Book Review – Halfaampieskraal Celebrates

Visual Feast of Food, Friendship and Festivities on a South African Farm by Maia Du Plessis & Simon Scarboro (Human & Rosseau) ISBN 978-0-7981-5141-6

This recipe book is a sheer joy and should be kept for the next generation.

When the red star adorns the sign to the farm the neighbours know that something is being celebrated.  Off a dirt track, nestled in the Overberg in the Southern Cape and surrounded by a tapestry of fields, lies Halfaampieskraal, a 250-year-old working farm in which the barns have been converted into guest suites and the Cuban-inspired Club Havana.

This stunning book chronicles the recipes, the life, decor, parties and homespun wisdom of this place. Table decorations are lavish with abundant bowls of flowers, glasses and candles on a tablecloth with a floral pattern.

A tractor is covered with Persian rugs as you get ready for a picnic. The driver takes along chairs and tables. It is a moveable feast. A decadent menu of lamb, pork belly, liver and goose eggs terrine, salmon sandwiches and farm grown spinach rolls. The children play about. For something different you might go out on a pheasant shoot, where farmers allow dogs, men and guns on their land. Later on, delicious pheasant on the menu. It all looks delicious, with smells, tastes and textures that take you back in time.

Every picture in this book tells a story, whether it is a roll of hay or a fish braai. It is a treasure. Dogs, children sitting on rocks at the sea, small feet dug into the warm sand of the sea, and on the same page a recipe every child longs for.

Dee Andrew

Posted on: 28th December 2011