Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Boer and Brit

This past weekend, South Africans celebrated Heritage day. It got me thinking about my heritage in the context of a wider South African heritage.

A collection of Cape chairs
I have never seen my heritage as a static inheritance of the past. Being in a mixed marriage where one partner is Afrikaans and the other English, we have a smorgasbord of heritage to celebrate.

Towerwater malva pudding
We inherited each other’s heritage. It has become an ever evolving celebration of heritage with cultural practises that we adopt and incorporate in our life at Towerwater. Our core cultural heritage remains authentic. But we embrace new ideas where food, art, gardening practise and social etiquette is concerned.

At Towerwater we entertain a wide range of visitors from all over the world. They bring with them a fresh understanding of social etiquette that needs to be respected when entertaining guests from different cultural backgrounds.

Towerwater potbread
Between the Victorian cottage in Cape Town and the Cape vernacular house in Bonnievale, we have our diverse architectural heritage covered.

The homes are likewise furnished in period detail that celebrates their architectural styles and reflects our love for antiquity. It is a love that was inherited from growing up with it and enjoying it in the homes of family and friends.

Butterflied leg of lamb on an open fire
We love eating traditional South African food as the collection of Africana cookbooks can attest, but we constantly try new dishes that we encounter through new cookbooks or on our travels. The dishes we really enjoy become part of the regular fare at Towerwater.

Avocado and strawberry salad
The garden is a collection of fruit, vegetables and flowers that we love and that was loved as much by our parents and grandparents. The rose is as much at home in the garden as the ‘Afrikaner’ (marigold) and the Azaleas delight as much as the ‘Wilde als’ (wormwood).

Rooibos marmalade
My Dad believed in the medicinal value of wormwood. Wherever we moved, he would take cuttings from the ‘Groen Amara’ (Absinthe wormwood) and ‘Wilde Als’ (Roman wormwood). I grew up with these two plants in all the gardens where we lived.

Quinces, Hanepoot grapes, Pomegranates and figs are like fond memories of the special places of our childhood. That is why Towerwater is so special to us. It is a collection of our favourite and fondest memories. It is a celebration of heritage.

We can enjoy a ‘braai’ (barbeque) as much as a high tea at Towerwater, celebrating diversity in a common heritage.

Van der Hum marmalade

With a Seville orange tree still heavy with fruit, I decided to make some more marmalade. To celebrate the marriage of cultures, I decided to infuse this very English treat with some very unique South African flavours. I made a batch of Towerwater Van der Hum Marmalade and a batch of Rooibos Marmalade. Van der hum is a uniquely South African liqueur made of tangerines (naartjie) and rooibos tea, is made from an indigenous South African shrub.

Tea from India
Our friends the Wollfs brought us a souvenir gift of tea following their recent visit to India. What better way to celebrate cultures than with Indian tea and Towerwater marmalade on homemade bread. Prepared in a kitchen where the aroma of baked bread can fuse with the exotic aroma of Indian tea brewing in an English teapot.

I am proud of our heritage and delight in sharing it with family and friends. Recording and practicing our uniquely South African heritage may assist in preserving it for the next generation. 


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