According to the research I did on South African cooking Bredie is a slow cooked stew, generally using mutton, flavoured with tomatoes and fragrant spices. It is thought to originate from the Dutch settlers.
Despite Eric being fresh off the plane from London, there is no pining for beans on toast, or fish, chips and mushy peas. He is eager to embrace all of the experiences the bushveld has to offer including the local dishes that his housekeeper prepares for him.
Eric and Tyaan share food on more than one occasion in the story and I had an enjoyable time browsing recipe books and South African blogs for traditional food that they could partake in. Vetkoek, frikkadel, sosatie. The food I discovered was rich and spicy, and heavy on the meat. Not just lamb either. Beef, goat, ostrich, antelope, crocodile.
Eric will happily try them all. Just don’t tell him what animal he’s eating!
In the name of research I recently tried Bunny Chow which is a South African curry served in a hollowed out loaf of bread. Such a hardship! Is there any countries style of cooking that you are itching to try? Or have you been brave enough to try something that could be classed as exotic? As a Brit I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not eaten either black pudding or haggis.
Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.
But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.
Someone had wedged a piece of paper under his glasses. Tyaan frowned and fingered the edge of the note. It hadn’t been there when he’d gone out last night, meaning it could only have one possible source; although Tyaan had no idea when the twink had managed to write a message.
Slipping it out from under the gunmetal-grey stem, Tyaan barely glanced at the scrap of paper. Call me and a number. Predictable and unwanted communication. Twink’s name had been Iain, apparently. Tyaan crushed the paper in his palm and tossed the sparse missive into the waste bin by his feet.
Taking the tea bag from his cup, he squeezed out the excess liquid and dropped the wrung-out bag into the bin, where a brown stain oozed over the twink’s number, spreading the ink in a spidery mess.
“You ready?” The voice came before the knock on his door. Tyaan crossed the room in three strides and unlocked the door, and then he returned to the kettle and flicked the switch again. Emptying a sachet of instant coffee into the second cup, he tossed the rubbish and prodded the waste bin into the recess under the desk-cum-side table with his bare foot.
“You’re not ready,” Jessie said with a sigh. “We’re meeting Johan for brunch in less than an hour.”
“I’ll be ready. Coffee?” He pushed the freshly made cup of coffee toward her and waved his hand at the accoutrements that went with it. “Knock yourself out.”
He winced as she added two pots of creamer and three sachets of sugar to her drink, and ripped open a packet of biscuits. “For a doctor, you don’t give a damn what you put in your body.”
“And you don’t give a damn what you put your body in.” Jessie smiled sweetly, crumbs sticking to her lips. “I take it your guest has already gone.”
“Iain left last night. And I take it you didn’t get laid.”
“I came on this weekend to keep you company and catch up with some friends from the hospital. I’m impressed you remembered this one’s name.” The false sweetness of her smile faded into something more sincere and slightly melancholy. “Does that mean you’ll see him again when we come back?”
“I’ll grab that shower now.” Tyaan picked up his tea and headed to the bathroom, aware of his best friend’s gaze following him across the room.
An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.
Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.
In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.
Theory Unproven will be released soon by Love Lane Books