I took a deep breath and rang the doorbell. I was 17 and meeting Caroline’s parents for the first time. Caroline was a friend I was hoping would become a girlfriend. I think the feeling was mutual because she’d invited me to a family meal.
As I heard heavy footsteps pounding their way to the door, I realised I’d broken the first rule of meeting the parents: I’d arrived empty-handed.
Caroline’s father opened the door, glared at me, squeezed my clammy hand, and escorted me to the table where Caroline, her mother and an assortment of relatives were seated.
I have a large family and our meals are filled with laughter, friends, food and that invisible force that binds us all together – family folklore: traditions, in-jokes, nicknames, quirky stories, and our own esoteric words, like “pantossel”. At some point in the meal, my father always points at the bean salad and asks: “What’s that?”
“It’s bean salad,” someone dutifully responds, to which he always replies: “I don’t want to know what it’s been, I want to know what it is.”
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CHRISTMAS STEP BY STEP
If you’re the kind of traditionalist who insists on old-school starters, two roasts (glazed gammon, obvs), duck-fat potatoes, gravy perfection and the ultimate jelly and “custard”, then Hannah Lewry has all your work cut out for you, right here. Because if ever there was a time of year to flaunt your cooking skills, this is it
HAPPY HOUR Spirit of the season
A few ingredients left to infuse for two days and you can add a few home-made gifts to your festive repertoire this year, says Jeanne Calitz
FOOD HERO Brandy custard
Creamy, flecked with vanilla and now spiked with everyone’s favourite festive spirit, the TASTE team is all over Woolies’ new brandy custard. But how will we make the most of this fresh punnet of ingenuity?
A NEW KIND OF MAGIC
Break a few rules this Christmas, ('cos it's been that kinda year) and make new traditions with Abigail Donnelly’s inspired modern menu
In which Jonathan Ancer makes peace with the most embarrassing meal of his life, after learning that his food phobia has become family-table folklore
South Africa lost an icon earlier this year, when food editor and author Dorah Sitole passed away. Mogau Seshoene remembers the woman who inspired, advised and cheered for a generation of young black chefs
THANKS FOR sharing
Best way to do Christmas on a budget? Pot luck, you guys! Make some menu “suggestions”, says Khanya Mzongwana, set up a buffet table and ask everyone to bring a shareable dish that costs less than R50 per person. Think of it as food-nerd secret Santa
ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS
These are all the cakes, tarts, puddings, biscuits and treats you need for your Christmas countdown, courtesy of Abigail Donnelly
STEP BY STEP Christmas fairy-cake biscuits
For the kids and the kids at heart, these buttery, rainbow sprinkled biccies offer pure, unadulterated joy in the making and eating
The last carb
When her favourite veg, the humble potato, is all dressed up in a rich, cheesy tartiflette, Sam Woulidge knows it will bring peace to the holiday table
Don't Mind the Gap
Age is nothing but a number! These couples don't mind a May to December romance
Sharon D Clarke
IMAGINE YOU'RE ABOUT TO MAKE YOUR BROADWAY DEBUT IN A HIGHLY anticipated, groundbreaking musical, only to have it all put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You'd Be an Iconic Guest
A ruthless Instagram interviewer brings her knowing wink to cable.
DIVORCING De NIRO: ROMANCE IS BULL!
Swears off women as he accuses wife of spending him into the poorhouse
Caroline Shaw is Making Classical Cool
Her innovative work won her a Pulitzer Prize at age 30. She’s collaborated with Kanye and Nas. What does her success mean for the long-suffering genre?
THE JEWEL BOX HOUSE
NORTH MEETS EAST IN THIS STUNNING HOME ON A FORESTED BLUFF ALONG LAKE MICHIGAN.
Grove to grove
CAROLINE KIRKLAND WALKER & RYAN DANIEL REED OCTOBER 3, 2020 • JACKSON
LIZE KRUGER: TWO SERIES
Growth, Mental Health, Loss, And Survival
Nurturing Young Minds
Polk County Farm Bureau Recognizes Ag Teacher and Ag Program of the Year
BRITISH BRAND DISCOVERY IS ONE OF THE FEW MONOHULL YARDS TO BUILD CATAMARANS. COULD THE BLUEWATER 50 BE ONE FOR MONOHULL PURISTS?