When I think of my gran, I think leg of lamb, cooked long and slow until it’s fall-of-the-bone soft. I think chicken pie with hints of clove. And steamed ginger pud with egg custard and home-made Ideal Milk ice cream.
She may not be around anymore, but she’s still with me in my kitchen – every time I page through her handwritten recipe book, the pages now yellow with age, the ink smudged from spills. A cryptic recipe writer, my gran. As an exceptional cook, she figured notes like “mix like a cake” or “not too firm, not too soft” would be more than sufficient for future generations. When I told a few friends that I’d finally be making something out of my gran’s book for my next post, they were terribly excited. Until I told them it’s souskluitjies… and got blank stares.
Now this is the stuff of my childhood and I had naively assumed everybody would know a souskluitjie from a samoosa. Apparently not. So for those of you who haven’t heard of it, ‘souskluitjies’ is the South African name for old-fashioned cinnamon dumplings. A really filling, really warming, really easy pud that tastes and smells like Christmas morning. Oh, and did I mention really cheap? At less than R20 to serve six, it ticks that box too.