So I thought I would surprise you all with a fantastic GiveAway of Justin Bonello’s Latest book: Cooked in the Karoo written by Helena Lombard and published by Penguin Books South Africa. Like all of Justin Bonello’s books this one has a wonderful earthy feel to it. His books might be touted as cook books but they are always so much more than a cookbook. He produces books that are exquisite travel guides, not superficial travel, this travel to the very heart of a place… and then there are whole lot of recipes tossed in for good measure. This is the kind of “cook book” that leaves you freeing up your calendar, and blocking off chunks of time, just so that you can pack your bags and head out into the wilds.
The dry and arid centre of our country is called the Karoo and for many folk it is a means to an ends and literally a desert that you drive through as fast as you can to cover the distance between Cape Town and anywhere else in South Africa. The truth is after reading this book you will be lingering a lot longer en-route…
I noticed that I wasn’t the only person that had grabbed a notebook and plotted a potential route… Places with names like the Dwyka Gorge, Nieu-Bethesda, Steytlerville and Canarvon deserve a visit. This is a place full of nostalgia, The Swartberg Pass where my father took me as a child, and now I have a yen to take my own children there. Each spot on his road trip through the Karoo gets a chapter packed with details about the folk that live there and the life they lead. The book is packed with sites to see, where to count stars and where to go fossil hunting, where to stay and how to camp. There is a fabulous “Survival Guide”… and that alone is worth buying the book for… but lets go on to the food…
Justin Bonello’s cooking journey is well documented in his book collection and South African’s all over the world have been glued to his “Ultimate Braai” TV series… this book goes a little deeper and you will find it packed with recipes from the heart of your childhood. IF you are a South African on the far side of the world, I am sorry already because the recipes in this book will make you homesick: Biltong and frikkadelle, koffie and roosterkoek, melk tert and prickly pear ice-lollies, vetkoek and tamatiegemors, I could go on and on. I love how his recipes always take you back to the beginning, you can make these recipes with ingredients you are familiar with, and the directions are easy to follow… also he believes in family size recipes – there is no “serves one” in this book. I love that he doesn’t just say, this is the only way… often he will have three or more varieties of a recipe… would you like to make sweet mustard, hot mustard or wholegrain mustard from scratch, just for instance. So as usual we tried and tested Se7en+1 recipes… actually a whole lot more that we couldn’t resist and we still have a few more that we would like to try!!!
Se7en+1 Recipes we Tried
- Apricot Jam: We are unlikely to ever buy jam again… so easy and so so so tasty.
- Helena’s Mom’s Rice Krispie Treats: Can I mention just slightly life changing. Where o’ where have I been… I have always, always thought these were just too much effort and just too much work – had I known how easy they were and what a winner they were. Everybody, from all walks of life love these… we may well have been conquering the world’s supply of rice crisps since we discovered these… because one must!!! Justin bonello suggests that you hide these… I just smiled. they don’t last long enough to hide.
- Olive Tapenade: I am stocking up on these supplies for drop in visitors… you can totally whip this up and impress your drop in guests with a tasty feast. Just add some fresh crusty bread and you have a winner…
- Bottled Peaches: Basically if you know me, then you are getting baked peaches for every gift from now and evermore… Dad, did you here that… I have your birthday covered. Had I known that these were that easy to make… unfortunately they would not have made it into a jar if I had not stolen some. Literally eaten from the pot… I saved some and turned them into a crumble… divine.
- Salted Caramel Popcorn: Because of this recipe we now have movie night. I never could stand popcorn flying everywhere… but now I am converted. Long may our teeth last… because this stuff is simply irresistible.
- Hertzoggies: Now these are yummy little bites… for our overseas readers these are basically lemon meringue pies, except without the lemon… you use your apricot jam instead and then instead of plain meringue… you use coconut in your meringue… tweak, tweak and tweak again and really good to come home to after an evening amble!!!
- The World’s Easiest Baked Potatoes: Who knew this was an art and I will never look back. I have made them this way since I read the recipe… but only ever have a couple left over to photograph.
- Banana Bread Muffins: Why have we not made banana bread muffins before… quick and easy and gone in a flash.
- Whole Baked Pumpkin: Dinner for the whole family, stuffed inside a pumpkin – how incredibly wonderfully yummy is this… we constructed this one afternoon and spent the rest afternoon smelling these delicious aromas percolating through our home… and then we attacked it… and the following day we ate the leftovers for lunch!!! In a word “yummo.”
And the Se7en + 1th… we actually had to add an extra recipe to the mix!!!
Previously with Justin Bonello
- Se7en + 1 Review and GiveAway Justin Bonello’s Road Less Travelled, Ultimate Braai Master Book 2…
- An Exclusive Interview with Justin Bonello…
- Se7en + 1 Review Justin Bonello’s Ultimate Braai Book – and a Double GiveAway!!!
- Se7en Review Justin Bonello Cooks For Friends – Brilliant!!!
- Se7en Visit With Justin Bonello.
- Cooked Out of the Frying Pan by Justin Bonello.
- Cooked in Africa by Justin Bonello.
We have a copy of Justin Bonello’s Cooked in the Karoo by Helena Lombard to GiveAway to our readers.
We would love lots and lots of comments from you all: Tell us the place in South Africa that you would really, really love to visit. For those of you who are following, we will plot your trips on our map… which is looking fantastic and worthy of it’s own post!!!
This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of Sunday, 30 November 2014. We will draw and publish and contact the winners after that. I won’t respond to your comments as we do on our other posts because we don’t want to be included in our own giveaway. Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and happy commenting!!!
We would like to thank Penguin Books South Africa who supplied us with a copy of this book to review and another copy to GiveAway. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed in it are as usual, entirely our own.