Hastings on Food RECIPES

2015-06-11 06:00

SALUTATIONS cinnamons and raisins.

We know that with each rising sun it will surely set. Now that autumn’s equinox has come to an end, winter’s chill will begin. Summer has gone with few regrets, for we know we shall see her again.

I firmly believe that winter’s realm is one of mysterious transcendent devoutness. It is a time that we look at all with attitude and wonder. It is a time when we look at the unknowable universe and realize that something’s are completely beyond our comprehension.

Certainly winter is the season when all around us appears to be asleep. It can however, be rejuvenating when we tackle tasks we have been avoiding. This in turn brings the satisfaction of creativity, which is part of our makeup part of our lives part of our purpose for without these depression would quickly set in.

Winter, being the coldest season, is caused when the axis in a particular hemisphere is orientated away from the sun, bringing variations of sunrise and sunset times that differ from the ones during summer. The metrological winter spans through December, January and February in the northern hemisphere and through June, July and august in the southern hemisphere with the winter solstice being the day of the year that has the fewest hours of daylight

In South Africa, Sutherland, founded in 1858, is recognised as the coldest. its average yearly temperature is 11.3°C with an average annual minimum of 2.8°C snowfall is common in winter and the coldest temperature recorded was -16.4°C on 12 July 2003.

With its arid climate, remote location, and being 1,450 metres above sea level, makes its night skies among the world’s darkest and clearest, with the telescopes of the South African astronomical observatory nearby including (salt) the largest single optical telescope in the southern hemisphere, its main source of income is tourism from star gazers and sheep farming.

The town has also recently increased in popularity with people investing in property there and an increase in weekend and holidaymakers enjoying the numerous pubs and restaurants.

South Africa also has numerous winter flowering plants with one of the most striking being the aloe ferox or red bitter aloe. In the middle of winter when it is the coldest and grimmest the aloe with its crimson flowers warms and brightens the scenery of the dry inland areas of the Eastern Cape.

They are generally single stemmed, usually taller than a human and can grow as high as 4 metres, It is among the most important commercial medicinal plants and the yellow fluid from its leaves has been used for centuries as a laxative, and most recently to alleviate arthritis, while the white gel-like flesh of the leaf is good for burns and at least a dozen other aliments.

Recent studies indicate that the plant’s properties also have the ability to boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, combat bacteria, fungus and tumours.

A sizeable local industry has resulted from this whereby cosmetics and food items are also manufactured as well as a health drink from Uniondale which is surprisingly delicious instead of being bitter.

The swallows fly from the United Kingdom to South Africa each winter and our whales and sardines migrate along our shores.

We in the meantime, commend winter’s spicy scents, for ideally winter is a celebration and not a season - it is a time for recovery and preparation, a time for home comfort, friendly talk, warm fires and good food, for all winter’s woes are cured with a wholesome bowl of soup, spiced gluhwein and laughter to drive the chill from our bones.




•2 bottles of red wine

•6 oranges, zested

•3 lemons, zested

•1 litre fresh orange juice

•2 cinnamon stick

•2 star anise

•6 cloves

•2 bay leaves


•sugar to taste

•2 bay leaves

•brandy and sugar to taste


•Combine all the ingredients in a pot - gently simmer till hot ( do not boil)

•Add brandy and sugar to taste

•Serve with orange slices and cinnamon sticks

Warning too much of the above will cause numerous complications

Sweet potato and pumpkin soup with lemon and garlic toast


•500 grams sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

•500 grams of pumpkin, peeled and diced


•Rio largo olive oil

•2 red onions chopped

•4 garlic cloves crushed

•vegetable stock

•1 tsp cinnamon

•1 tsp nutmeg

•Koisan sea salt

•rainbow pepper

•100 ml double cream


•Preheat oven

•Mix the sweet potatoes, pumpkin, olive oil and honey together

•Roast in the oven till soft and starting to caramelise. Remove and set aside

•In another pot using olive oil, fry the onions, add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and add the stock and simmer

•Allow to cool slightly then add the sweet potato and pumpkin and blend the mixture till smooth

•Reheat, adjust the seasoning

•Stir in the cream


Toast spread

•1 table spoons olive oil

•3 chopped garlic cloves

•100 grams soft butter

•zest from one lemon

•snipped chives

•chopped thyme

•French baguette cut into slices


•Gently sauté the olive oil and garlic

•Remove from the pan allow to cool slightly

•Mix in the lemon zest and soft butter till smooth

•Add chives and the thyme

•Add salt and pepper to taste

•Add a little whipped cream

•Toast the bread slices

•Top with the spread

•Serve with the soup


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