International Thursday: South Africa

  • Braai-style sausages
  • Balsamic-dressed strawberry and spinach salad
  • South African potato bake
  • Sweetened, iced Rooibos

Thank you Mykai, for choosing SouthAfrica for tonight’s #InternationalThursday. Can’t imagine a wetter, more miserable day to try a Braai. But the point of this whole exercise is the vicarious experience, and this certainly transported me to those long-gone Kenyan days at  and the one-platter jiko-grilled nyama choma, sausages, and fresh kachumbari.

I had never heard about the braai before today, I’ll admit. A blog I read said South Africans—and Southern Africans, generally—have many braais, for any occasion, but that the event anchored in simplicity, revolving around a wood fire grill and the meat on it. Well, in the spirit of keeping it simple, we fire-grilled sausages and served them with a South African potato bake—creamy potatoes layered amidst sweet, caramelized onions, and slow-baked in an almost dauphinoise indulgence, drenched in cream, milk. and garlic, and finally, topped with toasted cheese. A tart strawberry and spinach salad dressed sparsely with balsamic and olive oil rounded it all out. And in lieu of dessert, harkening back to our Texan reality, I went with sweetened, iced Rooibos.
My little guy is now fascinated by South Africa—who wouldn’t be? There’s so darn much to know, from the diversity of stories, to the point where the Atlantic meets the Indian, to the Xhosa language, to the shark cages, and the penguins, to Table Mountain and the stunning Drakensberg, and to Nelson Mandela. Did you know South Africa has three capitals? Yes, true story: CapeTown, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein. Apparently, there’s a huge population of expat South Africans in Houston. I’m just going to have to find someone to invite me to a real braai. This is a keeper, absolutely.

 

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