Food is a language that communicates beyond the limitations of
words. It is true that we are what we eat. Not only physically, but
also emotionally. The Spanish are very much Sangria, tapas and
paella people. The French are foie gras, champagne and haute
cuisine. The Germans beer and eisbein, the Italians wine, pasta and
slow food. And Namibians? We are the braai, kapana, lazy afternoons
and long evenings around a fire - we are a hearty feast of the very
best of meat grilled on real wood fires under an endless sky. It is
beautiful to see how people cook and eat the way that they talk,
think and live. But the language of food also has a more private
and individual significance. It is a way for us to demonstrate tove
and compassion when words alone are not enough. Home-cooked meals
bring families together around tables, where people sit and talk,
make eye contact and connect again. In the kitchens of all our
earth mothers and patres familias, meals are prepared to feed
bodies and souls, to make memories and to create a legacy of love
that is passed on from generation to generation. So every recipe
book becomes a collection of love letters, a recollection of
history, stories of times and people and places that were good,
that made life better for the people for whom the food was
prepared. I love to cook. Whether it began out of I sheer
desperation to save us from a I potential embarrassment of having
my mom cook for dignatories when I was 12, or whether it is the
relaxed atmosphere of my farm kitchen, surrounded by my husband
Chris and my children Christoph and Marietjie, our faithful dogs
and always as many friends and family we can get together around a
table. I love to cook. Through the years, through chance encounters
with random foodies on my path, I realised that I was destined to
cook. Lovely flavours, exotic combinations and strong tastes
resonated with me. It was especially during the early time of my
marriage to Chris - when we lived in Oshakati during the last years
of the war and where we met ail these interesting and fun people
and eating together was the main recreational activity in our lives
- that I really fell deeply in love with the art of food. The older
women in our social circles taught me so much about how to mal
gourmet meals out of limited and erratic supplies. This is the
story of food in Namibia: making the best of what you have,
practical and maximal. It is metaphorical of the character of our
nation. Back in Windhoek my career took its course, from cooking
demonstrations for food enthusiasts to judging braai competitions
for various farmers associations and the odd party catering favour
to friends to a fully fledged catering business. I became involved
in the annual national Tourism Expo, developing the "Chef's
Theatre", which was an incredible journey. I met many of the giants
in the gourmet industry and some of them have become my dearest and
closest friends. I have embraced every opportunity to travel, to
experience new cultures and learn about people through their
cooking. I fanatically collect recipes and cookbooks. I love it,
especially when the great loves of my life, my family, my friends
and good food, all come together, which is what this book is all
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