahahha…the fact that we grab a little here and there shows we have a rich culture of mix 🙂

    • And we keep telling ourselves that. Xxx. Where is your post girl? X

  2. Coincidence? I watched the movie Julie & Julia the night before last.

    If you have found a need for this translated cook book, and you can’t find one in the bookstores, it sounds like a good project for you 🙂 I’m sure other English gals would very much appreciate it. I’ve been planning (or at least thinking about planning) to write my very own cook book of family recipes. There’s a couple of websites that will let you self publish (and then sell) books (blurb.com and lulu.com).

    Oh, and yes, I think taste can be a very vivid memory if it is tied to an emotion, especially love for someone close to you. I’m chasing my grandma’s bread trying to find the perfect recipe…

    • That is awesome! Will go have a look!! I think you must get cracking on that book, imagine how stunning that could be. Next year’s Christmas present! Is it quite expensive to do? Keep us up to date on that please.

      Tastes…. I still doubt that you will get the perfect taste. Your gran was tOo much of an emotional factor, there was the feeling of love involved in that taste….. Just like you said. Without her, do you think you will get it?? Let me know though.

      I have managed to find all these recipes hand written in my gran’s books…. Problem is that some of her best dishes- she had two recipes for, and now I don’t know which one it is. Will have to make both…haha. In fact, she also had a 30 year old magazine amongst everything. I paged straight to the recipes, and they were straight out of her fridge….

      Xx

      • Dad brought me some copies of my grandma’s recipes and those she copied from friends eons ago. Best gift ever!

        • You could put THOSE all in your book!!!
          xx

  3. I think taste tied with emotion tastes better in your head then in your mouth. I think- granted I don’t know the knight- he loves you for your qualities. He may bring up the mother dumplings as a way to keep her alive in his heart. I am willing to wager he is not trying to make you feel inadequate, but just wants to share in his culture.
    I think you should make what you feel like making for Chrstmas Lunch, and start a new blended cultural tradition for the princess.
    Although an Afrikaan food blog would be facinating, I’d read that too 🙂
    xxxx

    • I completely agree- good emotions create perfect food. What couple has ever said that their wedding cake was bad? Haha.

      Yes, this year is about starting those traditions. Perhaps I would start a section in my blog for the Afrikaans food project?? Are you able to post on different pages, or do you just end up adding and adding, and no one knowing? Asking my blog guru again!! Haha. It would be a project for next year though…… Mmwaah.

  4. There are times that i dont read more than two lines but i think you have a unique blog. Cheers !

    • Thanks for that!!! Do come back for more…..in fact- subscribe. I think i will write better then. Haha.


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