South African Food Adventures 5 – Holiday Brekkie Idea

Project 2012: Day 365

Ok. This isn’t just a Christmas holiday recipe. It may not even be a South African recipe. And it certainly isn’t one we’ve had yet.

But it is easy. It sounds yummy. And I plan to indulge this holiday season.

Banana & Blueberry French Toast


  • 4 slices white bread
  • A good handful of blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 eggs (roughly 1 egg per slice of bread)
  • Some milk
  • Natural yoghurt or creme fraiche, to serve


  • Pop a frying pan onto medium heat, either with a dollop of butter, or some oil
  • Mash the banana in a mixing bowl
  • Mix in the blueberries & the honey
  • Beat the eggs in another (shallow) mixing bowl and add a little milk to the mixture
  • Soak the bread in the egg mixture allowing it to soak up.
  • Place one slice of bread on a board & smear the fruit mixture over the top leaving a space around the edges.
  • Pop another slice on top of the first to make a “sandwich”
  • Whack it into the frying pan, pressing down with the egg flip
  • Fry until golden brown on both sides

Serve hot with the yoghurt, and preferably a side of bacon.


I’ll let you know how they were in 2013.

South African Food Adventures 2 – Vetkoek

Project 2012: Day 337

Vetkoek is one of the things of South Africa that I really miss. Like the feel of the earth in Jo’burg, the smell of the wind over the veld, and the awesomeness of a highveld thunderstorm. It’s essentially a deep fried bread roll, seemingly unique to the country, and yummy as anything you’ll ever eat.

By the way, you pronounce it: Fet-cook and it literally means “Fat Cake”


  • 7 x cups Flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 2 x teaspoons Salt
  • 2 x tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 x packet Yeast
  • Lukewarm water
  • Canola oil


  • Mix the sugar with the yeast and some of the water. Leave it fizz
  • Sieve the flour and the salt into a bowl
  • Add the yeast mixture and mix
  • Keep adding warm water, and kneading the mixture until you have the consistency of bread dough. Note, this needs a lot of kneading
  • Cover the mixing bowl with a damp dish towel, and leave to rise for about 45 minutes until it is double the volume
  • Whack on a deep fryer or saucepan with 4 – 5cm oil. Heat to about 200C
  • Break off bits and roll into tennis ball sized balls
  • Depending on your preference you can flatten these to about palm sized buns or simply leave as balls
  • Fry a couple to three of the vetkoek at a time on each side until golden brown


Now these go with literally anything. Traditionally you fill them with a curried (or savoury) mince, which is divine. Alternatively you can open them up, and spread butter and golden syrup or apricot jam. Personally I’d like to try them with Nutella. But they also go well with cheese.

In short, the perfect stay-at-home, action DVD food.


South African Food Adventures 1 – Dessert Drink

Project 2012: Day 330

In looking back over the year, I recognise that there aren’t many South African recipes in my portfolio of Blokes food. Time to fix that 🙂 I have about 5 weeks left.

We’re going to kick off with the best liqueur you’ll ever drink…

…the Dom Pedro


  • Vanilla Ice Cream (best quality you can afford)
  • 1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 500 ml Thickened Cream
  • Scotch Whiskey (decent Golden Rum works here too)


  • Cream, Condensed Milk & an equal amount of ice cream into the blender
  • Blend
  • Add alcohol until it’s strong enough (typically about 100ml)
  • Blend
  • Pour into Liqueur glasses & pop in a straw, umbrella, dust with chocolate powder etc




100 Push Ups by Christmas

Every year as new buds herald spring, Lucy get’s to chuckle at me. Because every year I make some sort of bold declaration. If I’m honest it’s usually the same one. Something along the lines of “I’m going to become bronzed and muscled for the Summer.”

Now for those of you that know me, you’ll agree this is a somewhat, ah, shall we say aspirational goal. But this year is different. Well, maybe not that different, but different enough.

Y’see, we’re all heading to South Africa to catch up with my amazing “I drove all the way through Africa from Henfield, England to Stellenbosch, South Africa” mum and step-dad. Joining my youngest brother, Gaz, and his wife, Michelle. Also joining us will be the older of my two (much younger) brothers, Stuart and his wife, Marissa. It will be the first actual Christmas Day we’ve spent as a core family in about 2 decades.

Now, the thing about my brothers, is that they got the bronzed and muscled genes, whereas I got, well, the pudgy ones. We’re not very competitive. Much. As you can imagine in a household of boys who grew up in a patriarchal society.

So whilst I can out-tech, out-think, and out-eat them (or at least out-think that I can) it’s a source of continual embarrassment that they look like Greek Gods, and I look like Buddha.

So, I’m throwing the gauntlet! It’s just on 6 weeks until we leave, and in that time I can do the:


What about you?

Up for it? I’ll see you on the mat, mate.

The challenge is set:

Christmas Day at noon, wherever you are, 100 properly formed pushups verified by video.

If you’re interested in supporting the cause, or need to do something about that soft, pudgy exterior (inside you’re a man of steel), drop a comment below. I’d love to see your attempts and share sweaty stories of exertion and exhaustion.

Top Gear

D’you reckon we can get Clarkson, Hamster, and May to take up the challenge? I mean, how hard can it be….