Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.


Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry and White Chocolate Muffins
(Photo : Jackie Cameron)

"Traditional American Cuisine"

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

What would you do if you received an email from the Embassy of the United States of America 'cordially' inviting you to a young African women leaders' forum featuring the First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama? With all the scam mail inflicted on us on a daily basis you, like me, would probably utter 'ja, ja' and move on to the next email. This time, however, curiosity got the better of me and, after checking on the internet, the invitation was confirmed legitimate. I would never have forgiven myself had I missed this occasion.

After a role call in Soweto we were transferred to the Regina Mundi Catholic Church for one of the most inspiring and uplifting days I have experienced. Here I met exceptionally interesting people from all walks of life. And being addressed by Mrs Obama was a memorable moment. Her knowledge of South African history was remarkable while her passion, enthusiasm and determination inspired us to improve our lives and the lives of others. I walked away grateful for this once-in-a-life-time experience.

Reflective moments, for me, usually include food so it was no surprise when I began thinking about traditional American cuisine. My perception was of a rich diversity - a melting pot resulting from all the immigrants, from days gone by, that make up the American nation.

In my opinion Kentucky Fried Chicken is a perfect example of American food. Homemade, free-range, crispy, hot, fried chicken is difficult to beat. Serve this with lots of creamy hand-whisked mayonnaise. It's finger licking good!

When I crave a hot dog I prefer a sweet, soft bun roll; loads of butter; cheesy, smoked butcher - made Vienna sausage and a 'smothering' of All Gold tomato sauce. A variation on this theme includes Dijon mustard, rosemary, sautéed butter onions and a mushroom-and-black-pepper sauce. Something completely different!

I can't help reflecting on Mugg & Bean's super-sized muffins. A large berry-and-white-chocolate muffin is the perfect example. The muffin's outer, almost gooey, crispness contrasts so well with the light, inner texture. It's a tea-time taste sensation. Another option is an oversized chocolate-chip-and-lavender biscuit or cookie. A favourite of mine!

Apple pie… Everybody's favourite with lots of cinnamon, cloves and raisins served straight from the oven with a generous dollop of dairy-fresh cream. Unsurpassable - especially when it's homemade!

Somehow maple syrup mirror images American food. Think blueberry flapjacks with hot chunky blueberry sauce, cream, crunchy streaky bacon and maple syrup. A breakfast fit for the first lady!

Delectable American fare also includes hamburgers, potato chips, barbeque beef, crab cakes, pizza, tacos, baked beans, cheesecake, brownies - and of course peanut butter and jelly. Most of these recipes have been covered in previous articles.

Barack and Michelle Obama are on my dream list of who I'd like to cook for. No scam mail please!

Take these recipes and try them.

USA Chef