Monday, 16 August 2010


                                                        by Sonja Heroldt   (**Translation at the end)

This song takes me back many years. Years ago when we still had Springbok Radio, Sonja Heroldt topped the music charts, 5FM was still called Radio 5 and when you mailed someone, it came on paper via the post office. Ram was a male sheep, tweeting was something birds did, phones didn't need charging and photographs were taken to "CNA" to be developed (and this was only once the film was finished, however long that took).

You might have noticed that with the passing of another birthday, I have had some time to think back to "the way thing were". I certainly am not a "in the good old days" person, I like that I can have instant access to things which could have taken months or years in the "old days". 

The problem with our fast life and instant gratification addictions is we are loosing some golden treasures, which just can't be done fast. Things like the home made jerseys my Granny used to send me each year, patchwork quilts or slow cooked food.

This brings me back to waterblommetjies (little water flowers, Cape pond weed or Cape Hawthorn to mention a few of it's posher names).Waterblommetjies flower in profusion during winter and spring. Large areas of water in the western, southern and eastern Cape are covered with their sweetly scented, white flowers. It is adapted to growing in ponds which dry up in summer. The dormant tubers sprout again as soon as the pools fill in autumn.

This used to be well known local delicacy for the cold winter months. Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, onions and sorrel. A delicious stew (bredie) which needs slow cooking and cold winter days. The actual  waterblommetjies don't take very long to cook but the meat needs to be tender for the full flavour of the meat to be enjoyed. Put it simply, you don't stir-fry waterblommetjies! I have seen they are available canned and should you use them as a substitute they need even less cooking.

Before you start, you need to soak fresh waterblommetjies in salted water, to make sure they are clean and critter clear. You certainly don't want to be eating sand and snails with your lamb!

I have used smoked lamb, which has a very strong flavour so I have not added much to the stew for flavour. If you use regular lamb rib, then you should take a look at adding extra flavours like sorrel, chilli and or some lemon.

Smoked Lamb and Waterblommetjies 

1Kg Smoked Lamb Rib (cut in 3 rib pieces)
3 Onions cut into wedges
2 Large Carrots cut into dice
6 Garlic Cloves (peeled and left whole)
1 Small tin (about 50g)  Tomato Paste
2 Teaspoons Dried chilli
5/6 Fresh Shitake Mushrooms (roughly cut)
700ml Lamb or Beef Stock
500g Waterblommetjies (see above for preparation) 
10ml Sugar
Oil for frying

Preheat your oven to 160ºC
In an pot which can be used on the stove and the oven fry the meat, onions, carrots and garlic until starting to brown
Add the rest of the ingredients - EXCEPT the Waterblommetjiesand stir.
Once the liquid starts to simmer transfer to the oven and cook for about 1½ -2 hours.
Once the meat is tender, add the waterblommetjies.
Stir and return to the oven for another 30-40 mintues.
Serve hot with rice.

Little Water Flowers from the Boland
Little Water Flowers from the Cape
Make the Stew just like in the Wine lands
And say You Love me Lots
Before you go to Sleep.


cindy said...

Ai, hoe water my mond nou!

Marisa said...

The smoky lamb must taste super with the lemony waterblommetjies!

Nina Timm said...

Rosie, Rosie, this is not fair....I have attempted to cook this once, hubby nearly died when he looked in the pot. I want to eat this at my mom's house.....of course at yours too!!!

Homemade Heaven said...

Cindy - I loved it, the meat was so tender and the waterblommetjies bring back floods of memories.

Marisa - I would say it's better than the plain - but I love smoked lamb ribs.

Nina - As you can imagine, Keith nearly fell off his chair when I served this. He ate one waterblommetjie and said - it's okay, but don't make them too often please!

Kit said...

There's a whole lot growing just off the N7 that we pass on our way to town every time. But I've still never cooked them, even with this weekly reminder!
I guess one reason is because I know the kids would never eat them.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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