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A snowballs chance in hell…..

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs - another trip down memory lane!

Yudhika Sujanani prepares Snowballs – another trip down memory lane!

When I chat to people from my hometown, we inevitably end up time travelling through reminiscing about our childhood treats. The were wealthy families and poor ones too, but the one thing that they had in common was a love for all things delicious. Some of us look back and for sure, we feel like we were deprived of so much but we also take note of the things we had then that our kids will never experience…and childhood friendships are the first thing that come to mind. I don’t feel so bad about having so much less than most people did…it was just my perception at the time and without my so-called hand, my life could have turned out differently….but thinking back on those days, there was an unspoken reality that most of us from Isipingo faced…so many talented people thinking….I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell!

Without money, a troubled secondary education or a chance at tertiary education, there was a sense of hopelessness that hung over the town like an unspoken destiny. It was only much later that I realized that we never actually needed to leave to make it…growing up in Isipingo taught us the lessons we needed to succeed. It frustrated some to the point that they became the most driven people who have succeeded not only in South Africa but abroad too….a few names that pop into my mind…Nanda Soobben, the political cartoonist, and a missile aerodynamicist who’s name I care not to mention! That’s a story for another day….but the children of Isipingo made it to the big time….Doctor’s lawyers and accountants…not to mention entrepreneurs…the common thread amongst us was that we learnt to hustle! We did after all have a chance in hell, we just didn’t know it at the time!

People who left South Africa to holiday were celebrities and those who left to study abroad had super stardom status….hardly anyone ever got out so it was really newsworthy! We grew up in a time when we went to the Old Louis Botha airport to bid farewell to a person going on holiday. I can still remember my uncle leaving to London and my mom wearing her best silk sari to the airport. She pulled out an old leather suitcase from under the bed and in it was a treasure trove of saris…they smelled almost religious to me, with a faint hint of incense…also they were old which reminded me of how little she had and how much she treasured her little stash of silks. I remember burying my face in the pleats and pissing her off, but she had no idea then that the scent of her would live in my memory forever! She had incredibly long hair and she pulled it into a ponytail and in seconds almost like a magic trick, she coiled it into a fashionable bun…it was my job to pass her the hairpins and she got really irritated when I was a bit slow from day dreaming. How many of you remember this ritual….the sari, the makeup, the bun and lastly….the hairspray that made us choke….and then of course, she would cover her hair with a handkerchief to control the fine, wispy strays!

These were the days before new age cakes and baking…no red velvet cakes and croissants or chocolate ganache anything! Wareings Bakery was a name that every kid knew…they made pies, mock cream doughnuts and the amazing snowball too. On a school sports day, each kid got a doughnut or sometimes a snowball with a Coo-ee to go with it…it was tradition and something our kids will never experience! Snowballs and doughnuts from the corner shops around Isipingo were incredibly popular…Uncle Goolam from the Curry Tray, or Colleen’s Tearoom across the road from the Isipingo Beach Library or Jeena’s in Isipingo Hills…or the Busy Bee on Old Main Road…they displayed the doughnuts and snowballs on the counter, sometimes behind glass, but always on newsprint! They were fresh and delicious and we never tired of them! Anyone knows what happened to Wareings? I haven’t spotted their stuff in years and why is it so hard to find a good snowball???

After numerous requests, I finally got around to making up a batch…there is always some hesitation around a recipe that isn’t just a recipe…it’s so much more than that! It’s a memory of a time that life was a lot simpler, friendships were real, and no one real cared if you got the snowball coconut all over the back seat of the car! For some that don’t know what a snowball is, I can best describe it as a delicious whoopie pie, sandwiched together with an icing paste, dunked in a syrup and then rolled in tinted coconut! Keep them in an airtight biscuit tin for a day or so….if they last that long! I got the kids to help with weighing, measuring and coconut tinting, snowball syrup dunking too so click here to watch the clips…https://youtu.be/GgCqH2GL35s and here for how my kitchen helpers, Rushil and Tanvi, finished up their task so watch for their theatrical ending in this clip, https://youtu.be/vn8KBCAiGmQ

Lastly, I dedicate this recipe to all those ‘Snowballs’ from Isipingo!

