I fell in love with this book just from its cover – so much for not judging a book by its cover – but seriously, what’s not to love about a book in aid of funds for the Red CrossWar Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. Additionally, fifty childhood memories of prominent South Africans is, in iteelf, marvellously interesting.
Closer study of the book proved to be informative. Nearly all the recipes are for very basic foods, one for pap, three for samp and beans, many vegetable dishes. Some are for easy dessserts and one for Christmas pudding and one for Christmas cake. People who lived on the coast contributed recipes for mussels harvested fresh.
Most of the recipes are easy to recreate, although there are some that left me uncertain how to construct them. The pictures and recipes don’t always match up. However, the overwhelming impression is of recipes that are South African staples, using ingredients available throughout the country, and at an affordable price.
The publicity blurb says “In Giving Back Childhood, celebrities from the world of sport, music, media, academia, business, politics, literature, food and entertainment, as well as unsung heroes at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, share some of their own personal memories of food and childhood, as well as the recipes that are the on-going connection to those memories”.
Professor Adam Habib shares his recipe for Dokra, an adaptation of an Indian dish, no longer recognisable to its Indian origin, but a unique South African Indian dish. Max du Preez gives us the very traditional Pampoenkoekies of his childhood, while Whilbur Smith gives us ideas for stuffing a whole chicken and cooking it outdoors on hot coals – Smith does say to cook it for 45 minutes, but I am not sure that is long enough for a whole chicken on a braai. Raymond Ackerman gives us instructions for a Golden Syrup Steamed Pudding. Amy Kleinhans-Curd, the first Miss South Africa of colour, shares recipes which Madiba loved, as she was a personal friend of his (he had an eye for attractive women).
The pictures don’t always match up and Evita Bezuidenhout gives us a recipe for a children’s cacktus partie with bread made to look like cactus plants, but the picture is of pear micc (also a memory from my childhood). Baked apple clowns made me smile. Gareth Cliff gives us tomato and avocado pear salad. Barry Hilton gives us Frikkadels (meatballs) in a tomato smoor. Pieter Ferreira, the cellar master at Graham Beck Winery, known as “Bubbles Ferreira” brings us one of the mussel recipes and Jenny Morris gives us a recipe for Pickled Fish – a Good Friday staple in South Africa. Kamini Pather shares her recipe for Vegetable Bhajia, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, a Michelin star chef,shares his recipe for banana, sour cream and poppy seed bread. Yvonne Chaka Chaka shares her recipe for Gogo Special, but forgets to mention that the evaporated milk must be chilled and whipped. Schalk Burger, the Springbok rugby player, shares his recipe for Game Bobotie. Gary Player tells us about green juice. Emeritus Professor Heinz Rode shares how to make bread.
This is a truly delightful cookbook and an excellent cause to support. Apparently, if I read correctly, all the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Red Cross Children’s Home in Cape Town.
- Title: Giving Back Childhood
- Sub-title:: Choldhood memories and recipes from 50 well known and big hearted South African Heroes.
- Foreword: HRH Prince Henry of Wales
- Publisher: Struik Lifestyle, an imprint of Penguin Random House
- Year: 2016
- Food Photographer: Warren Heath
- Format: Paperback
- Recommended Selling Price: R230.00
- ISBN 9781432306984