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July 31, 2011

They say you can take the girl out of Africa…..but you can never take Africa out of the girl. True I would say! When I spent a year in Scotland studying for my Midwifery course (mumbles way back in the ’70’s) I longed for the country of my birth throughout that year, even though I loved the UK, I loved the friends I made and loved the experiences and the fact that we could either catch the sleeper train down to London for a weekend or  hop onto the ferry (no tunnel in those days) and visit Europe. When my children were all over in London, a lot of years later, I was continuously getting calls, longing for home, longing for Niknaks, Mrs Balls Chutney, biltong (dried beef or game strips) and boerewors (literal translation farmers sausauge), longing for wide open spaces, longing for continuous sunshine, longing for majestic mountains and azure seas with big white sandy beaches.

My guest blogger today is just such an African girl. Jeanne Horak-Druiff, better known as Cook Sister! to the blogging and media world, is a fellow countryman, born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa and now living, loving, working, blogging, eating and drinking in London. Cook Sister! the blog has been featured as one of the Times online Top 50 blogs in the world and has won the title of  Best South African Food & Wine Blog in the SA Blog Awards 4 times between 2005 -2010 and runner up twice during that time. So that should tell us something about the quality of the blog, beautifully set out, award winning writing style and photographs, great content and proven recipes. Jeanne is one of the old ladies of the food blogging world, having been blogging now for 7 years. A few years ago she started speaking and presenting at conferences and has presented twice at the London Food Blogger Connect and twice at the Food Blogger Indaba in Cape Town.  In May this year she ran and presented (together with 3 other awesome bloggers) the first Plate 2 Page workshop in Germany, she is co-presenting and speaking at Shoot Eat Write workshop in London on 21 August and she will be speaking at Bite ‘n Write in Birmingham on 19th November. She is a well loved and well respected grande dame of Food Blogging for good reason. And so it is a great honour and privilege for me to have Jeanne as guest blogger today. Thank you Jeanne! 


 photograph used with permission from Simone of Junglefrog

Have you ever had the feeling that your heart lives in two places at once?  I suspect anybody whose lover or child has ever lived far away from them knows precisely what I am talking about. Part of your heart lives where you physically find yourself, attached to things like friends, neighbours, pets, a garden or a house.  But another part of your heart constantly lives elsewhere, stretching itself out like an elastic band, straining to be where the object of your affections is.  It’s a little like that when you live in a foreign country. 

When I am about to leave on a trip to South Africa and colleagues ask me where I am going, I say “home”.  And when I am there, talking about plans in the coming months, I talk about “when I get home to London”.  It confuses the hell out of everybody – everybody, that is, except me.  For me, it makes perfect sense now to consider two places as home.  One place is the land of my birth; the land where my family still lives; the land that gave rise to my mother tongue Afrikaans; the land that thrills me with its natural beauty; and where I am automatically accepted and understood there because of a shared cultural frame of reference.  But the other is where I have made my life these past ten years; the land where my beloved house and garden are; where many good friends live; where I slip in amongst the locals almost seamlessly; and that often thrills me with the realisation that “I actually live here in this iconic city!”.  People seem to think that living abroad as a South African must in some sense constitute a form of exile, a miserable homesick existence longing to be back in South Africa rather than abroad – but in my case nothing could be further from the truth.  I have been handed this special privilege of belonging in two places at once – a rare treasure indeed – and I feel proud that I have managed to forge such strong ties with people and places in two countries that both now seem indispensible to me.

So it seems only fitting that I have become adept at creating dishes that try to meld South African and European cooking:  boerewors and butternut risotto; biltong and peppadew quiche; granadilla pavlova and now, boerewors sausage rolls. Sausage rolls are pretty quintessentially English to me; whereas boerewors could not be more South African.  Put them together to create a tasty hybrid to impress your family and friends – in this country or abroad.



(makes 30+)


400g boerewors sausage, casings removed
1 x 375g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten


Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

  • Mash the sausage meat with a fork so that there are no lumps.
  • Unroll the pastry onto a silicone baking mat and slice in two lengthways.
  • Halve the sausage meat and make a mound of meat down the centre of each strip of pastry.
  • Brush the one long edge of each piece of pastry with a little of the beaten egg.
  • Roll the pastry tightly around the meat and seal with the beaten egg. Repeat with the other piece of pastry.
  • Brush beaten egg over the top of each roll and carefully transfer the silicone baking mat onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until cooked through and golden.
  • Remove from oven, carefully slice into bite-sized chunks and serve hot.

