Heritage Day, better know as National Braai Day, is celebrated on the 24th September every year in South Africa. On this day we celebrate our Rainbow Nation and and everything South African.
“It’s a fantastic thing, a very simple idea. Irrespective of your politics, of your culture, of your race, of your whatever, hierdie ding doen ons saam…Here is one thing that can unite us irrespective of all of the things that are trying to tear us apart.” -Desmond Tutu, patron saint of Braai Day
For those of you that might not know what a ‘Braai’ is, it is short for ‘braaivleis’ which means to grill, roast or cook on open coals or wood.
Here are some of The best ways to celebrate national heritage / Braai Day:
- Rusks: Start the day off with a delicious coffee and a rusk. I recently made this easy rusk recipe by Ina Paarman and they’re delicious.
Ma’s Buttermilk Rusks (Ina Paarman) – Makes ± 70 chunky rusks
250 g butter
1 cup (250 ml) oil
2 cups (400 g) sugar
2 extra large eggs
2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk
6½ cups (1 kg) cake flour
2 T (30 ml) baking powder
1 t (5 ml) salt
1 cup (150 g) whole wheat flour
3 cups (750 ml) All Bran Flakes
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Butter a 37 cm x 28 cm oven roasting pan and line the base with baking paper. Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl in the microwave on high for 1 minute. Add the oil and the sugar and beat with an electric beater or whisk until milky. Add the eggs one by one. Add the buttermilk and beat well.
Sift the cake flour, baking powder and salt together. Add and mix in the whole wheat flour and All Bran. Add the buttermilk mixture. Stir with a strong wooden spoon until evenly blended.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and level the top. Bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes. Turn out, cover with a cloth and leave to stand for at least 10 hours.
Cut into rusks. A serrated bread knife or electric knife works best. Pack the rusks out in a single layer on large baking sheets.
Dry out at 100°C for ± 2-3 hours. Store in an airtight container with layers of greaseproof paper in-between.
- Biltong: A delicious South African food categorised by lean strips of dried, cured and salted meat. Stokkiesdraai Biltong, which is a family owned business makes the best preservative-free, high quality biltong. They offer beef, kudu and droëwors. This is definitely the one food in South Africa you must try.
- Braai with Buddies: Now a ‘braai’ with family and friends must be one of my favourite things to do on Heritage Day. We light the fire with a great 100% biodegradable fire starter, Firefly Biofuel, and socialize for at least an hour before braaing our meat and ‘mielies’. We catch up on the latest happening’s and always end up laughing a lot. A great marinade to use is The Cooksister Old Fashion Sosatie Marinade which gives you a real South African flavour of apricot chutney mixed with delicious various spices.
- Dessert: We all need a little sweetness in our lives and to end off your wonderful ‘braai’ day, why not try some delicious melt-in-your-mouth Darling Sweet Salted Soft Caramels or very yummy Mari’s Fudge. The perfect way to end off the day!
If anything, National Braai Day encourages South African’s to unite around fires and celebrate our heritage. We are a multi-cultural Rainbow Nation and although our language and recipe’s may differ, we are all still Proudly South African!
Cheers to our heritage.