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Braai fever

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23 Sep 2010

What is it about the familiar smoky air that wafts around the neighbourhood on weekends?

It holds the strong smell of juicy boerie and the memories of togetherness, laughter and lots of beer in the sun.

It brings with it the smiles of children chatting happily on their tummies on the hot tiles around the pool and the relaxed grunting of parents around the fire, discussing the merits of the flame.

Good times people.

With all the Heritage Day braai talk I’ve noticed the very contentious issue of gas vs. fire. I have to say there’s not a nipple hairs chance in hell that I’ll cook on gas, I’m a woody all the way, but really, some people do prefer it.

Oh my garlic, a gas braai would be like shaving my head in winter or running out of Maldon salt, it’s just wrong.

The whole thing about wood is that earthy smell and the wonderful hour-long discussions of when the fire will be just right.

Gas virtually kills all of that, it’s instant, makes your food smell faintly ‘gassy’ and doesn’t give you the license to drink for hours whilst doing vitally important things – like turning meat. Sacrilege.

I’d love to hear what you think about it.

Braai hard

Now let’s talk about the food.

An important part of the preparation of meat is the marinade, you can bathe your meat of choice in countless gorgeous brews. Try these groovy eastern spare ribs or chicken wings in jerk marinade, or this French Provencal chicken or Dijon and thyme lamb marinade.

If you feel like a potjie, try this shank and potato or perhaps this apricot chicken pot of joy. If it’s kebabs you’re after, try these garlic chicken kebabs, beef and brinjal babies or tikka fish delightful bites on a stick.

For some seafood try this stuffed fish, kebabs with avo and ginger relish or a whole braaied snoek? Heaven.

And for the veggies ( I would never forget about you) give these kebabs a try, or this delicious camembert with figs or perhaps this vegetable potjie.

Slaai hard

Hey, it’s not just about the meat, I take my accompaniments very seriously. A great salad is not to be forgotten, there’s this beautiful strawberry salad, a fresh spring salad and how about a salad with everything? Ya haa.

For those must-have extras there’s these melty braai toasties or lekker soet vetkoek broodtjies.

And sweets? There’s braaied bananas and nectarines on the braai to add beside your ice cream cones with that special hidden Flakey.

So get your tongs out people, it’s braai time.

Love and charcoal smudged faces,
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