flashback: anything ginger

It is a hot Summer’s day. The branches of an old willow tree dance slowly in a light mid-morning breeze, touching here and there on the ground. The grass in the front yard is bleached to a yellowish tint. In the shade it is a darker green. Birds chase each other around, flitting through the tree, teasing and laughing in their chirpy way.

Only a few steps away, a table is set. A big plate of homemade cookies is centre staged. The variety is so familiar, one can almost taste it just by looking at it. There are custard creams, hmmm. . . it will melt in your mouth. Oh, and there are those ever popular spicy “outydse soetkoekies” with just a hint of brandy. Coconut bites, current delights, cinnamon balls, gingers . . .

To the back of the table, the preparations are ready for the variety of drinks that will be served to wash all these cookies down with. Mugs for coffee or tea, glasses for those who like milk or – another favorite – home brewed ginger beer. Inside the house the last of the morning chores are done in a rush so as not to be late.

It’s Christmas-holiday in South Africa and time for morning-tea. At last!

Dad gets served first. He is a big man, so of course he gets two cookies of every kind. Finally everyone is settled, each with a drink and a small plate of yummy. And while Mom’s hard work disappears down several throats, a little quality time is spent with the family.

* * * * * *

Someone drinking Ginger Beer. For simple Engli...

Every time I get a whiff of ginger, or see a bottle of ginger beer I remember this. To this day I’m still partial to ginger beer. And Christmas is almost here! So maybe this year I’ll hunt for all those cookie recipes and brew us some beer.

Originally published: 16.09.2010


5 thoughts on “flashback: anything ginger

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cookie recipe that called for red wine…my kind of recipe!

    We call ginger beer “ginger ale” here…there’s a local company about 45 minutes away that has produced a “golden” ginger ale since about 1900: Sussex Ginger Ale. The company was bought out by Maritime Beverages, but they still make the ginger ale!


    • You should really try those cookies. You can even replace the wine with something a little stronger, as long as it brings out the flavor of those spices – that’s what it’s all about 🙂

      Would love to compare the taste of the ale there with the beer here. I like brewing my own as I’m then in charge of how much sugar goes in – it should only have a hint of sweetness.

  2. Oooh, I have never had soetkoekies before. Just checked out the recipe – does one need to use nuts in it? Does not putting them in change the taste a lot?

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