A Classic Farm-style Menu


“Have you finished packing, Michael?”
“Yes Mom.”
“Where’s your suitcase?”
“Oh, you mean clothes!”
“Of course I mean clothes, what have you been doing all this time?”
“Well I’ve packed my fishing rod, my kite, my BMX, my camera and my pellet gun.”
“What on earth are you going to shoot with your pellet gun?”
“Birds, Mom”
“Over my dead body, young man. No pellet gun and that’s final.”
“But Mom, Grandpa always says we can shoot the crows. They peck the sheep’s eyes out.”
“Well then you can use one of Grandpa’s guns but you are not taking your pellet gun.”
“Ahh Mom, why not?”
“Because even though the crow’s are pests, it’s cruel to wound them. Pellets can’t kill such a big bird. In either case, don’t you remember the scolding Grandpa gave you last time when you shot holes in his oranges hanging on the tree.”
“I was bored. I had nothing else to shoot at.”
“Just please go and pack some clothes, and remember… No pellet gun!
I’m done with the food and things so I’m going to help Judy pack.”
“Why can’t she pack her own clothes?”
“You know your sister’s too young to pack her own clothes. Now go and finish packing and then carry all the cases and gear out to the car and help your father pack the car otherwise we’ll never make it to the farm before it gets dark.”


“Yes Judy”
“Are we nearly there yet? I’m feeling sick!”
“Open your window a bit and look out the window. Stop looking at your book. You know you get car-sick when you try and read.”


“What’s wrong now, Michael?”
“I’m hungry.”
“Can’t you just wait till we get to the farm. I’m sure Granny will have some nice food prepared.”
“But it will be for lunch tomorrow, I’m hungry now”
“I’m sure you have pythons in your stomach. We had something to eat before we left!”
“I’m hungry”

Turning to her husband….
“Paul, are we going to stop before we get to the farm?”
“Yes, I’m going to fill up at the service station in the village up ahead, why?”
“I want to buy Michael something to chew when we get there.”
“But we just had something to eat…”
“I know, l know, please don’t even go down that road. That son of yours is eating us out of house and home.”
“Hey! Wait a minute. He’s your son too, you know”
“Yeah, but he’s got your appetite….”

Paul, with a mock groomsh face, gives his wife an elbow jab in her side. He answers,

“With the amount of food your mom prepares, I’m sure he’ll meet his hunger match this weekend!”


Farm-style smoked trout pâté

This is a delicious light starter for summer. Enjoy it with flatbreads, wholegrain toast or on top of small crumpets. It can be made two to three days ahead of time.


  • 400 g oak-smoked trout ribbons, diced
  • 10 g Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 x 250 ml tub crème fraîche
  • a generous pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • lemon wedges, to garnish


1. Mix the trout, parsley, lemon zest and juice in a bowl.

2, Add the crème fraîche and black pepper, mix to combine, cover and chill until ready to serve. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with lemon wedges.


Smashed potatoes

This recipe served as a side at lunch time is deliciously moreish, plant-based and adaptable. Use any small potatoes.


  • 1.4 kg Small potatoes
  • 2 T salt
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • ½ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 g capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 200 g pitted green Manzanilla olives, drained


1. Fill a saucepan with water and add the potatoes and salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender (a knife should easily pierce one). Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Drain the potatoes and place on a baking tray, then cover with the olive oil, black pepper, capers, lemon and olives.

3. Mix to make sure the potatoes are evenly coated with olive oil and that the capers and olives are evenly distributed. Mash the potatoes slightly with a fork and roast for 15–20 minutes, or until crispy and golden on the edges.


Grape salad

This delightful summer salad makes an excellent accompaniment to classic South African mains.


  • For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ t freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • For the salad:
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 Mediterranean cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 200 g blue cheese (De Leeuwen or another semi-soft blue cheese)
  • a small bunch radishes, cubed
  • 2 cups seedless grapes
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 cos lettuce hearts
  • 2 x 30 g packets Woolworths wild rocket


1. In a large bowl, mix the salad dressing ingredients with a whisk until emulsified and well combined.

2. Add the celery, cucumber, blue cheese, radishes and 1 cup grapes and stir through to coat.

3. Heat the olive oil and fry the remaining grapes until golden and soft, then add to the bowl.

4. Roughly chop the lettuce and layer on top of the salad ingredients with the rocket. 5 Cover and chill until ready to serve, then invert onto a platter and toss gently.


Pickled cauliflower

A classic farm meal wouldn’t be the same without at least one homemade pickled veg.


  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 1 t mustard seeds
  • 1 t coriander seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • ground turmeric
  • 1 head cauliflower


1. Place a 1-litre jar and its lid into a large saucepan. Half fill the jar with water and fill the saucepan with water to the same level. Make sure the lid is submerged and bring to a boil. Boil for at least 10 minutes to sterilize.

2. To make the pickle, place the sugar, vinegar and spices into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir to make sure sugar has dissolved and boil for 3 minutes.

3. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Remove jar from the heat using tongs and tightly pack the cauliflower into the jar.

