Monday, 24 November 2014

Rainy days are here again! It is time for PANNEKOEK!

It has been such a lovely rainy weekend here in Rooibosch Hill, that the spicy-sweet smell of cinnamon is drifting through the entire villige...

Why cinnamon, you ask? Well, because everyone is baking pancakes of course! :-D In Afrikaans, we call them "pannekoek", and they are deee-licious!

For those who don't know, it is a rainy-day tradition in most of South Africa to bake pancakes and cover them in cinnamon and sugar. (LOTS of cinnamon and sugar!) In fact, no church bazaar, country fair or any other public gathering for that matter is complete without at least one pancake stand, regardless of the weather!

If you have a large family, and have to bake quite a few pancakes, the smell of cinnamon will waft through your house and leave everything smelling sweet for hours after! Baking pancakes on a rainy day is also a sure way to pave your way into your prospective husband's stomach heart... ;-)

Of course South African pancakes are very flat and very thin, and to the rest of the world, they are known as crêpes... So since real South African pancakes differ so greatly from pancakes in the rest of the world, I have decided to share my tried and trusted family recipe for anyone willing to try them.

You will need:
4 eggs
2 cups of cake flour
1/4 cup of sunflower oil
a dash of salt (Yes, I cook and bake with dashes!)
15ml white vinegar
300ml Water
400ml Milk
Sugar (White / brown, it doesn't matter)
Cinnamon (LOTS of it!)

Add the cake flour to a big mixing bowl, then slowly stir in the milk. Then add the eggs, oil, salt and vinegar before stirring them through. Lastly add the water. Mix everything together until you have a lump free batter. (If you do have lumps, simply pour it all through a sieve! Grandma won't know!) 
Your batter should now be quite runny and resemble a milkshake - we are not making flapjacks here, we are making "pannekoek"!

Put the batter in the refrigerator to rest for 10 - 15 minutes. Add a cup of sugar to a clean mixing bowl and stir in a tablespoon of cinnamon. (Or more if you like - If I had my way, I would reverse the proportions, or forgo the pancakes and just eat the cinnamon neat while I am at it!)
Dust the bottom of a serving plate with the cinnamon sugar mixture. (don't skimp!) This will form the base for your stack of pancakes and this first one will likely give you diabetes, but at least you will die happy!

Heat about a quarter of a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan. (Yes, I know it is non-stick, but just do it, because grandma says so!) Repeat this every  now and again if your pancakes start to stick to the pan.
Once heated, scoop a large spoonful of batter into the center of your pan, and quickly swirl it around to cover the whole pan. (If you find the batter too thick, feel free to stir in a spoonful of  water before baking the next one.)

Cook the pancake a few seconds until it turns light brown, then lift the edges with a spatula and flip it over to cook the other side. (Don't let them burn, you have to keep a good eye on them!)
Once done on both sides, turn the pancake out onto the prepared plate, then cover with a layer of cinnamon and sugar mix before adding the next pancake on top. Repeat until your batter runs out!
Serve your pancakes by rolling them up one by one and enjoy the spicy-sugary-goodness!

P.S - If a pancake flops, just scrape it out into a bowl, add some of the sugar mix to it and eat it with a spoon in front of the tv later. (No one has to know!)

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Lovely Lavender rabbits

It has been so long since I have been able to post anything, that I am ecstatic to get back online to show you the newest happenings in Rooibosch! I have been forced offline for a while now, since my ADSL connection is giving us some problems... Of course, on the better days that we actually had some connection, I managed to set up a nice little post to post itself over the weekend - as you can see, that did not  happen! Oops...

I honestly don't know why I am experiencing so much trouble with Blogger, but hopefully I will sort out the kinks soon. This time around, I managed to delete the whole post while editing it!!! But, at least it seems like my internet connection was at least partly to blame this time around.

So, without further ado, let me rave on about my lovely Lavender rabbits, who have all been photographed out of their box for the first time. :D

How stunning are they!!!? O_O
I have been meaning to do a little write-up about them for some time now, but never quite got around to it. This is the first photo of my whole family out of their box, how exciting!

Since receiving the Lavenders on 27 April this year from all of my friends on the Sylvanian Chat Forum, as probably the bestest best gift ever, I have not had the heart to take them out of the box to photograph them.

Well, that is not entirely true - I carefully cut the tape on the box, removed the inner and snapped a photo of them all strapped in place. Yes, I realize how stupid that looked, but I couldn't take them out of the box!!!

So, one morning not too long ago, I realized that I needed a bit of a pick-me-up, so I decided to take some photos of my little Lavenders to create their webpage for them. The family photo turned into a whole photoshoot and I even did a little story about their snow day on my website.

Since the Lavender rabbits don't have official names, I found it difficult to write about father Lavender or mother Lavender and ended up giving them all suitable names. To be honest, thinking up names relating to purple wasn't that hard, so I ended up with father Carmine, mother Lydia, sister Violet, brother Tyrian and baby Lila. I decided to shorten Lilac to Lila so that she isn't just a colour. Mother Lydia is probably the only one that doesn't have a name that is also the name of a colour, but her name does hold the meaning - woman of purple, so I felt that it fit after all. :-)