(Originally Posted 1/28/2014) Why a box of butternut squash to illustrate this menu? Because I spent 4 months in South Africa and Butternut Soup was always, always, wherever I went, the Soup of the Day. In fact, the Americans started referring to Butternut as the National Soup of the Day.
What else did I do in South Africa besides eat soup? Well, you can find out by listening to my Extempo story recorded during the Tell Off storytelling championship last Friday. Extempo is true stories told without notes (yes, like The Moth – but it’s competitive). The annual Tell Off of all the winners from events during the year includes one wild card – someone who has never told an Extempo story before. This year, that was me! And I volunteered to go first. Because I figured if nothing else I’d get audience points for bravery. Which I did. Check out all the stories here.
The are so many wonderful foods available for a South Africa menu. We served the following menu on the week of Nelson Mandela’s funeral. The one problem with this menu was that the weather wasn’t conducive to a South African Braai – so consider that if you’re planning your own dinner.
- South African Wine
- Butternut Squash Curry – with a hollowed-out loaf of bread to make it into Bunny Chow
- Biryani – and another recipe for Biryani.
- Pap (the unfortunately named food) & Samp – I converted this combo to hominy & grits since that’s what I had available
- Pineapple rolled in chili, curry, salt & cayenne – Just what it sounds like, street vendors sold these on sticks in Durban
- Rusks & Rooibos Tea
- Malva Pudding – This recipe looks better than the one I actually made . . . but I would replace some of the water in the sauce with brandy