Fundraising Walk for South Africa Came With New Found Love for Hot Tea & Bobotie

Fundraising Walk for South Africa Came With New Found Love for Hot Tea & Bobotie

This blog is posted with World Water Day in mind, March 22, 2017

I love to get involved in philanthropy because I find that the more generous I am, the more I learn about the world – and the more fun I have! Case in point, I sponsored a friend on her fundraising walk for South African women, through Care.org. On the tails of this global effort comes Word Water Day, created over 20 years ago by the United Nations. Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. While my friend raised just shy of her goal, she was still proud, acknowledging:

 

At first, a small amount seems inconsequential, but then again…any amount of money or awareness raised means something. Every full bucket is filled with many drops!

 

The CARE Walk benefited women and girls who lack easy access to fresh water. Every day they lose time from work and school, setting off on foot to find and carry home around five gallons per day. The walk, my friend told me, averages about 10,000 daily steps for these women – that’s about five miles! The fundraising campaign was called #WalkInHerShoes. For a week, my friend walked in solidarity with the people of South Africa, toting back gallons of water. Along the way, she learned several things; among them: doing this gives one more toning and weight building results than you can get at the gym; that she and her fellow Westerners are incredibly lucky, and last but not least, African cuisine is darn good!

 

Just to mix things up, and carry a suitable amount of weight back on one of her journeys, my friend walked to a South African grocery and café in Ft. Lauderdale, called A Meal in A Pie, and had them pack an order of traditional Bobotie – to go!

Bobotie, pictured above, is a classic in South Africa – it’s both savory and sweet, and so delicious that my friend tells me her pie did not make it home intact. If I have any South Florida friends reading this post, you can easily check out this grocery store, near Oakland Park and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Again, it’s called Meal-in-A-Pie, and is tucked away in a beachy neighborhood. There is no website, but I’m told the food speaks loudly enough for itself.

You can also get DELICIOUS herbal rooibos tea there – it’s so sweet, the honey aroma of it lingers long after the kettle is drained.

So much of South African cuisine is blended with Great Britain’s. In Bobotie, imagine, a shepherd’s pie with the sweet tang of chutney, and the yummy crunch of almonds. In this recipe for Bobotie, I found that you can swap the apricot jam with my own recipe for apple chutney.

Tea time is just marvelous with apple chutney slathered on club crackers. You read it here first! But if you don’t want to do any of the work to taste South Africa, there’s always BOMA restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort. Further south, there’s a four star South African restaurant, called The Big Easy that just opened in the Brickell City Centre of Miami. I’ll keep an eye out for Anthony Bourdain! Cheers, and here’s my recipe for chutney.

Jorj’s Apple Chutney

12 small apples, peeled, cored and diced, about 8 cups

2 small white onions, peeled and diced, about 2 cups

1 (4-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and grated, about 4 tablespoons

2 cups orange juice

1 ½ cups cider vinegar

2 cups brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground mustard

½ teaspoon ground red pepper

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 ½ cups raisins.

Place apples, onions and ginger into a large pot. Add the OJ, cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, red pepper and kosher salt.

Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Stir in 1 ½ cups raisins.

Store in an airtight mason jar and keep in the refrigerator once opened. The chutney should last as long as the jellies and jams you may have in there.

There’s a New Shop on Main Street

There’s a New Shop on Main Street

There is now a Spice & Tea Exchange in Blowing Rock, NC There is now a Spice & Tea Exchange in Blowing Rock, NC

Last time I was in North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountain town of Blowing Rock, I had one of those “Sunday Best” excursions on Main Street. It was the kind of shopping trip that lit a fire in the oven as surely as it ignited my chef’s imagination. When I came home that day I baked cookies, and roasted chicken and fish; I could not wait to make these simple recipes because I had found exotic seasonings to spice them up: YUMM!! BUURRP!! It is your fault, Spice & Tea Exchange (TSTE)!

I was drawn in by their motto, “if you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist!”  Care to challenge that, Sunday Best Cooks?? I was drawn in by their motto, “if you can’t find it here, it probably doesn’t exist!”  Care to challenge that, Sunday Best Cooks??

I have to hand it to Andy and Gayle, pictured above: it is the perfect time of year to open a tea and spice shop. All the Fall enthusiasts—and I know I have got more than a few Fall fanatics on THE NANA NETWORK—are out there looking to revel in cinnamon, apple and pumpkin-y aromas. I know that I am looking forward to posting some new dessert recipes that call for TSTE’s salted caramel sugar.

But you know me….

I could not stop at sweet, so I had to go for savory, too.  While at TSTE I picked up some Chardonnay Oak Smoked Salt, which I LOVE using to dress up my Sunday Best recipe for a beautiful Sunday Roast Chicken. Of course, I am not alone in my love of “Sunday Best” excursions. My future daughter-in-law, Colleen came to TSTE too, and was excited to use the store’s Peppermint Patty Sugar to rim martini glasses for her signature Chocolate Martinis.

Colleen’s chocolate martini is a 1:1:1:1 ratio of Starbucks liquor, Kahlua, vanilla vodka and half and half Colleen’s chocolate martini is a 1:1:1:1 ratio of Starbucks liquor, Kahlua, vanilla vodka and half and half

Here is the recipe! We jotted it down ; )

So try and find your nearest tea and spice shop! TSTE used to be “Old Florida Spice Traders” until it expanded into what it is today. If you like the look of an old trading post that has chests of drawers, steamer trunks and big glass apothecary jars spilling over with over 170 spices and probably as many (or more?!) teas, then you will love it as much as I did!