Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Baking Day

I had to bake today. We were out of bread, out of biscuits, apart from boring, plain Maries, out of rusks... and for a family in South Africa to be out of rusks is unthinkable. So a gorgeous sunny, crisp winter day outside, kids out there digging in the sand, playing cops and robbers and pretty much keeping themselves happy with minimum input from me, I can set to and get the bread dough going, then put together a batch of rusks.

Now in the UK, rusks are Farleys rusks...revolting processed things for babies to teethe on, which turn into a sticky paste and get smeared all over the furniture. Here in South Africa Ouma's Rusks are a national institution, a rough textured, hard baked biscuit that you dunk in tea, first thing in the morning or for a snack. Often they are have seeds and raisins in or muesli and they may make crumbs everywhere but they don't dissolve into a soggy mush!

I found a recipe for them, when out here for a long visit when my son was a baby, took the recipe back to London with us and it was the one thing I baked regularly, come rain or shine, with my toddler son helping while his baby sister was sleeping..I was only just learning to juggle in those days.

Today it was my youngest helping and at 3 1/2 she's pretty nifty at rolling the dough into balls to pack into the tins. It was pretty good standing rubbing butter into flour, looking out at a view of clear sunny mountains, with kids' voices as they played harmoniously together...kind of need to record the moment for doesn't all come together like that very often.

It didn't last out the afternoon, in fact by supper time I was burning the bread, as I still am obliged to accompany my nifty helper to the loo every single time, and she picks the busiest moments of course, and then dawdles on the way, so I have to find dry clothes for her as get the picture. So it was a grumpy mum getting supper on the table - I hate burning the bread!

The rusk recipe I've written down in an article which I'll get posted very soon when I've dotted the iiiiis and crossed the tttts. Now it's time to go and put another log on the fire, it's chilly here at night now. Seems strange to be reading everyone's blogs on spring and early summer and cherry picking in Provence up there in the Northern Hemisphere, when we're just getting out our hot water bottles, extra blankets and wellie boots!


  1. Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. It's neat to see how many visitors I get from all all over the world.
    S. Africa is a place I'd like to visit. My sister lived in Cote D'Ivoire for 10 years but had to leave since it became so instable.
    Your family is lucky you like to cook. The dinner table has always been a great time for family to gather and laugh. Good food just makes it better!

  2. It is strange that we are shedding layers as you are putting more on.

  3. Thank you for coming by my blog and leading me back here! What a delightful way you have with words! The lemon curd recipe is right up my alley! Thank you!!


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!