Thursday, July 29, 2010

Braai Vleis, Biltong, Chevrolet and Sunny Skies.*

There's this thing with South Africans.....It's called Braai vleis (barbecue) or just having a 'braai'. Or a 'bring and braai'
This means that your buds and their wives pitch at your place, each with meat, salads and plonk.
Then the manne (dudes) make a fire with 'harde kool or kameel hout' (A slow growing wood that God designed just for braaing) and then the manne stand around the fire poking a sausage called boerewors ( farmers sausage, literal translation) and drinking beer or 'spook and diesel' ( brandy and coke).
This is an intimate bonding session amongst SA men, where the latest Bulls vs The Stormers and the Sharks vs The Cheetahs rugby results are discussed, and which car/bike does what top speed, and whether Valentino Rossi and Koos Hofmeyer are moffies or not. ( no translation available)
Soccer is not discussed and neither is sex or religion mentioned in the beginning of a braai.
Mostly checked shirts and chinos with pleats plus slip slops ( open sandals made in China out of rubber) are worn.
But if its cold then army combat boots, Nato fur jackets and jeans can make an appearance.
Normally, soft rock plays from a car stereo and sometimes also the latest Michael Grisham and Dan Brown novels and guns can come under discussion.
Men stuff.
The woman at this point are in the kitchen making the salads , bread rolls, pre-washing the dirty dishes and bringing the men beers.
The talk is mostly concerned with diapers, cold creams and oven stuff.
They drink a light Mont Blanc wine or a cheap sparkling wine mixed with orange juice.
They normally drive the car home that night.
Don't kill me---I am only painting a picture of the South African psyche concerning the consumption of meat.
The second indelible streak that runs through every South African irregardless of sex or age is Biltong
Biltong is a cured, dried meat.
It can be made out of beef, game meat like Kudu, Springbok and Wildebeest.
In fact, if it's wild and moves it can be turned into biltong.
Including fillet of Ostrich.
It is typically made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle.
It is a little like beef jerky but there are different spices used and the manner of making is different.
Bil = dutch for rump and tong - dutch for tongue.
Normally topside though, cut in strips with salt and spices added.
This streak, or hunger, is not so apparent when one lives in South Africa, where biltong is readily available.
It only becomes a raging obsession when a South African moves to a first world country, or where the culture differs, like St Maarten.
So when one of my ex apprentices ( Hi Brian! ) told me about this thingi he'd bought from, I went onto the Internet and checked it out.
Easy peasy to make.
One PVC storage box, one 12 volt computer fan and a 12volt transformer.

On the other side a 60watt light and ventilation holes drilled.

One gorgeous angel to buy and cut and spice the meat.

Allowed to marinade over night in the fridge.

Hung on dowel sticks with string.

Die vleis is inie doos. ( the meat is in the box) ha ha ha

The black strips are charcoal filter cloth to stop dust and aliens getting in.
Four days, my dear readers.....four days, and yours truly will be eating biltong.
Seven years it's been without, seven fracking years.
Sunday is D-Day.
*Braai Vleis, Biltong, Chevrolet and Sunny Skies.--twisting an old advert in S.A.
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