Hastings on Food

2015-07-30 06:00

SALUTATIONS. In our lives there are specific days, incidents or occurrences that will remain persistently imprinted into our brain, nothing can obliterate them nor alter the significances that follow.

One such event was while living in the magnificent picturesque serene Seychelles. I and holiday makers from all over the world witnessed in appalled dreadfulness on TV, terrorists using civilian passenger planes reducing the twin World Trade towers to rubble, whereby transforming all our lives as well as perceptions forevermore.

On another momentous date on 11 February, 1990, I recall and with hotel guests and staff, eagerly waiting with jubilation and anticipation for the unconditional release of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela from prison after 27 years.

Mandela would go on to say that the only other thing his father bestowed on him at birth was the noteworthy name, Rolihlahla, literary meaning in Xhosa “pulling the branch of a tree”. Although he would go on to say its colloquial meaning more accurately would be troublemaker, additionally he would add that there is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find ways in which you yourself have altered.

One of the most notable occurrences in my life time also involved Mandela. I was working at a hotel where he was scheduled to make a speech to the community. You can imagine that the security around the hotel was paramount and no one could get near his detail. I was busy in the kitchens and had to go to another part of the hotel, and using a short cut I went through empty function rooms only to encounter Mandela in one of them completely alone and deep in thought.

I don’t quite know who was more alarmed by the encounter him or I however, after a mumbled apologetic greeting from myself, feeling guilty having disturbed him, I continued to my destination. Now years later I am still certain that the significance of this encounter has not fully set in and not many people can profess to have being with such a remarkable individual totally alone.

Recently, on 18 July, we celebrated Mandela Day, which not only is it his birthday, but also more a celebration of his life and legacy. It has in effect become a global movement to take his life’s work into a new century and change our world for the better. It was originally inspired during his 90th birthday celebrations, whereby he said he would be honoured if such a day could serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace and reconciliation.

The United Nations officially declared in November 2009 that in recognition for his values and dedication to the service of humanity, as well as his contribution to the struggle for democracy internationally and the promotion of a culture of peace throughout the world, 18 July would be known as International Nelson Mandela Day.

Beginning in 1942 Mandela spent 67 years in public service. Each Mandela Day we are asked to devote 67 minutes of individual time to honour his inspiration in any way we can.

As South Africans we also embrace the chance to celebrate Mandela’s life for the whole of July. This gives everyone the opportunity to heed the call to action, and for people to recognise their individual power to make an imprint and change the world around them.

So by living the values of our Constitution that provides for the rights of all people living in our country and affirms democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom for all, we should take action, to inspire change and empower our communities making in effect each day a Mandela Day as individual differences can be small however collectively they can make remarkable transformations.

In finding a way to make your contribution to this cause begin by doing things that are necessary and possible, while the joy and fulfilment of our actions might never be seen or touched, they will be prevalent in our hearts.

In closing, remember to be always on the lookout, to be a ray of light in someone else’s dark time for the path rarely journeyed creates the transformation and nothing in itself is impossible for the word itself implies I’m possible.

Hundreds

Mandela had very simple tastes when it came to food so much so that once during a trip he grew so tired of the food at the Dorchester in London that he arranged for his personal chef, Xoliswa Ndoyiya, to send him some traditional food. His favourite dish was usu (tripe), which is served either with samp and beans or mielie pap.

During his time in prison he once wrote to his wife Winnie: “How I long for amasi, thick and sour, you know darling, there is one respect in which I dwarf all my contemporaries or at least about which I can confidently claim to be second to none – healthy appetite.”

Usu

Ingredients

•2kg cleaned tripe

•500g chopped, white onions

•300g mixed red and green peppers

•6 cloves garlic

•8 medium tomatoes, diced

•mixed herbs to taste

•vegetable stock

•Cayenne pepper

•Koisan sea salt

•Rainbow pepper

Method

•Sauté the onions garlic and mixed peppers in a pot

•Add the tripe

•Add the vegetable stock enough to cover the meat

•Boil for three hours

•Add the tomatoes

•Add the seasoning

•Serve

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