In true South African tradition, the weekend is cause for a bit of a celebration. After all, it was a long week! So, as today is Friday, I would just like to say: "Nou gaan ons braai!"
The literal translation, according to Google that is, goes something like this: "Now we are going to fry." Of course this is not exactly correct, but you get the general idea. :)
Wikipedia has an excellent explanation of the South African braai culture and I would like to share some of this with you.
Traditionally, South Africans braai. We love to braai. We will think up any excuse... to braai! We even have special braai recipe books and each family has their own version of trusty side dishes, marinades, spices and braaivleis.
What is a braai, you may ask?
Well, it is sort of like a BBQ, but not quite. Usually we braai in the summer months, but if we are lucky enough to have any form of sheltered veranda available outside, we will even braai in the winter months. A braai is also traditionally done on either charcoal briquettes or wood, but a lot of people also have gas braais because it saves a little preparation time in getting the braai ready.
So, what do we braai?
Meat of course! The main idea of the braai is to put the meat on the center stage as the main dish of the day. It is also not strange to see a combination of different meat, such as T-bone steak, kebabs (we call them sosaties), and sausage (wors). Usually the meat is the husband's domain and there can usually only be one designated "braaier". The golden unspoken rule also states that you NEVER interfere with the braaier's duties, but if you have to help, you can fill up his drink and fetch the spices from the kitchen. :)
Do you only eat meat at a braai?!
Umm... Sometimes. :) But, that is usually only if the men are left to fend for themselves! If for some reason, a man is left on his own to feed himself and / or his children, he will braai... Most of the time.
However, if it is a more structured and planned out braai, (Planned out - Husband gets home from work and announces: Tonight, we braai!) the meat will usually be accompanied by some side dishes. Side dishes include various salads, braai broodjies (Toasted cheese, onion and tomato sandwiches) and pap (maize porridge) with fried tomato and onion sauce.
Anything else that we should know about a braai?
This covers the basics of the age old South African braai tradition. It is really great fun and is one of the only social events that keep popping up on most South Africans' calendars. You can braai on any occasion from birthdays to Christmas and everything in-between, which makes it the most common social interaction in this lovely country of ours.
So, anyone up for a braai?