March 12, 2011

Cooking the South African Way

My children really enjoyed Festivals of the World: South Africa. It had a list of all the festivals in the area, and it sure seemed like all people do in South Africa is party. The kids and I decided we wanted to move there!

After reading the book we watched a few youtube videos--some about the game of cricket as that came up in the book and my kids had no clue there was a sport named after an insect. :) We also listened to both of South Africa's national anthems. After that I couldn't resist playing them the most beautiful national anthem in the world--O Canada. Yes, I am Canadian. Why do you ask?

After all the youtube videos, we were hungry, so I told the kids they could make pumpkin fritters from the recipe found in this book: Cooking the Southern African Way by Kari Cornell. Since I had to nurse Harriet right after I told them they could cook, they proceeded without me. It actually, surprisingly, worked better that way. It is hard to be too uptight when you don't see most of the mess until clean up time.

Besides, they did an awesome job.

Miriam's reading the cookbook that it sitting on the chair. After Cowen opened the can of pumpkin and orange stuff started flying, I ordered the library book moved to a more secure location.

I did the frying for safety reasons. I used more oil than necessary as I realized early on that the smaller the fritter, the better. Pumpkin doesn't set up like we're used to with more flour heavy projects. Therefore, to get the best crispy outside to mushy inside ratio, we made the fritters pretty small.

Nothing like a little cinnamon and sugar to help the pumpkin go down.
We all really liked them, and I'm not a huge pumpkin fan. The mushyish center threw us off at first--very different from a corn fritter or scone--but it really was tasty and you could tell it was cooked properly, just a different texture than we were used to.
The next morning I used the remaining pumpkin in my pancakes. You can't taste the pumpkin very much and it is an extra veggie. Brilliant. Besides, kids like it because the pancakes are orange.
If you're feeling like a South African treat--a pumpkin fritter is a pretty good option.

PS--I've joined the throng of "spinach smoothie" weirdos. You really can't taste the spinach. I never would have believed it if I hadn't tried it. I make my own yogurt for our smoothies to cut down on sugar (then I add 4 TBLS back in--go figure), add some frozen berries, a bunch of spinach, and voila--a lovely addition to lunch or a nice snack. Homemade yogurt is yummy and super easy and way cheaper. You should try it.


  1. If i remember correctly you are a former Canadian. I remember a great naturalization party- American flags and American music and red whit and blue food. Surely I am not making that up my formerly Canadian but now American friend.

  2. Dear Polly, the party happened as did the naturalization. I am now both American and Canadian.

    Both the American and Canadian parts of me think O Canada is the greatest national anthem ever. Especially when it is played with a great number of drums before a rodeo.

  3. Wonderful suggestion for the pumpkin fritter! I would also add that pineapple helps take out any remaining "taste" of the spinach. I love green smoothies!