I realize as I'm writing this that I never closed the loop with all of you regarding my personal training. I had three of my six free sessions with Jeffred and then my remaining three were with Lauren. I selected her randomly by looking at photos of all of the trainers on a wall at the gym. My logic was that it might be nice to try having a woman trainer. I figured if I can't have Wilson I might as well change it up entirely. After the three free sessions went well, I continue to work with Lauren once a week. I don't want to be one of those annoying people who think everything that she is doing at that moment is the best thing, but I will say having a female trainer has been good for me. Lauren focuses on my problem areas and when I work out with her I never feel like I am going to throw up. That doesn't mean it's not hard but it does mean that I don't have to do push ups, pulls ups or the dreaded ropes anymore. Instead she focuses on very targeted exercises for my abs, arms, thighs and butt. We also talk throughout the workout. Sometimes I think she might forget to count my reps because we get so involved in talking.
The first project I am taking on this week is to cook two South African dishes. Bobotie and lekker malva pudding. Bobotie (pronounced boo boo tea) is a dish that incorporates Dutch and Cape Malay influences. It's made with spiced ground meat (called mince here) either beef or lamb can be used (I used beef), and it has an egg topping. OK, maybe it doesn't sound that appetizing but Lauren told me that although she is now a vegetarian, the one meat dish that she misses eating is bobotie. If that isn't a ringing endorsement I don't know what is! The second dish is a dessert called lekker malva pudding. Malva pudding is a very popular desert here and I have eaten it in restaurants (I have not eaten bobotie.) When I told Lauren that I wanted to try to make some traditional South African dishes she told me about bobotie. Then, I mentioned that I liked malva pudding and against her better judgement (she is trying to make my ass smaller remember) she told me about her favorite lekker pudding recipe. Lekker means good in Afrikaans. She then went to all of the trouble of calling up her relatives and getting both of these recipes for me.
A few thoughts about the recipes. First it's interesting how many similar ingredients these recipes use. It must be that these are the type of ingredients that were easy for people to come by back when these dishes were created. It might also mean that you are not supposed to make them both on the same day. Second, it's strange to cook something that you've never eaten before and something that you've never even seen before. Now I know how Julie Powell must have felt! Finally, I think the lekker pudding would be a delicious Thanksgiving dessert in addition to the pumpkin pie for my American readers to try.
1kg minced beef or lamb - equals 2.2 pounds
1 thick slice white bread, cut off crusts - I bought a loaf of unsliced bread and cut a piece about the width of two regular slices
250ml milk (slightly more than a cup divided in half)
2 onions, chopped
30ml butter (6tsp)
30ml rajah curry powder (6tsp) - rajah is a brand of curry powder. Any kind will do!
10ml salt (2tsp)
Pinch of pepper
Juice of 1 lemon or 30ml vinegar - I used a lemon
5ml brown sugar or 15ml apricot jam - I used 3tsp apricot jam but you could use 1tsp brown sugar
Bay leaves - I even bought a new bottle of bay leaves. I think the one I had was from the 90s.
Chutney - I bought a bottle of chutney. I meant to make rice but I forgot. I think bobotie would also be good with potatoes
Slice banana (optional)
Chopped tomato and onion with vinegar
Preheat oven to 160'c equals 320'f
Soak bread in 125ml milk (about 1/2 cup) until very soft, mash with fork.
Sauté onion in heated butter. Add curry powder and seasoning and cook for 2 min.
Add lemon juice or vinegar, soaked bread, brown sugar or apricot jam, and meat. Cook until meat changes color. I cooked it through so I could taste it and see if I liked the seasoning.
Stir with a fork to remove the lumps. Pour meat mixture in greased pie dish.
Beat eggs and remaining milk together and pour over meat.
Arrange bay leaves on top and bake for 30 minutes.
|bread soaked in milk and then mashed|
|Cooked meat mixture with onion and seasoning|
|bobotie fresh out of the oven|
|Mrs. H.S. Ball's Chutney. Mrs. Balls, hahaha|
|On the plate with a crisp garden salad|
1 cup apricot jam (smooth) - this comes in a can and is the consistency of grape jelly
1 cup milk - I used whole milk
1 cup flour (self raising)
20ml butter, (5tsp) melted
15ml vinegar (3tsp)
5ml bicarbonate of soda - this is baking soda
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 180'c equals 356'f - I think 350 would be fine
Mix apricot jam, milk, flour, eggs and butter
Mix vinegar and bicarb
Mix all together
Bake in oven mixture is brown and firm, about 45 minutes - in my oven it only took about 30 minutes
Remove from oven to cool (if time allows). Is better if you can.
Beat sauce ingredients together and pour over pudding mixture. Place back in oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is brown on top - in my oven this took about 20 minutes
|The fun chemical reaction of vinegar and bicarbonate|
|The cake part. I got it out of the oven just in time.|
|With the sauce on top before baking|
|The finished product. Yum! Yes, these two dishes kind of look alike with their egg topping. But they taste completely different.|