Doornplaat in the Transvaal

In 1939 as the Peach trees on Doornplaat farm flushed pink with blossoms , my father Chris Van Wyk, was born into a world in chaos , at the beginning of the 2nd World War. This is not an easy time in Ouma Joey’s life having recently lost her youngest son Gabriel , she now…

Karna Block 1999 – 2001

In 1999 Russell had a full season of mobile of safaris booked in Hwange National Park, so we loaded up the Land Rover and set off at dawn to drive the corrugated road that wound from Magungi through the Zambezi escarpment to Lubimbi Hot Springs in the Gwayi Valley. It was fire season and the…

Batter for Tilapia and Hake

Living on Lake Kariba I learned to cook fish and tried many different recipes. I wanted to share these crispy basic batter recipes I use, which seals the fish and its not oily – I started off just using my Mum’s recipe with baking powder but over time experimented with adding Cornflour , Beer and…

Sanyati Lodge , Kariba 1997 – 1999

We left Harare at first light in Russell’s Series 3 Land Rover hoping to avoid the cross border transport trucks that use this artery known as “Great North Road”. I gazed out the open window at the passing tobacco farms, the mainstay of the Zimbabwe economy at that time, they told a story of wealth…

Lake Kariba – Kiplings Lodge

With butterfies in my stomach I watched as the Cessna 206 touched down on the hazy  tarmac and taxied towards where I was sitting under a tree in the stifling midday heat. The pilot climbed out of the plane, tripped on his seat belt, dropped his hat, picked it up and banged his head on…

Butternut Salad

Ingredients – serves 6 – 8 1 medium butternut – cut in blocks and grate 2 oranges cut out of the segments 2 tablespoon fresh ginger chopped Dressing for salad 3 tablspoons Wine Vinegar 4 tablespoons Orange juice ( chop off the ends of the oranges and squeeze) 1 TBSP Fresh Ginger 1 TBSP Honey…

Masuwe Lodge – Victoria Falls

In 1995 the Zimbabwean economy was booming under the leadership of Robert Mugabe and life was good in the beautiful country we all call home. I often look back and think what possessed me to leave England when I did. At that stage, Zimbabwe offered great career prospects and we were the new rainbow nation…

Turkish Pickled Green Chillies

Turkish Pickled Chillies are made with the variety “aci sivri”, a bright green and moderately hot pepper. This pickle recipe can be used with any kind of chilli and its delicious served just about anything if you like hot food. You can remove the pepper seeds or not. If you keep them, the pickles will…

Life in London

During the 1990’s the United Kingdom offered the youth of the Commonwealth an incredible gift of a two year work and travel visa, At a crossroads in my life , I booked the cheapest ticket I could find with TAP and boarded a flight to London, this included a hair raising stop over in Angola,…

The Perfect Puffed… Pita Bread

The trick to the puff in your Pita Bread is keeping your oven scorching hot , using a cast iron base to bake on. Finishing off in a cast iron pan on the stove top for a minute each side adds color and flavor at the end . Keep your oven at 230 degrees Celsius…