Greetings From a Kitchen Down-under and Over the Ditch

(I guess I have to explain to all the non Aussies and non Kiwis the title of this entry. Australia and New Zealand are considered to be the lands down under. If you live in Kiwi land than you live over the ditch. So therefore its down under and over the ditch)

Introducing My World to the World

Bernard Shaw once wrote, “there is no sincerer love than the love for food.” I full heartily agree with Mr. Shaw, and indeed it is my love and passion for food that has inspired me to create this blog.

This site is about inherited knowledge pertaining to good food and good health, and I will admit sometimes knowledge borrowed from outside the family as well.  My family has always been close, despite the oceans and the seas that separate us all. With the passing of my auntie, grandfather and grandmother, my awareness of healthy living and eating became more prominent. In dealing with the shock of death, I turned to food which was sometimes for comfort but mostly for pleasure and health.  It is my belief that food has become a forgotten medicine in a take-out, fast food, saturated fats, world of convenience. It is often easier to pop a pill than to change a diet.

Because, I live in the same world as you, dear reader, with the same ambitions, pressures, worries and fears, I want to show you how to find the balance between healthy living and eating, while denying no pleasures. I want to give you a new way to look at food and what it can do for you, while still satisfying your cravings for the delicious in a guilt free manner.

I have never really been shy, and I have always loved to get to know people. Wealth of knowledge and wisdom is not only found in books, but through listening to friends and family. Therefore, this site is as much about healthy cooking and living, as it is about family and friends. My dad always says when everything, and everyone fails, family never does (or at least never should). So here is my family, starting with my inspirations-the grandparents!

My grandparents from both sides of the family.

Grandma Hets and Grandpa Hendrikus and Mum

Grandma Hets and Grandpa Hendrikus and Mum

My grandma Hets and my granddad Hendrikus (ouma and oupa for those Afrikaans and Dutch speakers)  are well into their 80′s, and after 60 odd years of marriage are still madly in love with each other. They had two daughters and four grand-kids. My name, Hester Gertruida, a name which is steeped in tradtion and which I inherted from my grandmother. I am the 7th Hester Gertruida, my mum being the 6th and so on backwards. And we aren’t the only Hester Gertruida’s in the family…. there are many more. Can you just imagine what family reunions are like? I love my grandparents, not only for their continuing love and support but their shared wisdom as well. My grandfather taught me to always have an opinion, to always fight for yourself and for those who cannot fight for themselves. He taught me what good humor was and passed on all manner of knowledge relating to the subjects of sibling teasing and annoying. My grandmother, a strong woman, taught me to be proud of who I am and where I came from. The Hesters’ are strong women, who have a no nonsense approach with big hearts and kitchens. Ouma Hets’s style of cooking is very homely, down to earth. The fundamentals of good food to make a big family happy, thats what she passed onto me as well.

Grandma Susan and Grandpa Mossie

Grandma Susan and Grandpa Mossie

My ouma Sannie and my oupa Mossie, have both passed on. They had three children, my father, his brother and my auntie (who has also passed away). They have seven grandchildren.  They lived in Namibia on a farm where they taught me how to shoot, hunt, prepare meat, cook and to love. My oupa Mossie always appeared rough around the edges, but always melted when ouma was around. It is hard to speak about them but what I can say is that I loved them and miss them. Again, my grandparents taught me to be proud of who I am, to always have faith and to stick together as a family. My summer holidays on the farm are some of my most fondest memories. Whether it was home-made ice-cream or making boerworst…we always did it as a family! My grandmother have her own small bakery, where other farmers could purchase yummy treats. I would definitely say my sweet tooth comes from this side of the family. My grandma use to get up at 5 in the morning to start the day’s baking, I will always remember the sweet smells drifting out of her kitchen. Where ouma Hets taught me cooking, I can say that my ouma Sannie taught me baking.

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