Saturday, 30 April 2016

Bobotie Recipe

Bobotie is a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish made with minced beef and an egg "custard" topping. There is some folk who dispute the fact that it is a Traditional South African Dish, but whether you agree or agree to disagree it IS a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish. Everyone has their own version of the recipe, but I can almost guarantee the ingredients are all the same and only the measurements and cooking time differ {ever so slightly}.

I never used to eat Boboti because .... raisins!!! I absolutely hate raisins and they remind me of squashed flies so I don't eat them and they taste vile. Funny that, because the other day I was eating a Hot Cross Bun which I absolutely love, whilst making Boboti and skipping the raisin part and this {massive} penny dropped. Hot Cross Buns are FULL of raisins!!! I have never thought about it whilst devouring dozens and dozens of them. So barring Hot Cross Buns I don't eat raisins.

Bobotie was a complete no-no until we went to Cape Town in 2009 and had dinner at a Restaurant that served Traditional South Africa Cuisine. I decided to have Bobotie forgetting the reason why I didn't eat it. I don't ever recall there being raisins in the dish but it was so good. I made it once or twice after that and never made it again until about two years ago and at one stage we were having it almost once a week. Everyone loves it. I don't add raisins because Chad and I both dislike raisins - see above. Sometimes my custard topping comes out perfectly, other times not so perfectly, but there is never ever even a teaspoon left over. Chad always goes scratching around the kitchen and the fridge late at night looking for leftovers and is always disappointed because there is never any Bobotie leftovers. The photo below is not the best example of what it should look like. It works better with a smaller baking dish - smaller but deeper so the topping is thicker. I can't credit the origins of the recipe as I don't know where I found it and I have changed it over the years to suit us.

Bobotie Recipe

This recipe serves four to five (but remember we are a family of adults with HEALTHY appetites. Adjust accordingly.

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Bobotie Is a Traditional South African Cape Malay Dish made with Mince Meat (Ground Beef) with an Egg Custard Topping, traditionally served with Yellow Rice
  • 1 Kg Lean Beef Mince
  • 30 ml Cooking Oil
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 20 ml Curry Powder (Medium)
  • 30 ml Sugar
  • 3 ml Black Pepper
  • 30 ml White Vinegar
  • 125 ml Seedless Raisins (Optional)
  • 35 ml Chutney (Mrs Balls Hot Chutney)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Slices Thick White Bread
  • 300 ml Milk
  • 5 ml Tumeric
  • 3 Medium Eggs
Preheat Oven To 180C Peel and Dice OnionHeat Oil in a Pan and add Onions. Cook over a medium heat until transparent. Approximately 2 minutesAdd the Curry Powder, Fry for 1 minute and then add the Mince Meat.Cook until lightly browned and crumblySoak the Bread in the Milk. Gently squeeze the Milk out the Bread and mash the Bread with a fork in a separate bowl. Set the Milk aside.Add the Bread to the Mince and StirAdd the Sugar; Raisins (optional) Tumeric; Vinegar; Pepper and Chutney to the Mince. Stir Well and Simmer for 5 MinutesPut the Mince Mixture into a Greased Baking Dish and put the 2 Bay Leaves on top of the MixtureBake For 20 Minutes in the Oven to dry out the MinceWhilst the Mince is in the Oven. Beat the Eggs with the remaining Milk.When the Mince Mixture is ready, remove from the Oven and pour the egg over the Mince. Removing the Bay Leaves first.Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the topping is set and Golden BrownServe with Yellow Long Grain Rice and Extra Chutney
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Have you ever made Bobotie - do you manage to perfect the custard topping every time?? What is your favourite traditional recipe??


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Sunday, 17 April 2016

My Blog - The Way Forward & Back Again

Just after I posted this previous blog post I unpublished my blog. I made it permission based read only, but never gave anyone permission to read it. The idea was to take it down permanently, but I wasn't quite ready to do that. My reasoning for deleting my blog was always to protect Chad from being searched as a young adult and traced to my blog. I believe he will be very angry - he has hinted at that. He doesn't want anyone reading about our lives Online. However, saying that, he told his girlfriend just after they met that I have a blog. He then said he was joking. She now knows that I do blog, but she doesn't know the name of my blog. I told him he shouldn't have said anything to her. I told her I am not a blogger, I just blog random thoughts about our life and that she really doesn't want to read them.

It turns out that in the end I didn't even unpublish my blog because of Chad. I unpublished it for many reasons, but when I told Chad I deleted "Chad Life Us" a look of surprise, shock and disappointment crossed his face and he asked why. I told him why and told him I have another blog to see what his reaction would be. I don't have another blog as such, I started one for my writing course because I didn't want to use my blog for assignments. He was seriously disappointed!! It was all those issues of him living in Clint's shadow and not being good enough resurfacing. I explained all the reasons why I unpublished it, but I will never delete it and he understood why I did it.

I started this blog on the 4 April 2010 with a random post on the10th and published it publically on the 21 April 2010. It is 6 years old this year and I don't really want to say Goodbye to it and put it to bed for good. Yesterday, Sammy from The Annoyed Thyroid sent me an email and she really is the voice of reason and said that my blog is a part of me and a lot of hard work has gone into it and it would be a shame to delete all those memories. It gave me a lot to think about. The unpublishing didn't work so it is back to the think tank. Just as a side note, if you are not a blogger reading this it does take a lot of work to blog. I don't even put much effort into my blog and it takes a lot of work so you can only imagine how much work it takes other bloggers to make their blogs so fantastic.