4. Pour the pickling liquid into the jar to completely cover the cauliflower. You might need a bit of extra pickling liquid or you might have some to spare, depending on how big the cauliflower is. Seal the jar tightly with the lid while hot to ensure that the contents remain sterile.

If you use properly sterilised jars you can keep this pickle at room temperature for several months. The cauliflower will become more flavourful and the colour will intensify.


Granny’s roast chicken


  • 1 free-range chicken
  • 3 litres water
  • 6 T salt
  • 3 T plum jam
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T dried thyme
  • ½ onion
  • ½ lemon
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 head garlic
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. To brine the chicken, remove it from its packaging, wash with running water and place into a bowl or tub. Add the water and salt. Cover and chill overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Combine the jam, oil and thyme and smear all over the chicken, making sure to get it under the wings.

3. Quarter the onion and lemon lengthways and insert into the cavity of the bird. Stuff as much butter as you can into the cavity, and the garlic if possible. Season generously.

4. Place the chicken into a deep baking dish, breast side down, and cook for 2 hours – you do not need to baste or turn it.

5. Remove from the oven after 2 hours. It will look quite dark, but don’t worry! Allow to rest in the baking dish for 15 minutes before serving.


Blueberry frangipane

We chose to top the tart with blueberries but you could use strawberries, thinly sliced pear or apple, nectarines, apricots or plums. Make it in a fluted tart tin or a springform cake tin, and serve it at room temperature or slightly warm.


  • For the pastry:
  • 120 g stoneground flour
  • a pinch salt
  • 90 g cold butter
  • 2 T cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 85 g salted butter, softened (unsalted is fine, but we prefer to use salted)
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 150 g almond flour (finely ground almonds also works)
  • 2 t flour
  • 1 t cornflour
  • 1 free-range egg, at room temperature
  • 1 free-range egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 t almond extract
  • a pinch salt
  • 180 g blueberries (or seasonal fruit of your choice)
  • cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving


1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt together. Grate the cold butter directly into the flour. Lightly rub together with your fingertips.

2. Make a well in the centre and add the water, then work the water into the flour using a spatula until you have a rough heap of buttery lumps. Using your hands, quickly combine the pastry. Once combined, roll into a sausage shape and dust with flour. Cover with clingfilm and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.

3. When the pastry is chilled and firm to the touch, grease a 30 cm fluted tart dish. Cut the pastry into thin discs and line the dish. Press together until you’ve covered the bottom of the dish. Remember to work up the edges to create a tart with a substantial lip to keep the filling in place. Chill for a further 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the prepared pastry with foil, shiny side down, and fill with dried beans or rice and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans (save for future use) and bake for a further 5 minutes. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 180°C.

5. To make the filling, beat together the butter and caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the almond flour and blend, then add the flour and cornflour, followed by the egg and egg white. Finally, add the almond extract and salt and mix until combined.

6. Spread the frangipane over the tart base. It should come up to just below the edge. Decorate with the blueberries and bake until the crust and frangipane are golden and set, 45–50 minutes. Cool on wire rack and serve with cream or vanilla ice cream.


Special occasion chocolate cake

A chocolate cake favourite with any visitor to the farm.


  • For the cake:
  • 280 g cake flour
  • 400 g sugar
  • 75 g best-quality cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
  • 1½ t bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t ground coffee (filter coffee)
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • For the icing:
  • 250 g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • cup ¾ tahini
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • For the filling and topping:
  • 12 ripe strawberries
  • ½ cup raspberry jam


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease 2x 20 cm springform cake tins and dust the bottoms with cocoa powder.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix lightly until well incorporated. Add the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla and mix until combined ¬– do not overmix.

3. Add the boiling water only when you are ready to bake – when it is combined the mixture will be very wet.

4. Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 10–15 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before icing

5. To make the icing, beat the butter with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually add the icing sugar, followed by the tahini, cocoa powder and vanilla. If you need to loosen the icing slightly, add 1 t hot coffee at a time.

6. To assemble, when the cake is completely cool, lay the larger of the two cakes onto a plate or cake stand, and the second cake alongside. Cover the bottom cake in a layer of buttercream and then top with half of the jam – you can pipe a buttercream “wall” around the edges of the bottom cake to contain the jam if you want – we pile it all on. Thinly slice half the strawberries and make an even layer of strawberries over the bottom cake.

7. Place the second cake on top on the bottom one, then cover the whole cake with a thin layer of icing (the crumb layer). This layer can be messy and will ensure that the top layer of icing is nice and tidy. Allow the cake to firm up for a few minutes after icing the crumb layer so that it doesn’t slide around.

8. Cover the whole cake in buttercream – we use an offset spatula or a butter knife to ice the cake, dipping it in hot water to make the icing more sculptable.

9. Once the whole cake is iced you can dollop spoonfuls of the remaining jam onto the top of the cake and decorate it with sliced and whole strawberries. We usually go for asymmetrical decorations with this type of cake because it is much less stressful for the decorator.

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