For you Jeanne, an African Atlantic winter sunset to thrill your African heart 🙂

 Have a wonderful new week everyone.

browniegirl xx

22 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2011 12:00 PM

    Thank you my darling blogMamma for your kind and lovely words! And, of course, for the opportunity to guest post on your blog 🙂 And so funny to read what you missed when you were over here – so much of that is now available here in London! Just yesterday we stopped off at the S A shop near us and stocked up on biltong, boerewors, Niknaks and the indispensible BROWN ONION SOUP hahaha!! Have a fab Sunday xx

    • August 7, 2011 6:28 PM

      LOL!! Amazing that those SA Shops are springing up over there….just shows. ..when I was over there we were a handful….thank you so much for the awesome post. Such a pleasure to have you appear on my blog…love you!! xx

  2. July 31, 2011 1:38 PM

    One word – LEKKERRRRRRRRRRR ….. xxx we miss you in South Africa xxxx

    • August 7, 2011 6:30 PM

      We do indeed miss her…got to work on the next Indaba to get her out here again 🙂
      Thanks for popping by Jan xx

  3. Diane permalink
    July 31, 2011 5:33 PM

    Thank you Jeanne and Colleen for a lovely post!
    Jeanne–I appreciate your perspective. This sentence, in particular, struck a chord!
    “I have been handed this special privilege of belonging in two places at once – a rare treasure indeed – and I feel proud that I have managed to forge such strong ties with people and places in two countries that both now seem indispensible to me.”

    • August 7, 2011 6:33 PM

      Thank you so much for the visit Diane. Yes, I agree, that sentence really did strike a chord. xx

  4. August 1, 2011 5:50 AM

    Oh Yum. Can’t wait for 2012 Indaba and to see you again 😀

    • August 7, 2011 6:34 PM

      Oh yum indeed…..I need to try this out myself….soon! 🙂 xx

  5. August 1, 2011 9:14 AM

    home is where the heart is 🙂

  6. August 1, 2011 10:29 AM

    Thank you, lovely ladies! And I can’t wait for that 2012 Indaba either!!

    • August 7, 2011 6:35 PM

      YAY!! Lots of work to do before then teehee….my tummy starts to flutter at the thought 😉 xx

  7. August 1, 2011 10:41 AM

    Lovely recipe Jeanne. And I love that you used the ready-rolled puf pastry! makes life a little easier for me ;0)

    • August 7, 2011 6:36 PM

      Thank you so much for the pop in Mona. Yes to ready rolled puff pastry LOL! So nice to cut corners sometimes 🙂 xx

  8. August 2, 2011 12:16 AM

    Lovely blog post -fusion cooking at its best combining SA boerewors and British sausage rolls!

  9. August 3, 2011 8:19 PM

    Wow – you make it sound so easy, Jeanne – maybe it is so easy… I’m going to have to try it. I love sausage rolls and even better with boeri, i should think. Great post on belonging to two places at once. I feel the same way. You never really leave behind the country of your birth and growing up, but another place can also become home. You just get stretched inside!

    • August 7, 2011 6:38 PM

      Love that Kit – you just get stretched inside! So true. I want to try these too, very soon. Thanks so much for the visit xx

  10. August 4, 2011 11:33 AM

    Sounds super easy – gotta love that in a recipe! And I bet the boerewors makes it much more flavourful than the normal old sausage stuffing.

    • August 7, 2011 6:40 PM

      I bet the boerie makes a huge difference Marisa….of course, knowing me….I want to pimp ever so slightly… 😉 xxx

  11. August 4, 2011 2:27 PM

    Loved reading about this love for two places and living in both at once, Colleen. And also to know more about the veteran and awe inspiring foodie write, Jeanne!

  12. August 7, 2011 6:41 PM

    Thanks so much Sanjeeta. Much appreciate the visit. Jeanne is such a great person and blogger. I just love her to bits. Hugs xx

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