We all love Google but what we tend to forget is that Google rules the World or at least the Online World. If you don't abide by their rules you will be unceremoniously kicked off the grid. I received a notification from them to say my blog is returning  far too many incorrect 404 redirects. That basically means (I think) when people search something my blog comes up, but with either the wrong information or a missing page. Strange that is, because Chad Googled pictures of Mini Town to show JD what it looked like and up popped a picture of him at Mini Town - he was angry - then laughed and said haha I am famous. Yes, my child is as weird as what I am when it comes to personal space. Not only could you see the photo of him, but you could also read the post - so much for making a previously published blog private.

Due to fear of having Google delete my blog ( my blog is blogger based) after receiving their notification of incorrect 404 redirects I published it again. I then saw so many "Chad" related posts coming up as most searched and unpublished it. I jokingly said last night to both Chad and JD after Chad made some witty remark about my blogging that so many old Chad posts came up on my blog as most searched. JD joked and said it was her searching him. I am wondering if the old adage "More Truth Is Said In Jest" doesn't ring true here. You have to know Chad to understand him and you have to understand him to know that it is not just a simple matter of asking him about some things. He hides most of his true feelings about life and life's tragedies and disappointments and even joys and happiness very deep down. JD gets him and sometimes we both roll our eyes at him and the things he says, but we understand and just go with the his flow.

I couldn't resist posting this photo of him even though I have gone on and on about protecting him from being found on my blog through some random unrelated Google search - he looks so smart and ready to take on the world.

So why this post today. I do miss blogging or writing more than blogging. I do feel, though, that when I first started blogging, I blogged like no one was reading - because no one WAS reading. If anyone was reading I didn't know them so I could just purge my inner most thoughts and not care or not feel as though I had to filter everything I was blurting out. My blog initially was totally anonymous and no one even knew I blogged. Now I feel as though I have to censor most of what I say.

Today's post was supposed to be uncensored and unfiltered - I was supposed to write like no one was reading. It was supposed to be therapeutic because writing is therapeutic but it isn't therapeutic if you have to filter out stuff. It reminds me of when I went for therapy after Clinty died - the first therapist I spent most of the sessions filtering and censoring my thoughts. Naturally it was a waste of time and money and it didn't help. The only thing I took from her was and it wasn't even in therapy, I coincidentally bumped into her at our local shopping centre. She said I must go and hire a movie, a comedy and watch it with Chad because comedies force you to at least smile and stops you from hitting the very bottom of the dark hell you are in. The second therapist I went to, was for the most part safe, uncensored and unfiltered and it lessened the burden a bit. It made grief acceptable and understandable and necessary. I have a post on therapists unpublished and uncensored waiting for the day I can write like no one is reading.

The reason for today's post was going to be why I deleted or unpublished my blog or some of the reasons (I went off topic) and about my writing course (I am wondering if I am learning anything - old habits die hard - going off topic) and also about when your posts are Google +1'ed - Is that a thing.

Yesterday afternoon and until late last night, I deleted the search description in most of my posts. I haven't finished as yet and they don't all have a search description. If you are not familiar with blogger based blogs - they don't have an SEO plugin or widget like Wordpress does (that I am aware of). You put in a search description in your post and that comes up in Google search results as I understand it. I went through a stage of putting in search descriptions and my thinking now, was that is the reason for my blog coming up in search results even though it is unpublished (Google owns us remember) and also maybe why my blog is resulting in so many incorrect 404 redirects. What was interesting is that my posts with search descriptions have fewer views than those without.

My most viewed post is a post with a Shortbread recipe, the second most viewed is the post about Clinty's death -  Events Of 15 March 2007. There is no search description in that post nor the shortbread post but that is the most searched term on my blog - Shortbread. The third most viewed post is about Cuticura Cream which does have a search description. What I noticed last night is that the post on the Events of 15 March 2007 has 298.989 +1's. I don't understand how +1's work - the post wasn't viewed 298.989 times - how was it +1'ed so many times. In recent years, I added my posts to Google which comes up as one +1. I stopped that now too. The other high +1's are the shortbread and Cuticura posts - I never added them to Google and they have only been viewed about 2000 times or just under.

I don't think Wordpress has  a +1 in the stats like Google stats has - not analytics but Google dashboard stats. I also don't know how one sees these 298.989 +1's posts to see who plus one'd my post. Did someone plus one it once and then 298 thousand more people see it and plus one or is the 298.989 actually 2000 odd and everyone who viewed it plus one'd it when they read it. The same people have viewed it more than once I am sure.

I had an email conversation with another blogger about the frustrations of the technical side of blogging and this is one of the things that really burns my brain - I don't understand it and it frustrates me to no end. Especially when I can't see something to figure it out.

The other night we were watching The Middle and something went wrong with our decoder and we missed it and I said to Chad can't you go back and he said "Mom!!! You always sort out our Computers and printers when something goes wrong, no matter what happens to them, you fix them but sometimes you ask such stupid questions about simple stuff"  Not being able to watch The Middle and this damn Google Plus One thing. Simple stuff I don't get!!!

So with a fried brain from trying to figure out who why or what is happening with Google Plus I am going to say Goodbye for today. I am still not sure about whether my blog will be published or not. At the moment, it is published whilst I delete all the search descriptions. Yes, it has to be published to delete search descriptions. Rolls eyes in exasperation whilst wishing you a lovely Sunday - what is left of it.

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