A South African Christmas
We sing about having fun and 'a joyful irie Christmas in the sun', but don't always do that, but in South Africa, they do. On Christmas Day, they enjoy their dinner outdoors.
The aroma smelt a lot like a Jamaican kitchen, but, the food was a bit different. The table was set up like an open buffet since the menu is usually so large, people would serve themselves then make their way outside to eat.
For most South Africans, a must-have on the table is roasted chicken or cornish hen. The most popular way for them to roast the chicken is, believe it or not, with an open beer in it so that the chicken soaks up the flavour. Another must-have is the Boerewors (a kind of South African sausage), which is very well seasoned and full of flavour.
Lamb chops and ham are sometimes on the table as well.
The main starch is pap, which is better known as turned cornmeal here. However, they use white cornmeal flour. They also have a version of rice and peas which is maize meal, a less-refined cornmeal with red peas. When it comes to flavour, you can't really taste the difference between it and our traditional rice and peas. For sides, morogo (callaloo), chakalaka - a delightful bean salad, and a green salad.
Then there is the Poitjiekos - a one-pot meal that is slow-cooked to perfection in a potjie pot. It is layered with potatoes, oxtail and corn, not stirred like a stew, and the end product is a delicious side that could go as a meal.
There is no South African Christmas dinner without a great gravy, and tomato relish is one favourite.
But what is Christmas without dessert? The malva pudding with custard is not just a South African favourite but also a toe-curling treat. They do also have a fruitcake like Jamaica that is packed with quite a bit more fruit and nuts.
Their beverage is home-made ginger beer, and for the rum cream lover, the Amarula was smooth and flavourful. A nice touch to a great Christmas meal.