It is with some sadness but much relief (on my part!) that we celebrated our last Olympic day of 2010 today with the much anticipated, and twice postponed South African day. I love Olympic time because it showcases how well we, as members of the human race, can all get along no matter where we come from. It's a time of friendly competition, of hope, of dreams and of inspiration. It makes me sad when the Olympics end and each country goes back to it's own small area and the spirit of cooperation ends.

We spent a large portion of the day watching various figure skating and ice dancing segments that the girls were not able to stay up to watch over the past weeks. Once they'd caught up on that, we watched the USA vs. Canada hockey gold medal match. It was great! Although my team didn't win gold, I'm happy it was such a close game! Between periods of the game, I began to prepare dinner - Bobotie (pronounced Bo-Bo-Tee). If you'd like a quick history, you can read the Wikipedia entry on Bobotie. We based our recipe on one in the Usborne World Cookbook.

To make Bobotie, you need:
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 oz (about 8) dried apricots
  • 2 slices white bread, crustless
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 2 eggs
While your oven is preheating to 350 degrees, tear the bread into pieces. Put it into a shallow bowl and pour half the milk over it. Leave it to soak.

Peel and chop the onion. Peel and crush the garlic. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Cook the onion and garlic over a low heat for five minutes, until they are soft.

While they are cooking, chop the dried apricots. I chopped each one into about 12-16 pieces.

Once the onion and garlic have softened, add the ground beef, and brown it.While it is browning, mix the curry, chili powder, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and of pepper in a bowl. When the meat has browned, add it to the bowl and mix together.

Add the raisins, almonds, apricots and soaked bread (be sure to include any leftover milk from the bread bowl).

Transfer the mixture into a greased casserole dish. Whisk the eggs and the rest of the milk together.

Pour it over the meat mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the topping has set and turned golden.

Serve over rice. think it's traditional to use yellow rice but we only had white so that's what we went with.

The verdict: I think that I kept postponing today's meal because I knew that the flavor would be the most strange for the kids. I was right. While the meat was salty, the fruit added some sweetness that tickled their palates. Ebabe ate the fruit pieces, Bug ate a few bites under duress and Boo ate hers but didn't want any seconds. I enjoyed the first few bites but then the salty and sweet flavors collided and I really didn't want to eat any more. In a way, this dish reminded me of a fruity shepherd's pie. Again, I don't think this will go on our regular food rotation but it was in a a completely different flavor family than our usual repertoire.

I want to end this post with a special thank you to those who have followed us on our culinary and cultural journey. We've done this for two Olympic games now and the kids are the ones who always bring it up when Olympic time nears. I hope that they will carry some fond memories of our experiences and that it has helped them learn that the world doesn't have to seem quite so big and scary.
1 Response
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Your girls are so adventurous to try all these new dishes! Mine would probably moan and groan and hold out for animal crackers. =>

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