Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Meeulanders tin run 2016

This past weekend saw some of the members of the Meeulanders MCC gathering at three of the local supermarkets to persuade the public to donate non perishable food items for distribution to those in need. This had been scheduled for mid September but was cancelled due to the sad, untimely passing of our President Divi de Vries.
Unfortunately Janet and I were unable to attend or assist in this event due to a prior commitment but I have spoken to Craig and I have seen the photos, some of which I will show you, and this turned out to be a very successful collection thanks to the club members who were willing to donate their time and to those members of the public who generously donated food items.
Outside the Pick 'n Pay in Langebaan Mall, who would not donate food when confronted by Steve?!
Two of the ladies and the trollies get filled up, eventually six trollies were filled to the brim at this collection point. This was the only mall that allowed motorcycles to be taken inside.
Meanwhile those worthy members outside the Pick 'n Pay in Vredenburg were also on the go, they eventually managed to collect 5 trollies full of food.
Here we see Craig, Monica, Malcolm, Elize, Melinda, Christo and Carlo with the fruits of their labour, and at the Weskus Mall, Checkers the brothers and sisters collected 4 trollies full.
This picture of Craig and Monica sums up the wonderful attitude of the members of the Meeulanders Motorcycle club and I'm sorry that we weren't there to help.
Fifteen supermarket trollies full of groceries for those in need, this will soon be handed over to the local Round Table chapter who are better organised to do the distribution and I will document that occasion later. Well done guys and gals, bikers ROCK!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A good biking weekend

Saturday I was feeling a bit "under the weather", apart from a very annoying pulled muscle which seemed to be inside my rib cage I was just feeling a bit "pap", it's a good descriptive Afrikaans word which I'm sure doesn't need translating.
I was alright on the bike though, infact I loved the ride out to Velddrif so much that I took the longer route, this in spite of the fact that the wind was blowing quite strongly too.
By the time I got there the parking area was crowded with bikes, the occasion was the Clique MCC's annual "dayjol" and it certainly looked like the bikers had turned out in force to support them. I wandered around meeting and greeting and had a couple of beers but I wasn't in the mood.

There was a lot going on, the wheelie machine was kept busy, there were some good food stalls and the bar was doing a roaring trade. It was good to see the members of the host club all pulling together to ensure that things ran smoothly, well done guys and gals.

I stayed to watch some of the games but left at about 16h30 amid rumours of traffic roadblocks pulling bikers over but there was nothing, I hope the jol was a success and I hope that everyone got home safely, sorry I could not stay longer.
Sunday morning I was feeling better but that pulled muscle was still giving me a problem, Janet and I saddled up at about 08h45 and rode out to the Engen One Stop to join up with Meeulanders members for our monthly breakfast run.
We got there in time to have a cup of Wimpy's good coffee while we waited for others to arrive. 09h30 it was kickstands up and twelve members on eight bikes headed out onto the R45 and the longer route via Malmesbury and back to Darling for breakfast at "Brig's Barn".
Stop/Go's are still a feature of local riding and we had a stop at the first but not for long, soon Daan was leading the group into a layby for a smoke break and the now traditional "Melk tert" liqueur which was provided by Johan.
Gerda dishes out while the others wait for the toast to our late President Divi and fallen brothers.
The rest of the ride was good, the second stop/go was open for us and we roared on through. Gerrie led a couple of faster guys through the sweeps before the N7 where Floors had a lucky escape when a Guinea fowl hit his knee and virtaully disintergrated against the side of his bike, his knee will be bruised and he will need to spray all of that mess out of the bike before it starts to stink! A Guinea fowl is a big bird and he was lucky not to have gone down.

It was inevitable that we would be stopped at the last roadworks and we sat in the sun swatting "miggies" while we waited, we were pretty much an hour late at the restaurant but they didn't seem to be worried and did not keep us waiting long for our breakfasts. We relaxed in the sun and drank our beers and chatted,
Gerrie and Jannie seemed to be going back to their childhood, quite happy until a member of the staff told them there was sign saying the swings were for kids only, naughty boys!
The breakfast was good, the one I had was R60 but I was so hungry I forgot to photograph it, we'll go back again, the place is popular with bikers, some others arrived while we were there. We all went our separate ways afterwards Daan and Bev were going to the Darling Brewery for a dark beer but we headed home. The last Stop/go was open for us and we had a nice leisurely cruise home.
What a pleasant biking weekend.
The next club function is the annual "Dart run" on Saturday 22nd but obviously we'll ride before then, stay safe - keep the shiny side up and we'll see you on the road.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

What more food?!