Snowballs

Makes 10 – 12

Ingredients

400ml desiccated coconut
Few drops pink colouring

140g butter
125ml sugar
2 large eggs
5ml vanilla essence
375ml self-raising flour
Pinch of salt

For sandwiching the cakes…
200ml icing sugar
20ml boiled water

For the syrup…
120ml sugar
120ml water
150ml smooth apricot
7ml red food colouring

Place the desiccated coconut in a mixing and add few drops of pink food colouring. Rub the colouring into the coconut to tint the coconut until evenly coloured.

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty...Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Kitchen assistant on coconut duty…Tanvi Sujanani on the job!

Cream the butter until light and fluffy, then gradually add the sugar.
Continue creaming until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Whisk the eggs lightly then gradually add this to the creamed butter, add a 2 teaspoons flour with the eggs to prevent curdling.
Add the salt and vanilla essence.
Add the flour and work the mixture into a soft dough.
Divide the dough into portions – I weighed them into 25g balls.

Snowballs...ready for the oven!

Snowballs…ready for the oven!

Roll each one until smooth and place on a baking tray lined with greased paper.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C for 12 – 15 minutes. They should be pale in colour with the bases turning light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Just out the oven....

Just out the oven….

Make the syrup – heat the sugar and water in a 24cm AMC pot. Bring the syrup to the boil once the sugar has dissolved. Add the apricot jam and simmer until the syrup is slightly thick – not too thick as it will prevent the syrup from penetrating the snowball. Tint the syrup with red food colouring.

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam...in an AMC Cookware unit!

Snowball syrup made with sugar, water and apricot jam…in an AMC Cookware unit!

Once the snowballs are cool, mix the icing sugar and boiled water into a thick, smooth paste, then sandwich the snowballs together.

Glueing the snowballs together!

Glueing the snowballs together!

Sandwiching the snowballs....

Sandwiching the snowballs….

Leave to harden slightly – this takes a minute or two, then dip the snowballs into the hot syrup and toss them a few times to make sure they are coated. I used tongs for this as the syrup was quite warm.

Place them into the coconut and toss to coat evenly.

Pretty in pink...the snowball  done and dusted!

Pretty in pink…the snowball done and dusted!

Dust off the excess coconut and place on baking paper.

These are delicious eaten fresh but may be stored for up to two days.

To all the chops I’ve loved before….spicy lamb chops!

Yudhika on SABC 2's Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

Yudhika on SABC 2’s Mela..for all the chops I have loved before!

I have a strange sense of humour and drive my kids and my mom crazy with the songs I sing! One of my favourite singers was Julio Iglesias and his song, ‘To all the girls I’ve loved before’….what sounded romantic to me as a child, just sounds completely ironic now.

My version of the song, is ‘To all the chops I’ve loved before’…

To all the chops I’ve loved before,
Who marinated in and out my store,
I’m glad they came along…
I dedicate this blog….
To all the the chops I’ve loved before!

I am not shy to say…but boy, have I loved a few chops in my time! I am kind to myself and know that it’s a part of growing up and sometimes a part of growing old! I should write my memoirs and share some of my giggles but that would be telling, wouldn’t it?!

So, I like most of you have had my share of ‘boy trouble’ and the problem with boys is that they grow into bullies which is most unattractive and unacceptable! So from the cheats, to possessive freaks to older men and aging playboys…I have seen and experienced my fair share!

Has it made me bitter…absolutely not…I have learnt to laugh about it. And once you laugh, the tears never fall. Life is beautiful so why should we define it by dodgy relationships!

I do love lamb chops and marinated ones are my favourite. I prepared these on Mela a while ago and thought that if you have a love of chops, like me, then this recipe will not disappoint like some other chops do!