I enjoy making fish cakes, to which end I save as much fish as I can from carcasses after I have taken off my fillets, I steam and flake it and freeze it in handy batches.
The other day I made some mussel cakes in the same manner;
Take pre-cooked mussels and chop them up into small chunks, weigh the mussels and boil up an equal amount of potatoes,

I roughly mashed the potatoes and flavoured them with garlic flakes, salt, coarse black pepper and mixed herbs, a pat of butter and then stirred the chopped mussels into the pot. I then molded them into cakes, dipped in flour, egg and bread crumbs and put them into the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Deep fried ready to enjoy, on the right is the table set for our friends, roasted chicken wings, Janet's bread rolls from a recipe of my sister's, smoked Angel fish in the centre and my mussel cakes at the back - (it's worth clicking on that photo to see it full size!)
This plate has the chicken and vegetables that I do in a clay pot in a convection oven but in front is guess what? More left over Sadza, Janet fried rough chunks of it in a pan in some butter and cooked in some flavoured noodles, very nice!
And then there was a braai - and I buggered up the potatoes! Took them off too soon and Janet had to finish them in the microwave, ahh well you can't win them all!
With apologies to my friend at Trobiaritz' Tablet who is vegan, delicious Karoo lamb chops from our recent trip up to Sutherland marinated in olive oil, red wine, Aromat, garlic flakes and Rosemary,

One of our favourites; crunchy pork belly rashers as a starter and then the main with some really good boerewors that we bought at the butchery in Moorreesburg the other day. On the right you can see the failed potatoes wrapped in tin foil but after some intervention by Janet it all ended well.
Well that's all about food for now, we have a biking weekend coming up, on Saturday there is a dayjol hosted by the Clique at the "Wielhuis" pub in Velddrif, that should be a good one, certainly was last year.
Sunday is the Meeulanders monthly breakfast run, not sure where to yet but looking forward to it anyway. Stay safe brothers and sisters and we'll see you on the road.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On to matters more frivolous

~ "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on"~ 
Life goes on, time for matters more frivolous to ease us back into our daily existence and what could be more frivolous than food, glorious food?
I like to braai but I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen and I love trying out new ideas;
Caroline, Linda, Dick and Janet (our other Janet) came over for the weekend a couple of weeks ago, the occasion was a farewell for my buddy Caroline who is going overseas and I made them a beef shin pot which also required a pot of Sadza, the old Rhodesian equivalent of the ubiquitous South African Pap, both of which are made with Miellie meal. We like to roll the sadza into balls and dip it into the gravy, I have covered this in an earlier post.
The thing is what do we do with the leftover sadza the next day or even the day after that? I made my friends the Sadza balls for breakfast on Sunday and I have written about them before too;
The thing was we had more left over so we decided to try something else for the next time we have guests;
Crumble the Sadza and stir in a good cup full of grated cheddar cheese,
Fry a packet of bacon bits and when it has cooled stir it into the mix,

 Mold into cakes, brush with melted butter and grill until golden brown, delicious but rather filling, next time I will make them a bit smaller and I also want to try frying them in flour, egg and breadcrumbs.
I used the last of the Sadza the next evening by molding it into small cubes, rolling in flour, whisked egg and breadcrumbs and deep frying as an accompaniment to some pan fried Angel fish fillets and that was a hit!

Click on the photos to see them full size, we have more ideas for left over Sadza which I will try soon and I will let you know how it turns out. Janet (my Janet) says now there must always be too much Sadza, that's not difficult!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Divi's funeral

The bikers started gathering at the "Wingerd" at 13h00 on Saturday 24th, the Meeulanders were there first so that we could discuss the mass ride which we would be leading, other clubs would follow on and I think that all of the other local clubs were well represented.

It wasn't long before all of the parking areas were full of motorbikes and the pub was crowded with their riders and passengers, in spite of the gravity of the situation a jovial atmosphere prevailed as bikers greeted each other, this is exactly what Divi would have wanted.
We all formed up behind the hearse at 14h30 and the mass ride, escorted by the traffic department, slowly headed across town to the church.
It was a slow and dignified procession that extended a long way back and the crowds gathered on the pavements taking films and photographs with their phones.

Pretty much all of the parking space around the church was taken up by the motorcycles, I don't know if there was any count but it was heart warming to see the huge number of bikers paying their last respects to this extremely popular biking figure.

Jean, the President of the Kreefsmokkelaars from Velddrif immediately laid rubber outside the gate in noisy biker tribute, well done Jean!

As was to be expected the church was full and the minister conducted a biker service, I had the honour of being nominated as one of the pall bearers.
After the service the crowd of bikers bade Divi a traditional fond and tearful farewell as the hearse passed through, all of this was extremely emotional and of course there were many red-eyed bikers, myself included.
After some snacks with tea or coffee in the hall everyone eventually headed back across town to the "Phoenix" biker bar where the wake got into full swing. This went well into the evening.
Our President; Divi de Vries had a true biker send-off and the size of the crowd was testimony to his popularity, we will miss him.
Click on the images to see them full size.