A message to all the chops I have loved before, your time has passed, I have grown from my experience and thank you for the education, the lessons learned and experience. I won’t look back and haven’t…there are no second chances or third ones and sorry won’t do! I guess if some of those chops walk past my work in a book store, they must be surprised and possibly kicking themselves for judging me by everything I did not have… where I come from, girls from wealthy families were taken seriously and money talked, while the rest walked! I don’t have regrets for it has shown me that some people lack character! For those of you who have had your heart broken, smile for you are free from what could have caused you a lifetime of pain! There is a reason why people don’t make a book and just have a chapter in your life! Love yourself and be kind during the hard times and heartbreak! And I wish you much happiness and love on your adventure!

If you missed the episode on Mela, click here, https://yudhikayumyum.com/sabc-2s-mela-videos/mela-spicy-lamb-chops-and-pavlova/

To all the chops I've loved before....marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

To all the chops I’ve loved before….marinated lamb chops by Yudhika Sujanani

Masala Lamb Chops

12 lamb chops

Salt, to season

Marinade:

45ml crushed ginger

15ml crushed garlic

2ml black pepper

25ml fresh cream

25ml greek yoghurt

10ml ground cumin

15ml red chilli powder

10ml garam masala

50ml lemon juice

Sunflower oil, to baste

Lemon wedges, to serve

Here’s how:

Season the lamb chops with salt.

Mix the marinade ingredients together until smooth.

Rub the marinade over the chops and leave to rest in a refrigerator for a few hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Place a wire rack over a baking tray.

Arrange the chops on the wire rack and drizzle with a little sunflower oil

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chops.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Easter ideas….Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Yudhika's Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware...

Yudhika’s Spinach and Prawn Pilau with AMC Cookware…

The first part of 2015 has flown by and I can’t believe it’s Easter weekend already! I worked on an Easter recipe supplement for the Post Newspaper with Yogas Nair and her team which is always a delight! And this time, I was also lucky enough to work with my favourite company as the sponsor, AMC Cookware!

So while the Post Newspaper and AMC cookware keep me really busy, I have not blogged much but hopefully this recipe makes an appearance on your Easter table! And for those of you who love a hot cross bun, here is my recipe for Lindt Chocolate Hot Cross Bun, https://yudhikayumyum.com/2013/03/18/lindt-choc-chip-hot-cross-buns/

Spinach and Prawn Pilau

Serves 4

Ingredients

1kg prawns, shelled and de-veined
40ml sunflower oil, to fry prawns
Salt, to season

50ml sunflower oil
1 small cinnamon stick
5ml mustard seeds
5ml cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml coarse salt
4 garlic cloves, crushed
10ml red chilli powder
400g tomatoes, skinned and chopped or tinned
5ml ground cumin
5ml ground coriander
1ml turmeric
300g cooked brown lentils or 1 x 400g tin lentils drained
400g baby spinach chopped
750ml cooked basmati rice, cooled
125ml boiled water

Handful of crispy brown onions, to garnish
Fresh coriander, to garnish

Here’s how

Heat the sunflower oil in a 24cm AMC gourmet pan.
Add the cinnamon stick and fry until fragrant.
Add the mustard and when the seeds pop, add the cumin and fry for a few seconds.
Stir the onion and salt into the oil.
Saute until the onion turns light golden brown.
Add the crushed garlic cloves and saute until fragrant.
Stir the red chilli into the oil and heat for a few seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes.
Add the ground cumin, coriander and turmeric.
Simmer until the oil separates from the sauce.
Layer half the brown lentils and spinach over the cooked tomatoes.
Layer the rice over and then layer the remaining lentils and spinach.
Pour the boiled water over the rice.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the rice heats through and the spinach wilts.
Heat a 28cm Chef’s Pan.
Add the 40ml sunflower oil when the pan is hot.
Saute the prawn in the oil until they turn pink and the tails curl.
Place the prawns over the hot spinach pilau and garnish with crispy brown onion.